Ten Ways to Win: #5 – Are you willing to hug the ugly house?

I’ve been a Realtor for over 20 years.  I’ve seen it over and over.  At the initial Buyer’s Orientation Meeting I ask the Buyer if they are willing to contribute “sweat equity” to the home?   Are you willing to paint? Replace carpet? Replace toilets and sinks? Hang new light fixtures?  The eager almost-homeowner always says yes.  Then we begin looking at houses and inevitably they walk away from the “ugly” house and choose the “perfect” house.  They jump in a “free for all” competing with 10 other buyers for the house which has been shined to perfection by the current homeowner.


What many first-time buyers don’t realize is that houses are not complicated.  Cars are far more complicated to maintain and repair than houses.  With the exception of the skilled trades: electric, plumbing, HVAC, and roofing there is very little that a somewhat skilled or ready to learn homeowner can’t learn on YouTube.  Light fixtures need replaced? That’s an easy 1-hour project and very small investment.  Do carpets need replaced? Are you willing to pull up the old carpet? Save some money purchasing wholesale or remnant carpet?  You can transform a room with a can of paint and some new flooring.


Doing these kinds of projects, yourself contributes to your investment in two ways: you are going to pay less for the home and are less likely to be competing with other buyers and you are adding value to your home without increasing your mortgage.  How do you get comfortable with tackling these projects yourself?  Enlist help.  Begin watching on-line help videos.  Sherwin Williams, for example, has a whole section of helpful videos at www.sherwin-williams.com   Visit your local big box hardware stores.  These stores are often staffed by men and women who are there because they have interest and skills in their department — they can be a great source of advice and help.  Ask friends and family members to walk you through a first project.  If you do these things BEFORE you find that “ugly” house, you will be comfortable with the challenge when you walk into the house that needs your love!


The big payoff for doing it yourself is the satisfaction of an improved home that you love that you have made it perfectly “yours” and you put your own money into your investment.



This blog is written by Kathy Chiero.  Kathy is the Team Lead for The Kathy Chiero Group of Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realtors.  Thinking of Buying or Selling?  Find us www.OurOhioHome.com © 2021 All rights reserved.