Getting your house market-ready

The current residential real estate market in the tristate area currently favors buyers and not sellers. To attract current buyers first and foremost your home needs to be in tip-top shape

The current residential real estate market in the tristate area currently favors buyers and not sellers. High prices and the reduction in SALT (state and local taxes) allowances, plus the cost to keep up homes, have caused most buyers to rethink where and how they want to live. To attract current buyers first and foremost your home needs to be in tip-top shape. Getting ready to sell your home can be overwhelming, especially if you have lived there for a long time  Almost all of us have a way of collecting way too much stuff and are no longer able to see our homes through a stranger’s eyes. We let things go, ignoring chores that would otherwise force us to deal with repairs. Sometimes those small repairs become big repairs.  Here are some tips to get your home in shape to attract today’s buyer.  

Potential buyers want to walk into a clean, cared-for home that is stylishly up to date. They want to be able to imagine themselves living in your space.  If your décor is so far from current trends, then your home will look dated.  Sometimes perfectly maintained but dated homes can still be a turnoff to potential buyers. If the last time you decorated was 20 years ago and you have done nothing to update your home since then, you need to do some refreshing. 

First declutter your home. Today’s thought on staging requires homeowners to eliminate virtually any sense of the homeowner. I don’t totally agree with that because if your home is updated, people are still curious about how a home could potentially look without being staged. However, keep fewer accessories out and get rid of an overflow of unwanted things. Organize your closets so it’s clear to potential buyers how much room is in your closets. 

Next up, repair or replace anything that is broken, from old screens to leaky faucets to appliances.  A fresh coat of paint in a neutral trending color allows homebuyers to move in without having to immediately tackle painting. 

If your kitchens and bathrooms are dated and worn, that will be an immediate turnoff to buyers and you will pay a price at the negotiating table. A current trend is renovating kitchens and bathrooms a couple of years prior to selling. This allows the homeowner to renovate and enjoy the new spaces prior to selling and then selling at a top price. If you decide to renovate your kitchen, don’t skimp on the appliances. Today’s buyers want commercial appliances and top-of-the-line amenities in place and in good working order. The current trend in bathrooms is to create spa-like spaces. Whether you are traditional or modern, calm, clean-lined spaces are trending. There are so many stone and porcelain materials to choose from. If you decide to renovate, neutral and timeless is the way to go, with whites, grays and navy always standing the test of time. 

Today’s buyers like everything to be done for them.  First-time homebuyers are on-average older than boomers were when they first bought their homes. If they have small children, they are usually both working and commuting to jobs and they don’t have the time to work on home repairs. Often it’s costing them so much money to get the down payments together that there is not much left for repairs or even decorating. Older clients who are downsizing also want everything done for them. They have often been through years of maintaining large homes and properties and just want to pare down and enjoy life. Once a seller understands this, it makes it easier for him or her to figure out what it will take to get the home sold.

Once you have decided to put your home on the market and have chosen a Realtor, have the agent come in and assess your home and point out any repairs or updates that will enhance your home to a potential buyer. Take the time to go over the suggestions and implement the changes before hitting the market. It behooves both the realtor and you to maximize your home’s market value. Or you can take stock of the suggestions and decide which repairs you want to make and what you are willing to take off the price because that is what happens in a buyer’s market. 

In any event, spring will soon be here. If you want to sell, it’s time to get your home ready for the spring market. 

For more, call 203-661-4700 or visit

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