I have often said that a good real estate broker is more valuable for what we know than what we do. This evening, for example, my meeting with some nice people in Yonkers brought this to light.
I met with some prospective home sellers who were looking into selling a home that was built in the 1950s that had been in the family for over 50 years. While a solid home with excellent mechanicals and clear attention to good maintenance, cosmetically it would need updating. They preferred to sell “as is,” and I agreed that was the way to go but something still bothered Mr Homeowner.
I had to probe a bit, but his concern was a valid issue pointed out by no fewer than three separate contractors: In two bathrooms, the light switch was behind the bathroom door when it was opened, which he was told was out of compliance. Aside from the inconvenience of reaching around to flip the switch, it was considered a safety issue. All three contractors, whom he met with separately, recommended having the switch moved to the other wall. This was a project he was concerned about. The expense was one thing, but the red tape with the city was another, as permits for this work could also trigger a headache.
Three different contractors.
There we were, Mr and Mrs Homeseller, and myself, sitting at their table. I asked a question.
Why wouldn’t you just switch the hinges so the doors open to the other side? Then the light switch will be right there, correctly.
He looked at me. Then he looked at his wife. She looked at him. They both looked at me.
That would work. Why didn’t we think of that? And why didn’t any of the contractors suggest it?
I don’t know why they didn’t suggest it (although I have an idea!). But I do know one thing: re-hanging a door is far easier than opening a wall and moving electrical switches. And that’s how I “fixed” their electrical problem with no electrician, no permits, and no headache. I am not in the trades, nor would I pretend to be a contractor. But I have been around just a bit.
I think we’ll do business.
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