39: Dating & Selling A Home: The Similarities & The Key Difference
Monday May 25, 2015

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“Quality sells itself. No hype needed.” ― Brandi L. Bates, Red Flags

The Simple Sophisticate, episode #39

Love and real estate. At first glance, the two seem polar opposites: One is a business transaction, the other deals with matters of the heart. But as I put my house on the market last summer for a few short months without success, I began to recognize similarities between the two: Neither are entirely in our control, as much as we wish they were, and neither are entirely out of our control either, which is certainly news to ease our hearts and our pocketbooks.

Having owned two houses in two entirely different markets both in locale and time, and having been dating for nearly twenty years now, I have garnered at least more than a little bit experience on each of the examined subject matters. So today I’d like to share with you insights, hope and reason to take a deep breath and relax whether you are navigating one or the other of these arenas, or like myself, both at the same time.


1. Timing

If we continue to place our home on the market or make it known that we are open to love, we will eventually meet someone who is intrigued. We cannot know when this will happen or who they will be; however, we cannot remain on the sidelines and expect miracles to occur. People who participate are the only ones who can prompt change in their lives.

2. Attention and Regular Maintenance

The world and market that we live in is constantly changing. One moment it will be a buyers’ market and the next year it will be a sellers’. In our personal lives, so long as we continue to evolve and grow into the best of ourselves, we will always be introduced to new opportunities, experiences and people. It is the house that remains stagnant and is not cared for that people drive by without a second glance. The key is to become more of who we truly are capable of becoming, to get to know ourselves, improve personality obstacles, and it is with this positive attitude of growth and open-mindedness that we will be attractive to others.

3. Vulnerability

Allowing strangers to wander through your most sacred space can be difficult (I know it was for me). However, so long as we have clear boundaries when it comes to relationships (don’t reveal too much too fast or require that a real estate agent be present), we open our lives up the potential for connection or an offer being written.

4. Patience

Similar to #1, the timing of who will be the buyer or be our next partner in a relationship cannot be predicted, but in the meantime, we need to live our lives. To put everything else on hold just waiting for that offer to be written is to stress about it needlessly.  Neglecting to live life now will only diminish the quality of our lives and drive our realtor a bit mad in the process.

Similarly, in relationships, our life doesn’t begin or end with our romantic relationships. While romance is a part of life, it is not the essence that is our lives. Life is meant to be lived no matter where we find ourselves along life’s journey. Do not waste a single moment to explore, grow and experience opportunities that could reveal to you or introduce you to someone who could change your life for the better.

5. Accentuate the Positive

The exciting first step for a new home buyer is dreaming of your first home. All the details you cannot wait to live with and everything you refuse to pay for are easily enumerated on the wish list. Then reality sets in as the tour of homes you are paraded through with your realtor reveals that you won’t be able to check off every box. If you are the homeowner in this situation, determine what are significant selling points in your house – do you need to update the kitchen appliances, change the exterior paint color, invest in landscaping? What is going to draw the buyers’ eye that your house can offer?

And in accentuating the positive, I am not suggesting blanketing over or lying about the flaws. If your house needs to upgrade its heating system, you cannot fib about that fundamental issue. Just as we cannot pretend to be someone we are not when we are dating because eventually it will be discovered, and could produce even worse heartbreak or (in the case of real estate) lawsuits.

Don’t ignore your weaknesses, but be very clear about your strengths and polish them.

6. Unexplanables Abound

When it comes to matchmaking whether in the real estate world or romance department, some connections just cannot be explained. Realtors cannot know what will work for certain, although they might be able to point us in the general direction, that is why it is always a good idea to trust your instincts. After all, you will be the one living in the house or dating that particular individual, not your family/friends/colleagues who set you up or your realtor who made the commission.

While there will be functional, common sense pieces of information that must be known: Does the house have a sound foundation? Is the location worth investing in? Is he/she kind to animals? Does he/she have a secure job?, etc. Beyond your non-negotiables, listen to your instinct, take time to think it through without being rushed, and then proceed.

The Key Difference

One of the hardest decisions I had to make this spring was accepting that after nine years of careful attention, remodeling and love, I needed to sell my house. Honestly, last year when I first put it on the market, I don’t think I was truly ready. My home had become my sanctuary from a world that didn’t really “get” me, it had fostered my creativity and been my most desired pillow to rest my head after long trips away. But what I’ve realized is that a home can only do so much when it comes to living a fulfilling life.

Love, relationships built on trust and sincerity and acceptance is a priceless aspect of life, and if and when we are lucky enough to make these connections whether they be in dating or with our friendships or family, we can eventually find a house/apartment to make a home. Because as I mentioned last week in Thoughts from the Editor, we are the most important ingredient for making any place we reside feel truly like our sanctuary.

As this post/episode goes live, neither my house has sold after now being on the market for less than three weeks nor have I found a partner to experience this amazing journey through life with, but I’m confident that in time amazing things will happen. (I promise to keep you updated.)


~10 Simple Ways to Be More Charismatic

~To Complement, Not Complete

~Turning Fairy Tales into Reality

Petit Plaisir:

~”This is Water” by David Foster Wallace, May 21,2005 at Kenyon College (Ohio), click here to read the transcript

Key quotes:

” . . . your education really IS the job of a lifetime.”

“It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness . . . “

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline . . . That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”

 ~Online Styling Services: 12 exclusive spots are available to hire TSLL to help you design your fall (or spring) Capsule Wardrobe. Beginning on Saturday June 20th, those who email me first and pay 50% down within a week of signing up will be able to reserve their spot for August or September. Click here for all of the details and sample outfits.


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