Why Personal Touch Matters When Selling Your House : The Saturday Weekend Review #174

why personal touch matters when selling your house



Personal touch is going beyond house staging when you’re trying to sell your house fast and for top dollar, it’s about appeal and capturing your audience.

Everyone has tips for selling your house and for the most part they are likely good tips to follow but not everyone is trying to find a home that smells like roses. Before even considering putting your house on the market take care of curb appeal and personal appeal surrounding the inside and outside of your home.

Related: Staging empty expensive homes with families for cheap rent when selling a house

Today, I’m going to talk about the personal allure that will capture your buying audience from the inside of your home. From low-lit rooms, soft music playing in the background to pleasant smells you’re on your way to signing paperwork that will get your house SOLD!

The very first thing that will drive traffic to your upcoming property for sale or open house will be your house listing. It’s imperative that you dress your listing with all the essentials but leave some unanswered questions to draw interest.

Related: Are open houses worth it?

If you’re hoping to sell your house fast and don’t listen to your realtor or put effort into the house sale you can expect to potentially get less than you bargained for or a house that sits on the market.

Related: Why Your House is NOT Selling

Even if it is a competitive market and your house isn’t priced right it likely won’t sell right away. Don’t assume just because every other house in your radius is selling for big bucks that yours will too especially if you don’t plan to put any elbow grease into your property.

Ask yourself- What do you look for as home buyers? Surely you’ve looked at houses on your quest to buy the one you are selling and potentially one you plan to move into.

What sold you about a property to put in an offer?

Although every buyer has a different agenda you can’t look past the importance of personal touch. A manicured property that is appealing with garden furniture and an inviting entrance way is appealing but that’s part of the exterior love for your home. While inside getting rid of all family photos, excess furniture, statues and nick-knacks will lighten a room and make it appear bigger but the process of downsizing to sell a house is more than that.

The moment I see a container bin outside a house in our neighbourhood you can almost guarantee they are removing furniture and other odds n’ sods to get ready to sell. This is a case where less is more and by removing excess clutter you give potential buyers the opportunity to feel the space with their imagination. I know it sounds fluffy but you do what you must to sell your house as long as you’re not covering up a mess to make it seem nice. That’s a big no-no.

But is that enough?

No, well at least if you’re hoping for a successful house sale.

Visual appeal means everything as does attention to detail and trust me when I say buyers will be looking at everything. I’m that buyer or at least will be for the next house we buy. There’s far too many home improvement TV programs that showcase the buying and selling horror stories that buyers and sellers are more informed than they used to be.


Personal touch matters


If you’re a serious seller and I’m sure you are you know that selling costs are more than just paying your realtor and lawyer fees for a job well done. You have to put some effort into the sale which means you may have to spend a bit of money to do so. If you’re creative you can turn any space into a bright cheerful room with minimal effort.

Whether you are selling your house yourself or you have a realtor backing you know that people do buy ugly houses but they are going to pay you what it’s worth, if that. What I mean by ugly is that there is no pride in ownership. If you let everything fall apart you can expect the price to reflect that. If you have no interest in jazzing the place up with some personal touch you can expect that it may not be a fast house sale.

Selling a house without a realtor means you are in charge of how you present the home to potential buyers but without realtor guidance. There is nothing wrong with this style of selling as there are tonnes of online resources to help any home seller make their home a show home that shines.

Friends of ours who recently put their home on the market for a second time did a few things differently this time around that sold their house in a record time and for $60,000 over asking.

What did they do different? They added personal touch to the home. Let me explain a few of the ways they opened their home to potential buyers so they would feel a sense of ownership.




You don’t have to go crazy with colour but add a splash of colour to your front door that contrasts well with the rest of the house. With our house I installed a new door with a gorgeous wrought-iron insert, white trim and a light coloured grey to match the coloured brick on our house. This really did add to the curb appeal of the house which is critical to getting buyers into your home.

Inside the home freshen your walls with new paint and don’t go too dark as it may make your home seem smaller and unappealing to those buyers looking for a fresh space with lots of light. Even if you don’t have many windows keeping the walls a neutral or lighter colour will make the space appear larger and brighter.

Cost: Paint, time and effort


Fresh or Plastic Flowers


Bright Yellow flowers with long stems in a bucket in the kitchen really made the room pop. The first thing you notice are those flowers and immediately it calms you. My wife mentioned on a few occasions about those flowers to our friend when visiting and this was the sole purpose for the purchase. Oddly enough many people who came through the house mentioned to the realtor how pretty they were. Success!

Cost: Free if you have a garden or friends with a garden. $20 should do the trick. If you’re aiming for fake flowers you can find them at the dollar store or Michael’s Crafts, Bouclair and other home decor stores in your area.


Bowl of Fruit


No, not plastic fruit either!

I know this may sound tacky BUT there is something appealing about a bowl of fresh fruit that makes a room come alive. If you’re not into mixed fruit try a bowl of lemons or limes in a decorative bowl. You can find bowls at the Goodwill or any other second-hand shop for dirt cheap. Most often this will be the kitchen and by having these personal touch focal points it brings your buyer closer to that feeling of home.

Cost: $5-10 Make sure to pick the best fruit you can, wash it and shine it up. To buy a decorative bowl you can expect to spend $3-$5


Fresh Baked Goods and beverages


Although we have been through many open houses in our time we have only ever accepted bottles of water as it was a hot day and we were thirsty. You may be walking through a home where the central air is not on as the windows are open for fresh air. This may make the house hot and humid depending on the day. Offering beverages and a treat is a great way to say, welcome home. When you smell baked goods it reminds you of childhood and home. Keep a peanut-free option as well for the kiddos if you serve cookies.

You may even find that your realtor will do this for you as part of selling the house so you won’t have to fork out the costs however if you are selling your own house the costs are on you.

Cost: A case of bottled water on sale $2.99 for 24 bottles or Perrier water  ($2-3 a bottle) for high-end executive homes, mansions and castles looking to impress the million dollar clientele. You can also offer finger foods such as sandwiches, olives, cheese, fresh vegetables along with fresh-baked cookies all for reasonable prices if homemade.


Clean Fresh House


If you can’t be bothered to clean your house and make sure that it is pristine before buyers come to view it that you likely didn’t take as much care for the rest of the home. Forget the incense and if you have a light air fragrance you can add that but don’t go overboard as some people are allergic to different aerosols and scents. Sometimes a clean smell is all you need along with a batch of freshly baked cookies.

You know you are selling your house so it’s not an excuse for a filthy home. Hire cleaners if you’re too busy or unable to clean the house yourself. The most you will pay is $16-$35 an hour depending on where you live to sparkle it up. This may take many hours depending on the state of your house but it will come back to you in the form of a sold sign.

Cost- Cleaning costs can range from your personal time and cleaning products to possibly a few hundred dollars if you hire a company to clean from top to bottom.


Mirrors, Lighting and Sound


When buyers walk by a mirror and see themselves it may bring upon them a sense of belonging as if they are home. Removing your family photos and  other pictures that don’t fit the space will bring your buyers in contact with a reflection of, “It’s time to come home“.

If your open house or potential buyers are coming in the evening you can keep each room low-lit with some soft background music to add character to rooms. Remember you want buyers to feel like they can move in and start living.

Cost: If you don’t have a nice mirror just hit up the local second-hand shop or check Facebook auctions, Facebook garage sales or Kijiji and I’m sure you can grab a bargain. If it’s garage sale season this is a great time to find bargain piece to add a splash of personal touch to your home without the high costs.

If you want your house to stand out among the rest for sale in your community put the effort into adding personal touch and you’ll potentially see the results you’re looking for.

What other ways can you add personal touch to a house for sale without going overboard?


What did I do this week?


We had a bit of a boring week I’m afraid as I had a doctor’s appointment which cut into my time off. Our son also started soccer which meant our first round at being soccer parents which was a bit scary but we made it through. We didn’t know what to expect but we’re glad we both went as it was s symphony of screaming, crying and laughter from the little ones.

We managed to get more of the deck furniture out but I have still to get the sunroom done and a few more bits out back. I planted all of the ferns in our wrough-iron hanging baskets and finally planted the basil.

At little bit at a time is what the plan is right now but I’ll be home more in the next couple of weeks. I’m also battling ants out front who seem to like hanging out in front of the garage. I’ll show them!! lol.

That’s our exciting week!!



Awesome posts I published this week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each one. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! I’m more than happy to chat via email to bring your story to life.

New: If your story submission gets chosen and published you will be entered into a yearly draw for a $25 Gift Card or $25 CDN via PayPal if you are from the USA.

Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge), Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a Frugal Recipe on Sunday!

Top performing CBB Post this week : How much should my Grocery Budget Be?


CBB Fan Budget brags


You got WHAT for HOW Much?

Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge .

Join the Budget Brag Challenge 2016 and WIN!!!

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!  In 2016 if you send me your Budget Brag you will automatically get entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card.

If your Budget Brag gets chosen you get an extra ballot! So start sending in your brags with a photo and tell me about your deals. If you are from the USA and win I will PayPal you the money in CDN dollars. Open to Canada and USA only.

Email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

Hi Mr.CBB,

wheelchairCheck out this score of the week! Medical devices are so expensive these days. We didn’t have a collapsible wheelchair for when the need arises with my MS’er and got this from the landfill for FREE! The lady that works there had it protected from weather since it was taken there 2 days ago.

I am glad she did but why wouldn’t a person donate it instead of putting it in the garbage. That being said I am grateful for it. Some disinfecting, cleaning and oiling it is good to go. What a saving of at least a few hundred dollars.

Why would someone not donate it somewhere instead of tossing it in the trash?

Colleen K.

Thanks for sharing your bargain find of the week Colleen. You know there are various reasons people toss things in the garbage but the good part is there are people like you and I who don’t mind salvaging these items. Well done!


Making a difference (MAD)


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you. I’m currently booking for July and August. I have one spot left for June.

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you the blog, Super Saving Tips and my blogger friend, Gary!!

CBB Making A Difference - Super Saving Tips Logo

Hi Mr. CBB and CBB readers,

My name is Gary and I blog over at Super Saving Tips. I’ve been writing about personal finance topics and saving money for 2 years since my retirement at the ripe old age of 64.

I started out writing Super Saving Tips simply as a project to keep busy and just for fun. But quickly I realized that I had something to share and it’s rewarded me with good vibes. Doing something which I feel is helping people learn to deal with their finances and head up the road to financial wellness is great! Sometimes what I write is funny and sometimes it’s not, but there is always a lesson to be learned.

I have a lifetime of experience to share after nearly 45 years in business. First, I made my living in retail management, then I went into banking as a financial specialist. I learned many of the ways to build one’s net worth, cope with life’s roadblocks, and plan to be successful in achieving personal goals. In addition, I’ve always been a dedicated shopper and saver so I incorporate my advice and experience to help others save money.

While I don’t have a personal story to share about overcoming huge debts or making early retirement, I’m very motivated to save money these days. It wasn’t until mid-life that I really learned to be frugal and spend on my priorities. Plus my wife Suzanne and I both have serious health issues that put a drain on our limited incomes and savings. I think my perspective is one that many Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers can identify with as they navigate their finances through the decades.
I really want to make a difference for my readers and I have several key reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing:

  1. There’s just not enough financial literacy among adults and most of us could use more information on how to handle our personal finances
  2. Using personal experiences and real stories is a truly effective way to teach and help people.
  3. Too many people aren’t ready for retirement in an era when people are living longer and government programs just aren’t enough to make retirement comfortable.

I really appreciate this opportunity to share with you all. I’d like to invite you to join me on my journey of saving money and improving finances, and if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.



My best recipe find


Easy-Ice-Cream-CakeFood and grocery shopping are relevant to us because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.

We all have to eat to survive but just because we have a budget doesn’t mean we can’t eat delicious home-cooked meals that are drool-worthy.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience foods consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch.

Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you’ve accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

For the past 2 years I’ve had a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world. I also share recipes on the blog on Sunday either made by home cook and mom Nicola Don or myself.

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Jenn over at Princess Pinky Girl for this amazing Easy Ice-cream Cake made with pound cake. With the hot weather on our doorstep this cake would be perfect for a birthday party, back-yard BBQ or any other summer holiday!! Check it out. I thought it was pretty cool!!


Top DIY project



I was scrolling Facebook when I came across this website called, “I Think We Could Be Friends” and this $10 DIY Pallet Wood Baby Gate or Dog Gate. I wish I would have thought of this before spending over $100 on 2 baby gates for our house. If you’re handy or know someone who is this is a simple DIY project that would be a highlight in any room.


Editor’s Choice weekly read


Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with all of you. Please head on over and give the post a read and let them know that Mr. CBB sent you if you comment. Thanks.

Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) This week I read a post over at The Financial Diet called15 People On The Things They Bought When They Were Poor“.

“Learning the times of the day when meat, bakery, fish, vegetable and misc. items are reduced to 75% at the local supermarket. I’ve been learning for years, but it’s a good day when you find 400g of fresh mince for 99p, and you have warm filling food that you used to take for granted when living with parents. One thing Ive noticed about being poor is that you become almost vegetarian because meat just costs too damn much. Frozen or fresh.

This is a MUST READ post as a reminder of the things we may take for granted in life. I was touched by all 15 and I know you will too. You may even relate to some of them. Excellent post.


CBB Google Search Laughs


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog. Some of them are serious and others are meant to have a laugh.

  • Wife spends our money on shoes– I’m not sure how much help you will find online about this however talk to your wife if she’s spending too much money and budget.
  • Can you sell your home for more than MPAC statement? Well Ya, you can sell it for whatever you want but generally yes your home is worth more than what MPAC states. Talk to your realtor.
  • Groceries too expensive– Join the club
  • Can I borrow money from a stranger?– Sure if you can find someone dumb enough to lend it to you.

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by.

See Ya!


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  1. Your very own personal touch can go a very long way in helping you sell your house because this is something that agents can’t quite offer. So be sure to add a personal touch to it all!

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