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We put our apartment on the market.

Sure, we thought about selling this summer when real estate in Manhattan was escalating outrageously fast but then we figured, who wants to make that much money so easily?

So now we’re selling it during a major recession.

Everyone knows when you are selling your home, you don’t need a broker. You just need the right signature scent. Some advocate baking cookies or an apple pie before an open house but those must be people who don’t store half their cookware in their oven.

So I went in search of the perfect candle. I was looking for a scent like, “This is the nicest apartment I’ve ever seen, I’ll pay absolutely anything!” but all I found was a lot of “Island Grapefruit” and “Deep Clover.”

I finally let Dylan pick out the scent, “Vanilla Citrus Zest” because 4 year-olds have an incredible aptitude for what moves real estate.

Then Rick and I noticed that we had a lot of damn stuff in our apartment.

So on the day of our open house, we moved a ton of it down the hall to one of our neighbor’s.


Obviously, we have really nice neighbors. Or maybe we stole the key to their apartment when they were out of town. Either way, we got rid of the junk.

And once we felt guilty about putting too much crap in their place, we dropped off a few things with this cute single guy who lives next door.  I just know he and his banking buddies are now playing drinking games with our Chutes and Ladders and having stroller races down the hall.

After cleaning our apartment out, it looked so nice I wanted to buy it myself.

And then we held our first open house.

And ONLY two couples came.

Out of 8 million people living in New York City, TWO COUPLES.

Afterward, we kind of felt like this…


But Rick and I don’t give up. Would Blair give up on Yale? Would Lilly give up on Rufus? Oh, you still don’t watch “Gossip Girl?” Ok, forget it.

So we held another open house the very next day and it proved a bit more successful.

Still, I’m starting to think that if we really want to move the suburbs, we might need more than a signature scent.

mama bird notes:

Speaking of the ‘burbs….Contributing mama Daphne Biener finally understands why folks just love their minivans. Forget your bedroom, this is the place to get a little action. Click on contributing mamas to read more.

Are you going to Blogher ’09 in Chicago this summer? Oh, you must. Jessica, Wendi, Christy, Anna and I have put in for a room of our own on the topic of “Humor.” It’s called, “Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard.” Or Getting Wrinkles is Easy, Comedy is Hard. Or maybe Getting Fat is Easy… Well, the point is Comedy is Hard.

If you’re interested, please sign up. Seriously, I’m begging you. Click here and tell BlogHer that you want to hear our incredible insights on humor writing. And if we can’t think of anything to say, we’re going to make Marinka do some kind of elaborate tap dance.

47 Responses to open house party

  • kristen says:

    you need blair’s minions to help corral all the prospective buyers into your place… all kidding aside, good luck, i know you’ll sell and before your neighbors claim your things as their own.

  • K says:

    Good luck selling your place. I hope you kind a lovely place in the burbs.  I live in the DC subarbs myself and it is nice to have easy access to parking and the grogery store. I think the signature scent is key.

  • OHmommy says:

    It is such a good time to buy though… I am sure you will get better luck with the spring weather coming soon.  We have sold 3 homes in the last 7 years.  All in March. 

    Crossing my fingers for you.

  • wa says:

    Let me know how that candle works because we’re putting our house on the market soon & I don’t think the “boy + cat” smell we currently have is going to be too enticing.

  • Cathy says:

    Vanilla Citrus Zest sounds yummy! Your neighbor’s apartment would be how our basement would look if we were trying to sell–it’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate. Good Luck!

  • Cathy says:

    You know, don’t you, that many in the suburbs would love to switch places with you? I mean, in the city there’s no yard work. And there’s no … well, I can’t think of any other reasons so maybe it’s only me who would love to live in the city. I think. But good luck with your sale. Hope all goes well.

  • Nap Warden says:

    Wow, you are leaving the big city! I just can’t bring myself to do it…Not even going to get into market talk with you. I will say, your package has shipped…just what you need, more stuff;)

  • Bitsy says:

    Just think; when you get to the suburbs you can cram all that crap in your attic, your basement and the back of your new mini-van.  You’ll be just like the rest of us!

  • christy says:

    So you have to move all that stuff back and forth each time you have an open house? Ugh – hope it sells quick. I am going to BlogHer and did leave the coordinators a note – would just love to attend that session you guys are proposing! How fun! AND I could teach Marinka to tap dance, yep former tap dancing instructor right here!

  • Jennifer H says:

    Oh, you haven’t heard? There’s a couple billion $ earmarked in the stimulus package to provide candles to homeowners trying to sell. (You get three choices. I’m pretty sure Vanilla Citrus Zest is one of them.)

  • Erin says:

    did you hear about the guy who sold raffell tickets to win his house? i think he sold the tickets for something like $10 a piece and ended up making over a million on his home!  The winner won this house for a mere $20! Just a thought…. Good luck with the sale.

  • johanna says:

    Don’t you love the uncluttered look? If only we could really live without all that “stuff”!! But, it is all essential in some shape or form. Good luck with the whole process. Yeah for the burbs! 

  • Tara says:

    uh, hello??  did you check out all of the books in your neighbor’s apt. behind all of your crap?  See, everyone has crap!

  • MN Mama says:

    Good luck my friend!  I hope it sells soon.  I know it can be tough selling a place and trying to live there especially with children.  I will say a few prayers for you all.  Patience can be hard to come by at at time like this.   

  • Chris says:

    I hope you sell your place soon.  I know how difficult it is keeping a place “spiffy” at all times.  Try a “cinnamon bun” scented candle.  They’re fabulous.  If I smell one, I’ll buy anything.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    I hear Mamabird Jordana Bales is looking to buy an apt. in the city.  Sell her yours,  with the provision that you have ‘visiting rights and sleeping space’ when you want to spend time in the Big Apple.

  • Kristin says:

    Kelcey – I have been to your apartment – where did you get all that stuff?  Your place is so de-cluttered to begin with.  I heard boiling a pot of water on the stove with cinnamon can make the place smell like just-baked apple pie – and no cleaning out the oven!

  • Karen Bland says:

    Forget the scents. You need to hire a stylish couple as part of the “staging”. They should be pretending to have a quiet conversation about how much they are going to overbid to make sure they lock in your apartment. Create a demand – create some hype. Remember, the unobtainable is irresistible. 

  • Blognut says:

    I’m thinking that vanilla citrust zest might have been the downfall of the open house.  Citrus smells tend to call up memories of public restroom air fresheners… so do floral scents.  Even though you were missing the potty smell, Peaches and Shit never sold a house… just sayin’. 

  • Ha! When we sold our house, we did the same thing.  The neighbor whose house we were going to buy let us fill her spare bedroom in the basement with all our junk.  And then she left for Italy, and we brought over even more stuff and left it in her house.  Oh, and we fed the kids in her kitchen while the house was on the market.

  • I would love to go to BlogHer, but something tells me it won\\\’t be in the budget this year… Damn recession – it is ruining my blogging career. I love any and all allusions to Gossip Girl – keep them coming. What burb of NYC are you moving to? I lived in Pelham until I was eight. Then we moved to DC. Then I went to Fordham for college. Then I moved to Arlington, VA with friends – then McLean, VA with my husband – and now Reston, VA with my husband and kids. The Arlington-McLean-Reston trajectory spans 20 miles outside of DC (approximately 1-10-20). Moving out to the burbs is a slippery slope… I used to find it annoying that my parents lived in a cooler neighborhood than I did. But now they live in Key West – so at least I get some vacations out of it.

  • Oz says:

    You are so brave.  We’ve thought about selling our house, but I’m too much of a chicken.  We don’t have a vanilla citrus candle, though.

  • amysprite says:

    We are in the same boat, only in Wisconsin.  We’re putting our house on the market next month and generally freaking out about the whole thing.  And the “damn stuff!??” We’re in it up to our damn eyeballs! 

    Hopefully all will be settled (for the love of God, it better be) by the time BlogHer comes around.  I am totally going to panty raid Jessica and Anna’s rooms.  😉  (And I would pay twice the ticket price to see Marinka do a tap dance-inka for us!)

  • The Mom Bomb says:

    Keep the faith! And look at it this way: we had to replace an entire septic system on our prior house to get it sold. And the company we hired to clean the tank out was called “STINKY’S”. Swear to God.

  • Lanie says:

    Hope that is sells soon!  Your apartment does not seem very cluttered.  Where do you keep all that stuff when it is not in your neighbor’s apartment?  Great post!

kelcey kintner