I believe understanding the psychology of consumers is key to obtaining the most money on a home. In today’s “I” world (iPhone, iPad, iMac, Selfies), the masses seek instant gratification! Everyone seems to desire the nicest or newest possession. This applies across all platforms. It doesn’t matter if it’s Ralph Lauren’s latest outfit, Apples newest iPhone, Tesla’s newest car, or the home down the street that’s beautifully remodeled with today’s HGTV interior design trend. When it’s new, there is a higher demand for it. This applies to homes as well. When homes have the current interior design trend, with all the upgraded finishes, people are willing to pay top dollar. You could also contribute some of this phenomenon to HGTV home improvement shows like Property Brothers.
Consumers today are more in tune with today’s design trends and home condition than ever before. They now have more accessibility than ever to view homes in their market.
Adversely, because buyers are more educated and desire the nicest or newest, they are more likely to over-estimate the cost of something that feels like a project. Essentially, anything that could cost a buyer time, money, and energy to make the home feel complete is considered “work.” For example…
- It could be the multiple flooring tiles used in a home (one in each room)
- The scrapes or scuffs in the drywall
- It could be the multiple interior design finishes
- The multiple colors or exotic colors used for painting throughout the home
- The dated appliances
- The deferred maintenance on the facia board throughout the exterior of the home
- The chipping paint on the exterior
Each and every conditional item adds up to an arbitrary number in a buyers mind of what they are willing to pay for that home. There are three simple improvements which yield high returns that sellers can do to achieve this “new” feel in their home. The simplest and most affordable strategy to improve a home’s condition is to update the homes door-hinges and door-handles to a brushed-nickel, aged bronze, or black. As long as it’s consistent throughout the home, any of those colors will work. It gives the home a complete or finished look. Note, the finish you choose should match the other fixtures in your house (fans, faucets, or other lighting fixtures). Money is made in this type of detail. Another immediate improvement and high yielding return is paint. New paint, not only makes the house smell new or fresh, but it also covers up any dirt on the walls, dings or scuffs and truly makes the home “feel” new. The next best conditional improvement is flooring. If you have worn carpet, giving a credit to the buyer at close of escrow is not good enough. You must replace this shabby carpet to create a “like new” feel. In the event the carpet is relatively new, a cleaning could suffice. I’m personally seeing more and more buyers steer away from carpet altogether though. Finding an inexpensive tile, or engineered wood floor will appeal to the largest demographic of buyers here in Arizona because it’s easy to clean and doesn’t hold allergens like carpet. The point is, the more updated and “new” a home feels, the better. People will look past the homes functional obsolescence or deficiencies if it everything else is spectacular.
Lastly, update the appliances. This is especially important for first time home buyers. They want matching appliances (stainless steel is still the most desired appliance finish). By providing the buyers with more items on their checklist, the more they are likely to pay a little extra. For more tips and more buyer insight, contact me today (call 602-428-7200). I can share other cost-effective ways to improve a home’s condition and get you that TOP Dollar Price.