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Buyers Want Move-In Ready Homes

Written by on Thursday, 12 May 2011 7:00 pm
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Is a little elbow grease needed? Selling an "as-is" home may turn off buyers, according to a recent survey of real estate professionals.

The study comes from Coldwell Banker. The company found that 87 percent of first-time buyers don't want to buy a home that requires them to do a lot of work; instead they want "move-in" ready.

The hard part for sellers is comprehending the idea that they are going to fix up a home only to sell it and move out of it. There's no doubt about it, however, a fixed-up home sells faster and agents say it sells for more money.

According to an article in RISMedia, when contractor work totaled nearly $40,000, those repairs added more than $100,000 to the asking price! Of course, not all homes will require that amount of money and repairs. The point is putting a little effort, money, repairs, and tender loving care into it. This could go a long way at the time of the sale.

Repairing things like leaky pipes, broken windows, worn ceilings, as well as replacing old roofs and driveways can go a long way to help increase the listing price. Ripping up carpet and painting the inside and/or outside of the home can also increase buyer appeal.

Real estate experts say the renovations don't need to be things like re-doing a kitchen or bath, unless it's tremendously outdated. The risk there is that sellers can put more into the renovation than they'll get out of it at the time of sale. Also, remodels to these areas of the home are quite personal and based heavily on personal taste.

However, fixing up problem areas of a home is a different story. Buyers, especially first-timers, don't want the aches–headache and pocketbook–of having to deal with getting the home ready before they move in. Often, first-time buyers have very little extra cash to spend on repairs. They may be coming from a nice, new apartment or home that they were renting. When they see a house for sale that requires lots of repairs to make it livable and comfortable, it's a turn off.

What about clutter? Buyers often see clutter as a bigger issue than just a bunch of stuff strewn about the home. It can make them think that the home is more of a "project" house than it really is. Save yourself any issues and pack up your personal stuff.

Sometimes packing up stuff means storing big items that are cluttering the house. Borrow a friend's garage or rent a storage unit if your next home isn't ready. Unstuffing overly-furnished rooms can really open up the floor plan, allowing buyers to get a good idea of the size of the room.

Not preparing a home for sale can mean having to accept the very unwanted fact of listing it for a lower price.

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  About the author, Phoebe Chongchua

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.