Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Condo Craziness, Part II

We had another showing on our condo today.

I fulfilled my end of the bargain, going into the normal cleaning fury and completing all bizarre rituals to cleanse the condo of any signs of filth. [Reference previous post for all the sorry details.]

I planned with military precision. Candle lighting would begin upon first waking to purify the condo of any odors, allowing the vanilla scent to sweeten the air for hours. The wipe-down of all sinks and counters would begin soon after, followed by the opening of all windows to let in the fresh fall breeze. Then, I would vacuum 40 minutes before they arrived to minimize any footprints on the unspoiled vacuum tracks. Finally, I would spray some air freshener and leave the premise exactly 20 minutes before their arrival, to avoid the awkward “um, hi…here’s the condo” conversation between me and Potential Buyer and Realtor of Potential Buyer.

It was all going according to plan…until the vacuum unleashed a foul stench in what could be described only as burnt rubber. Drat! It must have been from the last vacuuming, when the vacuum tried to devour a backpack strap.

From there, the plan unraveled. Potential Buyer and Realtor of Potential Buyer arrived 30 minutes early! The vacuum stench was at its strongest, and worse, I had no time to use the air freshener. Plus, all of my items that I was taking to occupy myself at a nearby park were strewn around the entryway. So instead of walking into an immaculate condo smelling of vanilla, they walked into a nose full of burnt rubber, nearly tripping over my belongings.

I struggled to act calm, offering: “Oh hello. Take a look around. I was just about to leave.”

I left hoping that maybe the smell wasn’t as bad as I thought, but all hopes were dashed when I returned later and got a whiff of the stench. But, perhaps they didn’t notice?

They did. A couple hours later, an e-mail from my Realtor was waiting for me in my inbox, with their feedback on the showing:

They loved the condo but indicated that there was a very strong 'burnt rubber' smell.”


I was horrified and called Husband in a fit of frustration. The conversation - or monologue of my ranting - sounded something like this: “and I cleaned for hours..and the vacuum…and there was this smell….it’s like burnt rubber..and they noticed…it’s in the e-mail…might have ruined the sale...we need to get rid of that stupid vacuum!”

Husband assured me that everything was fine. We then played the it-could-have-been-worse game, coming up with the following scenarios that beat burnt rubber any day:

1) An overflowing toilet, with sewage and the associated stench overtaking the condo. 2) A cockroach – or a herd of cockroaches – making an appearance for the showing. 3) A toilet overflowing of both sewage and cockroaches.

Everything is cleared up now – both the condo smell (which I doused with air freshener) and the misunderstanding, as I explained the story to my Realtor. She laughed and told me not to worry.

I’m not sure what will come of this showing, but I’m considering this story my consolation prize if it doesn’t sell.

Oh – and Goodwill just got themselves an extra vacuum.

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