Should We Stay, or Should We Go?

Originally published July 7, 2010;  updated June 15, 2022

Should we stay, or should we go? 80’s British rockers The Clash (earworm alert!) gave that question a backbeat, but here in Westchester County, it’s a perpetual musing.

Most common drivers: Milestones like kids nearing graduation or would-be sellers nearing retirement.  Also life or economic events like they’re just done with upkeep/stairs/taxes/etc, or turns in the real estate and financial markets. Chronically low inventory, and an alternative to renovation/remodeling projects also factor in.

Latest NAR stats put average time between moves as 13 years. But real estate is local, and personal. And whatever the timing, or the drivers, the angst is usually rooted in not knowing how to start thinking about this.

I’ve worked through a number of “challenging” cycles in our market. And because I’m in the easing-the mind, and helping-you-make-good-decisions business let me share a secret:

In the attempt to make a complex question simpler, many homeowners roll waaaay too many questions together.  “If” you sell, is a different question from “when” you might sell. Also different from “how much” you’d sell it for, and then how it would actually happen.

All are certainly related, valid, and important. Also all personal, and often best discussed with family and a trusted agent.  But don’t make your life harder than it has to be.

Reality check: Many of these things can be finalized pretty quickly, even within hours! Know what takes the longest? Getting ready.

Keep the ‘should we stay or should we go?’ off to the side. Instead, separate things out. Decide, then do! Clean out the garage, remove that funky wallpaper, repair the deck, or replace a dated light fixture.  You’re not signing a listing agreement or scheduling photos!

TRH’s pre-listing, and yes, even design consults help you plan and make the best decisions for you. You have a complete picture of Once you start thinking about selling, there is no downside to getting ready, or even to being ready.

Our consults lay out a big-picture plan of the best ROI ideas and options to consider, and give you the tools to get them done.  Then you drive the bus, deciding what makes sense, what you’ll do, and when.

The process of getting ready is non-binding. Biggest plusses to starting early: It makes a big question more palatable by giving you more control over process and cost.

  • Some lengthy tasks needed might be a condition of selling, like closing CO’s or just presenting an emptied-out space.
  • Highest ROI tasks like painting and landscaping also need time, and sometimes good weather to do
  • Many of TRH’s clients find getting things in order gives them time to enjoy new things and a fresh space; it also helps as they look at listings for their next property.

Renowned Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes once noted, ‘it’s not so much where we stand, but in what direction we are moving’.  I believe this is the foundation of successful design and pre-listing work. Understand what you want to accomplish, then take one step at a time, make one decision at a time to get there. And if you think we can help, just start the conversation. TRH can help you get to wherever you want to be!