Should I stay or should I go? … I talked a client out of selling & buying today
I have been talking with prospective clients for a couple weeks about selling their central Austin home and purchasing a newer home with more space & less maintenance. They were asking me to help them analyze their options including staying, adding on, basic rehab, maybe kitchen remodel, doing nothing, selling as fixer-upper, how much equity to use or not to use, what is deferred maintenance, what is improvement, best equity & appreciation outlook. I could tell one spouse was gung-ho and the other not on board. It is the proverbial “should I stay or should I go” debate; the add-on / rehab vs. buy a new house discussion.
The sell would be around $250k, the purchase maybe $300k. That’s over $15k in commission for my business. I think I just talked them out of moving and I feel good about it. Here’s why …
They wanted to know what their best equity & appreciation position would be for a 5-10 year outlook. Based on neighborhood #1 (current & near Mueller, Cherrywood) and neighborhood #2 (prospective new, slightly suburban), the best outlook was to stay put, take care of the deferred maintenance, fix up the kitchen, enjoy the kitchen, grow the equity. They may decide to sell in a couple years or may stay put for 10, but the neighborhoods surrounding Mueller have an excellent outlook and are better insulated from market fluctuations than the suburbs.
It’s the honest truth and it is my job to look after my clients’ best financial interests. The Realtor code of ethics says that is my obligation; it’s my shortest job description.
Some things that may have swayed the decision or recommendations the other way include: if they were both on the same page, if the motivation to move was solidly in place for both, if they needed to sell & buy to create a better financial situation. Any one of those things solidly in place and we would probably be moving forward to sell the house.
I see couples change their minds all the time and I get that. It can be a lot of money and a lot of hassle to rehab the kitchen and work through the deferred maintenance … some folks are up to the task, some embrace it, some not so much. They may call me in a few weeks or six months and want to move forward. Or they may end up falling in love with their house and their neighborhood and themselves all over again.
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