07/31/2013 12:06 EDT | Updated 09/30/2013 05:12 EDT

In Real Estate, This Four-Letter Word Says It All

Sold. A four-lettered word I was longing to hear. And finally after five l-o-n-g months, and one false start, the deed is done. We've sold our home of 28 years.

To be honest it has seemed quite the marathon and I've learned a lot about myself in the process. We'd often dreamt of buying homes, doing them up and flipping them but I now know I don't have the stomach for it. While it may be fun, it is too nerve-wracking by far.

Plus there are other aspects of selling your home that I won't miss:

• Folding the towels as you get out of shower, and before you've hardly even dried yourself

• The constant supply of flowers -- I should have taken out shares in a florist for the amount I spent on flowers over the months

• Backing yourself out of the house every time you leave because you don't know when there will be a showing

• Having to get out of the house whenever there was a showing -- I spent a fortune at the mall as I killed time

• The negative feedback on your home. So you don't like a centre-hall floor plan -- then guess what -- don't go to see a house that has one☺ Duh.

• The need for people to have THE perfect house before they move in. News folks, it doesn't exist. And if it does, it's out of your budget.

As I alluded earlier we had our moments. Our first sale was almost a done deal, we even had a bidding war, and then the morning after a big storm, the house inspector arrived to find our basement flooded. Our sump pump had died and so did the deal.

Then we had lots of builders circling around like vultures submitting low ball offers believing that we might be desperate and looking for a way out. But no, we believed in the value of our home, and felt sure another family would fall in love with it. And they did.

But I have also learned some important lessons:

1. Make sure you have selected a real estate agent you trust and who will work on your behalf. Our agent was amazing and went to battle when necessary and talked common sense when we needed to hear it.

2. Have a home inspection done before you put your house up for sale. They are usually around $400 and it is money well-spent as then you can fix the problems ahead of time and there are no last minute, nasty surprises.

3. It is never a done deal, until well, it is a done deal. We had gone out to celebrate the first sale, never thinking that in the 11th hour it would fall through.

4. Try to stay calm. My blood pressure went sky-rocketing on the last month of this process. I needed to chill and remember that it was just the sale of a house and worse could happen to us.

5. Know when to give in, and when to fight. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture and realize that small losses, will in the end equate to a bigger gain.

But all this is behind us. And my hope is that the young family moving in will get as much pleasure and happiness from our home as we did.

Staging A House