As a Windsor real estate agent for over 20 years, I know that it is perfectly normal for buyers to have many questions and concerns. In fact, I encourage buyers never to hesitate when they are unsure of anything when purchasing a home. From a seller’s standpoint however, I can tell you how you the most common complaints buyers have when looking at homes. Some things can easily be fixed well before a buyer steps inside.
Yet, some of their concerns may be out of your control, however, with staging, many problems may be eliminated and it’s one less thing a seller needs to worry about. Again, before you even put a sign in your front yard, keep in mind that a seller needs to look at their home as a prospective buyer would view it. Walk around with your real estate agent and be open to the changes and updates they suggest. Remember, an agent wants you to get top dollar and not for the reason you may think. Yes, we get a commission, but look at it this way, some improvements can add thousands of dollars to your pocketbook, while a real estate agent may only get a few hundred more. Our goal at Windsor real estate is to make sure our homeowners get the best possible price on their home.
Problem 1: The home is located on a busy road:
Obviously, you can’t pick the home up and move it into a quiet neighbourhood. And yes, main roads are normally not attractive to buyers. However, focus on your homes positive features and consider the following:
- Remind buyer that home is in close proximity to everything, such as schools, shopping, restaurants, highway access.
- Add a water fountain to help lessen the noise.
- Add window treatments, such as blinds, that open, but don’t give much of an outside view.
- Play soft music whenever you have a showing.
- Play up the backyard and make that appealing.
- Focus on buyers who may not care about living on a busy road, like young couples without children, or families with older children or retirees.
Problem 2: Buyers really hate the colours in your home:
This is an easy fix for buyers, but you would be surprised how many just can’t imagine a coat of their favourite colour of paint instead of the current colour. Not only is this an easy fix, but very inexpensive as well. If you need to sell your home right away, you should consider painting the walls a neutral colour before you put on the market. And always, stage a home properly by limiting lots of clutter, showing lots of light, opening windows if weather permits to give your buyers other things to talk about instead of the paint.
Problem 3: Nit picky Buyers:
No matter how hard a seller tries, there are those buyers that can find fault with anything. A possible suggestion is to ask them to make an offer, and then counter with a firm offer with little room for them to move. There are always buyers who will nickel and dime every little thing. If there is a buyer who is making your life extremely difficult, and someone you can’t work with, then if they threaten to walk, you may be better off.
Problem 4: Smells and Odors:
Buyers do the sniff test the moment they walk in the door. In fact, usually within the first few seconds, based on how a house smells, a buyer can tell if they are interested or not. When staging your home, you must consider how your house smells. And let me tell you, I’m not one for baking cookies or using fragrant candles or room sprays. The best smell is a clean house. Have a neighbour or friend walk around and ask them if the can detect any odors. If you have pets, they need to stay out of the house if at all possible while your house is put on the market. I know this is difficult, but buyers don’t like to see your pet roam free during a showing, and also, they can easily escape.
Problem 5: The price is way too high:
A seller needs to review comps and to be able to justify their price. Selling a home with an inflated sales tag means that a home will sit on the market. Then what happens? The price will need to be lowered. Any time a property sits longer than a month, a buyer will say, “What’s wrong with this house?” More often than not, it’s because of the price tag. Buyers still want to find a good home for their money, so follow your agent’s suggestion as long as they have carefully reviewed the nearby comps. Don’t pull a price out of a hat. The longer a house sits on the market, the lowball bids will be frequent as buyers will assume a seller is desperate.