Ignore it – It Will Go Away
I remember a clever advertisement from a dentist who was reminding people to get their regular check-ups and teeth cleaning. I don’t remember if it was a photo with a smile or a drawing of a tooth, or what, but the caption was something like, “Ignore them, they’ll go away.” I always thought it was just funny but now I think it’s quite profound when you put it in other contexts.
Relationships, serious illness, jobs. Most of us don’t like confrontation. Most would rather not deal with challenges and struggles. We don’t want the work it may take to “fix” the issue. If we suspect we are ill, we don’t want to take the time to go to the doctor – afraid of what he might say. When we are unfulfilled in our job, we just retreat, do as little as possible and go home at 5:00, skating by, hoping the boss doesn’t notice. It’s easier than meeting with her or going on the job hunt. If we have a disagreement with our partner, the conversation to try to see their side and find out how we can make it better is exhausting so it’s just easier to not discuss it and hope it doesn’t happen again. Alas, when people, things, or issues are ignored, they WILL go away but they will never be “fixed” and you may lose more than you realize at first.
Same with real estate. I see it in my job all the time. You have a leak in the roof. There is a crack in the foundation. What is that dark spot on the bathroom wall? Why is the floor under the carpet so soft? These are all issues that can be fixed – and most won’t be a huge inconvenience or expense if addressed quickly. But what happens if they are ignored? The leak in the roof ends up getting worse. More damage is done. You have a more costly roof repair and what was once a superficial stain on the ceiling is now an entire wall of drywall replacement, carpet, and subfloor, not to mention the rotting feet of your grandmother’s antique desk that has been sitting in water every time it rains. The small crack in the foundation that would have been one support beam is now an entire lift system, support beams under the entire house and extensive drywall repair inside due to the shifting that happens when the house is put back on the foundation correctly. You get the picture.
So what happens if you just sell your house instead of fixing it? Well, you must disclose any known issues. Most buyers are not going to want to purchase a house that needs extensive work right away so you will probably lose buyers. The house will sit on the market longer and you will have to reduce the price. When you finally do get an offer, the issue has grown larger and the buyer will take the work needing to be done when offering you a lowball price for your home. Most of the time, a Buyer is going to inflate the cost of repair and deduct that from their offer, so you’re losing more than just the cost of the repair itself.
“I just won’t mention it,” you say. I will paint over the spot and they’ll never know. Yikes. When they find out, and trust me, they ALWAYS do, you will probably be sued. Do you know how much lawyers are? Insurance CLUE reports, neighbors, contractors, social media are all ways that you can be found out. DON’T DO IT!
As much as you don’t want to deal with the issue at hand, stop and think about what you have to lose if you don’t address it. Do you really want to lose that job that pays for all the things you enjoy? If you may be seriously ill, would you rather not want to be around to see your kids grow up? Instead of have a conversation, do you really want to lose that person that you love having in your life? Do you really want to lose thousands, possibly tens of thousands of dollars instead of a few hundred? We’re all busy. None of us WANT to stop what we’re doing and deal with a problem, but don’t let procrastination put us in a position to lose something that is fixable. Rather than take the approach of “ignore it – it will go away,” follow in Nike’s footsteps and ‘Just Do It!”
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.