Have you ever had a housing project where you thought you could save money by doing it yourself? I know I have. In fact, I built a house in Southwestern Colorado almost single-handedly for that very reason. One thing I learned during that season of my life was the value of my sanity. I like to save a buck just like the next guy, but when you save money at the expense of your personal peace, are you really saving in the long run? Many of us have more time than money, so we’re often okay with the thought of losing a little time if we believe it will save us a lot of money. Who wouldn’t agree with that?
With all that said, let me suggest that there are some areas in life where the DIY (Do It Yourself) attitude may not be worth the cost. Here’s an easy one: Brain Surgery. We all know this is expensive, and we’d all prefer not to pay the tens of thousands of dollars, but who would risk the loss to their peace of mind (no pun intended) or their life by taking the matter into their own hands? We could come up with a number of areas where choosing to use a professional is a “no-brainer” (pun intended).
How about buying or selling a house? Here’s an area where countless homeowners and home buyers have tried to save money and avoid those pesky real estate agent commissions. And I won’t lie to you; sometimes it works! But if statistics are a guide, a large percentage of folks who try to sell their home (or buy a home) unrepresented by a real estate agent end up eventually turning to an experienced broker to help them complete the process. Now, I’ll be the first to say that as a real estate agent, I’m no brain surgeon! Yet in every real estate transaction, there are deep waters through which a real estate agent can navigate and save you a lot of money and headaches! How many people want to spend their time and energy figuring out how to read a title commitment, negotiate what will or will not be repaired from inspections, meet an appraiser to prove the value of their house, or babysit the transaction from “contract to closing?”
And this is the real moral of the story: that you recognize your peace of mind (your sanity) has a dollar value to it. There are simply some things that you’d rather pay for in order to spare yourself the agony of conflict, confusion, delays, and even failure. Once you take the time to count that cost, then you’ll know if any project should be DIY or UTP (Use The Professional).