Home Selling in Powers>Question Details

Amber Taylor, Home Seller in Village 7, Sacramento,...

What are buyers looking for? We want to upgrade our home in 80917. I am sure we can not sell our home today

Asked by Amber Taylor, Village 7, Sacramento, CA Fri May 23, 2008

I am sure we can not sell our home today for what we purchased it for 2 years ago. What improvements can we make to get buyers interested?

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I currently rent in 80917 and been looking to buy for the past several months. The 2 biggest turn-offs are kitchens with a poor layout for functionality (counter space between oven, refrigerators and sinks) and bathrooms with neglected maintenance (grout, caulking & mildew growth). As a buyer, I recommend improving these 2 rooms before installing new carpet, painting or staging. I was very surprise to see so many homes in unsanitary conditions (more so south and west of 80917 and I'm not a neat-freak.) I expect to give a new home a good cleaning, but a nasty bathroom with mildew growing or discolored grout from old mildew and soap scum leaves me wondering what lies beneath the surface. This includes the inside of appliances left behind too. Nobody expects a clean home but evidence of neglect on a sanitary level should be dealt with before showing. If other home buyers are like me, I also expect to buy all the appliances besides cleaning and look forward to decorating. You can offer to negotiate an allowance for flooring or appliances. I recommend energy efficiency upgrades and maybe some minor kitchen and bathroom improvements. You should be able to do those few things inexpensively. Just a buyer-who-has-been-looking's opinion...curb appeal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Hi Amber,

Pamela's right. A good Home Stager can be a real difference maker in the process. If you're looking for a great one, give Jennifer a call at 303.918.3723 or e-mail homestagingbyjennifer@gmail.com. She is fantastic! You can check out her work and find other Home Staging tips at http://www.stagedhomes.com/featured/featured_old.php?asp=22893.

Good luck!

Ben Edgson
Mortgage Broker
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
The key is to get really cheap..I should know....I speak from experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 14, 2010
Hi Amber,

This is a tough question to answer. Right now because of the number of homes available, it may be better if your home has some unique features that other homes don't have that will appeal to a select group. for example; extra low counters, door handles or extra tall that would appeal to especially short or tall buyers. what about the view? colors? price and condition relative to the neighborhood. In other words, what are the properties strengths and have you capitlaized on them as much as you can, emphasized them and marketing them? Other than that, what Leslie has suggested, kitchens and baths must be clean and excellent condition carpet and paint
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
First, get an inspection (your agent should know an inspector), or pull out the one you got when you were looking at buying this house. They are relatively cheap (around 250.00), and that way, you'll know what the buyer is going to see as right/wrong with the house. If permits are needed, get them. If there are safety or potential fire or flood hazards, fix them. As a buyer, I'm going to look at what you disclosed vs what is on the inspection report, and make a determination as to what you may or may not know about or be hiding. Then, I'm going to ask you to fix some things that I see as real issues. If you know up front what I'm going to see, you can disclose it early and aIddress it or be ready to address it when the buyer asks.
If you know how much you may need to fix, you'll have a better idea of what you are willing to do price-wise to get the buyer to accept that they need to fix something if they can pay you a lower price.
I'm not as interested in what you improved as I am in finding a place that is safe and has had potential issues addressed. Provide me a place where I am sure my family is safe, and you'll make a sale. Don't, or refuse to work with me on getting the house to that place, and I won't buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Painting is your best dollar for dollar return on investment. Flooring is good too. Kitchen and baths tend to return about 60% on investment. Windows, flooring, exterior/landscaping/deck, etc... would be next. Lastly, home staging is something that no seller should skimp on and will be the best bang for the buck.

I advise sellers to do no upgrades/improvements until an agent has an opportunity to view your home and look at your competition. Often times I will take sellers to preview their competition so they can see what the buyers will be seeing when they are comparing your home to the competition. Nothing is more frustrating for a seller than to do improvements and then see no return on investment in list or selling price.

Your best bet is to get a reality check with an agent, have them do a CMA on your home, preview the competition and then come up with a plan of action. You're very smart to recogonize it is a buyers market and buyers get to be picky right now.

Best of luck,
Susan Walker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
With today's market here in Colorado Springs buyers can be picky. They want a home that is clean and updated. I recommend you paint and replace old carpet. ( Lowe's or Home Depot were offering a great deal for only $99.00 installation and no payments for 12 months) This has worked for some sellers since most homes if priced right would be sold before a year. A professional stager is worth their weight in gold. They can make your home look like a model home just by placing furniture in the right places or bringing in newer rental furniture to make a home look Fantastic. Call me and I will be happy to stop by and give you some free pointers, plus a free market anaylsis on your home. Have a great weekend. God Bless,
Pamela Weatherford
HOPE Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
Also - I have to ask the question (since nobody else did) - if you know you're going to take the loss - do you really NEED to sell your home right now?
You're saying up front that it's going to suck financially - so why not hold out a little while and see what you can do with it down the road. Right now you're guanteed the loss. couple years from now who knows.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
Generally speaking - although it varies from market to market a few things that will put you in a better place.

Landscaping. Make the outside look nice and inviting. You'd be supprised at how far a nice yard goes to creating a favorable impression, and making the place just generally feel nicer. Can also be done cheap if you don't mind putting in your own work.

Flooring. Can be expensive - but doesn't have to be.

Kitchens and Bathrooms - can be expensive, but don't have to be. Instead of redoing the whole kitchen, some new counter tops, maybe some cabinet refinishing will go a long way. In the bathroom - there's a lot of things you can do without tearing the whole thing out and starting over. Tubs/sinks can be re-glazed pretty cheap, toilets can be replaced fairly easily.

Most simply - paint. Don't have to hire a professional - but do it right, make it nice - and again, goes to making your home more presentable, and creating a mental state for the buyer that is willing to open up the checkbook a little more.

Really though - none of these things will give you a 100% return on investment. If you're looking to make money out of it - you'll only get so far. May definately help the place move faster though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008

It may be useful to consult with a local Realtor in your area before you make any upgrades or updates to your home. Today, buyers expect a home to be in move in condition. If you feel that you may not be able to get out of it what you paid for it two years ago, adding additional money in terms of upgrades or improvements to the property may not be a wise choice. However, a local Realtor can assist in letting you know what must be done in terms of cosmetics, prior to putting the house on the market.

Condition and location are essential assets in selling a home in today's market, however the #1 factor in many parts of the country is proper pricing.

Best wishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008

The places where you make the most return is on kitchens and bathrooms. If you are thinking of updating I would start there. If the carpet needs to be replaced, I would suggest you do so. A fresh coat of paint wouldn't hurt either. Make sure your Realtor has your property staged so that the home is ready to be sold!

If you need any other information or have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Leslie Heldenbrand
Broker Associate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
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