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WHAT SELLS A HOUSE? | How To Sell a House Now

Updated on August 28, 2015
Home Sold
Home Sold

What Sells a House?

What sells a house in today's buyer's market? Read the facts & the plan of action to sell a home quickly & at a fair price by creating value. Find out how.

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What sells a house in one of the most confusing housing markets America has ever seen? The answer may surprise you.

There is a glut of real estate for sale right now in many areas and some of it is offered at bargain basement prices. In Florida, for instance, where one in ever 32 homes got a mortgage foreclosure notice in 2012, estimates are that at least half the properties in the state are mortgaged for more than they are worth.

In California, sales prices are down from this time last year and in some counties prices have fallen by 40%. About one-third of the sales are distressed properties – either houses in foreclosure, pre-foreclosure or already owned by the mortgage lending institution.

Buyers are few and far between after the Labor Day weekend, when the housing market nods off for a winter hibernation.

It takes creativity for a real estate agent or a homeowner to move a listing today.

Buyers looking now are more impressed by real value than by staging. Selling a home this buying season is dependent upon creating value for potential buyers.

Create Value with Hardwood Flooring
Create Value with Hardwood Flooring

WHAT SELLS A HOUSE? - CREATING VALUE

Is there an original hardwood floor hiding underneath the carpet? According to a study issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 38% of new home buyers specify hardwood flooring as "very important" in their buying decisions. Also in the study: 57% of homebuyers are willing to pay an average $1,900 more for a home with hardwood flooring.

Featuring hardwood flooring in a home for sale is a proven way to attract more buyers. It can also make the difference in selling a home at a fair price and in selling a home period. If that means removing carpet and/or refinishing the hardwood, the process will only take a few days if you hire a professional contractor.

New wood flooring installed on a concrete slab is also an option. It's a bold decision, but one that will definitely increase the salability of a home in a difficult market.

According to a Floor Trends Magazine market study, American red oak is the most popular choice for hardwood floors. It has an unsurpassed emotional appeal.

Home buyers know that hardwood flooring will last throughout the lifetime of the home. This is what creating value is all about.

Kitchen Remodeling to Sell a House
Kitchen Remodeling to Sell a House

WHAT BUYERS WANT

The NAR study reported, "The typical buyer spent $4,350 on home improvement projects within the first three months of buying a home. Nearly half of home buyers remodeled or made improvements to their kitchens." If the seller can provide an updated kitchen, more potential buyers will be interested in the property.

No one likes to live through the remodeling process and buyers will factor that into their buying decision. The condition of the kitchen is often the deal-breaker when purchasers make the final decision on which home to buy.

Countertops, cabinets, tile work and window coverings are all options. Again, the emphasis must be on real value, not just cosmetics.

Master Bath is a Top Priority
Master Bath is a Top Priority

BUYER'S MARKET

In the NAR study, updated bathrooms are considered a necessity by buyers and close to half made improvements to bathrooms within three months of purchase. The message to sellers: Updating bathrooms gives a home a competitive edge.

If the tile is chipped, replace it; don't just repair it. If the fixtures are worn or outdated, replace them.

Never lose sight of the objective and that it to sell your home at a reasonable price and as quickly as possible. Creating value is what sells a house today.

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    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Just be glad you were able to sell. So many people can't find buyers right now. Congratulations on your new home!

    • PhilAvent profile image

      PhilAvent 3 years ago

      I know that first hand now. It is the first time I have sold and hopefully the last. The timeline of emotions from starting to look for a new house to finishing the sale went like this;

      Fun-Excitement-Curious-Worried-Nervous-Stressed and Anxious!

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Selling a house and moving is a traumatic event. Studies have linked it right up there with the death of someone you are close to as a stressful event!

    • PhilAvent profile image

      PhilAvent 3 years ago

      Great article. My house sale is due to be finialized tomorrow and I'm nervous as heck!

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Houses with messes are a definite turn-off. Some sellers don't understand how much this hurts their chances of selling at a good price, or at any price. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      I helped a friend stage a house for sale. By just doing a few things, the house sold for way more than recent comps. It didn't take much at all. Buyers want turn key and cleanliness. I've toured houses for sale that are a mess and can't understand why the owners didn't at least pick up before a showing.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Spoken like the true Realtor® that you are, Marlene. I appreciate your professional comment on what sells a house.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      These are all excellent tips. Right on the money! Your advice about creating value says it all. Forget staging, you are right - show the value of the property, and like you said, don't just repair things that are broken. If possible, replace them. That's creating value.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you for your comment, Jenn-Anne. You and your husband are truly planning ahead! The good thing there is that you will have many years to enjoy the improvements you choose to do right now.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image

      Jenn-Anne 4 years ago

      We've only been in our house 4 years but are already thinking ahead to when we might sell it (in 5 years or so). I appreciate the ideas about things to focus on when it comes to improvements that will help it sell when the time comes. Very useful hub!

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Rent-to-own can be problematic, but it really might have been the right decision for you at the time. Just think about how many homes ended up in foreclosure!

    • Gcrhoads64 profile image

      Gable Rhoads 4 years ago from North Dakota

      Great advice. I sold my home last year on a rent-to-own basis because I needed to move in a hurry. Never again!

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      It does for many people, Caseymel. You also have to consider how much it costs each month to carry an unsold house verses the costs of adding the flooring. Carpeting is a cheap fix, and that is why hardwood floors have more value and more appeal to buyers.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Very interesting and useful information, Writer Fox. Thanks for sharing. Just one thing I'd like to bring to your attention. That link you have at the end of your hub doesn't work. Aloha!

      Joe

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 4 years ago from Indiana

      My husband and I were just discussing this. We are thinking of moving, but in the meantime, we need to replace our carpeting with either wood or a nicer carpet. We were wondering if the value that the wood floor adds to the house would offset the price of putting it in. Great Hub!