Warmth is relative — in life and real estate

Warmth is relative!

The other day I was walking our dog and the temperatures were in the single digits with a frigid wind blowing.  I hurried Halo along as my face was seriously freezing and my nose was numb but Halo loves the cold and was bouncing around, investigating and sniffing everything in sight.  I eventually opened the door of the house and Halo and I went inside, and the house temperature of 66 degrees felt balmy. My coat and hat and gloves and sweater came off, and I settled down to work.  The funny thing is, within a half hour, I was freezing. My 98.6 degree body didn’t find that 66 degrees to be warm at all, so once again my sweater was on and I shiveringly started a fire in our wood stove.  A while later, I was able to get the house temperature up to a whopping 79, which was way too hot, and I pulled the sweater off and stopped feeding the fire until the temperature reached a comfortable 72. Comfortable for me, that is. Halo glanced at me and wandered to the other end of the house where it was cooler, which was much more acceptable to her.

So what does this have to do with real estate? 

thermostat 1Simply, what is warm to one person might not be warm to another, and what one person finds warm at one time in their life, won’t feel that way at another time. That burnt sienna on the den walls that a seller finds to be inviting as they curl up on their couch in front of a fire reading a book, might freeze that buyer out who thinks, “Ick, brown, that would look horrible with my furniture.”  The strong colors of any room might appeal to one buyer but not another.  Reds, yellows and oranges might be classified as “warm” colors but not everyone “warms” to them. And of course while paint is easy to change, buyers often cannot see past what they can see.

Also, what a buyer might find attractive at one point in their life, simply won’t work at another.  Another Kat story — when I was a tween, apparently I loved the color purple, which is my parent’s explanation when I asked them why the heck I had lavender walls in my bedroom. “Well, it was your favorite color!” I won’t go anywhere near purple now; I don’t want any shade in my clothes or home.   Had I been in the market for a house forty years ago and it had lavender walls, it would have invited me to make an offer! Now? Not so much.

So my point is two-fold. What a seller thought looked warm and comfortable when they designed it, might not attract buyers now.  When getting a home ready to sell, the seller should attempt to attract as many people as possible, and that might mean changing paint colors to something muted. And for buyers, agents need to find out what truly attracts them at this point in their life, and help them find a home that will make them say, “Aaaaaah, that’s perfect!”.

Warmth is relative, in life and real estate.

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