Look Beyond The Seller’s Odd Choices To Find A Bargain Property

Cliff Rego
Published on July 24, 2016

Look Beyond The Seller’s Odd Choices To Find A Bargain Property

Neon orange paint? Treadmill in the kitchen? Awkward family photos from the early 90s scattered around the house? Don’t let these eyesores get in between you and what could be the right home.

Ask any experienced real estate agent and they will have plenty of stories about houses with a number of flaws: filthy stained carpets, bathrooms that have cracks running down the walls, and appliances from when the FIRST Trudeau was Prime Minister.

The seller is not required to make sure that their home is in a presentable condition before putting it on the market and showing it to potential buyers. BUT, a lazy seller can be an upside for the right home buyer.

Below are three unsightly things that may be off-putting, but should not stop you from considering making an offer on the property – especially if the location, layout, or building is still right for you.

Ugly wallpaper and tired old dirty carpets

Turn key properties that are ready to move in are popular with today’s potential buyers. Most people lead busy lives and don’t have the time to take on a large renovation project when buying a home, this is certainly true of the always connected younger generation of home buyers.

However, replacing old carpets with new carpet or flooring and painting the interior of a property doesn’t have to be too time-consuming and expensive, and can easily be completed before moving in.

If a seller is unwilling to replace their tired and worn old carpets or give the interior of their home a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color, they are damaging the chances of finding a buyer and a good price for their home.

A fresh paint job and new flooring won’t cost a fortune, shouldn’t take much longer than a week, can change the whole feel of a property – and adds value to your home when you go to sell.

Rooms that are being used for odd purposes

It is surprisingly common to see rooms in the home being used for a purpose that they were not designed for. Many people use a spare room as a home office. Some people even use the dining room as a gym and the bathroom as a walk in wardrobe.

However, just because the current occupier uses a space for a certain purpose, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Try to look beyond the odd use of rooms and try to forget that the seller lives in the property.

After the seller has moved out, the exercise equipment in the dining room will be gone and the walk in wardrobe can easily be turned back into a bathroom.

An overpoweringly strong presence of the current home owner

When a property is adorned with personal photos, diplomas, and possessions that belong to the seller, it can difficult for the potential buyer to picture themselves living in the property. The homes that are most appealing to buyers are neutral and don’t have an overpowering sense of the current owner.

A property that is too personalized can stay on the market for a long time, and often gain a bad reputation as more time passes. However, a potential buyer can use this to their advantage to acquire the property below the seller’s asking price.

And if there are larger projects to be done?

Renovating kitchens, bathrooms, basements, etc. can cost tens of thousands of dollars – the kind of extra cash most buyers don’t have on hand when buying a home.

There are ways around this, including the Genworth Purchase Plus program, which allows you to lump home improvement costs into your mortgage. The benefit: you get the updated home you want NOW while increasing its resale value – perhaps by even more than the cost of the renovations.

Seller’s Loss = Your Gain

The sellers that unknowingly sabotage the sale of their home often offer an opportunity to buyers to hit a price point under budget when making an offer. Most of the buyers in today’s market have a hard time looking beyond the seller’s clutter, over personalized design and style, or customized changes to the property.

Try – especially in a hot market where homes go fast, over asking price – to look at homes that may need some cosmetic work. If it’s in a good location with a nice floor plan, you should consider whether you can transform the property and make it “the one”.

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Look Beyond The Seller’s Odd Choices To Find A Bargain Property
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