The harsh winter weather got us off to a late start! Many home sellers decided to wait until the weather improved before listing their homes for sale. This created some frustration among serious buyers who hoped to purchase while interest rates remain under 5%. Low inventory, especially in $600,000 and below range, resulted in bidding wars and homes going under contract in 3 weeks or less. *
The good news is that buyers are still out there! Serious buyers are still seeking our local communities due to the reasonable property taxes, exceptional school districts, and convenience to transportation.
In addition, the recent downturn in the stock market is leading investors back into the real estate market. As a result, there is a trend toward cash purchases of new homes and “fixer uppers”. *
What does this mean for home sellers? Whether you are relocating, downsizing, retiring, or trading up, it is still a good time to list your home for sale.
In my extensive consultation with homebuyers, I hear the same questions asked frequently. Is this home a good investment for the next 5-10 years? What improvements have been to the home so I can avoid future costs?
What does this mean for home sellers? Today’s buyers have a short-term focus—home purchases are no longer seen as a long-term purchase of the ‘dream house’. Buyers seek neighborhoods with consistent property values, stable property taxes, and intelligent growth that can sustain these 2 factors. We are fortunate that our local communities still offer that stability.
In addition, buyers want homes with practical improvements, as well as cosmetic upgrades. Today’s buyers are just as concerned with the age and energy efficiency of the roof, windows, appliances, and HVAC systems as they are with getting new kitchens and baths! In other words, buyers want the upgrades they pay for today in their house purchase to yield a positive return in a few years when they sell.
The buyers’ focus on return on investment and cost avoidance in the home purchase makes a lot of sense. It can serve as a practical guide for home sellers. As you prepare your property for sale and evaluate your budget for home improvement, consider the following:
- If you are planning for a roof replacement, purchase a 40 year warranty roof instead of a 30 year
- If you are considering replacing your windows or waterproofing your basement, look for a contractor/manufacturer who offers a lifetime warranty that is transferable to a buyer
- Before purchasing new appliances, check the service repair histories for each brand and model to identify those that will have the longest life
- If your deck needs replacement, consider a maintenance free synthetic material that can usually be installed on existing concrete footings and support structures
- Professionally refinished hardwood floors will retain their value more than engineered wood flooring that fades, scratches and is too thin to refinish
- If your heating and air conditioning systems are near the end of their useful life, considering replacing them even if you don’t plan to sell for a year or two. A recently installed HVAC system is a very important feature to a homebuyer.
Consulting with a Realtor can help you with these decisions. An experienced realtor can assist you with home improvement choices that will give you the best return on the sale of your property.
*Garden State Multiple Listing, www.GSMLS.COM
© 2018 Diane Belcuore
Posted on June 13, 2018 at 8:28 am by Diane Belcuore