They're Not Buying Your Masterpiece
You’ve spent years making your home perfect. The room colors are just what you wanted. You found exactly the right artwork and furniture to make the office your own. You spent hours on the decorative painting in the recreation room, and every time you go down there, you’re transported back to your magical trip to Rome all those years ago. After years of labor, and hundreds of dollars, you have made this home a work of art. More than that, it is your personal work of art, your masterpiece, and you love it!
But now, you’re moving on, and it’s time to sell. Surely, there are many potential buyers out there who will appreciate all your hard work and love your home just as much as you do. Why aren’t they coming and making an offer? Can’t people see how beautiful and unique this home is? How can they not like all those personal touches you spent so much time on? After all, this isn’t just a house; it’s a work of fine art! It’s your work of fine art!
One of the most difficult things to accept when selling a house is that it’s just that – a house. The moment a property is listed, you must begin to think of it and treat it as a thing to be sold. It is no longer your home; it is merely a structure that you are staying in until you can find a new home. Those distinctive touches that you love so much and that mean so much to you may not be attractive to a potential buyer. You may have personalized some spaces so much that potential buyers just can’t picture themselves living there.
Yes, you have transformed your home into the equivalent of a fine work by da Vinci. The problem is that your potential buyers prefer Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, or Hieronymus Bosch (creepy as that might be in home décor). They want the chance to create their own masterpiece, not live in yours. And they must be able to see past your fine work to envision their new creation.
Buyers don’t want a finished work of art. Just as you did when you first moved in, they want a canvas to create their own masterpiece. As a seller, you must be willing to paint over or at least tone down the spaces that most strongly reflect your unique tastes, personality, or memories. You don’t have to provide a totally blank canvas. The basic structure and outline of the house are obviously there, and it’s OK to leave a few personal touches, if for no other reason than to give the buyer a glimpse of just how magnificent this house can be. But you’re still selling the canvas for the next owners to paint their own masterpiece, not the finished work.
It’s hard to accept that others may not love your sense of style and art as much as you do. I’m sure your picture is perfect in every way. Unfortunately, the most qualified buyers may just have terrible taste in art and decoration. Don’t chase them away just because they can’t see past your finished work to the canvas underneath. Sell them the canvas and move on to making your next house an even greater masterpiece of a home.