What do buyers want when they are looking for Windsor homes? Of course, every person is different, but there are some common things that often make buyers bite! As a seller, you want to grab them the second they get out of their car to create a good first impression. Once they are inside, you will want to keep them interested.
This is why I think it is so important to get feedback from sellers once they leave your home. After a showing, I will email or call an agent to see what their clients said about a home I am representing and will immediately pass it along to the sellers. But again, what one buyer may like, another may not. I had one home where the buyers thought the bedrooms were too large and while another couple thought the bedrooms were too small. So of course, there are things you cannot change or control.
So what do buyers want today? What are they looking for as they visit homes?
1. Impressive entry way.
Many buyers don’t want to walk straight into a living room, so if you have an entry way, spruce it up and make it shine. Keep it completely clutter free, paint if necessary and use a table or chest of drawers with an appropriate lamp or vase to give height of needed. If you don’t have an entry way, try to create one by placing furniture in such a way that buyers don’t know they are walking into a living space.
2. Hardwood floors.
If you have hardwood floors that have seen better days, say they are scratched or dull, buyers will take note. Make any repairs necessary as hardwood flooring in good condition is extremely popular with buyers. It simply never goes out of style. If you need to update your flooring, yet can’t afford hardwood flooring, a synthetic wood might be what you need. Of course, not every buyer likes this and aren’t easily fooled, but it is a nice choice and always is an improvement over flooring that is past its prime.
It is amazing how a simple fixture update can totally change the look of a room. Even adding new hardware to cabinets, replacing a kitchen faucet or shower head can work wonders. Old gold knobs are very dated, so replace with silver or brass depending on your features and design. Again, coordinated fixtures are some of the quickest and least expensive ways to improve a room. One client switched old knobs on her bathroom cabinet with glass ones and it completely changed the room at a cost of less than $40. Buyers will take note.
Bad lighting can make buyers walk away in a heartbeat. Why? It gives an immediate impression of an older, dated home. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to replace fixtures. For example, rip out the 80’s and 90’s light fixtures above your bathroom sink that look like white globes on a plated gold base. Replace with a nice, framed mirror and sconces on both sides. This makes a huge difference for little cost and can easily be done in a day or two.
5. Replace tile or laminate countertops:
If you are able, update your kitchen counters with granite, Corian or maybe even butcher block. These are easy to care for and the look is hugely popular with buyers. In fact, most buyers don’t like to see grout in their counters as it often looks dirty and takes time to clean. Not only that, it screams of a time when disco music was all of the rage.
6. Stainless Steel appliances:
Why do buyers love stainless steel appliances? Because it looks professional. Even if a person is not a good cook, he or she wants their kitchen to look like they very well could be. It’s one of the first things buyers will note if a kitchen has older appliances, especially if they are in a colour other than stainless steel. If your budget allows, replace your dated stove, refrigerator and dishwasher with a mid-line appliance in stainless.
7. Storage and organized closets:
My rule to sellers who are ready to list their homes: Take 2/3 of the stuff out of your closets and store away, sell, or donate. You want to make your closet look big and spacious while giving the impression that your home has plenty of space for a person’s belongings. The last thing buyers wants to see is an overstuffed closet, pantry or cabinet as they will feel that your home may not have enough room for storage. So make closets appear orderly and give the impression that you have a place for everything.
What else do buyers want? I will discuss on Wednesday.