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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Well, it was good enough for us…

As a Realtor, I hear that line a lot; especially when discussing the potential sale of their home with older sellers. Many older people with who I deal have lived in their homes for decades. Those homes were built in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s and were probably state of the art at the time; or, at least, they represented the styles and tastes of the times in which they were built. Unfortunately, many of the would-be sellers never saw any need to change anything about their homes. If it didn’t break or wear out, “why change it?” seems to be their mantra.

So, when I come along and try to offer my advice on things that need to be updated in order to make the house more sale able, I get the retort, “It was good enough for us all of these years, so it should be good enough for buyers.”

No. No, it isn’t good enough for potential buyers. You are asking them to pay good money for something that is out of date, or on its last legs, that you have grown accustomed to putting up with and accepting. You have become “nose dead” to the odors from your house that arise out of outdated styles and worn out appliances and tired infrastructure. Well, it was good enough for us…

Those little maintenance items that you ignored and walked past all of these years now draw the attention of visitors and they evaluate your house against others that they visit. The woulda, coulda, shoulda’s of things left undone in your home pile up in their minds and the long list of expenses to fix those issues detracts of its perceived value. Well, it was good enough for us…

The things that, in your mind anyway, are “easy fixes” may look daunting to the would-be buyer who is not handy and doesn’t have the time to tackle your “honey-do list”. Some things are not even fix-able - the architectural style that is no longer in favor is usually the biggest. Some things loom as huge and costly update jobs – replacing the dated kitchen and baths. And some just raise further questions about what else may be wrong with the house, due to deferred or lack of maintenance – missing plug or switch covers, broken or missing cabinet pulls or perhaps a rusty and dirty old furnace or water heater. Water stains on the ceilings that you never got around to repainting will raise questions and concerns. Well, it was good enough for us…

When owners dig in there heals with that line as their defense against taking any of my

suggestions and doing the things that need to be done, I know that we are in for a long listing, if I even take it. The same owners will usually resist making the price concessions at the front-end that need to be made to sell their property in its “As Is” condition. They usually also resist the advice that feedback from showings provide, which invariably confirms what I’ve told them to begin with – that “the house needs too much work and is overpriced.” Well, they continue to say, it was good enough for us…

Most of the time, though usually months (sometimes years) later they finally give up and drop the p[rice to where it needs to be to sell what is a “project house.” Unfortunately for me they may not do that while I have it listed. They will make one (or more) agent moves, convinced that I’m just not trying hard enough to sell their home – or the next agent or the agent after that. Surely it can’t be their home; because, after all, Well, it was good enough for us…

Sometimes an intervention by children or perhaps a trusted friend will help them see that what I’ve been telling them and what the market has been telling them is the truth. They normally will have been through the denial phase and perhaps cycled through the anger phase (usually anger directed at their agent) and are ready for the acceptance phase. They are ready to say, OK, I hear you; but, Well it was good enough for us…

Hopefully, you can avoid the delay and the pain and anguish of having to go through this when it comes time to sell your house. The key is not to let yourself become complainant about things in your home – not to become nose dead to the things that need fixing or updating. You can watch TV shows on the HGTV channel that will show you want’s trending in home style and décor in various parts of the country; however, those tend to be set in areas of the country that may not reflect trends in the heartland.

A better way is to establish a relationship with a local Realtor and invite them in from time to time to give you feedback on your house and what needs to be done to make it more marketable. Of course, they are going to do so in hopes that you will use them when you do list, and that’s a reasonable expectation. The key it to listen to what they tell you; then make a list of update and repair projects and work down that list.

I advise clients all the time that they need to be planning and making update investments in their homes all the time – something every year and something major (kitchens or baths) every five years. Of course they also need to stay on top of maintenance and not let things slide to where they become used to the broken or worn out things being as they are; this should include looking to see if it is time to replace that old furnace that is still the original or the hot water heater that’s looking a little rusty and shabby.  

One of the simplest things to keep up with are changing color palettes. Tastes in interior and exterior colors change every few years and homeowners should keep abreast of the latest trends and see if the new colors would work in their home. Just committing to a new paint scheme will force you to also take care of those little items that you’ve been putting off, like that missing or broken electrical cover. You should also look at things like new lighting, new area rugs and other things that go along with a new and fresh look.


So, if you live in my area and have been thinking about retiring and moving on or just think it’s time to move up to  a bigger and better house, give me a call. I’ll visit and give you my feedback about what the house may need in order to sell on today’s market. When I give you the list of things that I think need to be fixed or updated; please don’t say to me, Well it was good enough for us…

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Briyanga DiscoverSEO said...
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