So you are mulling over putting your home on the market, but you know it could use some updating. What do you spend your money on, and what can you hold off on? Turns out, some things that homebuyers find turn them off can cost you thousands, so making good choices can make the difference in how much you end up getting for your home.
It’s also important to know what is trending style-wise, too. For instance, furniture maker Joybird found that when it comes to interior design, the top three searches in Texas were vintage, industrial, and rustic.
What else do homebuyers want? Laundry rooms, energy-saving features, and more green home certifications, according to the National Association of Home Builder’s “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey. Homebuyers also wanted more storage, hardwood flooring, patios, and exterior lighting.
In Dallas, Opendoor crunched the numbers and found exactly what is turning area homebuyers off — call it a road map of sorts on pre-gaming that decision to list.
Ix-Nay on the Arpet-Cay
For instance, carpet. The company said that you can lose up to $5,400 when carpet is the primary flooring choice for a listing, for numerous reasons, including the perceived “ick” factor from not knowing the age of the carpet, how often it’s cleaned, and who (or what) used it (and how).
“The very interesting thing we found is that the impact of this isn’t limited to the Dallas area — probably in almost every market that Opendoor operates in, carpet as the primary floor type was among the top five largest sort of home value detractors in the past year,” said Swathy Prithivi, head of Opendoor’s Dallas-Fort Worth operations. And when we look at DFW specifically, it’s a seasonal climate and this wide expanse of carpet was found to be particularly unappealing to maintain year-round.”
“I think actually considering how hot it gets here in the summer hardwood floors are much more comfortable to walk on during the sort of 90-100 degree scorching weather that we have now,” she added. “And I think that’s also a factor to having carpet as one of the largest detractors.”
By the way — carpet in the master bedroom can cost you up to $4,100.
Another big detractor? Tile or laminate kitchen counters, which can reduce your home’s value by $5,000, and low-quality kitchen cabinets, which can cost you about $2,700.
Prithivi said that buyers have come to expect upgraded kitchens with granite or quartz counters in this area, and can be turned off by the idea of a major renovation down the pike — especially when homes in this area are still commanding bigger price tags.
“Prospective buyers are pretty accustomed to seeing quartz or granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and modern cabinetry during open houses — they’re definitely used to seeing that,” she said. “And you definitely don’t want to go through the hassle of a major kitchen remodel, which is what we found.”
“The kitchen is such an important part of the house that when you look Formica, and low-quality kitchen cabinetry, all of these are some of the top four reasons because it’s sort of a key part of the house,” Prithivi said.
This jibes with what the NAHB found, too. Buyers said they wanted open floor plans, with 86 percent saying they would prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or almost completely open. Sixty-seven percent said they wanted stainless steel appliances, 57 percent wanted granite or natural stone kitchen countertops, and 32 percent said they wanted white cabinetry.
Location, Location, Location
We’ve all heard the adage about location, location, location, but that definitely comes into play with the last data point Opendoor uncovered — people really don’t want to live next to a busy street, unless you’ve got some pretty spectacular amenities in that home.
How much will a listing on a busy street cost you? About $2,800.
“The question on how much of an impact it really depends on some of the other factors that the house sort of brings,” Prithivi said. “What we’re seeing is that the market as a whole is starting to soften because we’re seeing more supply that we have in the past. Opportunities for buyers are increasing. And so some of these less appealing home attributes like proximity to a busy street, and things they previously needed to ignore in order to be competitive and get the house of their dreams are now becoming more prominent home value detractors.”
“I think we expect prospective buyers will become less willing to budge on these types of things as the local real estate market becomes more knowledgeable,” she added.
So What Now?
But does that mean all is for naught if a few of these “nopes” apply to your home? Not necessarily, said Prithivi.
“Focus on what you can control, like your interior aesthetics versus proximity to a busy street,” she said. “And even when you’re looking at sort of the specifics, look at the cheaper upgrades that will still have a meaningful impact on how potential buyers can perceive your home compared to the competition.”
“If it’s wall-to-wall carpet, having it professionally shampooed, and in the kitchen, replacing pulls and knobs to modernize cabinetry, can help,” she said. “Other things you can easily accomplish include hiring a team to come give your home a deep cleaning, painting the walls a new neutral theme, and tidying up the lawn and landscaping.”
And if you really don’t want to do any of that? Prithivi suggested talking to your Realtor. Opendoor, for instance, will make prospective sellers all-cash offers and then make the home ready for sale, but other companies like Compass, Ebby Halliday, and more are now also offering various opportunities for sellers to spruce up, too.