Homeowners are notorious for thinking their home is better than their neighbor’s, but when you are ready to put your home on the market it’s crucial to be realistic about the competition.
If you live in an area where builders are constructing new homes that are similar in style or price range to your own, then your competitors include not only the other existing homes on the market but also the newly built properties.
There is nothing you can do about the fact that your home is five, 10 or 30 years old, but by investigating the trends in new homes you can analyze what to do to make your home appeal to buyers.
Check Out the Competition
Before you put your home on the market it is wise to look at other homes in your price range that are for sale, including both resales and newly built homes, because this can give you ideas about how to position your home and how to price it appropriately.
Here’s what to look for:
- Property condition: A newly built home will be pristine and perfect, with fresh paint and the assistance of an expert interior designer. You can get ideas of the latest decorating trends in a model home as wells ways to maximize the best features of your home and minimize the least appealing features. Beware of overspending when you begin to improve your home for sale, but do think about fresh paint in the new neutral tones of pale grey or beige rather than pure white and notice the lack of clutter in model homes.
- Put yourself in the buyers’ frame of mind: When buyers look at homes they want to visualize how they would live in it, not how you’re currently living there. This means that you need to do things as basic as keeping dishes put away, beds made and towels neatly hung up, and as subtle as removing personal items and replacing them with neutral decorative elements.
- Look at your curb appeal: Model homes typically have fresh landscaping and freshly painted trim, so you should do the same for your house to attract buyers. Invest time in sprucing up your exterior and consider painting your front door and replacing the hardware for a modern look.
- Check out the finances: Builders sometimes offer incentives to buyers such as closing cost assistance or paying for optional features. If you feel your home won’t sell without offering some type of concession yourself, you can lower your price, offer some closing cost help or even offer a lump sum of cash that the buyers can use to pay a decorator or for upgrading the flooring. This could be particularly valuable if you have an older home that looks dated but you want the buyers to be able to put their own individual stamp on the property.
Consult Your Realtor
Your REALTOR® can offer suggestions about inexpensive improvements you can make to your home and can talk to you about local market trends. If you are in a market with few homes for sale, you may not need to be so concerned about new construction because there will be plenty of buyers to look at your home; but in a softer housing market you may need to get creative with incentives or a reduced price to attract buyers.