In this last installment of the three-part series to preventing your swimming pool from drowning out your potential buyers (click here to see Part 1 or Part 2), I’ll talk about ways you and your real estate agent can minimize the apprehension some buyers may have to buying your home in Palm Springs with a swimming pool and ways to increase the foot traffic of potential buyers to your home.
Let’s start with minimizing a buyer’s apprehension about the swimming pool.
The first thing that comes to the mind of those who have never owned a pool before is the safety factor. It’s a serious matter, to be sure, and a very valid concern, so start with looking at ways to improve, highlight and emphasize the safety features of your swimming pool. The second thing that usually comes to mind about swimming-pool ownership are the operating expenses involved. Presenting an estimated cost for running your pool can help buyers get a better idea of what to expect. Who knows, they may be pleasantly surprised! Lastly, I hear a lot of non-pool owners imagine or assume that it takes a lot of hard work to maintain a swimming pool. Outlining the steps needed to keep the pool clear would be very helpful to potential buyers. So now you know the main concerns, here are some tips that you and your real estate agent can follow to help make your pool a feature rather than a fear:
Addressing swimming pool safety concerns:
- Highlight any fencing that you may have that surrounds the pool. Make any repairs to fencing before showing your property.
- Point out the safety cover for your pool. If it’s automatic, make sure it is in good working condition. If it’s a manually installed cover, on an open pool, try to hang the cover so that potential buyers can see it’s condition. If the cover is in need of repairs, either have them fixed or provide the name of a reliable pool-cover repair shop in the area. Provide copies of the brochures or informational pamphlets regarding the safety features cover.
- Get a copy of the county regulations for owning a swimming pool. Emphasize what you’ve done to meet or exceed those regulations.
- Make sure that any door or pool alarms that you have are in working condition. Replace the batteries in these units, or better yet, upgrade to a newer model.
- Make sure the bolts holding diving boards, slides or ladders are in place securely.
Addressing swimming pool operating expense concerns:
- Outline estimated costs for opening and closing your pool.
- Outline estimated costs for any chemicals you use including the frequency that you use them.
- Have your real estate agent get estimated costs of a home warranty plan that covers swimming pools and spas. Maybe even offer to purchase the warranty for the buyers.
- Don’t forget to show your utility bills for the months your pool is open and running.
- If you have a pool that needs to be filled annually and you’re on city or public water, provide an estimated cost for that too. Some water companies offer a limited-time, discounted swimming pool fill-up-rate each Spring season. This could be huge savings to the future home owners.
- If you use a pool service for regular upkeep, make sure outline the service costs for the company you use and maybe even throw in estimates from other companies.
Addressing swimming pool maintenance concerns:
- If you do handle regular upkeep yourself, track frequency and how long it takes you for each task, like skimming the pool, vacuuming, back-washing filters, etc., and outline this information for buyers who’ve never owned a pool before — they would find this information useful. You can also emphasize the dollar savings of doing daily maintenance yourself versus hiring a company. Don’t forget to include the level of difficulty for each task.
- A pool surrounded by deciduous trees can scream “high maintenance cleaning”. Trim any overhanging branches to avoid the potential of having leaves fall into the pool. Doing so can minimize the amount of vacuuming that needs to be done and gives potential buyers the ability to visualize lower maintenance.
- Note the cost for chemicals needed for regular maintenance. Recommend vendors or suppliers, especially those that offer big discount coupons.
Once you gather all the information that a buyer would ask about owning a swimming pool, work with your real estate agent to present the information in an appealing brochure (no need to get fancy if you don’t want to). Have your agent emphasize the positives to owning a pool, i.e., if you live in a a neighborhood with no community pool, having a mini-vacation at the end of the day in the comfort of your own home, and emphasizing family time together by the pool. With the proper marketing your swimming pool could end up being a showcase feature!
So what’s a good trick to sell your home with a swimming pool? Pictures, pictures and more pictures. Nothing is more inviting than seeing a crystal clear swimming pool on a hot, sunny day. And if all else fails and buyers are still fine that owning a swimming pool is for them, have your real estate agent note in the multiple-listing-service description that it IS possible to fill that pool. A lot of landscaping or land developers are ready to give away fill-dirt rather than having to pay dumping fees to get rid of it.