The Question You Never Want Home Buyers to Ask
Shopping at the hardware store offers an opportunity to learn something new. That's not usually my reason for visiting, but that's usually what happens.Most times, when my hubby invites me to the ‘big box’ hardware store, I’ll tag along. It's not unusual for a ‘quick’ trip to involve locating a replacement part, a time-saving tool, or anything else to update our Long Beach home.Then, the second I step foot into the store, I gravitate to the paint section. I’m a sucker for the wall of multi-color paint chips. Who knows? I may find the next best paint color for staging a home.Occasionally, I follow the hubby down every aisle asking about a gadget or tool I’ve never seen or heard of. Hey, I might need it for the next staging project. Sometimes I wonder if he gets tired of explaining what one gadget does over another. Secretly, I think he really likes it.Of course, the minute we walk away, the same 'ole question bubbles to the surface...“How in the world would I have known how important (or unimportant) that item was if I browsed the store alone?Some guessing games are fun...unless they waste your time, or worst...your money. And in real estate, causing home buyers to play the guessing game will definitely impact a home sellers wallet.Here's the deal. For some home buyers, a real estate purchase is possibly the largest investment they're ever going to make in their lives. On the surface, the buying process might seem fun and exciting. Then, home buyers get into the nitty-gritty of viewing house after house, working with their real estate agent, and steadily eyeballing interest rates. Suddenly, the dreamy buying experience starts to get stressful for buyers. And home sellers thought they were the only ones with the giant plate of stress balancing on their head. The Question Sellers Shouldn’t Want to HearTypically, home buyers view approximately 12-15 homes (according to real estate agents) before deciding on the perfect one. Imagine your homebuyer walking into every space of your house. Would he/she know the purpose of every room?Or, would he/she ask the ultra-nail-biting question… what is this room?Believe it or not, one Long Beach home had a room devoted to a foosball table. A loveseat pressed against the wall. A twin bed rested in the corner on the opposite side of the room. And the foosball table took center stage in the middle. Nothing wrong with that foosball room for the homeowner's taste. But, the house was listed for sale. And that changes how buyers will value the house as a whole.Seemingly, if I were a buyer, I could have interpreted the room as a storage space for a neglected foosball table, or a bachelor-themed game room. But, I'm not a buyer, so my opinion of the room doesn't matter. In the end, it's all about the buyer's perception. Questions to Ask to Avoid the Questionable SpaceHome sellers should never be stuck with uncomfortable shoulder-raising questions from home buyers. Tackling individual spaces in a room should be easy peasy. One great way to start is to make sure you're showing off all the value in your home. You can learn more in our recent blog post, How Not to Hide the Money in Your Listed Home. First, think like the buyer. Have you researched your neighborhood to find out if families are moving in? Are young professionals, or empty nesters finding your neighborhood inviting? Next, consider the rooms in your home. Will buyers appreciate certain rooms singled out as bedrooms only? Would buyers prefer rooms to stand out with a particular theme like a guest room or a home office?Finally, stand back and evaluate the house as a whole. Do the rooms and spaces flow? Do they feel like one cohesive living space? Answering these questions and doing something about them will separate your home from competing listed homes that are sold "AS-IS".Home sellers that make life a little easier for buyers to choose their next home will definitely reap the rewards.Now, a question for you.What's the most interesting room you've seen that wasn't designed as the architect intended? Share your stories and thoughts. Who knows? You might help someone else in the process.