There are a number of factors that may impact the value of your home, both in terms of what it will appraise for, and also what prospective buyers are ultimately willing to offer. Indeed, even if your home appraises for a certain amount, in no way does it mean someone will offer that as a buyer. Here are some ways you can ensure your home receives the highest-possible offer from buyers and also appraises competitively in the local housing market.
1.) Street name or address: What if you live on a street that is hard to spell or pronounce? What if you live at a home with a ’13’ or ‘666’ in the house number? (Remember, the ‘Munsters’ lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane?) This is out of your control, but you can either make light of it or downplay it in your marketing.
2.) A neighbor’s home is unattractive: If you live next door to a hoarder, you can certainly contact the local government’s code enforcement folks, or make sure to point out the other, more positive, attributes of your neighborhood.
3.) Power plants, substations, power lines, water towers or landfills: The presence of utility features such as power lines, water towers, and the like can be unsightly, but the right buyers will be focusing on the attributes of the home, rather than what is around it.
4.) Nearby foreclosures: When determining the value of your home, the presence of foreclosed properties is certainly not a good thing. Do what you can to ensure your home has the curb appeal it needs to stand out above the rest and be one of the best homes on the street.
5.) Poor schools: If the local school system has a bad reputation, or if an incident has recently occurred on one of the local school campuses, you might consider a marketing strategy that attracts buyers without school-aged kids.
6.) Bright colors inside: A common piece of advice from Realtors boards across the nation is to “neutralize” your paint colors and decor prior to placing your home on the market.
7.) Bright colors outside: If you have hot pink shutters, purple doors and bright yellow paint, you might want to consider neutralizing your home’s exterior as well. Your goal is to attract the maximum number of potential buyers, after all.
8.) Excessive landscaping: If your landscaping approach appears to be too aggressive or work intensive, don’t be surprised if some buyers are not willing or able to do the work to keep it looking its best.
9.) Dirty driveway and sidewalk: First impressions are critical in life, and that definitely applies when you are trying to sell your home. It’s always a good idea to keep your driveway and steps clear and clean.
10.) Check out your roof: If your roof is on the upper end of its lifetime, do what you can to minimize drawing attention to it. Ensure that leaves and other debris are cleared, and, if your roof is in disrepair or has issues, you might want to disclose it at the start of the selling process – or even offer to reduce the listing price accordingly.
11.) Lot size and location: Do you have a corner lot? Or are you within an arm’s reach of your neighbor? Be sure to play up the lot’s features in your description – south and east facing homes are often more popular.
12.) Major roads, highways and traffic: Can you hear a steady flow of traffic from your kitchen or living room? Find yourself yelling your conversations in the back yard? If so, your buyers will probably notice. Consider replacing your windows or planting noise diffusing shrubs or trees.
13.) Neighbors!: It is sometimes hard to choose a home based on neighbors, but try to view your home as an outsider and take a few drives through your neighborhood. Are there cars up on blocks nearby? Are neighbors taking care of their yard and home? Are there things you might consider to be eyesores?
14.) Airports: If you live near an airport, or even in a frequently traveled flight path (hello parts of Eagan, Apple Valley and south Minneapolis), the buyers probably are already aware of this fact when they are coming to take a look at your home.
15.) Near a cemetery?: As they say, “the neighbors are very quiet.” Cemeteries are typically well maintained and not prone to noise, so, unless you encounter a buyer with superstitions or a “Walking Dead” fixation, this should not be much of an issue.
16-25.) Additional factors:
These factors include:
- Energy inefficiency
- Broadband access
- Invasive plants or rodents
- Unpleasant home history (have you seen it on the news?)
- High crime
- Flood plain
- Over improvements
- Niche improvements
- Space allocation
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