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Look on the Bright Side: 6 Ways to View Your House’s Flaws in a Positive Light

May 15, 2019

1001Love/iStock

So you’re getting ready to list your house for sale, but its flaws keep staring you straight in the face. Your bedrooms are small. The kitchen needs new paint. The place desperately needs a new roof.

As hard as it may be, don’t beat yourself up over the features that some buyers may see as undesirable. The truth is, no house is perfect, and a successful sale always comes down to connecting with the right buyer.

Here’s the reality: Many potential buyers may actually see the flaws of a home as challenges they can design around or things they can negotiate into the sale price.

Of course, you don’t want any glaring weaknesses to scare off potential buyers and kill any buzz surrounding your home. So the best thing to do is to come up with a plan. The tips below will help you smooth over your home’s shortcomings.

1. Focus on the positive

Photo by Flippa Interiors

Buyers tend to see features like a large front yard, a multicar garage, outdoor living space, wood floors, lots of storage space, a renovated kitchen, a master suite, large bedrooms, and an open layout as major positives. So if your home has any of these features, talk them up!

For some buyers, the highly desirable features can far outweigh the undesirable ones.

“Your goal is to ensure that the buyers take notice of these really appealing features during the open house,” says Sophie Kaemmerle, a home improvement and neighborhood expert for NeighborWho.com.

Highlight all of your home’s desirable features on the listing and the information sheet you leave out for buyers to take at open houses.

2. Create curb appeal

Photo by Allard Ward Architects

The goal of an open house is to impress potential buyers from the moment they pull into your driveway. So if your curb appeal is on point, they’ll likely be excited to see the rest of the house.

“Your home’s curb appeal will be their first exposure to your home, thus making it an important component in leaving a positive lasting impression on the buyers,” says Kaemmerle.

To increase the home’s curb appeal, make sure to keep the lawn clear of clutter. Remember to keep the grass cut and the bushes trimmed, and remove any dead shrubs and trees. Giving the shutters and front door a new coat of paint will add a fresh appearance to the exterior of the home.

3. Design a focal point in each room

Photo by Rez Studio

To bring awareness to the favorable parts of each room, Kaemmerle suggests creating a focal point that accentuates the best features.

For example, if the best feature in your home is the high ceilings, display vertical art that emphasizes the height of a room. A small bedroom could be seen as a bummer, but a striking wallpaper statement wall can create visual interest.

4. Add soothing sounds

The sound of a babbling brook or relaxing music can dull a negative noise feature like a nearby highway or heavy airplane traffic.

Mike Gobber, president of the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors® in Illinois, encourages sellers to add a water feature (like a portable fountain) or play some mellow music. While these sounds won’t eliminate or hide the noise, they can lessen the impact and make the ambiance during the open house more pleasant.

5. Get estimates

If an undesirable aspect of the home could be easily changed, Gobber says, it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and get a few estimates for the work ahead of time. Then share this information with buyers who ask about what it would take to change that feature. If necessary, you can even offer to work those costs into the offer. Be prepared.

6. Sweeten the deal with a fun gift

Photo by Vinotemp

Everybody wants a deal, especially home buyers. Many sellers, at the behest of their real estate agent, will throw a gift in addition to the home.

“When selling a home, you can offer to include a six-month gym membership, stock the wine fridge, or pay to have the outside power-washed,” says Kimberly Friedmutter, a motivational coach in Las Vegas.

An unexpected bonus like this could make the purchase worthwhile for the buyer and minimize any undesirable features in the house.

The post Look on the Bright Side: 6 Ways to View Your House’s Flaws in a Positive Light appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

The One Home Feature Buyers Had to Have … but Regretted Getting

September 18, 2018

Ever pined to buy something that, once you finally got your hands on it, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be? This disappointing reality check can hit big time during the home-buying process. Oh, the rosy glasses we wear when house hunting!

So watch out: If you’ve dreamed of having a home with a big yard, that excitement might wear off after you see how long it takes to mow. Or, if you pined to live in a historic house, you may eat those words when you’re deluged with costly repairs. Whatever you’re sure you want, take care to do your due diligence carefully, and question homeowners who have these amenities on their pros and cons, and the upkeep entailed.

In case you’re curious which home features buyers had to have, but came to regret, check out these amenities, which can end up being a whole lot more trouble than they’re worth.

Wine cellar

Photo by Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars 

Moving from California to Connecticut was made sweeter by the prospect of a wine cellar in the new location, according to Larry Perstein of Westport, CT. “This was a big selling point for the house, and something I’ve always wanted,” he states.

But this “cool factor” didn’t translate into an ideal situation in everyday life.

“Unless you’re buying for investment, most wines don’t need cellaring,” he says. And the whole process is just inconvenient, he adds. “Watching the humidity and temperature doesn’t matter for screw-top wines, and it’s too hard to keep on top of the inventory.” Retrieving a bottle from the basement for dinner was a big pain, too. All in all, “My in-kitchen wine fridge is much more functional,” he says. “I’d never design a future kitchen without one.”

Home spa

Photo by Steam and Sauna Innovation 

Who wouldn’t kill to have a spa right in their own home? Clare Block, of Radnor, PA, for one. While house hunting 13 years earlier, she at first swooned over the gorgeous, newly built marble sauna in the home they ended up purchasing. Back then, she admits, “I thought it would be perfect to use as my own little retreat.”

Fast forward to today, and Block reports this spa has been used all of three times. For one, she rarely has time to kick back there, but even if she did, “The steam’s motor sounds like a train engine when it’s on,” she complains. “It isn’t relaxing at all.”

Open floor plan

Photo by Houzz.com

“I was sold on the tri-level, semi-open concept of our house, because it looked so cool,” explains Diane Johnson of Bonney Lake, WA. Unfortunately, in reality, this layout turned out to be a noise nightmare.

“If you’re in the living room and someone goes into the kitchen for food or ice, it causes such a ruckus, you have to either crank up the TV to compensate, or pause what you’re watching,” she says. To contain some of the noise, she’s considering putting up the walls she once abhorred.

Fireplace or wood-burning stove

Photo by Sarah Phipps Design

Doesn’t everyone love a cozy fireplace or wood stove in winter? Not Mark Hughes, of Hartford, CT.

“We bought the house very enthused about the fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom and the cast iron stove in the kitchen,” he explains. “Three years later, we offered up the stove free to anyone who would take it off our hands, and in our 10 years in the house, we had maybe five fires total,” he says, adding, “It’s just too much of a pain to build a fire.”

Hedges

Photo by www.KarlGercens.com 

Karina Burston, of Wakefield, RI, loved the look of the 100-foot double-wide hedges around the home she ended up buying. What she wasn’t prepared for was the maintenance to keep them pruned and pretty.

“The hedges provide lots of privacy and beautiful greenery, but the trimming is way too much work,” she admits. Burston also has a full front yard of vinca, which was planted in part because it doesn’t need mowing. But vinca does cry out for regular weeding—and that’s a lot harder than the mowing she was trying to avoid. If she ever buys another home, it’ll be one with a much smaller, low-maintenance yard.

The post The One Home Feature Buyers Had to Have … but Regretted Getting appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.