Some homes that go up for sale are snapped up in a matter of days and sell for over the asking price, while others sit on the market. So what makes a home more desirable in today's real estate market? There are many factors to consider when you're getting your home ready to list for sale, but in my experience location, the home itself, and the list price are three of the most important.
While you can't change location, you can make updates to your home to fetch a higher price point. The idea here is that you want to attract as many qualified buyers as possible. Some things to consider:
- Open floor plan: There's no way around it: open floor plans are one of the most important things buyers are looking for. Removing or opening walls allows more natural light and will give a home a more open feel.
- Master bedroom: Buyers are looking for a master bedroom/bathroom suite, especially when they are spending over a million dollars on a home. Extra closet space doesn't hurt either! If your home doesn't have a master bedroom suite, it may be worth looking into reconfiguring some space to get one in there.
- Updating finishes: You don't have to break the bank here to give your home a facelift. Replacing kitchen counter tops, painting kitchen cabinets and adding new hardware, or retiling a bathroom can give your home a quick refresh and attract more buyers.
- New paint: A fresh coat of paint inside and out can do wonders for making a home feel new and fresh. My advice is to keep things neutral on the interior (white or gray) and choose a fresh color for the outside that differentiates your home from others on the block (darker colors are really in right now.)
- Staging: New paint is always helpful but it's best if the house is vacant and staged with modern furniture. Even if your house is dated, staging with modern furniture can make it feel and look newer than it is and attract buyers that are looking for a newer, more modern home.
Homes that are in neighborhoods with highly-ranked school districts, nearby parks, within walking distance to entertainment are very desirable for most sellers. Homes with views or privacy can also be a great selling point. Homes on busy streets, near multi-residential buildings, or with limited access can be a harder sell. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to change your location.
The List Price
Sometimes it's better to price a little higher or lower depending on the property, homes currently on the market, and recently sold. A local agent with a solid track record of recent sales in your area can help you determine the best strategy to take when pricing your home to help you net as much as possible from the sale of your home.
A home that checks all of a seller's boxes will sell faster, and usually at a higher sale price. If you're thinking about listing your home for sale, I am happy to consult with you on changes you can make to help your home appeal to buyers.
Cliff Whearley has been a resident of Redwood City for 23 years. He is a Realtor at Dwell Realtors, Inc. and has been practicing real estate since 2007. If you have any real estate questions, he would love to help!