I Wasn't Ready

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Crescent City Living LLC Licensed LA RE Commission

As agents, we see a lot of houses. Day in and day out. Showing buyers. Meeting sellers. Going on tour to see all of the new listings. Most of the time, we wander in and wander out, mentally noting which clients a house might be good for, but generally forgetting the places we've discarded for our customers.


Every once in awhile, however, we see a place that sticks with us. There's something about it that calls to our hearts. Kind of like what a buyer should experience when they find the right one.


I'm not in the market for a new house. We've lived in ours for about 15 years now, making changes along the way. Some big, some small. Some successful, some that make us look back and wonder "what were we thinking". It's ours, and we've been happy there since day 1. I'm not in the market for a new house, remember?


Then, I saw a place last week that stopped me in my tracks.


It was exactly what I've dreamed of downsizing to now that the kids are all grown. We don't need so much space, but there's been no big rush to change our lifestyle. To change our neighborhood. To learn where the nearest grocery store is located. To find a new little dive bar for after work cocktails. We're comfortable right where we are.


And? I wasn't ready.

I should really say that my house wasn't ready. It needs an exterior paint job. The guest bath could use an update. The laundry room is likely a portal to hell, because things go in there and never resurface again. It's definitely not ready for prime time or to go on the market and face the scrutiny of today's home buyers. Heck, it doesn't even pass my scrutiny most days (lol).


The solution?

If you're considering downsizing. Or upsizing. Or a new neighborhood. Or any number of other reasons that you "might" move. Take the time now to go through your house and make that list of things to do to get it ready. Start working on them, one by one. There's no rush. Until you're not ready.  


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 Originally published here


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Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

You're absolutely correct about the "scrutiny of today's home buyers." I've just listed my own house - but not before spending 6 months getting it ready. It was in good shape but buyers today are very choosy and I know that a house has to look like a model home in today's market.


Jun 22, 2018 01:16 PM #6
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Looks like you Lisa Heindel  have explained that feeling of finding that House for You and what you need to get it

Your post has been

Featured in Bananatude


Jun 22, 2018 02:24 PM #7
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Largest investment of ones life which also demands a lot in return cannot be rushed

Jun 22, 2018 02:36 PM #8
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

For the most part, our house is ready.  We've updated everything that we would reasonably update.  The laundry room floor needs replaced at some point (that'll be a 4 hour job for someone that knows what they're doing).  The main thing that would need to happen?  We'd need to already be moved out along with all our pets.  So we're not moving anytime soon :)

Jun 22, 2018 04:34 PM #9
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm so glad this was featured!!!!

It's something that home stagers say constantly....be ready! You will be so grateful you took the time to prepare early. Most calls we get are from sellers needing help "ASAP". I cannot tell you how many times I've been told "the photographer is coming in two days" or "my agent wants to list this week". 

Avoid the pressure and the stress of trying to prepare on a time crunch!

Jun 22, 2018 05:37 PM #10
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Lisa

Yep, been there done that years ago when all of a sudden the urge to move hit, seeing a place we really loved (and I was not in the business yet), and we were not prepared...both for selling, but also the emotions of making a move. We say people don't wake up one morning and decide they are going to sell but you make a good case for that possiby happening! And I can attest to it!


Jun 22, 2018 09:01 PM #11
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

What's the saying, expect what you're least expecting? 

Jun 22, 2018 09:45 PM #12
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

This is a fabulous post that I am going to share wig sellers on the fence.  Thanks so much for writing ir

Jun 23, 2018 04:28 AM #13
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Lisa,

So glad to see this post featured! You are right..if you are even slightly thinking of moving then its time to take stock your home and take the steps necessary to work through your list!

Jun 23, 2018 04:51 AM #14
NextHome Realty Center - Cypress, TX
The 'Golden' Experience Team!

Thanks for your 'feature'.  We are doing the same thing in order to put out home on the market in January and move to our lake house which has been our dream since we bought it 3 years ago (See my blog on my Happy Place).  We both had 'lives' before we met at 50 so we have things to purge, sell, give to charity and friends and of course some updates and minor work in order to make our home stand out.  It's best features are that it's a one story with 4 bedrooms that are on 3 sides of the home with their own baths and the open kitchen into the family room that's what folks here want.  Thanks again!



Jun 23, 2018 08:42 AM #15
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

I'd say sell your house "as it is" and go for the dream home if it moves you so much.   I see so many folks who just go around & around in a circle and never find all the stars in alignment to make a move.   Time's a wastin'.

Jun 23, 2018 11:24 AM #16
Youree Lundy
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty - Orlando, FL
Your Realtor For Life

I just listed a home that was the "perfect" home for me now that my husband has passed.  Like you, I was not ready.  It sold right away, but it made me realize that I needed to "get ready" for the next one.  My house has been refreshed, staged, put on the market and is now under contract.  I will go into a short term rental until another "perfect home" comes along.  I don't plan to lose another one.

Jun 23, 2018 04:37 PM #17
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Hi Lisa, thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I live in a retirement community and often have people who contact me who are planning to buy a home in our area in a year or two.  This is a great suggestion I plan to share with clients so they are in a better position to sell their existing homes up north when they do find the home they want in our area.

Jun 24, 2018 06:00 AM #18
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lisa, great post, and something I have been going through right now.  I have been updating, painting, etc. for a year, and did find the home 3 weeks ago.  Closing in a week.   LOTS to do, but excited about my next chapter.   Good luck, you can get it done!

Jun 24, 2018 12:25 PM #19
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Oh boy I can identify with this blog!  I keep telling my husband...we are going to have to downsize to one level living within the next several years...

I think I could have my house 'show ready ' in about two weeks however I like to work ahead! I need to get hubby on board to start painting and cleaning out his ....stuff!  I am assuming you didn't make an offer on the house.

Jun 24, 2018 06:20 PM #20
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You make a great case for getting ready to sell.  I told a home seller just yesterday to make the changes now and enjoy them before they sell so they don't feel like the spent a lot money without much return.  Great post!

Jun 25, 2018 10:50 AM #21
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

We sound a lot alike, Lisa. When I moved last year, it took a lot of time decluttering and loving on my former house to get it ready for showtime.

I'm so happy to see you writing again!

Jun 25, 2018 12:29 PM #22
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Great advice, be ready.

I would add that keeping up with maintenance which includes painting, we can keep our house in a state of readiness and not a state of decline.

Enjoyed the post.

Jun 27, 2018 08:01 AM #24
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, I have no idea how I missed this post, Lisa! I'm gathering by your comments that you are not even thinking of nabbing that house you fell in love with!?!

This is such a great post and I totally agree that we ALL need to be ready - at any moment, life changes. You don't have to be 'salute-ready' but, always having a small project (even just a closet-cleaning) is so helpful when you do have to make a move quickly.

OH and the laundry room disaster area - yep, that's my dumping ground too and I hate going in there anyway so, being a dumping area has made me hate it even more! LOL 

Jul 08, 2018 08:00 AM #26
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It’s always the times when you’re not ready that these things happen and there’s usually some kind of lesson, right?

Jul 08, 2018 09:10 PM #27
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Lisa Heindel

New Orleans Real Estate Broker
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