If you’re familiar with Dr. Seuss books, you’ll no doubt know the wisdom of his classic “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” It has become a traditional graduation gift since being published in 1990, and refers to the journey of life and its challenges.
One of those challenges is what Dr. Seuss refers to as ‘The Waiting Place’, and if your entry into the real estate market is currently stuck there, it can be frustrating. He goes on to reassure us that ‘Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.’
Although that ‘Somehow’ remains a mystery, there are things you can do to move things forward while waiting for the real estate market to become a bright place again.
- Get some of those repair jobs done. One of the most difficult things to accept is putting money into a home that you intend to sell, but it will be inevitable. Buyers won’t be interested in paying top dollar for a home that requires work, and you benefit from having a home that functions properly while you’re living there.
- Do some deep cleaning. Tackling some of those really unappealing jobs now will lessen the burden later when you want everything to be sparkling clean. The most common culprits are bathroom grout, window sills, behind appliances, and garages.
- Get rid of stuff. Almost everyone has a collection of things hidden somewhere that hasn’t been dealt with. It might be toys the kids have outgrown, boxes of dishes you inherited years ago and didn’t know what to do with, or a storage area that has gotten out of control and become a dumping ground. It takes time to go through these things and figure out what to do with them, so taking it on a little at a time makes good sense.
- Deal with some of those boxes of family photos and file cabinets filled with old documents. Grab a box and fill it with a pile of the stuff, and commit to sort it out during commercials or when you have 15 minutes of waiting time. Sort the paper into piles first, then go through each pile one at a time and deal with whatever’s in it. A bit at a time gets the job done and you’ll feel good about making progress.
- Visit some open houses for research and inspiration. Really! It will keep you up to speed on what’s happening in the market, and prepare you for what your home will need to look like to compete when it’s the right time to make your move. You might even be motivated to try out some of the ideas you see and make your own home feel better while you’re waiting.