Selling a house, I have found in the last couple of weeks, is a lot like conducting survey research. You work furiously, vigorously, exhaustively in preparation. You agonize over the minutia and at least twice a day you doubt the entire damned project. Then, after weeks of effort and deliberation, you start distributing the survey and go ahead and list the house.

And then, at full speed, you run into a wall, because at that point the success of all that work depends essentially on either having something that somebody wants, or getting strangers to be nice to you. So you wait, and every time the phone rings (or your inbox chimes) you lunge to see if you have a response. It’s like a homemade ulcer kit.

But the similarities don’t stop there, oh no, they go much deeper. At some point, after investing so much work and time, you really start identifying with your project. Incomplete surveys? Rejection! Inadequate oohing and aaahing at your open beam ceilings, mature native landscaping, and designer light fixtures? Rejection!

And not even spring break can save you.