Early on Sunday morning, David spoke to someone who wanted to come and inspect the house on Friday. (He wanted a house with a shed — we’ve got that! — and would be coming from interstate on the weekend.)

Well, that provided the motivation we (I) needed to get our (my) acts together!

We have spent the whole week madly working through all the little, niggling things that have been left undone — crossing things off our list, re-writing the list, adding new chores as we discovered them, and generally getting the place in tip-top shape!

I’ve been cleaning windows, cleaning floors, cleaning the bathrooms and still more de-cluttering. Truly, the house has never been this clean, not even for a scheduled in-law visit!

As well as hiring an independent valuer to advise us on our price, we invited several sharks real estate agents around to tell us what they thought the property was worth. Out of the four agencies that visited us, one never got back to us, one was extremely predatory, one was incompetently eager to sell for us without telling us what price it would fetch, and the last one was pleasant, appeared ethical and actually told us what services her agency would provide for their fee.

At the end of this week, the “potential buyer” never turned up, but the house was (is) looking terrific. We are thankful to have had such a catalyst that prompted us to move into high gear.

The big job that is now completed is the surfacing of all our outside concrete areas with marine carpet, which is designed to be out in the weather without rotting or fading. David had rolls of it still in the shed so it didn’t cost us much out-of-pocket, and with a bit of help was able to get it all installed in two and half days.

Brioni, 3yo, Aisha, 4yo, + David, September 2009
Brioni was fascinated to watch David at work when he was installing the outdoor carpet. He soon enlisted both girls (and even Calista!) to help by picking up the scraps and putting them in a bin.

Our house, September 2009
The outdoor carpet has transformed the patio that wraps around the back of our house.

Our house, September 2009
We have a play area on the northern side of the house, and it's much more inviting now that it's been carpeted.

We still have a little list to work through. I have some flyers to dtp, some more photos to take for the website, and more windows to clean.

It’s crazy — now that we’ve got the house looking this good, we’ve started worrying about how the girls treat it (putting their grubby hands/feet on the walls)! Ack! It’s much more peaceful to have something not so precious.

We intend to market the house and try to sell it privately before we actually list with a real estate agency (unless we can bargain down their commission). We have never sold a house before, and so if you have any experience, we’d like to hear your stories.