What Homebuyers Don’t Want

6 Things that turn Homebuyers off

#1

Dated Décor

If the last time you updated was in 1985, you need to remedy that, stat! That dusty rose and forest green floral border is a red flag to a buyer. They are thinking, if you neglected to ditch the décor what else has not been maintained in the home. Same goes for shag carpets, swag lighting, shabby worktops and avocado appliances. These things will scream at a buyer in online images and you won’t even get them in the door, except for the ones looking for a rock bottom deal. Yes, you may like it or not want to invest the time and effort to change things but you have to put a buyer’s wants before yours when marketing a house. If not, be prepared for a no sale or lowball offers, it’s that simple

#2

Colour

Colour is a very personal choice. Colour, well being and emotions are very are closely linked. It not only affects how a room looks but how it feels. Colours can also play eye deceiving tricks, making a large room seem smaller and cozier and a small room more spacious. You can also use colour to draw attention to good features in a home and disguise less attractive ones. When a home stager makes a recommendation to change a colour in a room there is always a reason why. If the response is “But I love my bright pink kitchen” (not with oak cabinets, sorry)/ “Navy blue, tiny sitting room” (dark, dingy rooms with no direct light turn buyers off) / “Canary yellow living room” (lets try a calmer colour, buyers are stressed enough as it is)  Remember, once on the market it’s not your home any more and some colours just photograph better than others. That internet thing again!

#3

Lighting

Lighting, like colour creates mood and atmosphere. Sunlight instantly raises our spirits and makes us feel good. When buyers have to strain to see features in a room or the exact colour of the walls, they are not happy campers. One little dangling 40 watt bulb in a room, however well presented, is just sad. Time to pump up the volume with the highest wattage light bulbs a fixture can take, well placed table lamps and light fixtures that appeal to young buyers. You don’t have to spend big dollars these days to switch out dated fixtures. Ditch the shiny brass and go for simple, stylish designs. Less is more, even a simple drum shade is better than a fixture that would have looked at home in “Southfork” (the old series, not that new one, they could never replicate those shoulder pads and big hair) RIP Larry Hagman.

#4

Clutter

Oh clutter, where do I begin!!! Ok here’s the deal. You are selling square footage to a buyer. You are not selling, 20 years worth of National Geographics, a doll/ Star Wars/ cat figurine collection /every pair of shoes you ever bought since 1972. Need I go on? Pack it up, sell it, put it in storage or send it to your Mother in Law’s house. Clutter will eat up your equity. When buyers see clutter they are thinking “This home doesn’t have enough storage”, This Home isn’t well maintained” , “This home doesn’t meet my need’s” and online images of a cluttered home are the worst. It makes it hard to focus on the features of the home when all you can see is other peoples “stuff” Yes, it’s a pain to get rid of but you have to pack anyway so get a head start. If you need a plan of action that’s what stagers are for. A 2hr consult will be money well spent if you need a nudge in the right direction.

#5

Smells

I can usually instantly smell if a house has mould, smokers, are into cooking or if pets live there. Scent is one of the biggest turn offs for a buyer. Like clutter it’s something that you get used to everyday and becomes a non issue but to a buyer it can make or break a sale. The sense of smell is controlled by a primitive part of the brain, which is closely connected to the area that also controls mood and emotion. Some smells linger longer than others, on heavy drapes, furniture and rugs. A deep cleaning by experts is often the only way to remedy this and fresh paint works wonders in a room that has been smoked in or for cooking odours. Don’t go too heavy on the Glade plugins  either, it just looks like you are trying to cover something up. A small pot of water boiled with citrus peels added will help get rid of cooking smells.

#6

Unusable spaces

Any time you put a home on the market without defining what each room is used for you are leaving money on the table. If a bedroom, sitting room or dining room is used as a catchall for clutter, the ironing, unused toys or the dust collecting treadmill you have wasted a golden opportunity. Never use an unused room to stack boxes in. Not only does it look bad, it doesn’t give a buyer a clear idea what the heck they could use that room for. (Ever looked at a listing online and wondered what that room with all the boxes was for?) So many possibilities. Office, craft room, play room, nursery, extra bedroom. You have to market to your target buyers. A young family might need a playroom or nursery. Stage to sell, borrow items if need be, ask your stager if they rent inventory or search online or at yard sales. An older couple may wish for a small sitting room where they can relax when not entertaining or a craft room. If you are not sure where to start this is where a stager can answer all your questions and give suggestions to make sure you are marketing your property for maximum impact.

 

 

 

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Staging bathrooms.How to get that “spa” look.

Bathrooms are a big deal for homebuyers,so if yours is a little lackluster you need to up the glam factor.
Removing all the clutter and all of your personal items is a given when prepping your home for sale .Buyers don’t want to see your hair brush,tooth brush or your cat’s litter.Now is the time to sort through what you really need to keep,give away,sell or throw out. Recycle where you can.Counter tops should be clear with the exception of a few accessories.

Artwork adds interest in a bathroom

Clean until every single thing sparkles in this bathroom. If you have a shower curtain buyers will pull it back to see the condition of the tub so clean all the grout until it is white.
One of the biggest changes and best investments is painting your walls. Choose a neutral paint colour that will go with the colour scheme of your home.Think ‘spa’ and calm.Aqua blue with white always creates a fresh,tranquil feeling.

Calm tranquil colours work best when staging for sale

If your lighting fixtures are outdated,you can find very current brushed nickel or chrome light fixtures for very reasonable prices at Home Depot,Ikea,Lowes, Canadian Tire or Costco.The old brass or “hollywood” fixtures just don’t have the look home buyers want.
Flooring does not have to be an expensive item for your bathroom update. There are many excellent products on the market. Peel and stick tiles work beautifully in small bathrooms and powder rooms, or of course tile is the way to go if budget allows. Choose a neutral tile not too dark and not too bright. Avoid using carpet in a bathroom at all costs.

Paint a tired looking vanity

Inexpensive replacements for sinks and counter tops can be sourced at ReStore Habitat for Humanity, Costco, Home Depot, Canadian Tire or Lowes. There are many excellent low cost laminates that you can use for new counter tops.
Toilets that are dated in colour such as green,pink,burgundy or blue should be replaced with new white toilets and toilet seats. Try and keep all of the furnishings in the bathroom white or off white. Tubs and shower stalls can be more of a challenge if they are old and full of mildew. At the least clean as much as possible. Sometimes you can create a cleaner look simply by using a strong environmentally friendly cleanser and a toothbrush;then add a new grout.Another option is reglazing if a tub or shower is in really bad shape.Well worth the expense.

White shower curtains,a good choice for staging

A new shower curtain in a fabric rather than plastic will add warmth to the room. White is always the best colour but other colours may work if you coordinate well.Think‘spa’and hotel ensuites.
Cupboards and shelving should be white, off white or a dark chocolate brown with nickel hardware works well. If you have wood such as oak now might be the time to consider painting it. You can buy a primer and then a latex paint to update the look.
If your mirror is cracked or slightly damaged now is the time to replace it. The current trend is to individual mirrors rather than one large mirror often found in homes. Find a mirror that suits the style of your home or consider framing your large mirror to create a more polished look.

Two mirrors are better than one!

Depending on the size of your bathroom hang some art that is restful to the eye and in soft colours. Select contemporary accessories for the finishing touches. Avoid using bathmats when showing a bathroom. You can cozy up the room with your paint colours, towels and shower curtain. Keep the floor clear and clean to maximize square footage and ditch the garbage can for viewings and online pictures.

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