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When preparing your home for sale, reality television would have us believe you need to invest a small fortune in decorating and renovations. Truth be told, the things that drive buyers away most cost very little to fix. Here are the top three:

Clutter, Dirt & Odours

Every buyer has come across these. Cluttered countertops, neglected toilet seats and unattended litter boxes make a property memorable for all the wrong reasons. Are you cringing as you read this? Then it needs no further explanation. Fortunately, overcoming this #1 turnoff is fully in your control. Pre-pack the things you don’t use on a daily basis. Get the whole family on board to clear dishes and fold laundry right away. It takes a little more work in the moment, but will ensure your home is ready to make a positive first impression, even on short notice.

Deceptive Listings

Put away the Photoshop. You’re never going to trick someone into buying your home, and when they see it for themselves, the gig will be up. Listings that are intentionally misleading inspire doubt and suspicion, and make buyers wonder what else you’re hiding. Every property has some strong features, so lead with those! Properly presented, the aspects that appealed to you when you purchased the home will appeal to someone else as well.


Homeowners who list with a pie-in-the-sky asking price and expect buyers to just “bring them an offer” are quick to discover that the strategy seldom pays off. Today’s buyers are educated. They’ve likely been pre-approved and are well aware of what their money can buy. As Canadians, they also expect to pay sticker price for their purchases (or close to it). If a property doesn’t represent a solid value in their eyes, most buyers keep looking rather than waste time on an offer they expect will be rejected.

Ready to Take the Next Step?