Realize that any feature that causes you to think it is worth less, or a better bargain, will likely be there when you go to sell. Example: Busy street gets you a lower purchase price, and you will face buyers with the same mindset when you sell. Buyers often fail to realize that someday they may be wearing different shoes. Look at any proeprty as you would if you were trying to sell it.
Also, buyers often underestimate costs and complexity of renovations or repairs. Do your estimates, add 10-20%.
1. Awful Property condition: the cheapest houses are the ones in worse condition. Unless you are a professional contractor, rehabbing a "fixer" will often cost you more than you save in purchase price.
2. Awful location: It backs up to a freeway, an industrial plant, or sits under high tension power lines.:
If the dream house is in one of these locations, make sure the price is well below the competition. - Because it will be when you go to sell it.
3. Not a feature: but a big no no ; believing that the phrases "short sale" or "foreclosure" automatically mean a bargain. Consider each house that you really like on its features and its actual market value - not on who is trying to sell it.
Neat, clean, and staged to emphasize strong points and minimize weak points. For example, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, houses were built with very few closets. That's a drawback today; people want closets.
Back then, houses also were built with what we'd consider too few kitchen cabinets. Buyers want more kitchen cabinets.
Split foyers were popular back in the 1960s; generally, they aren't today. However, unfortunately, unlike many other design issues, there's no simple fix for a split foyer.
Poorly finished basements have always been a no-no, but in slower markets, they're even more of a detriment. (Drop ceilings, peel-and-stick flooring, etc.)
Bathrooms from the 1970s or earlier (lime green fixtures, or pink toilets) are a turn-off.
Similarly, kitchen appliances from a certain era (avacado, harvest gold) are severely out of style.
And while I don't object to nice formica countertops, some agents will recommend (and some buyers will insist on) granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, regardless of the type of property.
Buyers want a bathroom on each floor, so if you have a cape with a finished upstairs, hopefully there's a bathroom up there, too.
That's some of what comes to mind. Hope that helps.
Here are Marc's guidelines for making your house easy to show:
1) LOCKBOX. Let the agent put a lockbox on the house. Cannot stress this enough.
2) DO NOT RESTRICT HOURS: Homebuyers should be free to visit anytime (within reason)
3) DO NOT MAKE ANYONE JUMP THROUGH HOOPS TO SEE YOUR HOME: Requiring the listing agent to attend showings is a good example of a bad policy. 48 or 72 (or more) hours notice is another. Having dogs that rule the house is another.
I can guarantee you that agents will VERY QUICKLY avoid showing your home if there's any resistance at all to getting in. Being on the market is a pain, but don't do it "halfway". Your home should be just like the shopping malls at Christmas: OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
- Filthy house (discolored grout in tiles), dirty bathroom, carpet, etc to make the house look like not cared for
- strange, inconvenient floor plan
- dark, dingy rooms (small windows facing the wrong direction where the sun does not shine)
- Very strong, unappealing paint color
- uncared for yard (weeds, etc)
- Depending on which area the house is located, the feature might be different - for example, if it's a house in a good school district, the buyers would want to have at least three bedrooms, and a big yard, Strong and really unusual paint color on the walls
Buyers can be pretty picky now a days, these just a few