Pssst – want to know how to get a better deal in any market???? Learn to use your imagination!
When I show homes to buyers, the most common objection that I hear is “it needs too much work!” The majority of buyers notariously have no imagination – that’s why resale homes get staged, or builders’ models are upgraded, furnished and exquisitely decorated! Too many times, buyers are strongly attracted to (and hyponitized by) the beautiful furniture, hand picked accessories and themed color schemes presented in a house. They end up paying more, because they allow their emotions to influence their judgement.
In my area of mostly “cookie-cutter” tract homes, I have seen many examples of the same floorplan, with equally desireable location, sell for substantially less than it should, just because it is shown with finger-printed walls, stained carpets, busy wall-paper, over-grown landscaping, ugly furniture, bad window coverings, dated light fixtures & faucets, etc. These flaws are relatively CHEAP to fix, but you need to use your imagination to picture how the finished product will look in the end!
Have you ever watched “Sell this House” or “Designed to Sell”? These and many other HGTV-type shows take an ordinary (usually cluttered and dated) home and spend about $2000 to fix it up. They end the show with an “Open House” where everyone coming through raves about how lovely it is, and then one of the “lucky” buyers pays full price (or higher) to become the next owner. And everyone lives happily ever after…..
Buyers – take a lesson from this. If you want to buy right, and have some quick equity buildup, buy the house that fits your needs for size, configuration and neighborhood – then look at the condition. More often than not, a house that needs $10,000 in upgrades and modernization will sell for $25,000 to $35,000 less than one that is fixed up.
Get to know your costs to improve by visiting home improvement stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Great Indoors & Expo. Check out the costs of the appliances, light fixtures, bath fixtures, flooring, granite counters, replacement windows, window blinds, shutters, etc. Most of these stores also offer installation, so don’t forget to inquire about that expense. Once you know what these items really cost, you will feel much more comfortable considering homes that need these features. In addition to knowing you saved money on your purchase, when it is all done, you will have the bonus of living in a home that is decorated to your own personal taste!