When you invite a guest into your home for the first time, be it a friend, a neighbor, or a family member, you probably expect one of two things in terms of commentary: your guest either lavishes you with compliments on your taste in furnishings, or she keeps mum.
What you likely DON’T expect is for somebody to walk in, take a look around and say, listen guy, the hardwood floors are nice and everything, but your bathrooms are dated, the family room smells funny, your window treatments leave something to be desired, and your kitchen resembles the one from The Brady Bunch. Not in a good way. (Free advice: if this is the way your friends talk to you, this might be a good time to start composing your break-up letters.)
So, who gets to talk to you this way? Who SHOULD be talking to you this way? Well, in terms of tone, diplomacy, and regular human decency, nobody! But if the guest in question is a Realtor and you’ve invited him into your home to walk around it and tell you what it’s worth and how to get it ready to sell? Style choices and property condition are fair game. So, by association, is your ego.
Okay, no Realtor is reallyreally going to speak to you in such an inappropriately rude way. (If he does, refer above, start your break-up letter!) But what he is going to do if he’s worth his salt is tell you the truth, which after all is exactly what he’s there to do.
According to the well-worn maxim, “the truth hurts.” And indeed, sometimes it does. It may be really hard to hear that the home you love, maintain meticulously, and in which you take incredible pride is, in one way or many, not up to snuff for today’s buyers. What, really, is so wrong with flamingo wallpaper, as long as it matches the pink bathtub? It’s your Realtor’s job to tell you.
The reality is that most of us view our homes (as we probably do our children) through rose-colored glasses with blinders on. Most of us see what we love, and focus on what makes us feel comfortable, happy, and proud. We have a tendency to block out the tough stuff like the traffic noise from the busy street outside, or the constant draft in the living room. But if we’re getting ready to move on and sell our beloved home to somebody new, we simply have to face what’s real, anticipate what that new person might want in a home, and do what we can to meet those needs before selling.
And that’s where the Style Police in the form of your real estate agent come into play. As an expert in market trends and buyers’ expectations, he can guide you towards making your home as appealing as possible for house-hunters. And while your feelings might be bruised when he tells you to take down your license plate collection and paint over the Smurf mural on your dining room ceiling for the greater good, keep in mind that your Realtor is there, not to insult you or your taste in decoration, but to do his job to the best of his ability, and help you sell your house as quickly as possible, for the greatest profit.