Every real estate agent in Vancouver advises his or her listing clients to stage their homes.
If they don't actually hire a stager, they should at least clean, de-clutter, and de-personalize their home before it goes on the market. Unfortunately, not all homeowners take that advice.
The result: Home buyers touring the home may be distracted by things like a messy living room, the homeowner's collections, family photographs, or even colors that don't please you.
If you fall into that "distraction trap," you could fail to recognize a home that could be "just right" for you.
Here are some thoughts to keep in mind as you view homes:
Worn carpeting or vinyl is not a drawback, but an opportunity. The price has either been reduced for this defect or you may be able to get a flooring allowance. Either way, it means you can live with brand new flooring in the color and style you choose.
"Ugly" paint colors are another opportunity. Why? Because they discourage buyers who can't see beyond them. Thus, the home may not be getting other offers. Paint is inexpensive, and when you re-paint after closing, you have the opportunity to choose the colors that are most pleasing to you.
Stay focused – Ignore the family photos, the trophies, the collections on display, and the interesting furnishings. The puppy may be cute, but don't let him capture your attention. None of those items comes with the house, and they're not why you're there.
Look past decorating that's not your style. All those things will be removed – you'll be decorating in your own style. An ugly couch or bedspread has nothing to do with the house.
Look past cobwebs and fingerprint smudges on cabinet doors – because most buyers can't. You may be able to get a bargain on the house in exchange for a couple of days' worth of cleaning.
Do look at the size of the rooms and the placement of doors, windows, and built-ins. Even if the room is over-full, try to visualize how your own furnishings would fit.
View each room with an eye toward how you'll use it – not how the current residents are using it.
Visualizing yourself living in a Vancouver home that hasn't been properly prepared for sale isn't always easy. But do your best to focus on the home – and not on what's in it.
You just might find a "diamond in the rough" at a price that will keep you smiling for years to come.
When you're ready to find a new home in Vancouver, get in touch. It will be my pleasure to help you find the one that's "just right" for you.