This weekly column is written and sponsored by D.C. real estate agent and Kalorama resident Jeffrey Tanck. He can be reached at [email protected].
Everyone has one: the mental list of “quirks” or “wants” in our home that we live with on a daily basis that we really should have taken care of but just don’t have the time, know how, motivation, etc.
It can be as simple as replacing the burned out lightbulb in that ceiling fixture that requires a ladder to reach, or repairing the leaking faucet in the bathroom that has been dripping since you moved in or installing a cool new tile backsplash in the kitchen. The Honey Do List.
Maybe you’re a seasoned homeowner or just purchased a new place. Regardless of where you are in your personal real estate cycle, I am willing to bet that you have a list of things in your home that you’d like changed, fixed or improved.
When I meet with a seller client to discuss preparing their home for sale, one of my first questions is, “what’s on your Honey Do List?” The list that is produced (and there is ALWAYS a list) usually includes minor repairs as well as a couple of major projects.
The list is an honest assessment of how the property should be improved so that it is appealing to buyers. The list also represents a lost opportunity for sellers who could have enjoyed their home more had they made these adjustments during their time of ownership.
If I had a dime for every time I have had a seller say “I wish I had done that sooner,” I’d be sitting on a big ole pile of dimes.
What are you waiting for?
Until the financial crisis, the length of time a seller lived in their home averaged six years. This number increased to approximately 10 years from 2009-2017.
As the economy has improved and housing prices have risen, the duration of ownership has decreased. Adding this to Washington’s already transient population and the length of ownership gets even shorter. Practically speaking, the window for truly enjoying your home is rather small.
Waiting to improve your home until putting it on the market is essentially putting the needs and wants of the next owner above your own.
The Internet is your BFF
Whatever is on your list, there are resources that can help you get things done, no matter the size and scope.
Washingtonians are educated, accomplished and well paid. They are also exceptionally busy. A by-product of these demographics? A robust service industry that can take care of just about anything for you. No matter how unique you think your situation is, someone else on this Earth has already had a similar issue and has blogged, Tweeted, Pinned or posted about it.
I often make Pinterest boards for my clients to help them visualize something, whether it’s a property they already own are considering purchasing.
Neighborhood/building listservs are also excellent resources. These formats are moderated and informed by your neighbors and can contain great information that is specific to your community.
Get After It
Addressing the issues that you are already aware of in your current home can help alleviate stress, help you enjoy your home more and make it easier to sell when the time comes. To paraphrase Martha, these are Good Things — and we can all use more of those!