How to Make Your Raleigh Home Sale “Spark Joy”

Ask any homeowner what the most challenging part of selling a home is, and they’ll likely respond: decluttering.

Decluttering is a huge endeavor. It takes time, patience, good judgment, and stellar organizational skills. It also requires follow-through. Decluttering does you no good if your clutter sits in trash bags by the front door waiting to be donated.

Luckily, there’s a new and trendy way to declutter your home. It’s called the KonMari Method, and it’s changing lives!

Meet Marie Kondo

Small white table with a journal and two potted plants on top.The woman behind the KonMari method is a Japanese consultant and writer named Marie Kondo. Author of the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up that inspired a new Netflix show, Marie has some amazing tips for, well, tidying up.

Her philosophy is simple: “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.”

Both her Netflix show and book are full of amazing tips for decluttering your home. If you’re getting ready to sell your home in Raleigh, we highly recommend checking them out!

The KonMari Method

Small bar cart with glasses of water and a plant on the top in a white hallway.Sort your possessions into categories, and start from there. Instead of going room by room, eliminate your clutter by category. Start with your clothes.

Pick up an item of clothing and take a long hard look at it. Does it spark joy? Does it make you feel happy, or remind you of a wonderful memory?

For the less sentimental of us, here’s an alternative way to look at it: when’s the last time you wore this? Try it on now: does wearing it make you happy? I you answered “no” to any of the previous questions, it’s time to get rid of it!

Marie Kondo advises us to “thank the item for its service, then let it go.”

Tidy Up Your Home Sale

Clean and bright kitchen.Marie Kondo’s method is time-consuming, but effective. Not only that, you’ll end the process feeling good about all of your belongings.

You’re increasing the amount of space in your home, decreasing your belongings, and making your upcoming home sale and relocation easier.

Now that’s something you should feel good about!

Sell Your Home for More in Raleigh

When you’re selling your home, first impressions are key! That’s why staging your home for the Raleigh market is essential. And, you can’t begin staging until your home is thoroughly decluttered.

By using the KonMari method, you’re ensuring that your new home will be filled only with items that spark joy.

If you’re ready to list your Raleigh home, please give us a call at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®. We would love to utilize our area resources to help achieve a home sale that sparks joy in you!

How Going “FSBO” Costs You More Money in the Long Run

If you’re selling your Raleigh home, chances are you’re trying to maximize your profits. It’s normal for homeowners to look for ways to sell their home for the most amount of money possible, while limiting all of their costs.

However, time and time again, I see new sellers opting to list their home as “FSBO” in order to save a few dollars. Listing your home as “FSBO” means going “For Sale By Owner,” or choosing to sell your home without hiring a real estate agent.

While listing as “FSBO” means not having to pay an agent’s commission, it has a lot of hidden costs and pitfalls and will actually cost you more money in the long run!

An Agent is a Professional in the Real Estate Industry

A professional reviewing graphs.Did you know that a home sold with an agent typically nets 6% more than one sold as “FSBO”?

That’s because an agent knows the real estate market really well—it’s their job after all! They’re an expert in their field, which means they know all the tips and tricks for selling homes.

In addition, it’s their job to stay on top of market trends, housing inventory, and sales prices. An agent knows how to price your home for the market you’re selling in.

Sure, you could rely on an automatic home value estimator to price your home, but those services are famous for being highly inaccurate.

All the “Hidden Work” Agents Do

If you’re choosing to sell your home without an agent, be prepared for a lot of work. After all, when you work with an agent to sell your home, you have them by your side to negotiate on your behalf.

As you sell your home, you’ll probably have to negotiate with:

  • The Buyer
  • The Buyer’s Agent
  • The Buyer’s Bank
  • The Appraiser
  • The Inspection Company
  • The Title Company

And an agent’s work doesn’t stop there! Your real estate agent is your guide to the world of real estate. They’ll be able to provide you with home-selling resources, advice on how to stage your home, an effective marketing strategy, and emotional support during a busy time.

Agents Know How to Reach Buyers

Two people sitting side by side on a couch, one is one a computer and the other is on a tablet.More than 50% of buyers find their home on the Internet. As such, if you’re going to sell your home you need to have a thorough online presence for your home.

A professional real estate agent is more likely to have a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy, as well as a top-tier website where buyers can search for homes.

Selling Your Raleigh Home? Let’s Talk

Here at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we want you to make the most amount of money possible when you sell your home. That’s why we offer an array of complimentary home-selling resources, and a specialized marketing plan designed to give your property maximum exposure.

Don’t just take our word for it! Check out our home-selling track record, and see what our clients have to say. There’s a reason we’re the Triangle’s #1 real estate team: we sell homes quickly and for more money, and we’ll help you achieve all of your real estate goals.

Interested in learning more? Give us a call today to get started.

You Don’t Have to Wait Until Spring: Sell Your Raleigh Home for Top Dollar Now

There’s a common misconception that spring and summer are the only times to buy or sell a home. However, when it comes to selling your Raleigh home, that couldn’t be further from the truth!

The thing is, the price of any item is determined by the theory of “supply and demand.” If a lot of people are looking to buy an item, and the supply of that item is low, the price will increase.

Still not catching our drift? Let’s go more in depth.

The Raleigh Housing Inventory is Low

Luxurious dining room with lots of open space.Statistically, during the first few months of the year, the inventory of homes for sale in Raleigh is very low. That number picks up drastically come springtime—because sellers think that’s the most advantageous time to list their home!

However, if you’re looking to sell your Raleigh home, there’s no better time than the present. In fact, waiting until the spring may end up hurting you!

Now is the Time to List

A professional going over a brief on his computer.If you want to sell your home for top dollar, and within your timeframe, then it doesn’t make sense to wait. Buyers are highly motivated to buy a home right now, and there’s no way they’re going to wait until the spring.

Selling while the inventory is low, but the demand is high, is the most surefire way to make an incredible return on your investment in the Raleigh real estate market.

So, Are You Ready to Sell?

Allow our team to help make you the most amount of money possible in your home sale. There’s a reason Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® are the #1 ranked real estate team in the North Carolina Triangle. Our home-selling resources are endless and our success record is unmatched.

From pricing your home correctly to marketing it effectively and making sure closing day goes off without a hitch, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® are here to help.

Want to start achieving all of your 2019 Raleigh real estate goals? Please reach out to us today.

 

When’s the Best Time to List Your Home? NOW!

If selling your home is at the top of your New Years Resolutions, then it’s time to get started. Although the market is thought to “slow down” during the cold winter months, that doesn’t mean it’s not an advantageous time to sell your home.

In fact, now is the best time to sell your Raleigh home! Want to know why? Because homes are highly in demand, and inventory is at an all time low.

It’s a Seller’s Market

A luxurious outdoor pool with two red lounge charis.While the number of buyers has decreased over the past few months, inventory has been at an all-time low since November of 2018. Truthfully, there just isn’t enough inventory to satisfy what buyer demand there is.

For the last five months, the number of homes for sale has decreased substantially.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of homes for sale in the country decreased by about 190,000 from June to November of last year. While demand for homes has decreased slightly over the years, it still far exceeds the current inventory available.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Two professionals reaching across a table to shake each others hand.Now is the time to sell your home! Across the board, the best time to sell your home is when there’s less competition. In a market as competitive as the Triangle, where motivated buyers far outweigh current sellers, now is an incredible time to sell your home!

Selling your home during a “seller’s market” typically guarantees you a better price for your home, fewer hassles in the transaction, and a stress-free selling experience.

Ready to Sell Your Raleigh Home?

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® are ready to help. We offer a number of different home-selling programs, designed to meet your unique needs as a seller.

Want to receive an instant offer on your Raleigh home? We can help with that, too. You can also research the market, see what homes are selling for in your neighborhood, and get specific home staging tips to make your home sell even faster.

Top Things Discerning Luxury Home Buyers Want

the exterior of a large brick suburban home in raleigh north carolina

Luxury home buyers are getting very smart.

This particular group of buyers are quickly becoming more discerning. They’re making wise choices about what their luxury home needs to look like, and it’s definitely affecting the way you should sell your luxury home.

Here’s what we mean:

Bigger is Not Necessarily Better!

Today’s luxury home buyers are looking at quality over quantity. They are forgoing outrageous amounts of square footage for exceptional building quality, tasteful finishing elements, unique attributes, and mindful, creative uses of space.

Number one on their list of amenities is making use of outdoor space in a way that accommodates their family’s lifestyle. That might mean:

  • a backyard pool area or tennis court
  • an outdoor living room
  • a classy bar area
  • fireplace or pit with cozy chairs
  • gourmet outdoor cooking facilities

Or it could mean all of the above. Houses with these elements tend to sell faster and for more money because of the valuable lifestyle amenities they offer.

Kitchens are Still King! 

Luxury kitchen with big windows and white granite counters.More than any other room in the house, the kitchen needs to be carefully planned to meet the needs of today’s Luxury Home Buyers. It is the heart of the home and whether or not the buyer cooks regularly, they are looking for a spacious kitchen with quality fixtures and top-of-the-line appliances. A highly functional island is a must; housing creative storage to hide small appliances as well as adequate seating.

But that’s not all. We all know everyone ends up gathering in the kitchen. It’s the place kids go after school for a snack and to have a conversation about their day. It’s where friends park themselves when they come over for a cup of coffee and a chat. Most of all, it’s where family gathers to help with Thanksgiving dinner. This area needs to include enough room for daily meals as well as comfortable space for entertaining.

Tech-Savvy Homes are the Norm, Not the Exception

There is literally an app for everything today. Being able to control elements of your home like temperature, lights, security, and entertainment from a mobile device through one app or another is a must in the luxury home market.

Buyers in this market prioritize smart home functions over custom window and wall treatments in a heartbeat.

Work-Live-Play vs. Remote and Inconvenient

Pair of hands on the steering wheel of a new car.Buyers in the Raleigh luxury market today are looking for convenience wherever they can find it to save them time and make their quality of life rich. Where buyers once looked for remote, private places to live, most are looking to reduce the travel time to activities they enjoy; dining, entertainment, shopping, and services.

It’s even more important to them that they be located close to work so the daily commute time is minimized.

Charm is in the Finish and Functionality

It’s almost like the luxury home buyer of today is looking for a house that makes common sense for their families and their lives.

They love the uniqueness of a home and are intensely attuned to details that not only add functionality but also make their home distinctive. Quality is everything; from kitchen cabinets to bathroom fixtures and even garage storage.

Price it Right from the Get Go! 

 Sometimes pricing a home in the Triangle’s luxury market defies the rules of logic. Sellers often think their home is so huge and amazing that they will place a robust price tag on them without considering how usable all that space is. A well-designed 5,000 sq. ft. home with incredible functionality is a more desirable home in this market than a 10,000 sq. ft. home with a lot of wasted space that doesn’t get lived in.

Builders who short charge on the quality and workmanship will rarely fool anyone in this market. As stated before, quality is everything and the lack of it will never do!

Choose Linda Craft & Team REALTORS

No matter what price range you’re looking at for your next home, Linda Craft & Team can provide a level of expertise that only comes with decades of experience in the Greater Raleigh market; 33 years to be exact!

We know this market and understand what home buyers want. So whether you are ready to sell your home or if you’re in the market to buy, we’re the team to give you an edge and help you achieve your real estate goals. Give us a call at 919-235-0007 or visit us at lindacraft.com.

S.T.O.R.I.E.S Above – Saving a Family from Foreclosure

I’m Julie, the Director of First Impressions at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS. One day recently I received a call from a home owner who was facing foreclosure and was going to lose the family’s home in five days. After compassionately listening to the situation they were facing and gathering pertinent information, I forwarded everything to Steve Kruger, one of our listing partners. Steve did an analysis of the property and realized there was quite a bit of equity in the home.

One of the things I like about working on this dedicated team is that we have a combined total of 350 years of experience.  That’s a ton of knowledge and know-how. We collaborate on everything!

With his research in-hand, Steve went to Linda Craft and asked her if there wasn’t something we could do to stop the foreclosure clock. Remember, the deadline was in 5 short days.

There’s usually no grace period from the foreclose court system, so we knew we had to present a powerful case for this family or they would have to walk away from their home without a penny. Our market analysis showed they could sell for a profit and we were determined to get it for them.

Linda and Steve acted quickly to contact the foreclosure attorney to see if there was any way to secure a bit more time. Even in the best of circumstance with a cash offer and a quick “as is” closing they knew we would need a minimum of ten days to pull this off.

There’s so much that has to be done from initial listing to closing; we have to measure, photograph, list and advertise, show to perspective buyers, negotiate offers, and get it to closing with a clear title. We also have to secure a written payoff from the lender that includes all the back payments, attorney’s fees, court costs, and any other amounts that may be due.  Stopping a foreclosure is a lot more work than just a traditional sale and time was running out.

When Steve and Linda contacted the foreclosure attorney, they were able to present the case and get the time they needed. Our awesome team was able to list the home for sale fast. Showings began and offers started coming in. We were able to negotiate a cash sale that closed successfully with only 24 hours remaining before the court deadline. Whew!

The beautiful thing about all the hard work the team put into this situation is that this family ended up with a substantial profit and NO foreclosure on their credit record. If they had not called our office when they did and if they had not reached a company that had the experience that we have in knowing how to handle all real estate transactions, they would have walked away with a foreclosure on their record and zero dollars in their pockets.

One of our Core Values is Integrity, which means we always do the right thing for our clients. We are proud to say our clients walked away with $86,000 and peace of mind knowing they would not be going through foreclosure and the seven-year recovery period that goes with it.  And, they used our moving truck for FREE to move.

The first two words in our mission statement are “Helping people…”  S.T.O.R.I.E.S Above, like this one, is why I love working for Linda Craft & Team REALTORS.

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS is the Triangle’s #1 ranked, locally-owned Real Estate Company and Carolina Hurricanes Corporate Real Estate Sponsor. They have served the real estate needs of individuals and families, in all price ranges, for over 30 years. The company’s mission and core values focus on Expert Market Knowledge coupled with Raving Fan Customer Service to ensure complete client satisfaction. For more information about Linda Craft & Team, please call 919-235-0007 or visit www.lindacraft.com

Linda Craft & Team – Check List for Spring Cleaning

Whether you bought your home from Linda Craft & Team last year or ten years ago, it may be time for a good spring cleaning. Set aside a Saturday (time) to get it done and solicit the whole family to help. To be as organized as possible, you’ll need a plan, a logical way to navigate the whole house.  Here is a handy floor to ceiling check list from Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS.  Let’s get started!

FOYER:

  • Wipe walls, ceiling and trim
  • Dust and wipe down all light fixtures
  • Wash doors, knobs, and switch plates
  • Empty out coat closet. Donate items that no one uses anymore
  • Clean or replace entry mat
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Wipe doors with a Magic Eraser and wipe doors with disinfectant

 

BEDROOMS:

  • Open the windows and air out the room – as long as the pine dust is not falling
  • Dust furniture
  • Go through your dresser draw by draw; empty out content and wipe down the drawer. Donate items you no longer need or want. It’s best to bag them up and go ahead and place them in your car
  • Move the bed; sweep and vacuum under the bed.
  • You can freshen up your mattress by sprinkling a little baking soda on the bare surface, letting it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuuming it up. You can also add essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint to the baking soda to add your favorite scent
  • Wash all the bedding and curtains. Wash pillows and duvet in hot water
  • Dust lights and lamp shades with a lint roller
  • Wash windows and window sills
  • Clean mirrors and dust art
  • Wipe doors with a Magic Eraser and wipe doors with disinfectant
  • Sweep and mop floors or vacuum – consider professionally cleaning carpets

 

BATHROOMS:

  • Open windows if pine dust is not flying
  • Empty all cabinets and vanity. Wash inside and replace items neatly. Discard expired medications and cosmetics
  • Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
  • Clean tub and drain
  • Clean toilet inside and out. Be sure to clean around seat bolts and check tightness
  • Clean sink and drain
  • Shine faucets
  • Clean mirror and frame
  • Dust light fixtures – wash if glass
  • Wash windows and window sills
  • Wash switch plates
  • Wipe down walls and trim
  • Wash floor registers and other vent covers
  • Sweep and wash floors

 

KITCHEN:

  • Open windows
  • Remove and clean window coverings
  • For each cabinet or drawer. Remove items, wipe out drawers, and replace items back neatly. Donate unneeded items
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards
  • Sharpen knives
  • Wash cabinet doors and knobs
  • Organize pantry
  • Clean oven
  • Clean stove top. Remove elements, clean, and put back
  • Check food expiration dates in freezer and discard any expired items
  • Clean under refrigerator and stove
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils
  • Clean microwave by heating a glass of water and vinegar and letting it sit and steam inside; then wipe down.
  • Clean crumbs out of toaster and toaster oven
  • Wipe down counters and back splash
  • Clean dishwasher
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Wash windows and window sills
  • Wipe walls and trim as needed
  • Wash doors and door knobs
  • Sweep and mop floor

 

LIVING ROOM / FAMILY ROOM / PLAYROOM:

  • Open windows if it is past pollen season
  • Wash windows and window sills
  • If window screens have been in all winter, take them out and wash them
  • Vacuum all furniture
  • Spot clean furniture where needed or professionally clean fabric
  • Wash all blankets and throw pillows
  • Dust shelves and tables
  • Clean TV screen and dust all electronics
  • Sort books and magazines
  • Wipe walls and trim as needed
  • Wash fireplace screen or clean ash for wood burning fireplaces
  • Sweep and mop floors

 

OUTSIDE:

  • Sweep porches and walkways
  • Wash thresholds
  • Wash exterior doors. Paint front door if needed
  • Clean or replace welcome mat
  • Have outside surfaces power washed if needed

 

Do you need assistance with any of these projects? At Linda Craft & Team we have an excellent list of talented professionals who provide home care services in the Triangle area. All of them have our stamp of approval from deep cleaning to plumbers! Call our Raleigh office today to get a copy – 919-235-0007. And by the way, when you tackle that home office, remember our Annual Shred Event to be held May 12th from 10am – 2pm at 7300 Six Forks Road. Securely dispose of all those sensitive documents you no longer need!

 

The Art of Home Selling: Stage It!

a green landscaped yard in a suburb

You know, some wise person once said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, you may not get the chance to do it over.” This is very much the case when it comes to getting your home ready to sell. You only get one first impression, so it is a good idea to take the time to prepare your home carefully in order to drive as much interest to your door as possible.

bright sunny dining room looking onto garden

Staging is the Name of the Game

What’s the real secret to selling a home quickly and at a high price point? The majority of Realtors will tell you that staging absolutely enhances your chances of selling your home quicker and for more money. The goal of staging is to make your home appeal to as large a number of potential buyers as possible in order to increase traffic. You can stage your home yourself, but you have to be able to take your emotions out of the equation. For example, you have to be alright with putting away personal photos, awards, and things that may have sentimental value to you because they would be very distracting if on display.

If you think it would be too hard for you to remove personal items from your home, hiring a professional stager to help with this task might be something you want to consider. They are specifically trained to know what look will help attract buyers to your home. Here are some of their top suggestions for staging your home so it will be a top performer on the market.

the exterior of a large brick suburban home in raleigh north carolina

1. Passing the First Test – The Drive-By

Every stager will tell you that it is very common for buyers to do “drive-by” visits even before they solicit the help of a realtor. That means the curb appeal of your house may determine whether it even stays on the book a showing list of potential buyers. To grab their attention and elicit those “love at first sight” emotions, try the following:

  • Potted plants and flowers
  • Rocking chairs or small table and chairs on the front porch
  • Well-manicured lawns and gardens
  • Remove window screens
  • Clean roof stains off shingles
  • Power wash house, driveway, and walkways
  • Clean those windows
  • Make sure your house number is visible
  • Re-stain or paint porch
  • Paint the house
  • Haul away any junk that has piled up around the house

a modern nicely staged kitchen2. Clean-Purge-Organize-Repair!

Great! The drive-by was a success and now they’ve booked a showing. If they loved the exterior, make sure they love the interior even more. Take care of the 4 Ds: Deep Clean, Declutter, De-odorize, Damage Repair.

  • Clean as if you are having company for the weekend. That means everything, including closets, cupboards, the space under the sink, storage spaces, and yes, that garage.
  • Organizing and purging are tactical tools to making your home look neat and orderly.
  • Do you have animals? Unappealing odors can kill a deal. Have a friend come over and do an odor inspection before showings get scheduled to make sure your home is odor-free.
  • If it is broken, fix it! Do your own walk-through making a list of items that need attention and get them taken care of.

clean neutral living room with beige walls and off white couch3. The Appeal of Neutral

Did you know neutral colors make rooms in a home look larger? While you may love that dark purple and gold, the vast majority of buyers may not share your taste in colors. Remember, you want your home to appeal to as many people as possible. Severe colors narrow the pool of potential buyers.

Did you also know that 95% of buyers decide if they want to view a home based on the online photos? If your home has old wallpaper or needs to be painted, be sure to do this BEFORE photos are taken.

Bright living room with fireplace and natural sunlight

4. Clean up the Clutter

A cluttered home is a strong deterrent for buyers. It takes away from the real visual value of your home. You may love all the family pictures you have collected over the years, but buyers need to see your home as possibly their home. So, go ahead and pack away those personal photos, that teapot collection, and all those soccer awards you child won this year. Buyers need to be able to imagine the home as their very own.

This does not mean your home should be stark and unwelcoming. Go ahead and set that table, put a basket of lemons in the kitchen, or add fluffy, new white towels and white shower curtains to create a spa feel in bathrooms. Put away bath rugs so the flooring is completely uncovered. These simple staging tips make a home inviting and comfortable.

Here’s where a professional stager will really earn their money. Not only can they help you decide what to use to decorate the walls and shelves, they can also select the best furnishings to show off your home. They may suggest just repositioning furniture, moving pieces to another room, or removing older furnishings to give your house a more up-to-date look. A good stager will also be able to suggest pieces of art or furnishings to add to your collection as a way to inject color to make a room more contemporary. It’s their job to create an atmosphere that appeals to the larger market.

Clean staged bedroom with blue walls and hardwood floors

5. Floor to Ceiling

Stand in each room, start at the floor and go all the way to the ceiling. Consider what would make that room more appealing? Nothing says, “clean and fresh” like a new coat of paint, eliminating cobwebs, and repairing separating caulk. Are those floors looking a bit worn? Try an inexpensive area rug which can also add a bit of color. Light fixtures can date a home quickly; update them. New hardware in the kitchen can also liven up sad, tired cabinets.

Staged organized reading nook with built in shelves

6. Give Every Room Purpose

Do you have one of those rooms where things collect that have no purpose? Extra furniture, extra artwork, extra clothes, etc. Well, consider purging or storing the extras and give that room a purpose! Stage it to be an office, a guest room, a library, or a playroom. Create a vision that will appeal to buyers. Remember, they may be looking at several properties and if yours is the most “put together,” chances are it will also be the most memorable.
Another valuable asset of having a professional stager is that they use artwork and unique pieces of furniture to draw the eye of potential buyers to entice them to continue exploring the entire home. It may not seem too important, but what if your home is the last showing in a very long day of looking at houses. The buyers are tired and have had enough. Strategic placement of unique furnishings will keep them interested and make them want to see more instead of giving up and ending the tour.

Screened in porch over looking backyard with fireplace with foliage

7. Remember to stage the outdoors

In the Raleigh area, we experience some wonderful weather and outdoor staging will show potential buyers just how livable the outdoors can be. It’s like having an extra room; an extension of the home that adds to the overall square footage. During spring, take advantage of all the blooms by keeping your garden areas well-manicured. In summer, set an outdoor table to look like company is coming over for dinner al fresco. In fall and winter, go ahead and light that gas fire pit. How cozy would that be? Drape a couple of soft throws over the chairs. Your buyers will never want to leave!

Thinking of selling your home in the Triangle area, give us a call. One of our savvy REALTORS will help you with everything from comps to establishing a strong selling price. They can also help you find a trusted, professional stager who has an outstanding track record for setting the right mood to sell homes. In fact, we can offer you a complete list of homecare professionals should you need anything from painters to power washers to get your home in top selling condition!

Let us help you get your home ready to make the best first impression. Call us at 919-235-0007.

Renovations for Tech-Savvy, Millennial Buyers

happy young couple sitting on the floor surrounded by moving boxesIf you have an older home (built before 2005), in order to entice tech-savvy buyers, most of whom are millennials, you may need to focus on upgrading features that would make your home “smart.” These young (36 and under) buyers want the ability to use all their digital gadgets simultaneously without lag time or crashes. The top features this tech-savvy crowd are looking for are climate control, lighting, security and safety, and voice activation and control. They want to be able to use their energy-efficient, smart appliances and control things like temperature, locks, and lighting from their mobile devices.

They are a fairly large part of the buyer pool right now (34% of all home buyers), so accommodating some of these desires in a home will only increase your chances of attracting them to your door.
Here are a few renovation ideas that may help draw in a larger audience of buyers:

Let’s Talk Infrastructure

How old is the wiring in your house? Millennials are looking for a home that is wired to accommodate all of the digital tools necessary for their lives to run smoothly. If you home has wiring that is not capable of handling large loads of digital traffic without dropping the ball, perhaps you should consider upgrading to Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cables capable of handling large amounts of data quickly.

Does Your Wireless Need a Boost?

Boosting your wireless capability could also make your home more marketable. Anything you can do to amplify the signal throughout the house could create a better digital environment.

Are You Outage Ready?

cheerful young couple looking at a tabletRedundancy is the key. Do you have a battery back-up system to make sure key devices and appliances will still function during an outage? Having LAN cables throughout the home can create a level of redundancy that covers inconvenience issues because of wireless router failures. If you are planning a digital home-improvement upgrade anyway, it may be a good thing to address.

Kitchens and Bathrooms are a Good Place to Start

Millennials don’t have a lot of funds to put into the renovations of these areas, nor do they want to fit extensive renovations into their lives. They are looking for new kitchens with granite countertops and “smart” appliances and also bathrooms with stone tile. The good news is that most of these costs, if not all, will be recouped through the selling price. Plus it will initially attract more buyers to the property.

Open Up That Floor Plan

Young buyers want an open floor plan. They want space to entertain and rooms that are multi-functional so if they need to work at home, they have a comfortable place to get projects done with plenty of horsepower to drive their digital activities. They don’t like the idea of being sectioned off from family members. So open up that kitchen to extend into the living and dining rooms.

Low-Maintenance Lifestyles

Younger buyers tend to be very active and don’t want to spend all their time working on their home. They want maintenance-free and low-maintenance materials, so keep that in mind when remodeling. Materials that go into a home should be made to last and easy to maintain. They also don’t want big, high maintenance yards and gardens.

Lifestyle Features

young woman walking in the city streets doing shopping in downtownMany of these millennials are very attracted to homes with high “walkable” scores. What??? It just means they like to be housed close to where they work, play, and live; near grocery stores, restaurants, local businesses, public transportation, and entertainment. If your home has some or all of these things within walking distance, be sure to talk about it when marketing the property. A high “walkability score” can increase the selling price of your home on average $3000.

Hire an Agent Who Truly Understands the Needs of This Market?

If you are considering selling your home, we would love to help. At Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®, we have over 30 years of experience developing our method of selling homes in the Greater Raleigh area providing sellers with exceptional guidance when placing their homes on the market. As the #1 real estate team in the Triangle, we can analyze your homes features and, if necessary, help you make a plan for improving your property’s marketability.

What Home Buyers DO NOT Want

If you are selling your home, listen up! Trendy ideas that tout being just the thing to help you sell your home faster are readily available across many mediums — TV, social media, podcasts, DIY guides to name a few. But what about those things home buyers truly consider to be “deal breakers”? Are there aspects about your house that potential home buyers would shake their heads at as they walk out the door, or at the very least, would keep you from getting the price you’re hoping for?

It may be a seller’s market in the Raleigh area right now, but buyers still have certain criteria for aspects of a home that fit into the “Absolute Dissatisfaction” category and the “Maybe, but let’s keep looking” category. You don’t want your home to be passed over right out of the gate when there may be some low-cost solutions that would make your home initially more desirable.

Absolute Dissatisfaction

woman shocked at outdated featuresLet’s get these out in the open first. These are things the vast majority of home buyers will not tolerate. Take a look at these top turnoffs:

  • Rank odors (yes, pet odors and cigarette smoke are two of the worst)
  • Severe clutter
  • Filth of any kind, any where
  • Personal decorating choices that are extreme in any way (e.g., pink cat wallpaper, an “Elvis lives here” look)

Fixing these turnoffs will give the seller a direct return on their investment, because they will receive offers 3 times higher than if they did not. Seasoned Realtors will tell you that you only get one shot at a good first impression and a bad impression means no sale or a low sale.

Low-Cost Solutions to Fix the Problem

Taking care of the Absolute Dissatisfaction items in your home can quicken your time to sale and are usually cosmetic (not structural), so the cost is minimal. Some simple fixes might be:

  • A fresh coat of paint inside and/or outside will make everything look clean and less decrepit.
  • New hardware on kitchen cabinets or on doors can make the home look less dated.
  • It’s amazing how new light fixtures can make a room look brighter, more up-to-date, and bigger.
  • Uncluttered rooms look so much larger! Clean up the yard, declutter your garage, keep the grass mown, and cut back any overgrown landscaping.
  • If you have streaks on your roof shingles, have them cleaned so the roof does not look old and tired in your front photo and curb view.
  • Get a professional to do a deep clean. That will help with any unsightly odors or dirt.

Concerning Features

These are features of a home that are definitely things people dislike and it would benefit the seller if they could address these before placing the home on the market.

Popcorn ceilings really date a home and buyers don’t like them. They are costly to remove and it’s a very messy process. Replace the ceiling if you want top dollar or be prepared to offer buyers an allowance to have it done.

Wall-to-wall carpeting used to be a thing people were willing to live with, but fewer and fewer buyers want it in their homes. Everyone wants hardwoods. Sometimes you can remove the carpeting and be surprised that there are perfectly good hardwoods underneath. If that’s the case, get rid of the old carpet and have the floors refinished. Buyers will love them! At the very least, have a good professional carpet cleaning company deep clean all the carpets before putting your home on the market.

room with ugly wallpaper and tacky decorWallpaper can go both ways with buyers. If it is old and shabby looking, get rid of it and paint in neutral colors. Do not put up fresh wallpaper as a way of sprucing up the place. Your taste in wallpaper may be very different than the buyer and could diminish the chance of selling instead of making the home more desirable. Paint is easier and safer.

Vertical living (typically three stories) was very popular in the ’90s and is still common in larger cities where the footprint is more expensive and people tend to build up rather than out. It’s not so popular with Millennials and Gen Xers looking for homes today. There aren’t really any fixes for this downward trend, but it is good to understand that if you have one of these homes and are looking to sell, it could take longer and you may be looking at a lower asking price.

Chopped-up space with small rooms is a concern. There’s not much you can do if your home is split up into many small rooms. Open floor plans are most desired; however, reducing clutter and even taking unnecessary furniture out of the room will make it appear larger. If you’ve ever considered structural modifications in the past and can share information you gathered with the buyer about removing interior walls or expanding rooms, it would be useful information for a potential buyer to have.

Even in a Seller’s Market, It’s Best to Fix These Features

bucket of cleaning suppliesIn the Raleigh market, home sales are up 5.6% from last year while listings are down 7.95%. Increased sales with low inventories makes for a strong seller’s market. This could lessen the effect of those “Buyer Turnoffs.” However, remember those Absolute Dissatisfactions could keep buyers from considering your property no matter what kind of market the area is experiencing.

The smart seller will fix the absolutes before placing their home on the market. If there is time and a budget to take care of the Concerning Features, it is in your best interest as a seller to make those changes. It is quite possible that your home will sell quicker and for top dollar.

Need Home Selling Advice? Let’s Talk

Preparing your home for the market can be stressful if you do not have the right resources and professionals on your side. At Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®, we have over 30 years of experience helping homeowners sell their homes for top dollar in a short time, all because of our expert knowledge of the Greater Raleigh real estate market and in-depth understanding of the industry.

If you currently have features in your home that are considered deal breakers, contact us and we can provide everything you need for a smooth and hassle-free experience. We can connect you with recommended cleaners and other professionals to fix these issues, advise you on what additional factors can affect your home sale (such as Raleigh’s “mini home selling seasons”), and show you how we can make your home fly off the market.

Don’t waste time or money when selling your home. Call us at 919-235-0007.