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Stage if you want to be closing

Blog by Ian Watt | August 22nd, 2008


Stage if you want to be closing

House League by Ryan DeLuca
20 August 2008 11:22

A little cleaning up, not smoking in the house and moving the pets elsewhere for a brief period can do wonders in helping to sell your home.

So the time has come to sell your piece of urban paradise in the bustling Vancouver real estate market. But, lo and behold, with the shifting financial climate and a settling of real estate values, you find yourself sitting on a condo identical to 20 others listed in your vicinity.

Why is it not selling? What has your realtor done wrong? Despite most vendors’ initial suspicion, it may not be the realtor. It could very well be an issue of, well, you.
How so?

Smell, tacky décor, offensive art, hideously outdated furniture and of course, listing price. These are only some of the terms I have had to define to clients to explain why so many similar properties were selling over theirs. These are items that as a homeowner, you need to address, not your realtor.

Buyers are smart, savvy and looking for a bargain. They are also notorious for not seeing past what is cosmetic, what can be easily changed. They want a place they can buy and move into with little to no work.

Yes, they’re lazy, but, so were you when you bought. You want them to spend more, give them a reason.

Tantalize their senses so they can imagine living nowhere else. I do not know of any buyers these days who enjoy the plush feel of velvet flowers on wallpaper.  Nor do I know of any buyers who relish at the thought of smelling an ashtray or litter box at the end of a long work day. While everyone has their own vices, make sure you remove yours before showing your home.

Update the property. Neutral and modern décor do wonders to inspire the wary buyer.

If you smoke, remember, paint will hold onto those odours and release them back into the room.

Repaint the premises and have all carpets cleaned.

Then, smoke outside. And no, hanging out the window does not count. Remove those furry four legged creatures you love so dearly.

While you can’t smell the dander, non pet owners will sense it right away. Finally, price smartly. This is a buyer’s market.

That means there are more listings for buyers to choose from. To get that sale, listen to your realtor and avoid the pitfall of overpricing. You will only hurt yourself when your carrying costs eat away all your profits.  

Ryan DeLuca is a realtor with  Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Vancouver. He is also host of The Real Estate Minute on Novus TV.