Back in the day. You know when someone pulls out this idiom you are in for quite a story; most likely a story about how much better things used to be laced with a heavy dose of nostalgia. And today, I’m going to use it as it relates to selling a home. Because back in the day you used to be able to put your home on the market without doing hardly anything. Twenty years ago all that was required to list a home was a quick declutter, light vacuum and dust, bathroom spot check and mow of the lawn.
Times sure have changed! Blame it on our culture’s insatiable appetite for all things Home Improvement and HGTV. Cite the rise in easy credit in the early 2000s that left the average middle American wide eyed for more and the above-echelon expecting the best money can buy. Or disparage social media which breezily promotes a deep bench of home retailers feeding the marketplace. It can be discouraging.
But I tend to be an optimist. I like to think the world is getting better, rather the worse. While it is easy to look at the real estate market and roll your eyes, and lament how much easier it used to be to buy and sell a home back in the day, the fact is that there are a lot of great things that have come from this shift in real estate expectations.
The biggest upside to all of this is your home’s value. Those who are motivated to maximize their home’s value are now in a marketplace that rewards that motivation. It is the simple law of supply and demand. The demand for homes that are turnkey is higher than ever. And everyone benefits from that. Real estate prices are top driven, meaning the price leaders (or the homes that are selling at the top) always bring neighboring home values up as well.
Even a seller can see the benefits of a well-presented, updated home especially in a high-demand neighborhood. The average prospective buyer in a hot market like we are experiencing right now is being priced out of many of their ideal neighborhoods. Or they are extending themselves to the top of their financing point to get in a neighborhood they want. In this situation, most buyers don’t have the luxury to make home improvements. Plus, when a home is improved, up-to-date, and well-staged, buyers are experiencing the home in its full potential. It opens up possibilities for the new owner.
We recently represented sellers in a home on 1379 Lincoln Street. It was determined in our home evaluation that we could improve our clients’ profit by 50% with a few home improvements. It was also determined that a client buying in this neighborhood would be at the top of their financing comfort level and would want a home that was move-in ready. We recommended they invest in new kitchen countertops, hardware, and appliances, a fresh coat of exterior paint, a fence to hide a neighbor’s RV, the replacement of various light fixtures and other paint touch ups. We offered, included in our real estate services, house cleaners, window cleaners and carpet cleaners to polish the home off. We also felt, in this case, a more aggressive staging plan (including bringing in furniture) would greatly improve the marketability of the home.
The hitch to all of this, as seems to be more than the case than not these days, is we had to do all of this in a week’s time! It was crazy. Really crazy. Our client had already bought their home and needed to sell theirs quickly for financing purposes. Luckily for us, we have a remarkable team and a deep bench of amazing subcontractors that came through for us. Plus our client showed tremendous resilience and determination to maximize their home’s values.
It was a remarkable transformation with a strong return on investment. The home was on the market for 10 days, and our client received an offer $10,000 over asking price. Profit goals met!
Watch our team hard at work in our slideshow below. To see after photos, and be amazed by this home’s transformation, read our blog The Quintessential Sugarhouse Farmhouse.