There seems to be a trend to paint over hardwood… is that what buyers are looking for now?

No doubt, design trends can be a benefit and may help sell your home faster, but the average home should gear to the average buyer in order to drive the demand for the home. If your home is in an area where the design trends are what buyers are searching for then by all means go for it. If you accomplish the look you may see an incredible amount of interest and break records with your sale! Not everyone has the same taste in decor and design, so be careful not to eliminate a large segment of the buying population when you make choices.

For sellers… is it OK to restrict viewings to work with your work/life schedule?

When you offer your home for sale, it’s not a free-for-all for the public and the seller can retain control of showing times and other restrictions. However, when you are selling a home, you need to make it as accessible as possible for all buyers to get a chance to view it. It’s in your best interest. Generally speaking, the more buyers there are, the quicker the sale. Everyone is busy, so you will have showing requests at various times and every day of the week. Some people need to come during the day because they are on shift work, or the kids are at school. Others need to come at night or on weekends because they can’t leave work to view properties. If you are serious about selling, remember – a home that is easy to show is easy to sell. Try to accommodate every single showing request within reason.

I signed a listing agreement, but I'm having second thoughts about selling. Can I cancel? Will it cost me anything?

Signing a listing agreement gives the real estate brokerage the right to market your home for sale. If you are not truly prepared to sell your home you should let your broker know right away and ask them to prepare the appropriate paperwork to cancel the listing. You don’t want to put would-be buyers through an emotional roller coaster ride if you really don’t want to sell. As for costs, unless there is something clearly stipulated in the contract, you should not have to incur costs. Your realtor may have spent some money and a lot of time preparing the listing for the open market, so just be aware of that and try to be respectful. At the end of the day, nobody can force you to sell.