How to Sell a House

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Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Click here to join in the fun!

This is a true story.

We have been trying to sell our house on and off for a couple of years. The house will sit on the market for months, people will come to look, but it never sells.  We take it off the market, and we try again a few months later. It has currently been on the market for over six months.

This house is my husband’s childhood home.  It is where he has lived his whole life.  The house has additional sentimental value, too, because my husband’s dad put a lot of work into this house over the years.  My husband’s dad, Vincent, passed away several years ago, but his memory lives on in the walls of this house.  There is not a window, wall, or tile that has not been touched by Vincent’s hands.

Last week, my mom and I were talking about this house, and she said, “I just know Vincent’s heart and soul is in this house.”

So, when I had some rare time alone last week as I drove to the grocery store, I started thinking about this house and my mom’s words.  I was alone in the car, and I began talking aloud.

“Vincent, I know your heart and soul is in that house…”

I had a long talk with Vincent.  I shared with him some of my favorite memories in that house.  I told him how it felt to bring Maddie and Katie home to that house as infants.  I told him that I’ve watched all of their firsts happen in that house: first steps, first words, first night in a big girl bed.  I told him how I remember the first time I was ever in that house, back in 1992, when I was just a young, 17 year old girl in love with a boy named Jerome.  The very best moments of my life have happened in that house.  I talked a lot.

Then, I told Vincent that it was time to let go, time for us to move on.  I explained to him that we didn’t mean to abandon the house, we just wanted to start anew, just like he did so many years ago when he chose a house to raise his own family.  It was time to find a new place to call home.  I assured him that we would take with us each and every memory,  and that the family that bought this house would love it just as much as we have all these years.

By the time I finished, I was sitting in the grocery store parking lot feeling really stupid and embarrassed.

After being on the market for years, our house sold two days later.

The Murphy family is moving.

30 thoughts on “How to Sell a House

  1. Your tale brings chills to my spine. Perhaps it is like telling someone who is dying that it is OK to let go. You did,,,and assured him that every little thing will be ok. My husband is a new real estate salesperson. I will share your story!@

  2. Wow. Just like Anita, that brought chills and pinpricks of tears. Beautiful. I know just the person to share this post with. And congratulations!

  3. When I read this, I had the same thoughts as Anita. It reminded me of giving permission to someone to let go. That is would all be OK. (I also thought how I would have been in tears by the time I hit the grocery store – but I am such a sap!) How exciting for you! New beginnings are such a wonderful thing! Looking forward to hearing about the progress.

  4. Dana, you weren’t kidding. Communication, expressing those feelings, letting him know you understand and telling him to understand…Wow! I had no idea the story behind the selling of your house. I love this Dana, in every way.

  5. Wow, Dana! It brought back memories of sitting with my mother on her deathbed in 1993, letting her know that it was okay to go, that we would be okay, because that was her big worry. I felt the emotion in your very strong ending, your last two lines, and the use of italics was perfect! Love it!

  6. What a great moment to share. I love that you had a conversation in your car and then sold the house. It was almost like Vincent had to be okay to let it go. Just love this! Congrats on the move too!

  7. I agree with those who said it was like giving a person permission to die – very moving slice. It also makes it easier for us to move forward. Good luck with your move – I’m sure we’ll hear about it in your future slices.

  8. There you go, Dana, you needed to have that chat with Vincent, and he needed to hear what you had to say. Odd coincidence that the house sold right after? I think not. Congratulations on the new start.

  9. I have heard so many stories of that house over the years, all of the changes that have occurred there and in your life. I liked how you talked about bringing all the memories with you, it is those memories that are the most important part. May your new home be filled with as many wonderful memories

  10. Your post brought me to tears…..your discussion with Vincent brought me to tears. Obviously, Vincent loves you very much! Congratulations on selling the house.

  11. I got chills when I read this. Hooray for Vincent for being your guardian angel. What a wonderful conversation you had with him in your car. He is always going to be there for you guys.

  12. I read this this morning and then my stupid phone battery died but it stuck with me all day. I had the child reading this. I still do. I couldn’t be happier for you! I love the way your address Vincent here. If can hear you smiling and telling him this story. I just love love love this piece!

  13. Wow, I wonder if it was Vincent, or you, that had to let go. Maybe both. Lovely piece and congrats!

  14. Dana, you are an incredible writer. I love reading your writing. I learn something every time I read something of yours. My favorite piece was always the one of you leaving Maddie at daycare for the first time, but I think this might have taken its place. I love that the Murphy’s are embarking on a new journey. Congrats!

  15. What a cool story Dana. Thanks for telling your colleagues that you sold your house. Is the kitchen revamp in this house? Congrats on selling your house, that is an awesome feeling. We have been trying to sell our condo forever but no luck so far. Hope we can get some luck soon!

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