By Gary Kelley
Friday, we met with two clients and their approaches highlighted something we often see.
We helped the first client buy their home. We knew she had a new job a hike away from her home, and knew she’d need help finding a different home. She held off meeting with us for months, and then called us. She’d been busy! All personal effects were removed from the home…. fresh paint….and she had a professional cleaning company clean the house. My colleague Sue observed, “We don’t need to stage this home, it is ready to go.”
Sue was right. We called our photographer and scheduled photos for Monday. That home will be on the market mid-week. This seller had every right to be very proud of her hard work. She is staying with her parents and we provided referrals for mortgages so she can start looking for her next home.
The second home was more typical of what we often see. It was long time family home. The daughter moved in shortly after her father passed away. Dad and siblings’ things sat aging in place….just like the home itself. These homes simultaneously warm my heart for the love in the building and scare me… there is a lot of work to be done! Every room, and the basement, had stacks of stuff. There was no clear path in the home.
This client had worked herself into a bit of a frenzy, starting with being embarrassed to let us see the home. At the same time, she wants to sell fast…she’s worried about the general state of the world and rising interest rates…..neither topic is something she can influence. Interest rates not so many years ago were in the teens. I’d argue the monthly mortgage payment is the more interesting number to focus on and making sure you are comfortable and can afford it. (You really need to speak to a trusted mortgage officer. Ask us and we’ll introduce you to an experienced lender who will be honest with you and give you sound advice.)
We talked about having an auctioneer come through and sell everything. Alas, there may not be much of value. We discussed simply clearing the house out. Yet the daughter is someone who wants to touch every item in the house. While I understand the sentimentality of this, I come from a perspective say saying if you haven’t touched it in 2 years, you probably don’t need it. We had a frank discussion. “You can’t devote enough effort to let us put the house on the market before Thanksgiving. Why not give yourself until February to get ready?”
She visibly relaxed. “February is the unofficial start of the spring market (unless we have 5 feet of snow.) It gives you time to get ready and hit the spring market. If the nightly news convinces you we need to move more quickly, we can! Homes sell every day!”
In this case we are going to have monthly check-ins ensuring progress is being made and to offer suggestions on how to keep on track.
When it is time to sell your home, we can help. I won’t say we’ve seen it all. We’ve sold homes filled with joyful memories and we’ve sold homes filled with not too happy memories. There is nothing to be hesitant or embarrassed about…we can help with a plan for moving forward.
Need tools for home search: www.MoveWithGary.com.
Gary is heard on WCRN AM 830 and/or seen on WMCT-TV and Westborough Community Television discussing “All Things Real Estate.”
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call 508- 733-6005.