Selling a house with a pool


Dear David,

We own a large house with a pool. My husband and I want to sell it but can’t agree on a timeline. I want to list the house now and spend our summer at the cottage. He wants one last summer by the pool and would rather list in the fall. I think the pool is a problem. The heater has been broken for two seasons, and my husband is fond of his new robotic vacuum, which he doesn’t want to sell with the house. – WATERLOGGED

DEAR WATERLOGGED: Your question couldn’t be timelier, as the sweet spot for selling a home with a pool is literally right now. It’s great that you and your husband both agree you’re ready to sell, and having the ability to escape to the cottage gives you lots of flexibility. As you point out, the greatest challenge now is timing.

Early spring is the best time to sell a house with a pool, since there’s a good chance the buyers will get to enjoy this feature as soon as they move in. I totally understand your husband’s desire to enjoy the pool to the fullest, but at the same time, it’s important to consider the situation from a buyer’s perspective. After falling in love with your property, the buyer is bound to be disappointed that they’ll have to wait until next year to use the pool. Houses with pools sell year-round, don’t get me wrong. But in late April or early May when the ice and snow are gone, that shimmering blue water adds serious sizzle to the steak that is your listing. Buyers can see the possibilities and practically taste the memories to be made, and that’s the kind of thing that gets them excited about buying your home.

Now let’s take a minute to talk about some of the less productive decisions sellers make, like not fixing a broken pool heater. When it comes to inconvenient home repairs, I often hear sellers say they’ll let the buyers deal with it, which is a sure-fire way to ensure buyers feel let down. Buyers come to every deal with certain expectations and risking that delicate relationship for the sake of a few thousand dollars doesn’t make a lot of sense. In a world where people have come to expect fast-food delivery from a block down the road, no buyer is going to welcome the challenge of figuring out how to install a new pool heater, just so they can enjoy an asset they’ve already purchased.

Your husband is not going to be my biggest fan when he hears this, but his new robotic vacuum is another one of those things a buyer will expect to have included with a large and well-appointed home. Like the hot towel you might receive in business class, it’s a perk whose absence would be noticeably missed.

PRO TIP: Focus on the big picture. Whether selling a property worth $700 thousand or $1.5 million, you need to think of fixtures and repairs in terms of percentage of value. You can’t over-impress a buyer; they can smell nickel-and-diming a mile away. When it comes to making a deal, the perceived savings of a few thousand dollars could end up costing you the price of a new car. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.