Friday, Jan 12, 2024

At one point in the 1990s, when ABS brakes were becoming more commonplace, we bought a car that gave us so much trouble. The kinks hadn’t been worked out yet for this model, which made the vehicle quite dangerous! That first winter, it kept letting the brakes go while I was driving so that I couldn’t stop.

I was sliding right through stop signs!

And I’m sure it wasn’t a user error because I know my way around cars. I was fed up with it and felt extra frustrated because it was a newer vehicle we had invested a lot in for our business. 

I chose to switch the tires to see if it made a difference. Wouldn’t you know it – when we shifted them from all-season to Blizzak snow tires, wow! We had no problems anymore. The difference was striking. What’s so interesting to me is that these tiny little treads had such a significant impact. If you look at how much tire actually touches the road, it’s minuscule compared to the size of the vehicle. It’s such a reminder to me of how the little things often make a HUGE difference. 

The same rule applies to making our house a home.

How you live in your home affects the value of the property and how much you value your property!

At one point, we had a client who asked us to come to their home. It was in a state that really didn’t show the property to its best. They wanted to get the most for their money, so we gave them a honey-to-do list. A big one because, to be honest, this place needed a lot of elbow grease. Included on the list were decluttering, selling things, putting things in storage, removing this or that, cleaning, and painting. When we returned to do the final evaluation, just like on one of those reality home TV shows, they said they didn’t want to move because they now felt their house was perfect! We were thrilled for them because we want to see everyone feeling like their house is a home. 

We’ve seen other cases without such a happy ending. Sometimes, we help someone buy a house that’s in perfect condition. Either a new property or one that had been lovingly maintained for years. Five years later, they decide to sell to move to a new city or something, and we walk into the place and think, “What on earth happened to this home?” They let things go; there may be leaks in the roof that they didn’t fix or junk that has piled up, and now the grass is all dead. 

What bothered me the most about these situations are when a buyer sees a pristine home, clean, updated, appropriately staged, clearly maintained, and turn-key ready, they are willing to pay a premium for that property. Buyers are more willing to spend the money if they feel like they are buying a model home. So, when this client initially purchased the house, they paid that premium. And to see them lose out when they go to sell is hard to watch because we know it’s not the best outcome for them. 

I’d encourage you to take a walk through your home with fresh eyes.

It’s easy to glaze over what we see every day. So, pretend you are a buyer coming in. What new things do you notice? Maybe you cracked something like a mantlepiece, or the trim has been chipped. You may have a hole in the drywall that is getting bigger and bigger. Maybe those wobbly cupboard doors are hanging more and more and need screws to be tightened before more damage is caused. Perhaps your gutters need cleaning. 

The smallest things count the most in life and real estate. They are the difference maker over time. They accumulate a little bit at a time until the overall impact is much more significant than you may realize.

So look over last month and see where you may be losing traction.

Decide where you’re ready to learn and apply something new to move you forward. We’re honored to position you to build wealth wisely through real estate because it’s about much more than just the money.