It’s really easy to sell a house that’s located in a great neighborhood, with breathtaking views on a gorgeous wooded 5 acre site, with European appliances and a ton of over-the-top amenities. But what if your house is average and is located in a mid-range neighborhood? What can you do to make it stand out from other real estate listings?
Whether you realize it or not, many of the features of your home that you may take for granted may be of great interest to a first-time buyer, but only if you promote them.
You may be selling your home because you’ve outgrown it, or maybe you just want to downsize. In either case, storage is your problem, too much or too little. Keep in mind that most first-time buyers are coming from a rental situation where there is never enough storage, and they are tired of leading a cluttered, frustrating life (declutter). Also, they are likely not simply comparing your home with other homes, but also with the renter lifestyle and every bad experience that led them to look at purchasing their own home (new buyers checklist). The dream of having a place for storing everything is a big motivator for many first-time homebuyers. So if your home has walk-in closets, pantries, or other built-in storage amenities that you plan to leave behind, make sure your agent knows to include these in your home’s marketing materials.
Also, if you have upgraded your home with built-in closets, kitchen or garage renovations, or customized desks or bookshelves, make sure to advertise this. Any and all upgrades should be mentioned in your home’s real estate listing. Built-in organizers can often represent great value to buyers who want family spaces to be clutter-free and orderly.
You may be well aware of all the great conveniences located in and/or around your neighborhood, but don’t assume just because buyers are looking there that they know everything that your area has to offer (neighborhood details).
Some buyers may not think to search for a home in your zip code if it’s JUST outside the one they’re looking in. Maybe they don’t know that your home is conveniently located close to public transportation, regional parks, playgrounds, supermarkets, etc. They may not realize how nice it would be to be within walking distance to schools, universities, shopping or dining districts, or recreational facilities. They may be looking at all homes in your town that fall within their price range, but the fact that yours is located within close proximity to a major employer or university may push your home to the top of their list. And relocating buyers probably won’t be familiar enough in general with the area to even know what is around your neighborhood. Be sure to have your agent highlight the amenities located within close proximity to your home.
Boomers aren’t necessarily looking for homes that have built-in disability features, but may be conscious of those features which could allow for “aging in place.” Likewise, there may be a current or potential extended family situation wherein aging parents will be living with them rather than moving to a retirement home. Homes that can accommodate this may have a significant influence on a buyer’s decision, but only if these features are mentioned.
Homes that meet these criteria will have a level-in entrance (no steps to front door), single-story layouts, low maintenance landscaping. These features might otherwise not warrant a mention in a home’s marketing, but they should – particularly if homes near yours tend to have a lot of stairs or other features that would make it difficult for people to navigate as they age. Extended families often look for homes with a “mother in law” suite or at least a second master suite on the home’s ground floor. Don’t overlook marketing your home’s multiple bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms or completely independent living quarters.
It is doubtful that you won’t mention if your home runs entirely off the grid, or implements gray-water reuse and rainwater harvesting. But then, not many buyers are really looking for something this specific. However, even if a buyer isn’t hunting for a “green” home, there is an interest in the budget-friendliness of energy-efficient features saving energy. These are all money saving opportunities. So if your home is a pretty no-frills property, but has a tankless hot water heater, dual-paned windows, and/or new insulation, make sure you mention it. If your energy bills are way below what’s normal in your area, that’s a big selling point.
If you have configured your home to encourage greener living – beyond lower energy bills – that could warrant a mention in your marketing. Your little organic garden, backyard compost bin, or that cheap recycling center you installed in your back yard may not seem important as they are low in cash value, but many buyers are attracted to this kind of thing, so why not promote them?
Natural, chemical-free and hypoallergenic home maintenance
If you have a hypoallergenic HVAC system or have used only nonchemical cleaning products natural clearning products for the last few years, this could be worth mentioning. Marketers say today’s consumers are careful about not just what they put into their bodies, but also what they put on and around their bodies. If you have taken care to create a home that works well for people with physical or philosophical sensitivities to common household chemicals, make sure prospective buyers know your house won’t make them sick sensitivities in home.