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We are currently in the process of finishing (hopefully) a 3 family listing in Dorchester, which has had many speed bumps along the way. The owner of the triple decker decided to convert the property into three separate condos, going against the advice that he received from the listing agent. The problem with doing this was that he was therefore, involving many more parties to the buying process than there would be, had he just sold the property as a whole.

Five takeaways from this experience from an outside perspective:

• You need to value your time: Most people do not put a value on their time. Sometimes you need to ask yourself, “is this worth my time” and if your time could be better spent doing something else, then the answer is no. Doing everything yourself isn’t always the best option.
• It is better to hire out the work: Similar to the first takeaway, you hold up the project when you try to do everything yourself. Big picture, it is best to hire a contractor to do all the work. Yes, it is more expensive doing this, but the quality of work should be the best it can be and more importantly, this frees up your TIME.
• Listen to people’s advice: By going against the listing agent’s advice, the owner has added months and months onto the sale of his property. In hindsight, he ultimately admitted that he wished he took the original advice he received and sold the property “as is.”
• Don’t chase extra money: The decision to convert the property to three separate condos was due to the thought that by doing so, the owner could roughly an extra $100,000 off the sale. Even though this will be the end result, the extra six months the project took, along with many other factors, eats into those profits more that you realize until all is said and done.
• Learn from your mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes. The most important thing is that you learn from that mistake and do not make the same one again. Fortunately, the seller acknowledged his mistakes and mentioned that he would do things very differently if this situation arose again.