There comes a time when we decide to sell something that means a lot to us - our home, property, a beach house, car, boat, RV, or similar item that we esteem. Until that point we value it and enjoy owning and using it. However, once we reach the decision to sell it, ownership of that item transfers from us. We don't know who the new owner is, but we know it is not us. The same is true for our customers when they make a decision to sell.
The item that we are selling ceases to be ours. We have given up emotional title and claim to the property the moment a decision is reached to sell it - even before it is advertised or anyone knows that it is available.
As such, we must treat it with added respect - as a guest or visitor would do. We actually are using someone else's property at that point - we just don't know who the new owner will be yet.
This is a major paradigm shift, but an important one. That's why we paint, fix up, clean, and get everything ready in the home or vehicle before listing it - knowing that we are making it ready for someone else to enjoy. Our ownership claim has ended. We are only being given temporary rights to continue using it until a sale occurs.
Many people react just the opposite and figure that since they are selling it, they can be a little more careless or reckless with the property - that it doesn't really matter how they take care of it since it soon will belong to someone else. That is unfair to the eventual new owner and will hurt the price achieved and the time needed to sell it.
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging in place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.