A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

True Tales of a First Time Home Seller

I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.

Dear Ellen,

This letter is dedicated to Creepy Guy. Shortly after we put the “For Sale” sign outside of our house, Creepy Guy took it upon himself to stand in our flower beds and peek inside all of the windows.

I don’t want to sound snarky,

but a “For Sale” sign isn’t an invitation to be a creep. 

Moving along. A lot of lessons were learned during this sale because this was the first time we ever sold a home.

Selling a home is very stressful. Once the house goes on the market you have to make sure you keep the house immaculate because on a moment’s notice, you could get a call requesting a showing.  Now if you add three, tiny humans to the mix, things get really stressful.





We spent every spare minute cleaning.

We actually learned a lot about each other during this process. For example, I learned that my husband does know how to take a dirty dish and put it inside the dishwasher. And my husband learned that I’m capable of washing, drying, folding, and putting the laundry away all in the same day as opposed to the normal three weeks it usually takes me.

We were very fortunate. Our home was only on the market for five days before we had a signed contract.

But that’s when the fun began. Within seven days we had the home inspection. And for the home inspection it’s really important that the homeowners and their tiny minions not be present because – as our real estate agent told us – the home inspection is the time for the buyers to psychologically bond with their purchase. I didn’t really understand what she was talking about at the time but now I think I have it figured out.

The wife walks around the house, shaking her head. “I just don’t understand what these people were thinking, Jeffrey. I mean look at this.” She points toward the walls. “Every room of this house has the same boring, neutral-colored paint.”

“It’s alright, Muffin.” The husband pats her on the back. “Once we get settled, I’ll get to work and in no-time flat these walls will be bursting with color.”

The wife walks into the kitchen, closes her eyes and smiles. “I can already see the polka-dots and zebra stripes.”


She opens her eyes. “What do you think we should do in the basement?”

“Watermelon red on every wall.”

“Perfect.” The wife’s face beams. “We can put our altar to the Fruit Fly Goddess down there.”


“Yes!” The husband claps his hands. “And the wall along the stairwell can be where we put our collection of dehydrated maggots.”

Fortunately, all went well with the home inspection. A few minor repairs were requested. Nothing huge. Although, the home inspector made a very interesting decision while in our home. I don’t know if it’s the law everywhere, but there is a law in Maryland that requires a radon test. The home inspector is generally responsible for bringing a device to the home to place somewhere in the basement to test the levels. And in an effort to prevent the current homeowners from screwing with the device, instructions were left telling us that we were not allowed to touch the device under any circumstances and if we did, we’d be in big trouble.



Our basement was divided in half by the stairs. On the right side of the basement was the office/laundry room with lots and lots of shelves to put stuff on….like a radon device.

On the left side of the stairs was the playroom where – as you may have guessed by the name – is where all of the toys were kept. So what does the lovely home inspector do? He puts the radon device on the desk inside the playroom.

The desk wasn’t necessarily a horrible choice, in particular if he had pushed the device all the way back against the wall. But did he do that? No. Instead, he put it on the very edge of the desk where tiny people with curious hands could easily access it.

And since – by penalty of death or dismemberment – we were NOT allowed to touch it that meant we had to keep our kids out of the playroom for 48 hours until he returned to collect the device.

Ellen, that was the longest 48 hours of our lives. But we survived and the house sold.


A. Marie

Calling all readers! What was your craziest home-buying or selling experience. I love hearing from you! Tell me all about it in the comments!

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A. Marie Smith

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