I kind of left you all hanging on the sale of our last house. It’s one of those things that’s probably not great to blog about during the process, so I wanted to wait until after it was all a done deal. We listed the house in late June and didn’t end up closing until mid-November. We had expected/hoped it would sell a little more quickly, but there was some environmental related stuff going on in the general area (and in the media) that didn’t do us any favors. We took a leap of faith taking on two mortgages so that we could get moved in before the school year started. But, it all worked out, and He was faithful to take care of us.
So, back to what this post is actually about. . . I received this question from a reader and thought it could be a good topic:
I would love to hear how buyers viewed the home you just sold, with all of the customizing/personalization of the home you had made. The green bathroom vanity, for example. The space you established as your office, etc. As we work on updates/renovations to our home, its something I think about when we go to sell. Will anybody else like the pieces/finishes/light fixtures I settled on?
When we bought the house in 2011, I really thought that would be our last move for a very long time. (More details on our move here.) So, I went into the decorating process with a different mindset, focusing on making decisions for our family and not so much for future buyers. But, I also went more slowly, thinking there were years to complete rooms/projects. So, I never got around to painting the kitchen cabinets or stripping all of the wallpaper. I felt like our house was kind of half-done when we decided to list it.
(After stripping the powder room wallpaper, I just didn’t have it in me.)
The feedback we got from potential buyers, however, was really positive. We had it “almost sold” several times (which is a gut-wrenching process, as many of you know). Only one person said anything about the master bathroom wallpaper that I decided not to spend time stripping off, and we didn’t hear anything about the entryway stripes, the green vanity, the (removable) decals on our steps, etc. With the help of HGTV and DIY sites, I think most buyers are savvy enough to know what’s easily changeable and what’s not. (However, it still bugs the ever living daylights out of me when someone on House Hunters talks about how terrible a paint color is! Repaint it, people!)
I’m no real estate expert, but I would say that most buyers notice more the overall feeling of a house when they walk in and less the specific decorating elements. And, as long as the changes are cosmetic and don’t require more than some elbow grease—and maybe some spackle—to change, I’d say go for it. I think a personalized home can show that a family lived there and enjoyed the space—and possibly potential that they might have never considered.
Even if a move is eminent, you can make it yours in small ways that you’ll enjoy now. Hang the picture. Paint the wall. Enjoy your home.
Curious if you’ve had any good/bad/interesting feedback about ways you’ve personalized a home you’ve sold?