My PebbleCreek sellers, particularly if they are moving out of the community, are usually selling more than a house. For sellers, even though they may have moved and downsized throughout their adult lives, the walls of their PebbleCreek home contain memories: memories of friends gathered, holiday decorations in just the right place, the needlepoint cushions specifically stitched to match the wall paint. Some sellers look out their back windows and can easily envision the grandchildren playing in the pool after every Thanksgiving dinner for the last ten years, that guest that stayed too long in the casita, the cactus that was nurtured back to life after it almost died in a storm. For sellers, a house breathes. Even if there is nothing physical left and everything has been packed away and moved, the house still remembers. It will always be a home.
And then the buyers come. And the buyers, you can count on it, are not going to favor the wall color that matches the never-to-be-placed-in-the room-again needlepoint cushions. The pool is lovely – but it is a system that needs maintenance and requires ongoing expense. That cactus? The buyers plan to tear it out and install a patio.
Buyers are looking for a House. Sellers are selling a Home. That buyer will eventually build an entirely new home within the walls of the house – but they will buy a house. A blank slate. A place to start.
And that is why it is a good practice for sellers to leave the selling of their home to a Realtor.
Sellers know their homes – it is true. They know when the windows were replaced and how old the water heater is. They know why they chose to make the upgrades they did, and how much those upgrades cost. A Realtor should learn those things as well. But it is a (very) rare seller who can separate the home they love from the house that someone else is hoping to buy.
Because sellers are not in fact selling what buyers are looking to buy, buyer- seller interaction often goes like this: the owner describes, with loving attention, all of the details of their house that made it a home for them; the potential buyer is forced to expend energy listening politely and engaging in small talk with lots of gratitude for the owner’s great taste; while at the same time, the buyer is, in their own mind, tearing out the cabinets, moving walls and replacing all of the bathroom fixtures. It is so important that buyers are encouraged to envision the home that they would create on the property – and not be sidetracked by polite conversation about details that may but probably won’t ever matter to them.
Buyers have the advantage when they interact with sellers – because buyers KNOW what they are looking for and will eventually buy. Sellers are wise to provide lists of any substantial physical upgrades and improvements for potential buyers and then get out of the way. For the most part, buyers tend to be evaluating a property based on what it might be for THEM – something that, at the end of the day, sellers know absolutely nothing about.