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How Your Home’s “Deal Breaker” Can Attract the Perfect Buyer

David Kurt

What made you decide to get into real estate? I was one year into working a “real job”; the type you study hard and go to University for when I re...

What made you decide to get into real estate? I was one year into working a “real job”; the type you study hard and go to University for when I re...

Apr 15 6 minutes read

When you’re starting the process of selling your home, be prepared to see your home in a whole new light.

A really, really bright light. That’s because buyers will notice all the great things about your home...and also all the not-so-great features that you’ve learned to live with over the years. Small issues, like a creaky stair and outdated fixtures, are easily identified and fixed. However, there are potential issues that can’t easily be so easily resolved. In fact, they might be a “deal-breaker” that can turn off a potential buyer immediately.

Don’t panic just yet. A good real estate team doesn’t just sell a house, they sell a house to the right buyer. In the case of “deal breakers,” what can seem like a negative to an average person might be something highly-sought by another. Or, with the right staging and a few strategic changes, the true opportunity can be made clear to even skeptical buyers. Here are a few of the most common scenarios where this can happen:

The deal-breaker: The yard is way too small!

We are in Sudbury, and used to lots that are roughly 50ft x 100ft even in a subdivision.  We've had the challenge of selling homes on a postage stamp of a lot; and that can certainly be a challenge some buyers can't see past!

The bright side: You wont spend your weekend mowing lawn & manicuring landscaping

There is a large group of the population that is looking for low-maintenance living.  Condo ownership has been a difficult hurdle for a lot of buyers to picture themselves living in Northern Ontario.  But a small downsizing home on a low-maintenance lot; no need for lawn mower/weed waking, but you can still enjoy the backyard bbq on the deck!

The deal-breaker: Your home is located next to an eyesore.

Your neighbours have very different ideas of what “tasteful” decor means, or a new business popped up that takes away from the whole neighbourhood vibe of your block. Or, your home is located next to a cemetery — which never bothered you, but the view might turn off prospective buyers.  

The bright side: That’s what landscaping is for.

While you can’t stop your neighbour from getting the mail in his robe, you can obscure a less-than-ideal view by rethinking your exterior landscaping. Privacy fences, hedges, bushes, even overside rocks help define your property line while hiding eyesores. It’s a small investment, but one that will pay off. There was that one time that we had buyers looking at a place that directly in the backyard was the Smoke Stack, theres no shrubs or hedges that can help with that! Even in that case the price was attractive enough for the buyers to jump on it!

The deal-breaker: Your home doesn’t get any natural light.

It could be the floorplan, the angle of your lot or just bad luck with window placement, especially if you live in an older home. No matter what time of day, your home tends to have a cave-like feel that’s at odds with the light and airy look that most potential homeowners look for.

The bright side: Paint, window treatments and lighting go far to boost brightness.

You’d be surprised at what a difference re-painting your rooms can make in terms of natural light. Keep colour choices simple and opt for a white shade that isn’t too stark, like Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, one of my personal favourites when renovating. Remove any heavy curtains in favour of sheer or linen panels — and while you’re at it, update any blinds you have. (Dusty, worn-out blinds can filter what little light into dim shadows.) Finally, subtly increase the lighting in any dark spaces. Instead of relying on just overhead or floor lights, add in table lamps at eye level, under-cabinet lights and task lighting. The type of lighting matters, too: Nix torchiere-style lights, which focus light upwards (creating dark shadows on either side). While you’re at it, replace any “soft white” bulbs, which cast yellowish tones, in favour of “bright white” bulbs.

Did We Miss Your Deal-Breaker?

While we tried to cover the most common “deal breakers” that sellers often encounter when they put their home up for sale… The ones that could affect your home sale might not have been mentioned.

We know that every seller has different timelines and priorities.

If you’re concerned about potential deal breakers, we’re here to listen to your concerns and help walk you through the process!

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