Before many people even buy a home, they’re considering its resale value down the road. Very few people buy a home early in life and stay in it forever, so it’s important to think about what will make the home attractive to buyers when it comes time to sell. These are a few things to consider not only when preparing to sell your home, but before you even buy a home to begin with:
Location: You hear it nearly every time someone is discussing real estate: location, location, location. The reason this phrase has become so ubiquitous is because it’s true: the location of a home is one of the very few things you cannot change about it, and one of the most important factors in a homebuyer’s ultimate decision. Though your house may be charming, loaded with detail and updates and priced right, if it’s in a questionable neighborhood, on a busy street or right by an airport, that can be an instant turnoff to homebuyers. Consider the neighborhood’s current state; if it’s a historically established neighborhood or one that’s up-and-coming, chances are people will be looking to buy there for years to come.
Curb Appeal: Buyers want a home they can feel proud to stand in front of – if yours has dirty siding, missing shingles, shaggy landscaping or a rotten porch, chances are no one’s going to take a gamble on looking at the inside. Adding a fresh coat of paint, an updated front door or hardware and some bright potted plants can do wonders for creating instant curb appeal on the cheap. As for your yard, while it’s listed make sure the grass is cut, the yard is weeded and everything is as green as possible.
Too Few Amenities (Or Too Many!): For city-dwellers, parking is everything. If your home does not offer a garage or at least slab parking, you could lose potential buyers. The same goes for having outdoor space – most buyers are looking for a yard to play in, a deck to lounge on or a balcony to peer from. On the other hand, if your yard is too intricately landscaped, you may detract buyers who are looking for outdoor space with a little less upkeep. Keep outdoor foliage simple – a few perennials go a long way to making the exterior of your home look attractive, yet manageable.
Unsightly Renovations: It’s true that newly-renovated homes are attractive to buyers, but if it’s obvious the work was done poorly or improperly, you may scare some away. So many people are looking for a move-in ready home, and if there are renovations that look like they need to be redone, your home could get a low-ball offer or none at all. Make sure all renovations and upgrades look professional, polished and well done.
Too Trendy/Customized: Just as in fashion, home decorating has its patterns in trends that we might look back on in a couple of years and cringe. If you’re selling your home, resist the urge to fall into these trends, or at least cover up the fact that you’ve done so already. Neutral colors and classic finishes will appeal to the broad range of potential homebuyers moreso than, say, that lime-green accent wall in the family room. A garage-turned-home-gym may have been the perfect idea for you, but the next owner may just want a place to park their car. Think in the long term before adding anything that may be trendy, too personal and possibly permanent – homebuyers want to imagine themselves in the home and their tastes may completely contrast yours.