It was 18C and sunny here this afternoon and I was looking at a home in Kelowna's Rutland neighbourhood that had a beautiful backyard with a large covered deck and huge in ground pool when the question arose, "How does the pool affect the value of my home?" Turns out, when the home was last purchased the newly retired couple had their differences; he had always wanted a pool but she didn't want one. Fast forward twenty years and she can recall countless stories of her children and grand children enjoying the pool. Sometimes you don't just don't really know until you give it a try but not every one is willing to take on that experience, so if you list a dazzling property like this, how do you maximize the benefit of this special focal point while you also minimize the undermining effect of possibly seeming like a burden.
The best thing a seller of a home with a pool can do is expect some negative feedback, even if you think your pool is the most amazing thing about your property. Also, make sure you have the confidence that your REALTOR knows how to handle potential negative views with your property having a pool before it gets listed. You don't want to lose prospective purchasers for nothing if their perspective could have been reframed in a more positive light. Here are five key points to follow for selling your home with a pool.
1) Prepare the Pool
Make sure the pool is prepared to sell itself. Are there cracks or stains surrounding the pool or possible damage to the pool or associate features? Are there any worn or broken parts? This is not just about function. You want your pool to look the best it has ever looked. Invest in a deep cleaning of any caulk or grout with replacement if necessary. Inspect all pool components and make sure any pump houses or storage areas are clean and tidy. Power wash and patch any cracks in concrete pool decks and address weathered wood decking with replacement or a new coat of stain as appropriate for the level of wear. Trim any overthrown trees to allow for maximum sunlight around the pool and to reduce debris in the pool.
2) Sell the Pool Experience
Open the pool and make sure the surroundings are staged if not in normal use. A closed pool can invite a lot of questions and negative concerns about the condition of the pool, especially if it is summertime. Does the pool leak? It's hot and I'd love to go for a dip, why isn't it open? How long has it been since they used it? You get the idea. But it's not just that. An open pool tells a good story. Just like with other aspects of your home, you want purchasers to easily be able to see themselves living in your home and that includes using the pool! Then there is also the unknown knowledge of what pool ownership is about. A purchaser looking at a closed pool may be concerned about having the knowledge and the time and stress of opening it which will draw on their perceived value in the pool. If the pool looks like they can't wait to go for a swim to celebrate taking possession, they have lots of time to learn about and prepare for future pool maintenance and you can keep their thoughts on the joy of pool ownership.
3) Timing Matters
The best time to sell your pool is when the weather starts to warm up, so spring to early summer. Naturally, most people are excited to spend more time outdoors on the patio. You don't want to wait to long because the sooner a new purchaser can start enjoying a new pool, the more immediate value they are likely to see. Not a lot of people buy convertible sport cars in the fall and winter; similarly people are less excited about purchasing a home with a pool when it's going to be six months or more before they can use int. Furthermore, when the weather is hot and the sun is shinning, purchasers who may not have favoured a pool are more easily intrigued by the concept.
4) Provide a Pool Binder
Having everything it takes to open, maintain, and then close the pool thoroughly documented for prospective buyers can be a great tool to minimize insecurities prospective buyers may have. A Pool Binder contains everything one might need to know about the pool equipment, including detailed information showing exactly how the pool operates, service records, chemical records, a history of renovation and replacement work done. This all tells a story about how you've cared for your pool and gives prospective buyers confidence that they can handle the responsibility of the pool. Remember that pool maintenance and safety are often their largest concerns. Also offer a complete pool orientation to the buyer, as well as providing names of reputable service companies.
5) Provide an All-Inclusive Pool Experience
Even if you're moving to a new house with a new pool, include or at least offer to include all of your pool related gear, supplies, and accessories, in the deal. Along with your pool binder, this will go a long way in establishing confidence in the purchaser that this home with a pool will be a blessing, not a burden. Also, if you throw in accessories like pool floats or pool furniture, this could save the new purchase the cost of having to buy like accessories to maximize their enjoyment of the pool as well.