I recently read an interesting blog about a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) seller. This particular would-be seller was allegedly “improving” his home, but he had chosen expensive and extreme improvements that were of no value to most potential buyers and was unwilling to lower the asking price of the home even when he was told by numerous sources, including potential buyers who had toured the home, that it was overpriced by more than ten percent. Buyers are looking for utility and beauty. Really! They don’t want to have to fix or replace ANYTHING after moving in unless they have specifically bought a fixer-upper or unless there is a significant adjustment in the purchase price. That’s why homes in peak condition that are priced right sell fast, in ANY market. Buyers don’t want over-improvement, either. You may think tile imported from a Renaissance palace in Italy is stunning but, except for the most rarefied properties, most people won’t pay any extra for it, especially if other homes in the area are tiled with more traditional (i.e. cheaper) choices. If you are preparing your home for sale, you must limit your renovations to those things that will get you either a buyer or a better price, preferably both. New carpet and paint inside and out is a much better investment than some expensive, unusual finish.
When you’re selling your home, it’s important to listen to the people who are there to help you. Your real estate agent makes his or her living by being familiar with and knowledgeable about homes in your area, improvements that are popular, and buyers’ wish lists. Take their advice! When you get feedback from buyers and their agents, as well as your own agent, think about it carefully. If you’re thinking about renovating your home to put it on the market, try watching “Bang for Your Buck” on HGTV. On the show, homeowners remodel and are then visited by various experts who then give their opinion on how much money they can make back from their investment.
Listening to experts may make the difference between selling your home and letting it languish on the market indefinitely. This is America – the market gets the last word!