A guide to selling your home quickly and for more money by giving buyers what they want.
This article will break down the top desires that home buyers specifically look for when shopping the market:
- Cleaned and Decluttered Space
- Updated Master Bathroom
- Updated Kitchen and Appliances
- Neutral Paint Color
- Bedroom Size
- Curb Appeal
Every day, sellers put homes on the real estate market that are unprepared to sell. Buyers view these homes, but ultimately purchase other homes that were better prepared to sell quickly and for more money. For sellers, this results in their unprepared homes sitting on the market for an extended period of time and/or accepting an offer far below their home’s financial potential.
If you’re looking to sell your home, give your home a competitive edge by preparing your home for buyers before it is listed. Our team of professional REALTORS® work with buyers every day and have compiled the below list of desires every buyer mentions when viewing homes:
Cleaned and Decluttered Space
If a seller can only do one thing to prepare their home for the market, this is it: clean and declutter the home! Buyers like to experience homes with open space free of clutter and personal items.
Not all homes require hiring a professional cleaner to prepare the home. Most homes just need a general cleaning: dust all surfaces, wipe down counters and mirrors, vacuum carpets, etc. It is important to remember places buyers will peek into that sellers may overlook, including inside of the oven and microwave, pantries, closets, and bathroom cabinets.
More importantly than cleaning the home is decluttering within the home. It is difficult for buyers to imagine their lives in a home if the seller’s personal items are in the forefront. Sellers should put away dishes, mail and documents, toiletries, children’s’ toys, and any other personal items that could prevent a buyer from being able to envision their personal items in that space.
Updated Master Bathroom
One room that homeowners spend a lot of time in is the master bathroom. Because of that, there can be pretty high expectations from buyers on the cleanliness and design of that room. Updating a master bathroom can be as expensive (or inexpensive) as a seller desires. Updating that room could be as simple as repainting cabinets, cleaning or replacing caulk around fixtures, or replacing one large mirror over a double vanity with two individual, framed mirrors. A master bathroom project can feel endless and overwhelming. A professional REALTOR® will be able to guide sellers to what extent their master bathroom needs to be renovated. It’s probably less time, money and work than you think!
Updated Kitchen and Appliances
Along with an updated master bathroom, buyers also have an expectation for a home on the market to have an updated kitchen. At a bare minimum, all kitchen appliances should be operable and match in color and material. Upgrading to stainless steel appliances instantly updates the look of a kitchen. Apart from kitchen appliances, buyers are also going to take note of kitchen counters, backsplash and cabinets. Granite, quartz and marble countertops really impress buyers, as do tile backsplashes. If you’re looking to update your kitchen before listing your home, it’s best to stick with neutral, versatile styles that will appeal to many buyers, not just one niche. Again, this could be a project as minor or major as a seller decides, with the guidance of a REALTOR®.
Neutral Paint Color
Now, before you start painting every wall in your house a light gray, hear us out. Not every buyer is looking for the traditional gray or beige walls. Many sellers think they need to repaint their entire home in order to appeal to buyers. Although neutral colors do make viewing homes more appealing and versatile to buyers, sellers don’t need to repaint just because their walls aren’t gray.
As long as walls aren’t a a striking color or unique pattern, buyers can typically visualize what a home would look like if they were to buy it. It’s the lime-green-walls and zebra-print-wallpapered-rooms out on the market that overwhelm buyers and can turn them away. A professional REALTOR® will be able to guide sellers in making the decision whether or not to repaint a home. One thing to keep in mind is that if you’re looking to repaint walls before listing your home anyway (likely due to scratches and typical wear and tear), it would be the opportune time to repaint with a light, neutral gray versus repainting with, what could be, an outdated existing color.
Apart from tearing down walls and restructuring the layout of the house, there isn’t much a seller can do about changing the size of a bedroom. However, buyers aren’t necessarily looking for massive bedrooms. They just like to see how to optimize the space in a room.
If a seller knows that a bedroom in their home can feel cramped, perhaps the best idea is to restage the room so it feels more open. One idea could be to replace large beds with smaller twin or full options. If a bedroom feels extra small, it might be best to remove the bed altogether and stage the room as an office.
Just as it is important to clean and declutter the inside of a house, it is equally important to do the same outside. When a buyer pulls up to a house for the first time, the home’s exterior is their first impression. It is important for the driveway and walkways to be clear and for all landscaping to look neat and well-maintained. As an added bonus, buyers like to see what the entrance of a home looks like with a welcoming doormat and added decoration for character (though sellers should carefully avoid anything that could be overwhelming or distracting).