What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Five Mistakes That Will Cost You When Selling a House

Selling a house is a little more complicated that it appears.  In most cases the realtor will advise of various things the home owner can do to increase the possibility of a quick sale.  If you are selling privately using these tips will help you sell quicker and closer to the price you want.  Either way when selling a house there are a few mistakes you can make that will cost you both in terms of length of time to sell the house and they can influence the final selling price.  Here are five of these mistakes that will cost you:

  •  cigarette smoke - The presence of cigarette smoke lingering in a house is a complete turn off for many people and some are sensitive enough that it can cause asthma attacks.   In addition to that cigarette smoke leaves a yellowish residue that you may not be aware of but potential buyers will spot immediately.  If you smoke it in your best interests to hire a firm that specializes in cleaning and deodorizing the signs of smoking prior to listing your house.  While your house is listed do not smoke in the house.  Remove any clothes you were wearing while smoking and wash immediately to keep any smell out of the house.
  • any strong smell - This includes: air fresherners, cleansers, scented candles, litter boxes, cooking odours and any other odours that would fit into this category.  Again more and more people are becoming very sensitive to chemical scents that can trigger asthma for some.  If a potential buyer has an asthma flare-up or attack while viewing your house due to a strong odour the chances of them buying it decreases dramatically.  The second problem with strong odours is in the potential buyer's mind the question becomes what is that smell trying to hide?  and chances are they immediatly think it is hiding a problem.
  • too many house plants - Too many house plants can cause humidity problems which in turn lead to mould problems.  Moulds can cause significant health problems so any hint of mould including that from house plants should be eliminated.  
  • clutter - Clutter can be one of the biggest mistakes that will really cost you when selling your house.  Get the clutter out of your house to make it feel more open and spacious.  Without the clutter potential buyers can focus on the rooms and your house where it should be rather than all of your stuff.
  • ignoring eco-friendly living trends - Many potential home purchasers are interested in eco-friendly living so if your house is not up to snuff they may pass it by just on that basis.  Eco-friendly home buyers are looking for energy efficiency (hydro, water, gas) especially when it comes to home heating.  That means storm doors and updated windows make a difference.  The lower your home heating bill the better.  If appliances are included in the purchase it is imparative that they are EnergyStar® qualified.  Potential home buyers do not want the prospect of replacing appliances as soon as moving in.  If your appliances are old write them out of the deal unless a buyer specifically asks for them.  Carpeting is not on the eco-friendly list unless it is a special eco-friendly carpet which might be a selling feature but not likely.  Hard flooring is a high priority for those wanting eco-friendly homes.  If you have a carpeting in a room that needs replacing choose hard flooring rather than carpeting.  Pay attention to plantings around your house especially evergreen trees that may lessen solar gain in the winter months.  Solar tubes and solar powered roof vents aare also a big selling feature as are any type of solar water heating or electric generating solar panels.  If you have a vegetable garden which is a selling feature for eco-friendly home buyer be sure you have some type of rain collection system and a compost bin that are written in to remain with the house.
Garden Gnome
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