New Years Resolution

new years resolutions
Remodeling this year? (Infographic from

It’s a new year, and there are numerous media pieces giving you the same old and trite New Years resolution.  Here are three New Years resolutions that may have meaning for you this year.

Selling a home this year?  Your New Years resolution is to not overpay on real estate commissions.  Although I have written a lot about real estate commissions this year, it’s a topic I have addressed through the many years of this column.  2019 is was the year when consumers finally became aware that they have control in how much they pay when selling a home.  Although home sellers have always been able to negotiate with real estate agents, agents are increasingly transparent about costs giving sellers more clout in deciding what’s fair compensation.  There are a number of ways of selling a home today.  Besides negotiating real estate commissions with a traditional real estate agent, consider all your options and do your due diligence.

Have you been putting off repairs?  Make home maintenance your New Years resolution.  If you’re thinking of deferring maintenance projects another year, ask yourself “What’s the cost of doing nothing?”  Putting off those small projects can be costly.  Deferring home maintenance is cumulative over time.  What may seem to be localized areas or systems that need attention, could spread to other areas and systems over time.   

Although average home prices have steadily increased since the end of the Great Recession, many home sellers have found that years of deferred maintenance, and lack of have been an impediment to selling their homes.  Homes for sale that are in need of repair typically take longer to sell and will sell for less than their updated and well-maintained counterparts.

Because many home buyers want turn-key home, many home owners and real estate agents believe that years of deferred maintenance can be overcome with addressing some of the home’s issues.  Making a few updates and minor repairs can improve the appeal of a home.  But unless the all deferred maintenance issues (and updates) are addressed, the home sale price may still be less than what is expected. 

Thinking of making updating your home?  Make a resolution for a healthy home.  A 2017 exposé revealed that green designed and energy efficient homes can be bad for your health.  To explain the potential hazard, Marisa Mendez uses the analogy of opening up the air-tight sealed bag of clothes from last summer and getting a whiff of the stale, plastic air (Breathing Easy: An Introduction to Healthy Homes;; June 22, 2017).  But the green and efficient building trend has moved to make homes healthy environments with an emphasis on good indoor air quality.  Mendez stated that the good indoor air quality can be achieved by continuously exchanging the indoor air with conditioned outdoor air.  There are physical and environmental benefits of a healthy home, which include increased emotional wellbeing and reduced respiratory distress.

Bill Hayward of Hayward Healthy Home has been a leading voice of the healthy home movement.  In a 2016 Builder Magazine interview, he discussed how his own experience transformed his life (Advocating for Fresh Air in Homes;; September 29, 2016).  He started Hayward Healthy Homes after he realized his home made his family ill.  Hayward stated “After my family got sick inside our home, I started researching. Thirty percent of the population has allergies and is physically affected by the indoor air quality. The worst air that Americans breath right now is the air within their house.” For more info on a creating a healthy home, visit Hayward Healthy Home (

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By Dan Krell
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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.