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No matter how hard their real estate agent nags – and believe us we do – no homeseller is actually required to stage, or even clean, their home before putting it on the market for sale. And, despite the best efforts of their agent some simply refuse to do so, or don’t put in too much effort if they do.
It almost goes without saying – you’d think – that this is a very poor decision on a seller’s part – but such laissez faire attitudes can benefit a savvy home buyer. How? By developing the ability to turn a blind eye to certain things that may send others running.
Here are three more common than real estate agents would like sights that may be rather off-putting when you’re shopping for a home, but shouldn’t stop you from considering making an offer — particularly if you love the home, layout or location.
Ugly Paint, Nasty Carpets and Other Decor Eyesores
Today’s homebuyer is, on the whole, looking for a home that is essentially move in ready. They dont have the time – or want to take the time – to deal with redecorations and renovations – and that is especially true of the Millennial buyer, a buyer who is becoming a big player in most real estate markets right now.
However,the fact is that ugly carpet can be ripped up and replaced and terrible paint colours can be stripped away and replaced with something a little more appropriate. These tweaks are unlikely to break the bank and they probably would not take more than a week to complete either so looking past the imperfections could be to your serious advantage.
Strange Uses for Common Rooms
Some people choose to put spare rooms to some odd uses, and will often turn rooms commonly used for other purposes into something rather different as well. It’s not uncommon to see what was designed to be a dining room turned into a home office/playroom or for a spare bedroom to be serving as a quasi Planet Fitness. We’ve even heard of bedrooms being turned into walk in closets and wine storage facilities.
Ideally, when a homeowner is staging a home for sale they will return these spaces to their original state, but some do decide that that would be too much hassle and rely instead on a potential buyer’s ability to ‘use their imagination’. Many, however, cannot, and so these strange rooms put them off what is otherwise a lovely home, leaving room for a more imaginative buyer to ‘slide in’.
A Hovering Seller
As a part of the staging process sellers are advised to ‘de-personalize’ their home. However, again, many simply do not, sometimes believing that their ‘personalizations’ – the cat wallpaper in the kitchen, the family portrait wall – add ‘quirky charm’. Again though, there are very few buyers who see it that way and are put off instead.
Then there are those sellers who insist on sticking around during showings. Often they think they are being helpful, helping their agent point out the unique features of the home. However, it’s terribly uncomfortable for a buyer to have them present and certainly extremely off-putting.
Sellers who sabotage their home sale in these ways — whether intentionally or not — often literally leave money on the table for the buyer. But typical buyers today have a hard time seeing through a seller’s mess, personalized design style or custom changes in order to take advantage of that fact.
Therefore, if you see a home online that’s in a great location with a floor plan that’s ideal, go see it. Ignore the things you can change, and think about whether you can make the home your own, and maybe snag a real bargain at the same time as well.