The Open House

May 2, 2007 by · 7 Comments 

Have you ever sold a house? Most of you probably have, so you’ll relate to what I want to talk about.

Selling a house is an arduous process. Because it’s not something you do everyday, there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about what to do and how to do it. Even with a Real Estate Professional, it can be unsettling.

Because of the way God made my mind, I forget most everything that happens in my life (not everything– that is a bit of an exaggeration… I was using a literary device called “hyperbole”… at least I think that’s what it’s called… I mean, I do remember my wedding, the birth of one of my kids, every line in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and the first time I had cheese fries at The Outback). I do however, remember one aspect of the home selling process that was particularly challenging… The OPEN HOUSE.

Several Sundays in a row, we had to clean up everything (no small task with three young children), turn on all the lights (the better to see you with, my dear), and vacate the premises for three hours.

At first the OPEN HOUSE was exciting… Maybe today someone will make an offer! Maybe they’ll actually pay our list price! Maybe the journey ends here!… It was so exciting, that– the first week– we drove around our neighborhood and kept looking down our street for any “action”… There wasn’t any. In fact, that first week generated nada (that means “zero”– we were selling a home in South Florida, so I used the Spanish term for literary flavoring).

After our Real Estate Professional assured us that this was not uncommon, we did the whole thing again the next week. Clean, light, dress up and leave. This time we had some really fast walk-throughs (not the best sign), but no offers.

This time our Real Estate professional expressed some consternation (note: you never want your Real Estate Professional to feel consternation) about the fact that we weren’t even generating enough interest to lead to a discussion that may identify some areas we could improve on. So, we did it again… Clean, light, dress up, pray, leave a $10 bill on the floor, leave… Still nothing.

Now, a seller experiences a lot of different emotions during this ordeal. What’s wrong with my house? What don’t people like? Is my decorating distasteful? (Actually, I never experienced any emotion having to do with decor, but I know my wife did). You also start to wonder if anybody is ever going to make on offer– heck, even stay for more than 3 minutes!

Have you ever felt this way? Another example could be planning a party and no one shows up (although that’s happened to me, it wasn’t painful because that just meant more food for me).

What does all this mean? Why is Doug using such an interesting, humorous, and relate-able illustration? What provocative point is he leading up to…

Simply this: You guys need to climb on board the BLOG TRAIN. Blog Train you ask, What in the world is a Blog train… and why must I climb on board?

Here’s why. When I started this blog, I had a vision. It wasn’t a big vision… it wasn’t even very clear. But here’s what it was: To create a place where people could exchange ideas, struggles, discoveries, hopes, dreams, recipes, fears, and thoughts.

Technology has provided a playground for us to run, jump, and play (without getting a stiff knee) and I wanted to capitalize on that. So, I decided to set up a blog site. Then I began to write. I wrote about many different things. I enjoyed the process. Then I sent the site out to my church, family, and friends… And I waited for the intellectual dialog to begin…

The first couple brought some responses about my technical abilities (or lack thereof). But since then… nada (see definition above). I feel like I’ve created an open house and no one has showed. Where’s the interaction? Where’s the contrasting views? Where’s the life experiences to support a discussion? Where’s the discussion to begin with.

Even as I write, I think I may know the problem. I haven’t created an atmosphere of “comments/responses”… Maybe I need more question marks? I should cut down on the exclamation points! Perhaps the generation of my readers is uncomfortable with blogging? Perhaps I don’t have any readers? Maybe I’m just dull and I need to be more controversial and go Don Imus occasionally…

Heaven knows, what I say isn’t really that important (I know this because I have 10 and 12 year old girls) . Anything you add will make it better. And I will gain insights from everyone’s comments (yes, I now realize that this is more about me than you… sorry).

Anyway, what do you think? What do you have to say about that? What were your experiences with open houses (either holding one or attending one– I’ll take anything)?


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7 Responses to “The Open House”
  1. Barb Ryan says:

    We’ve never had an open house, so I can’t comment on that….but I will look forward to commenting on your future ramblings!

    Hope you had a great time in the OBX 🙂

  2. Katie says:

    Doug, I can totally relate to the Open House nightmare…Tim and I sold our house FSBO (For Sale By Owner, or in other words “how people looking to save money (i.e. cheap) try to sell their home). Well, it did actually work…but it was SOOOO stressful to do the open house thing…our kids were 4 and 21/2 at the time and trying to keep the house clean in between people coming to see the home was like trying to part the Red Sea (if you weren’t Moses that is). It was exciting (maybe they’ll pay money and we’ll be done!) it was frustrating (how could they not love our house?!) and it was stressful (will we ever be able to move to VB or will Daddy commute forever?) Some good friends of ours – Eren and Sergio San Pedro are going through this exact thing right now in Wisconsin as they get ready to move back here to VB next week — you can see their pain/adventure on Eren’s blog at I totally recommend her blog for good, soulful reading. ANYWAY…just because we’re not responding doesn’t mean we’re not reading. You’re not alone out here Doug – we just all enjoy your writing and I guess haven’t been thoughtful enough to let you know. Keep at it…we’re all just being sheep I suppose (if you were here last Sunday you would know why I used that allusion). 🙂 Keep writing, we’re reading. Big love to the Haupts!!! – Katie

  3. Doug says:

    WOW… 2 hits already! Guilt works… I should have said that I’m not offended that there haven’t been responses– I just want everyone else to hear from all of you!

  4. Sandra says:

    I just spent about an hour writing a comment and when I clicked “submit comment”, it went into cyber space, but not here.

  5. Sandra says:

    Apparently it was because I was using my nonpersonal email address and not the one listed on the blog….now I know… 🙂

  6. mfackler says:

    Hi Doug, I Located my “cookies” and can now log on to the blog. ( Twenty years ago that sentence would have sounded crazy.)
    I’m sure you will be overwhelmed w/ responses soon!

  7. rickkva says:

    Doug, thanks for sending me the email with this blog. This is really cool. Remember last year when we were preparing for the men’s retreat and a number of us were discussing the topic of grace online? It was awesome! Initiating this is a great idea. (never had an open house though)

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