Selling In Established Neighborhoods

There are many good points to having a house to sell in an established neighborhood.  The landscaping is mature, providing great shade and curb appeal.  The lots are usually large with great backyards for kids to play.  Usually they have original features, like hardwood floors, real masonry fireplaces, and spacious & sturdy patios for outdoor entertaining.  The bathrooms have the original tile and the kitchen has been updated (about 20 years ago).   “Why wouldn’t a buyer want to buy in this neighborhood? It’s the most sought after area in town?”

Well, let’s take all of the above points and go over them: are they positive or negative?
1.    * Mature Landscaping – Could be a positive or could be a negative….yes, the trees are large and the shrubs are already established, but that could mean that they are at the end of their life.  According to the National Association of Home Builders, Most landscaping elements have a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years.  That large oak tree that has been there for the last 60 or so years could be a hazard in the next storm.  The original foundation plantings most likely are covering the front of the house.  Might be a negative. $$
2.    *Large lots with big back yards – I have to admit, I can’t see anything but a positive on this unless the shade from the large oak tree has prevented any grass to grow and you have a backyard of  “Georgia red clay” for the kids and pets to track inside.  Ok…I guess that’s a negative!
3.     * Original Hardwood Floors – Most of the established homes in our area that have the original wood flooring, have been covered with carpet.  Reason? Because the owner that has been living there for the past 50 or so years, grew up with “cold hardwood floors”  and wanted the warmth that carpet would provide.  Could be a positive or a negative. Let’s see…today’s buyer wants the hardwood floors exposed and usually that means the carpet has to come up, and underneath, it’s beautiful wood flooring or are dark stains where little Fido has had a few  “accidents”.  The floors usually creak and most likely will need refinishing.  Positive or Negative! $$$$
4.    *Original tile in bathrooms – I’ll bet my lunch money that the tile is either, pink, green, blue or yellow and it’s trimmed out in black tile edges! It’s usually on the floor, in the shower and halfway up the walls.  It screams “retro”!  This may be a great look when decorating to live, but the target market that will be looking at this property, probably won’t appreciate the retro pink & black tile and may see the need to reduce the price in order to cover the cost of renovating the baths!  Negative $$$$$
5.    *Updated kitchen – As a seller, understand that although the kitchen was updated 15 or more years ago, it’s already outdated again. Buyers want granite counter tops, stainless appliances, and new cabinetry.  They may even want to see a larger open concept kitchen than the original footprint of this house provides, which means extending the kitchen and opening it up into the living areas.  Most of these established houses have small formal living rooms, dining rooms and dens that are separated from the kitchen. Kitchen renovations are usually one of the most expensive renovations a home owner can make. So, I have to give this a negative. $$$$$$$
Studies show that buyers are willing to pay more money for a move-in ready property. If they are willing to purchase a property in “as is ” condition, they will subtract an inflated amount off the price of an offer in order to cover the expenses they will incur while making the house “livable” for them.  I’m not saying that as a seller you need to make these renovations for a buyer, however there are less expensive alternatives that can make the house “livable” in order to attract a buyer and get the best price possible for your property.

Talk to your Realtor and find out more about what a buyer expects to see.  Let the experts at Southern Staging & Redesign help guide you  on how to update your property without breaking into the bank.