The art of negotiation

March 13, 2013

blog_stephanie_wagnerThe Kitchen Sink

A blog by Stephanie Wagner. 

I have been thinking a lot about the fine art of negotiating these days. The house that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago has miraculously reappeared in our lives again. However, as much as I would love to say it is all settled, it is still far from it.

It has been a long 7 weeks since the first time we walked through the doors and felt “at home” in the new place. The pure white blanket of snow has melted to a muddy mess, the magical trees morphed into a soggy droop. What began as brilliant excitement at finding our dream home has dulled to an annoying hum of emotional exhaustion.

IMG_1286We have offered and countered more times than I can count, and have walked away three times. Our refinance and remodel plans have been put on hold, restarted,then put on hold again. And yet, the house continues to call to us.

I am going to venture into a bit of “flaky” territory for a minute. My husband has warned me not to go here publicaly, but I’m going to anyway. I believe houses hold their own energy, as well as the energy their owners leave behind. We sense that in a space, even when we aren’t able to name it.

The Chinese call the movement of energy in spaces Feng Shui. They believe objects hold energy, and that you can encourage positive feelings by the orientation of your floor plan, the use of color, and the furnishings in your home. Do it wrong, and it will damage the health and happiness of those who dwell within.

I don’t necessarily need a lot of fancy foreign language terms to tell me what I already know about people’s homes.

We have looked at many houses over the years – some were great physical spaces, but they just didn’t feel right. We would find out later it was a house where the owners were divorcing, or there had been a trauma. There have also been some not so great houses that immediately felt cozy and homey.

And then there are houses like the one we are trying to buy, where the house’s energy and our own just fit. There is no other way to describe it. We love the woodwork, the layout, the special touches – but those alone would not have been enough to push us to leave our already great house. There is something much more primal that tells us that this house is meant to be our home. We feel it. It is that simple.

Unfortunately, it is not just between us and the house. There are realtors, the current owners, and our current home to be dealt with. Everything needs to fall into place, and in order, for this to work. We all have to get out of each other’s way so that the houses can take care of those they are meant to.

Just an hour ago, we go the call that our offer was finally accepted. We have mopped every floor, cleaned every closet, and made sure that our current house is ready to receive its new owners. Tomorrow, the official listing goes up and we will begin saying goodbye. Hopefully the energy we leave behind is of the love we have shared here as a family and of the care we have taken of this wonderful home.

And if you know of anyone who is looking for a great house…