Saying Good-Bye to Your Home

TCW post 3.13

Making a decision to sell your home is always a bittersweet experience. It’s the place where you have created memories, planted roots and decorated in your own special way. So when is the right time to sell your home? I tend to stay in a home for 10 years before I get the urge to make a change. I can’t explain why this is the case, but as my life changes, so does my desire to move to a new location.

I just listed my apartment with a broker after being in it since 2002. This time, I was perfectly comfortable living here until I had an incident that required new floors. Having to move out for six weeks, I decided to do a full rehab and while it was like new, sell it. As the last Deco style nickel door knobs have been placed on my new doors, I feel a bit remorseful, as it looks beautiful. I should have rehabbed it years ago.

Yet, I know the time to sell is now. According to my broker, Leslie Ann Bodell, Prudential Rubloff, the housing market is greatly improving, with inventory down 40 percent from last year. Housing inventory is tight. There are more buyers looking to purchase a house and much less choices for them. Sales prices are also up 20 percent from the lows of the past few years. Buyers are also looking for homes that are already updated, rather than dealing with fixer uppers, where they have to live on a construction site.

It is time for me sell while my home is looking so good.

Pictures of my new walnut floor, black slate, new doors and nickel hardware are being taken for the listing. It will soon be in the MLS and strangers will be viewing my private life. Our home that has given us much happiness will soon belong to someone else. It will need to be cleaned every day rather than once every two weeks to make sure it is ready for the showings. It is tough to keep a home looking perfect. No shoes, just slippers and a daily mopping will keep it clean.

As this process begins, we look toward our new adventure. I don’t know where we are going to live, but in my heart, I know it is the right business decision. Our house has never looked better and there are buyers looking for a great home at a good value. My advice in this current real estate market is to put a little money into your home to get it in a ‘move in’ condition and to find a good broker who loves and understands how to sell your home.

It was in this home where I watched my now deceased cat, Patti, jump from the table to the sofa and where I cared for her before she died. She loved crawling under the Christmas tree. It is where my Yorkie puppy, Charley, played and grew up. My husband and I have grown closer here over the past 11 years. We have watched people we loved pass away and our careers change.

Selling your home is more about the memories than the home itself. We will always remember the time spent here. It is time for another family to create their own memories. Letting go of your beautiful home is an act of love.


About Terri Lee Ryan

Terri Lee Ryan is a former Chicago commercial real estate broker, marketing consultant and hotel developer. An avid writer, she is the author of Life Is One Big To-Do List. In “People, Places and Property” she dishes on leaders in real estate, new places in your neighborhood and deals being done in Chicago.