How to scare away potential buyers

Posted by on Friday, October 7th, 2016 at 2:35pm.

If you’re selling your Calgary home, no doubt there will be some challenging times during the process.   Some challenges are out of your hands like current market conditions, home buyers that want the moon and more plus unrealistic offers that can be down right insulting.

However, there are lots of challenges that are within your control and ability to overcome.  Things concerning your home that can often scare away potential buyers or even prevent people from stepping foot inside.

Priced Over Market Value

Let’s just cut to the chase.  Overpricing is a common mistake that many Calgary sellers make.  Perhaps they’re wrapped up in the sentimentality of their home and haven’t heeded the advice of their realtor.  If someone is browsing online and searching for listings in your area, they won’t even pick up the phone if they think your home is overpriced.  Buyers are pretty savvy and can see a home that’s $20,000 over what other homes in the area are listed for is overpriced.  Save yourself the time and price it right.

Bad Photos and Poor Video

Because the internet has changed the way buyers look for homes it’s imperative to show your home in its best light.  See for yourself.  There are marvelous photos of homes that look like show homes, staged perfectly and presented well in professional photographs.  Look closer, and you’ll see homes where bathroom counters have hair brushes and tubes of toothpaste on the counter.  Waste baskets full or clothes laying in a laundry basket in the corner.  A sweater and a coffee cup lying on the island in the kitchen.  Seriously!  

Photos need to be staged, well light and shot at particular angles.  No glare from lighting, no point and shoot at streaky windows.   Speak to your Realtor about the process they use for taking photos.  Who do they use and if you’re unsure, ask for links to online listings to ensure they use a good shooter.  You want maximum online exposure for your property.

Unappealing Curb Appeal

Buyers may have given you a Gold Star online but don’t scare them away when they come to drive past your property.  They want to see your property live and in person.  They want to check out the neighbourhood and see if the school is really only two blocks away.  They don’t want to see toys scattered in the yard or dead flowers in the middle of summer or a crumbling front step and unpainted trip around the windows.  Fix up your home like the Queen’s going to be driving by.

Too Many Personal Items on Display

While personal things in your home aren’t scary, per se, they can be off-putting to a buyer coming for a walk-through.  They really won’t want to see your child’s art on the fridge and photos of the 1988 family reunion on the mantle.  You might be a Saskatchewan Roughrider’s fan but your green and white shrine on the third level of your home might be a bit too much for a Stamp’s fan to handle.  Buyers want to picture themselves in this home.  They want to see their own stuff and their own lives playing out in this beautiful home you have, in this wonderful family neighbourhood.  Censor yourself and make your home more appealing.

Dirt and Grime

Greasy fingerprints on the walls and dog hair piling up in the corner of the dining room is pretty awful.  That’s the dirt you CAN see.  What about the other areas that are hidden? That means inside the fridge and your oven or microwave.   If you think buyers don’t check in these areas, you’re mistaken. It leaves a lasting impression and while you might say, hey, we live here – it’s not a show home, remember that to a potential buyer, it is.

Scary Smells

Everyone’s home as a certain cachÉ but foul odours are the worst.  There’s only so much apple cinnamon air freshener can cover up.   Take out the garbage before you have a showing. Make sure the cat litter is clean.  The biggest sources of bad smells in the home are cigarettes, rotten good and pets.  Sometimes, it’s mould that’s the culprit.   Do what you can to keep your home smelling as nice as possible before potential buyers are scared away.

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