If you’ve ever gotten a new boyfriend or girlfriend before dumping the current one, then you understand “messiness.” You might feel more secure with this approach, but it creates a lot of drama and difficulty.
It’s less messy to break up with the old, deal with the feelings, get drunk with friends, regroup, go shopping, and eventually start looking for someone new.
But we’re messy. Many of us approach selling our home the same way we approach break-ups. We start shopping for the new home before really dealing with the old one. As with the new partner, we’ve been thinking about making a change for a while. We’ve created a must-have and a like-to-have list, usually based on the inadequacies of our current situation. We start looking around, fall in love, commit, and here’s the mess: we now have two homes because the seller wouldn’t accept a contingency offer. No way are we prepared for two house payments. But we fell in love…
We scramble to find an agent. We get a sell as-is price, a do-this-and-that price, and a top-dollar price if we do a LOT more of this-and-that. Naturally, we want top dollar. We NEED top dollar to pay for the new house, but we won’t get top dollar just because we say so.
We begin to panic. The garage is a nightmare. The finished basement is filled with “keep,” “toss,” and “I don’t know.” The closets are a lost cause, the walls need fresh paint and the bathroom carpet is shot. Looks like we’ll be finally installing tile in the master bath for someone else! We have a week to do everything. With full-time jobs. And a family reunion this weekend. Full-on panic.
We get out the calendar. We can pull it off if we stay up to three a.m. for the next seven days, packing, purging, painting and cleaning. We call in favors from friends and parents. We’ll have at least three meltdowns with the spouse, the kids will start acting out, and the dog—who doesn’t understand the chaos and tension—will respond with explosive you-know-what on the just-cleaned carpet. We will plow through the projects and discover wood rot. Meanwhile, a week-long monsoon will wash out our plans to work in the yard and stain the deck.
There will be no time to deal with the tired kitchen counters and back splash. We could have updated them but there’s no time; the photographer shows up in a week. Top dollar was a pipe-dream, we tell ourselves.
Here’s the thing: because we were thinking mostly as a home buyer, we forgot that we’re a home seller first. After all, we fell out of love and were preparing to part ways. Classic Cart-Before-the-Horse Syndrome. It’s okay to get excited about a new home, but it’s better to use that excitement as motivation for completing our projects before we go house shopping.
In a perfect world where I am Queen (and have all of the chocolate), we would each live in a market-ready home. Our closets would be organized and contain only what we need. Our storage area would contain only holiday décor, a couple of treasure boxes, and a few bins of clothes the kids haven’t yet grown into. The kitchen would be updated to our liking because we deserve it, and very little would be on the counters because the cabinets aren’t overflowing with coffee mugs, sports bottles and empty Cool Whip containers. We would be enjoying the nice bathroom tile and the fresh interior paint. No stress. No panic.
In my perfect world we would live ready to cash in on our house, because we have only one chance to do so. We find our dream home, give the carpets a light shampoo’ing, schedule the window washers, do an overall cleaning, poke the sign in the yard, take the kids and our non-explosive dog to the folks for the weekend, and get the call from our agent with an offer for top dollar. Oh, happy day!
But alas, I am not Queen.
Selling a home is generally not a surprise (unless it’s a corporate relocation). A whole lotta crazy and stress can be minimized by being market-ready. Not sure how to tackle it? Take advantage of my extensive knowledge in this area. You may end up with a to-do list long enough to choke a T-Rex, but you’ll have the luxury of time, which will come in handy for the second round of contractors when the first round didn’t return your calls, or just stopped showing up. You’ll have time to sort through items, photograph them to sell, or have the garage sale.
I help prioritize a to-do list that matches your budget and price expectations for your home. My goal is to NOT spend your money, but if money is to be spent, I make a very good case for it. Plus, I know short-cuts. For instance, I know a way to easily and expertly repaint cabinets for around $100. I also know what NOT to waste your money and time doing, such as painting the garage.
Put the horse before the cart and you’ll get where you’re going quicker and with more control, while keeping your sanity and not blowing a boatload of cash. Reach out today to schedule your appointment!
You might also like: How to Waste Time Preparing Your Home to Sell
Copyright © 2022 by Cynthia Gentry Black, Home Staging by Cynthia, LLC in Kansas City.
All rights reserved. No portion may be shared, reused or republished in any format without express written consent of the author.