My husband, Matt McGee, knows SEO, but he doesn’t know real estate, the cutie.
We’re not a fixer-upper family. We’re the kind of people that other people flip houses for. We’re the kind of people who order those Time-Life books about Home Improvement and Renovation, but we never open them. We watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and comb the family archives for hard-luck stories so we can write in and be on the show (“Hey, hon, do you think the time we didn’t have a Christmas tree so I decorated our houseplant with a paper chain that was crayon-colored gold would count?”).
I’ve learned a lot, though, in my time in real estate. I don’t know HOW to fix things, but I know if something needs to be fixed and, most importantly, whom to call! I also know what adds value, as opposed to what will help a house sell faster. There is a difference. This is where my husband enters the story…
He went to Home Depot to find something, I’m not sure what. As he was searching up and down the aisles, he found the doorknobs that look like levers. Not the traditional round kind, but the new-fangled kind. They are supposed to make it easier to open a door, because you don’t need to twist it, you just push down or pull up, and open sesame…the door is now ajar.
As that huge generation (those crazy Boomers!) ages, arthritis and joint issues become more prevalent. It’s difficult to grab a knob and twist if you can’t move your hand fully. That’s where the lever knobs come in. They’re very easy to manipulate and are nice to have in a home.
So, Matt comes home from Home Depot and says to me, “I really like those lever knobs I saw at the store. You know the kind I mean?”
“Of course,” I say. “I like them, too.”
“When we sell this house, we should change all the knobs to the lever kind. We’ll be able to sell it for more then, right?” he asserted.
I told him no. I explained that if you have two houses exactly alike and one has the lever door knobs and one has the regular kind, the lever-door-knobbed house might sell FASTER, but not for more money. Lever knobs are one of those things that are nice to have, and are a great feature, but they’re not going to add monetary value.
Fortunately, this prophet is honored in her own home, so he understood and accepted what I was saying. We’ll probably add those lever knobs when we sell (and when I write ‘we’ I mean someone we’ve hired, because Matt and I would find a way to install it improperly, believe me!), and maybe our house will sell faster, but it is still going to be priced at the same amount it would have been if we hadn’t change the knobs.