When it comes to selling a home quickly, the average Realtor will gently suggest to their client that a little tidying up goes a long way. The good Realtor will recommend getting rid of the clutter and staging their home professionally. But, an excellent Realtor bluntly tells their client that buyers have absolutely no imagination and that in order to get the highest price in the shortest time the house must look like a show home featured on HGTV!
Here’s what it comes down to: the pristine condition of a home, from the first impression of its exterior to the most detailed engineering inspection, is now the factor that will command the highest price from a buyer, even winning out over the best location.
Most busy young buyers, used to seeing “perfection” in homes on TV, in print, and on social media, don't have the time, money, or inclination to renovate or even refresh a home. The same goes for older buyers who are downsizing and have no desire to spend their leisure hours on design and décor decisions in a new home.
In the past, sellers with homes in excellent locations were able to rely almost solely on their street address to increase the price of their home. If the house was a little dated or cluttered, the savvy buyer would overlook small blemishes to buy in the best location. Nowadays, buyers will bypass older, dated, and shabbier homes on the best streets in favor of other homes renovated and updated to such a high standard that they look brand new. Even homes in compromised locations, such as flood zones or busier/noisier streets, will sell more quickly and at a better price if they have been significantly remodeled or refreshed by the seller before they go on the market.
So, word to the wise: be a savvy seller. Be willing to go further than ever in order to dazzle buyers at the first showing, from installing modern light fixtures and appliances to, in some cases, replacing an unsightly roof, repainting a faded house inside and out, or installing brand new kitchens and bathrooms. In the best-case scenario, buyers will be so enchanted with a stunning well-prepared home, they will make an outstanding offer at the very first showing. Sellers may blanch at spending money on such big-ticket items, but more often than not, investing several thousand dollars up front can net you tens if not hundreds of thousands in resale. It will be time saved and money well spent!