Do it yourself
DIY projects are all the rage. They are great and fun when a person can enjoy doing them and end up with a good outcome. Yet there are certain jobs that are best left to professionals and for good reason. Say I buy the wrong stain for a table I am refinishing and I don’t like the finished look. I can do it over and all I have lost is a little time and money; neither one is a big problem. But if I decide to put a new roof on my home and I have no idea what I’m doing, the result will be a major difficulty I will have to live with for years.
This scenario brings me to the point of saying when you have a property to sell, use a qualified realtor instead of trying to do it yourself. (Full disclosure: my dad is a certified appraiser who used to sell real estate, but has not for many years.) Realtors have a code of ethics by which they must abide and they take continuing education courses that keeps them up to date. They have guidelines by which to work and plan. It is like anything else in life. If you don’t utilize professional services, and something goes wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself and the legal problems don’t just go away with the snap of the fingers.
I have never understood people who boast they sold a property without the assistance of a realtor. The sellers seem to think they are pulling the wool over someone’s eyes or that they have gotten away with something. Since most sellers — and buyers — do few transactions in their lives, a single legal technicality can haunt them for years.
Buying a home without a home inspection is another way to invite trouble. These inspectors are trained in what to look for. Unless there are obvious problems, such as a water damaged ceiling, the average buyer would not have a clue what to scrutinize.
There simply are times that it pays in the long run to hire, or buy from, professionals. If you have animals you likely have needed to call on a veterinarian. You get the initial problems squared away then realize it is time to vaccinate your animals. You go to the vet and find out what you need and how much, then to save a few cents you buy the products through another source than that vet. You have used the vet’s time and expertise to gather your information, yet you feel under no obligation to add some coins to their coffers. If that becomes the norm for many of the clients, soon the vet will have to close her doors. Think of the many times you have called the vet to pick his brain on a problem, even if the consult does not cost you money. It does cost him time.
Do it yourself when it’s in your range of comfort — even stretching it as a challenge — but recognize when you need a professional and think of the future too.
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