Just Do It RIGHT the First Time!


I always meet people “looking” for a deal. They are thrilled about the cheap labour they found for repairs and then complain because their home isn’t selling and they don’t know what to do! When you are getting your home ready for sale and it has stiff competition from other homes in the neighborhood that is not the time to take advantage of a cheap kijiji labour offer! You get what you pay for! 

I cannot count the number of people I’ve met who grudgingly go through the time and expense of completing minor maintenance and repairs to get their home ready for sale. Then decide to use the cheapest possible labour they can find. A bad paint job will look just like what it is – a bad paint job and even worse, one that the new buyer will have to re-paint if they buy your home. I even heard of one client who would drive across town to pick up her cheap kijiji painter because he didn’t have a vehicle. He only showed up when he could and it took more than 3 months to complete touch ups that could have been done in a few days by a pro … but hey it was cheap labour!

If someone does not know how to do things, they will often do a job below what is expected. Often times, some of these jobs need to be fixed or re-done before the property can finally be listed. So, what exactly did you save??? Or did it cost you more to do, then have it ripped out and re-done properly by someone who knows what they are doing?

Poor workmanship and costly repairs is one of the main reasons buyers will walk away from a home. Flooring incorrectly installed, gaps in flooring, ripples in carpet not kicked out smooth, basement flooring incorrectly installed that sinks to an uneven surface below when you step on it…. Flooring on stairs can be tricky to install and can look horrible if done poorly! Paint that leaves distinctive roller marks or worse is only one coat of paint and the color below can be seen through because the painter only put on a thin single coat of paint. If you have one small area that may not have turned out well, that’s not enough for most buyers to walk away. However, if there are issues everywhere they look, that is often cause for most buyers to say “enough”! I’m not interested in buying a “project”.

I cannot stress the critical difference between doing a job well and one that is very poorly done. One leaves buyers with the impression of a home very well cared for that they are anxious to purchase. The home that was done on “the cheap” looks like no one gave a hoot! The first thought in a buyers head when they see such poor quality workmanship is “wow, they really didn’t care much about this place did they?” The second thought, “Gee I wonder how bad things are that I can’t see” – like the electrical? Plumbing etc.? Probably had someone’s friend in who didn’t know what they were doing because it was cheap – or worse they did it themselves and this place is just waiting to go up in flames!? I’m outta here!” Is this really the message you want to send potential buyers?

The main purpose of completing maintenance and repairs is to get a better price for your home and make it more desirable to buyers. There is a big difference between spending enough to get a good job and just spending the bare minimum to say you did the work. If you are not prepared to do it right, just don’t do anything at all. Sell it as a fixer upper and know that you are selling it as a project for someone. At least then the Realtor can sell it as a fixer upper and potentially create interest among investors looking to make money on doing the work themselves.

I cannot count the number of times sellers have told me about the “deal” they got from some “guy” and when I see the workmanship I’m not surprised. I believe it was the “guy” that got a deal by actually convincing someone to pay them good money for some of these catastrophes they call renos!! Then the sellers become unhappy home owners who were so proud of their “deal”, but cannot understand why they can’t get a single offer on their home. So, the deal that saved you $1000 – ended up costing you an extra 3 months selling time and you had to drop your price substantially. That was mortgage payments X3, property taxes and insurance X 3; utilities X3; inconvenience of showing your home; etc. ….So, what exactly did you save by using this cheap labour “deal”? Even staging will never hide a bad reno job, and it should never be used in this way. Staging is about making a place look better NOT hiding someone else’s poor work or bad decisions. So if you decide to do what needs to be done, please do it right!