Pricing – 90% of marketing a home is related to pricing. A house in poor condition or very out of date can be overcome by aggressive pricing. Is there a market in your area for fixers? This may be an option for you depending upon your timeframe and motivation for selling.
First Impressions. You hear it all the time – curb appeal is very important. Traditionally, the front of the home will be the first thing online buyers see. How does it look? Make sure they want to come on inside after driving up to the front. The curbside appearance of your house creates a very strong statement for those driving neighborhoods, either looking for homes for sale, or after seeing listings online
Outdated Styling. Perhaps it’s the shag carpeting, or room after room of wallpaper, but when the styles of your home are out of sync with current trends, you will probably appeal to a narrower audience. Be realistic. If the basic amenities of your home are fairly current, but your furnishings are mismatched or old-fashioned, then staging may be a worthwhile investment. It will allow buyers to see the home in more contemporary fashion, drawing them back to the floor plan and the space.
Kitchens and Baths. These are the areas most scrutinized by buyers, as they are expensive to update, and have the most impact on today’s home buyers. Certain aspects of older kitchens are seen as negatives (old tile, discolored grout, linoleum flooring, bulky central lighting fixtures and faded or out of style cabinetry). In some cases, updated appliances and painted cabinets, hardware and fixtures can make a huge impact. Other homeowners change out countertops alone, creating a partial update, that can still be more appealing that other modifications.
Light and Bright. Homes that are dark and closed-in get the most commentary. Brightening paint colors, removing heavy draperies and some furnishing can open up spaces, allowing room sizes to be more apparent. Paint can go along way towards creating an inviting space, and is usually a fairly reasonable expenditure for the impact it will make.
Flooring. You can never anticipate what a new buyer will want to do in terms of flooring. But if yours is shabby it may influence the overall appeal of the home. When a potential buyer sees stained and worn carpeting, they tend to subtract from the offer price, an amount equal to what they’d need to invest in flooring of their choosing. That’s usually considerably more than a cost effective, but new flooring option would actually cost.
Real estate agents see many houses, and have a good sense of what appeals to buyers and what does not. A consultation about your house, and what improvements to make may facilitate a quicker sale and keep you from investing more than you need to in order to ready your home for market.
In addition, viewing homes for sale in your neighborhood or expected price range will give you a good idea of what buyers will be comparing to your home. That knowledge can go a long way towards helping you decide where to put your time, efforts and budget.