What's "In" and What's "Out" in Real Estate Today

Posted by Judy Orr on Thursday, September 10th, 2015 at 1:36pm.

This is yet another "Throw-back Thursday" post that I originally wrote on December 22nd, 2005.  What is written here is the same as today in 2015.  This is based on an article I read and is as follows:

I’m not sure if I agree with all of the findings of the article put out by Broker Agent News, but see if you do.  The article stated that smaller square footage is in.  Not in my Chicago suburbs area.  Hardwood floors out?  Another one I question, although the article talked mainly about laminate wood grain flooring.  Today's laminates are very nice and sometimes I can't tell the difference!  Gas grills that use a tank?  These are usually not left with the home since they are portable.

Awnings were mentioned as being "out."  Although there are some homes with awnings in Chicago suburbs, I never really thought of them as being popular to begin with.  On some homes with extremely sunny windows they are a good thing.  As long as they’re in good shape I certainly would not recommend that a home owner  remove them in order to sell their property.  With that said, I recently had a showing at a house with awnings and my younger buyers hated them. 

mauve carpet in a home for saleI have to agree with bold decorating colors and wallpaper mentioned in the article.  It might look sharp with the home owner’s furnishings but if the buyer’s decor is a completely different color scheme, they most likely will move on to a more neutrally decorated home unless the property is priced very low.  In most cases, it would be worth it for the seller to neutralize their home as much as possible if the feedback is negative because of bold decor.  I've had many situations with buyers who complain about a home's "garish" colors (their words).

I've had buyers walk away from a perfect property because of too much wallpaper.  I know the industry has tried bringing it back into vogue but I'm not seeing it's catching on.  Maybe too many people have tried removing it - not fun!

I've had listings where feedback had mentioned paint or carpet colors.  I show homes to this day with old mauve carpet and it turns off most buyers.  Flooring is a very important visual feature that can really make a difference.

If you don’t have a “buyer friendly” home in move-in condition, you have two choices to get your home sold quickly.  Either make recommended changes suggested by your agent and/or buyer feedback or keep reducing your price until a buyer feels it’s a good enough value as-is.

Many buyers use their last cent for their down payment and closing costs and don’t have anything left over to purchase new flooring, hire a painter (not everyone has the time or inclination to paint a home or tear off wallpaper) or any kind of fix-it person.  Buyers are much more choosy (and knowledgeable) than they were years ago.  Even if you have a very nice, clean house that has very personal decorating with bold or outdated colors, buyers will go to the next home instead of even making you an offer if it doesn’t match their taste.

No matter what you prefer in your living space, if you’re thinking of selling you need to think like today's choosy buyers.  You should present a clean and neutral property or price it accordingly to current condition.  Keep in mind, if something costs $1,000 to fix/replace/remodel, a buyer is thinking $5,000.  Some things might be worth it for a seller to do as they'll get a quicker sale at the top of the market value.  Although I never want a seller to spend too much money, I will help you decide what items would be most important.  Give me a call at 708-536-8200.

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