The Changing Face of Today’s Buyers: Home Functionality & De-Cluttering

If you are thinking of selling at any point, whether to downsize as you get older or to upsize due to a growing family, know that the face of today’s buyer is changing and your listing agent is going to have you do things to your home that might not make sense to you at the time.

One reason you hire a realtor is because a good one is on top of changing trends in the market place that you might not be aware of! It has more to do with knowing what a buyer is looking for and then making your home fulfill those needs.

Remember that a buyer is living a different life than you are. Changing your home around is not a reflection of how you live, but rather what we want the buyer to feel when they walk in, so they can picture themselves in their future home. Today’s buyer is more tech savvy, and more likely to want work from home space, in addition to the creative crafting places for family members, too. This means including more work-from-home situations, amped-up technology integration, and collaborative spaces. We might ask you to change a playroom into an office, or move things around that you would not have done to live there, yet a buyer will need to see the space in a different light than how you live!

We might suggest that a stager or interior designer be hired, paid for by you, in order to get a higher price for your home in the long run. Most stagers cost about $50/ hour, and a few hours of their time is well worth the investment.

Sometimes, it is easier to sell a home when it is vacant.  “Vacant” does not always mean vacant of furnishings!

“According to a . . . article, sellers may be shooting themselves in the foot when they leave an empty, dark, or cluttered room un-staged. Empty rooms, for example, can ‘kill a home sale, especially if the other rooms are furnished,’ says Allison Bethell of Imperfections stand out more in an empty room, and the absence of furnishings could make it more difficult for buyers to visualize how to use the space.”

If you are planning to live in the home during the showing process, the same article states:

“The cluttered playroom is another top offender. . . If a playroom looks like a cluttered mess, buyers get the impression that the current residents aren’t clean. Sellers should erase crayon and other marks on walls, as well as wipe fingerprints off doors and windows. Also, ensure the room isn’t stuffed with toys; [if it] is too full [it] can appear smaller.”

The “creepy basement” gives off the wrong vibe, too. De-creep a basement by staging and brightening windowless rooms.

Remove at least two-thirds of the clothes in the closets and cabinets, as cluttered closets and cabinets turn buyers away, thinking there’s not enough storage space in a home. 

If you are thinking of selling over the next year, call a good realtor to walk through and advise as to how to make your home the most appealing to buyers so you can get top value in the least amount of time!


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