In the last few days I talked about how important it is to get feedback when selling your Windsor property. As I mentioned, there are some things you can fix and other things you can’t. One thing you really can’t improve upon is selling an older, traditional home that lacks an open floor plan. But again, as I wrote, there are buyers for every type of home as long as the price is right.
Selling any property can be a challenge, but older homes often appeal to those first time home buyers, particularly younger buyers because the price is often right. But it is important to take some time to make your decades old home look younger and more modern for this type of buyer. Here are a few tips that don’t cost a lot of money and can make a world of difference in selling your older home to those first time buyers:
1. Get a pre-inspection
I do advise clients to get a pre-inspection for their homes prior to selling. It’s a very attractive selling point, but particularly if you have an older home. First time buyers are usually strapped for funds and they want to know that the property they are buying, is free from expensive needed repairs. It not only provides peace of mind, but it also makes your home stand out from the rest. It’s money well spent!
2. Offer a home warranty
And just to be on the safe side, include a one year home warranty into the sale of your home in case a repair is needed. This can cost anywhere from $300 – $400 dollars. Once again, it’s comforting for buyers who are watching every penny to know that if a major repair is needed, chances are it’s covered.
3. Offer home improvement plan:
Maybe at one time you had plans drawn up to expand your home, whether done by a professional or yourself. If so, include these when showing your property so buyers can get an idea of your home’s potential. I had one client who had plans to extend a portion of their downstairs into a master in law suite/guest room. These plans were included when showing the home and it made a huge difference and the home was sold to a couple whose elderly mother was moving in with them.
4. Offer credits:
If you know that your home furnace won’t last another year, yet you can’t afford to replace it, then offer your buyer a credit at closing so they can repair it themselves. Or maybe you know that your dated flooring is an eyesore, you can also give credit for this as well. It’s all part of the negotiating process, but make your intentions known up front. The owners of one house on the market had a sign put in their living room that said they would give a $5,000 flooring credit at the time of closing. The carpets had seen better days so this was one less thing any buyer needed to worry about as they toured the home.
5. Lighten it up!
Buyers want a home that is light and bright! If you live in an older, darker home, then take some time to make your home appear lighter. Take away heavy window treatments and clean the windows until they sparkle. Trim all heavy shrubs and bushes near the windows and don’t forget tree branches that are blocking the sunlight as well. Switch out low-wattage light bulbs with the brightest bulbs you can find and update light fixtures. And it’s always a good idea to remove heavy, dark furniture and old carpet. Declutter and again, clean your home throughly. If you have rooms that are painted a dark colour, again, update with a neutral colour. You won’t believe the difference.
6. Promote your neighbourhood and its amenities
What’s good about your home’s location? Are you in a good, safe neighbourhood? Good school district? Are there lots of great and unique shopping? Maybe wonderful parks and bike paths? Are you close to public transportation, prime restaurants and freeway or highway access? Does your home have a large, flat yard, nice garden and attractive landscaping? Then promote this! Buyers need to know everything wonderful about living in an older home and traditional neighbourhood.
7. Architectural features
Does your home have terrific crown molding? Original hardwood floors in good condition? Classic built-ins from an era gone by? Once again, this is attractive to many buyers and for first time buyers who often have a limited budget, they like to know that they are getting something classic in return for buying an older, perhaps less modern home. So when advertising your property, don’t forget to highlight these extras that not many homes can offer!
Once again, older homes can often be a challenge to sell in a world where buyers want a house that is move in ready with modern amenities. But there is a buyer for older homes. By following the above tips, you are making it that much easier to sell!