Before you list your house, let me challenge you to a test. One of the biggest difficulties to selling a house is emotion. Over the course of living in a home, memories are formed, events take place, upgrades are completed and the house becomes a part of who you are. You tend to associate your home with who you are.
That’s good and bad. If you have great tastes and you have the ability and resources to renovate and improve a house with class and style you may actually turn a plain vanilla house into a decadent delight. But, that doesn’t mean you will get a return on all of your handy work. Actually, you may only spend money that you will never get back. Then again, you may reap a sizable reward depending on where and how that time and money was spent.
My test for you is this, walk through your house as if you were going to buy it. As anunbiased buyer, you have nothing invested in the property. It is a blank canvas to you. There is no emotion as you cross the threshold of the door. It’s someone else’s home, and you’re looking at it as a home-buyer.
Would the colors make you want to paint, or would you be satisfied with them? Would that scratch on the hardwood floors turn you on or off? Would you want to immediately update the kitchen, bath or master bedroom? Would the unfinished basement make you want to start hammering studs into place? Would you love the views? Or, would you want to cut down those overgrown bushes out front?
A buyer doesn’t know the blood sweat and tears you’ve put into your home, and the truth is, they don’t care. It’s not personal for them. The improvements you made are something you did for your own pleasure, and a buyer may come in and undo them for their pleasure. Selling a house is a matter of separating emotions from realities. Sold comparibles in an area are a better predictor of a sales price than the love you put into a house. Look at your house as an unemotional buyer. Now, what do you see?
Sellers, take this test before listing your home.