Why do some homes fly off the market and others just seem to sit around? There are a myriad of reasons that can contribute to it either not getting any offers, or not getting offers the seller feels is appropriate. But it all boils down to buyer’s don’t feel the price / value relationship is right. That’s why it is critical to put in place some of these low cost ideas that add value to your home.
If buyers perceive good value for the list price of a property, they will make an offer. However, if they feel it is over-priced, they will not make an offer. Home sellers are always mystified by this, but in such a strong seller’s market, making below list price offers is usually a waste of time. That’s why starting with a high list price is a bad idea. The property will sit on the market, and the seller will have to reduce the price in order to reposition the property properly. This strategy usually nets the seller less than if they started with a better pricing strategy.
The three rooms that matter most in convincing buyers to feel the house is a good value are the kitchen, the master bath (if there is one) and the master bedroom. Most sellers are aware of the first two, but not acquainted with the third. Why is updating the master bedroom so important for adding value to homes to your home? Because it is the most personal space in the house. When buyers are previewing where they will sleep in a prospective house, they are subconsciously wondering if they could feel comfortable in the room they will spend their most personal time in. Making your master bedroom, clean, bright, open and welcoming is a low cost idea that adds value to your home.
So how have I been able to work with my selling clients to add value to their homes before we put it on the market? I have 3 success stories of making low cost investments to increase the value of properties that were previously listed with another company and didn’t sell. My magic is to re-stage the property to maximize its best features, take professional photos, create an on-line digital brochure, a virtual tour, floor plans and then combine these elements into a single property website, and advertising and marketing the property to very specific groups of potential buyers, which differs from town to town and house to house. Here are examples of the re-staging process.
Low Cost Ideas That Add Value to Your Home
Re-Listing in Livingston
This split level 4 bedroom home on a cul de sac, had an updated kitchen, but lacked personality. The sellers were amazed with the low investments I made and the added value it provided. It attracted al ot of buyer interest and traded just about list price.
By changing the camera angle we were able to better capture the whole house, making it feel bigger and more substantial. The addition of hanging baskets with bright colored flowers also gave the house better curb appeal. Don’t underestimate curb appeal – it is one of the most important low cost idea that adds value to your home.
The Living Room
There was more work required to make the living room feel fresh and welcoming. We changed the paint color from peach to a cool blue/gray. This had a huge impact on its own. Then I added accessories in the turquoise family, a rug and throw pillows to complete the new color scheme. Overall, these changes made the room feel less dated and more contemporary.
The sellers used this space for storage. But, I know that buyers greatly value having a family room. So, I removed and repositioned the furniture. I added some color with a rug and pillows and added stools as a coffee table. The addition of a lamp added warmth. By re-arranging this floor plan it showed how the room could be used.
Re-Listing in Millburn
This charming side hall colonial was completely updated, had a great family room and is within walking distance to town and schools. It didn’t sell during it’s previous listing, but I knew it had great potential. To begin, I added a bright colored potted plant to the front steps which made it pop. I also had the photographer take a more artistic front photo to give the home more character.
The living room is the first space you enter in this house, so it needed to be open, warm and welcoming. The previous arrangement of furniture closed off the room. I removed the two big chairs to create a more open layout and added pops of color with accessories. Its amazing what an impact a small amount of color can have in brightening a space.
Another Re-Listing in Millburn
This home is in a very desirable section of Millburn, but lacked any real punch. To open the floor plan, I removed one of the couches and replace it with a chair from another room. The upholstered chair also added some much needed color. I replaced the dark, traditional oil painting over mantle and replaced it with a mirror (also from another room) to make the space feel more expansive. Lastly, I accessorized with turquoise colored accessories including a tray and pillows for the couch to brighten the space.
Knowing the importance of a family room, I decided to make what was an under utilized first floor space and re-work it to show its potential as a place for a family to gather. I took the couch that I removed from the living room and placed it against a long wall. I accessorize with bright color pillows and added a tray to the ottoman that was already there. The net result was great.
Additional low cost investments to add value to homes for sale is the marketing materials. If the photos are not professionally shot or there isn’t a floor plan – buyers are likely to skip the listing when it comes up in their home search. Additionally, leveraging social media, my own website and targeted advertising gets my listings more traffic. You can view some of them here, but for the most part, these are secret weapons I am happy to share one-on-one.