7 home seller mistakes to avoid and how to fix them

Repurposing your garage may have seemed like a good pandemic project but if you are thinking of selling, realtor Marnie Bennett, says it’s not the best move.

“Changing a garage to a ‘man cave’, gym, home office, or playroom isn’t a good idea. You need to show it as a real garage.”

That’s just one of what Bennett calls “home seller mistakes” that can affect the sale of your home and decrease its value.

If you have a big personality and it’s all over your house, it may need to be toned down to attract a buyer.

Bennett reflects on a client who loved Mardi Gras.

”They had their exterior painted lavender purple and green. Wow! They agreed to repaint it neutral.”

Sometimes the colour isn’t the only aspect that needs to be toned down a little.

“We have had a couple of homeowners with personal boudoir photos in their bedroom. This was very awkward with our agents and we had to delicately say TMI or too much sharing,” says Bennett.

Even the family friendly aspects of showing a home sometimes need to be addressed.

“Don’t have too many family photos spread around. People don’t want to feel they are invading (your space). You have to have buyers’ eyes.”

While you are decluttering the family memories, Bennett suggests to pack away the personal collections too.

“If you have a collection of perfume bottles or bobble heads or sports memorabilia you should probably put that away until your next move.”

Before you call the realtor or stager, you may need hire a few other talented people as well, perhaps a painter and a handyperson.

Bennett says she once visited a home up for sale and her foot went through the front step.

“A first impression is a lasting impression.”

Fix the leaky faucets, tighten railings or loose door handles, says Bennett. These things are simple to fix but if they aren’t, it can decrease the value of your home.

Sometimes a first impression isn’t visual buy an affront to the olfactory “scents-ibilities.”

“Cigarettes, barbecue grill smoke, pet odours, the scented things you plug in, strong food smells, a musty smell. These odours must be addressed. People may be allergic, or may find the home dirty,” says Bennett.

Bennett says remediate the smell, especially that of cigarettes.

“Any smoke lowers value by 30 per cent,” emphasized Bennett.

MARNIE BENNETT’S 7 HOME SELLER MISTAKES TO AVOID & HOW TO FIX THEM!

#1. SMELLS THAT MAY DRIVE BUYERS AWAY & LOSE YOU A SALE:

  • Cigarettes
  • BBQ grill smoke
  • Pet odours
  • Musty smells
  • Food odours

#2. DEFERRED MAINTANCE ISSUES

  • Loose hand railings, steps, or door handles
  • Rusty mailboxes & numbers
  • Dented garage doors, brass lights & doorknobs

#3. EXTERIOR PAINTING

  • Peeling
  • Fading
  • Off-beat colours—don’t be Rainbow Bright! House buyers prefer neutrals, grey, beige, cream, black, white

#4 TOO MUCH PERSONALIZATION / TOO MUCH CLUTTER

  • Quirky wallpaper
  • Loud wall colors
  • Extreme wall art
  • Boudoir pictures
  • Family photos
  • Personal collections

#5 GARAGE CONVERSION

  • Changing a garage to a ‘man cave’, gym, home office, or playroom—you need to show it as a real garage, a place to park your car. That adds value.

#6 CURB UNAPPEAL/MESSY YARDS—85 PER CENT OF BUYERS ARE TURNED OFF BY UNKEPT EXTERIORS

  • Remove debris, toys, bikes, and sand
  • Dress up the entry

#7 DIY JOBS GONE BAD

  • Leaky taps
  • Ripped carpets
  • Holes in wall
  • Broken tiles

Hire a ‘handyman’ to fix the obvious problems. 

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