rubricon crossings

Done and done!*

House sold.

Nineteen viewings and an open house beginning Friday evening and ending Monday around 5:15.  Rather unintentionally, I met the buyers just before I left the open house on Sunday. I showed them the garage and we talked a bit about the gardens. I hear they stayed for the entire 2-hour open house.  Monday morning, they came for a second viewing at 8 am and just before midnight the house was theirs.  

My realtor asked that all offers be delivered by Monday late afternoon; the last one came in after 7. She did some organizing and then we reviewed what we had just after 10 pm.  Some of the offers, submitted that day, had a midnight expiration. Could I have asked for an extension? Making decisions like this after 10 pm could be a little crazy but parsing offers and making the decision after the long stress filled weekend was very satisfying. Most of the offers came with letters of why-this-was-the-perfect-house-for-them.  I felt badly for the single guy whose offer came in clean but with no emotional plea.  His offer reminded me that when David and I sold our first house in the Butler Tarkington neighborhood of Indianapolis, we had competing offers.  One of the final two was from a single, young man.  His offer was not as good as the ultimate buyer of that house, but we admittedly were more inclined to sell to the older woman with a college age daughter, both of whom were delightful, than to the banker-ish young man.  Neither that decision nor this one rested on personality, but had all things been equal, both the young man in Indianapolis and the single man in Madison would have lost out.

Just interesting.

I worked like a demon last week getting the house ready and while I worked, I slept well.  On the weekend, however, I did nothing but pre-set the house in the morning and spend as much time as possible out of it.  We ate almost all our meals out, and visited libraries, coffee shops, a friend’s house and the bank of comfortable chairs at FUS.  It was boring only because of my house perseveration.  There were texts and phone calls at closely spaced intervals asking for viewings or questions. No way to forget about this house of mine.  Almost not-mine.  I listened to Julia read and critiqued her latest attempt at 2-point perspective, but I cannot recall a single worthwhile task I completed.  By Sunday evening, I was beside myself with worry (lots of interest in the house, no bites yet) and did not sleep.  Did not sleep much. 

Monday night’s sleep was a whole other thing.  Yes, a bit trepidatious when I signed for the acceptance of the offer.  The Rubicon, having been crossed, lulled me into a wondrous night of dreams.  By the time I talked about the sale on Monday afternoon with one of Julia’s therapists, I felt like I had made the decision days ago, instead of 16 hours ago.

And today begins spring!  No signs of it around here, but for the much diminished dirty snow piles and sand markings along the streets, but me thinks I smell a change in the breeze—note: breeze, not wind that comes with chill— and I hear the first of the bulb plants cracking the solid garden beds.  I am ready.

*I had to look this saying up.  I was pretty sure I was using it correctly but I wondered why anyone would say “done” twice to mean really finished.  So, from World Wide Words: the earliest reference to the saying appears in Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth, published in 1800.  And for an explanation: “‘[D]one and done’ meant that a binding agreement had been mutually accepted.” So, hear! hear! I am using it correctly.

7 thoughts on “rubricon crossings

  1. Hello,

    I wanted to reach out after reading your latest post. My boyfriend and I put in an offer for your house and were so excited. My name was not on the offer, just his. It is our first time looking for a house and we are looking for somewhere to start a family and settle down. We didnt know that sending in an emotional plea was something that we could do. I feel very disheartened after reading your post because we started to imagine life in the house, and after reading your blog, discovered a whole lot of connections to your story. I cried when I heard you had gone with a different offer.. I have the utmost respect for you to do so, and obviously hold no ill will, this was meant to happen that way. I wish we had experience looking for houses so I could have told you all of our reasons for falling in love with your house. Thank you for being open in your blog, even though reading the last one stung a little reading it. Now we have learned how to best express ourselves to a new home seller.I just wanted to say thank you and good luck with your move!

    1. Hello Katie,

      I am so sorry that you did not get the house and I apologize if my blog post caused you additional distress. This buying and selling of homes is a crazy business. Reading your comment, got me thinking about the houses my husband and I loved and lost — two here in Madison — before we found this house. It was not easy rejecting any of the offers because I knew that each one came with a big commitment and probably some love. I am sure you will find that perfect house for you and next time you will understand the process better. I have never written or received personal letters when I have bought or sold houses, but checking around since the beginning of the week, it seems to be a regular part of the offer process right now. Most of my offers came with letters. Something to think about for both of us as we look for new homes. Though I’m sure this is of little consolation, as I said in the post, my decision rested solely on the strength of the offers.

      I have two questions for you: 1. I will not publish your comment without your permission. So, let me know if you don’t mind me publishing it. 2. How ever did you find my blog? Especially if you were not reading it before the house went on sale. You are an excellent sleuth!

      Warm regards,

  2. Congratulations, Suzanne. I know it was a lot of hard work, both interior and exterior (and I do not mean the house!) May your new life unfold with grace and joy.

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