Newton, MA. Real Estate, Margaret Szerlip, NewtonMAhomesforsale.com
WOW—you love your home, you have enjoyed it for years. Your family grew up in it! You can’t wait to sell it to someone and you just know it will have a high value because that’s what it means to you.
…or not necessarily RIGHT…..
Here’s the upfront truth:
When you put your home on the market, it becomes a property, a commodity, the value of which will be determined by a buyer who wants it and can afford to buy it. Your beautiful 21 x 14 dining room with a fireplace and beautiful windows, where so many happy family memories were shared is now simply a 21 x 14 room and potential buyers are looking at it and wondering if their own furniture will fit, not thinking or caring about your happy memories.
You have lived with the 1980’s bathrooms just fine, thank you. They worked for you. Everything is in working order and it was good enough for your family all these years. A potential buyer, looking at the outdated bathrooms, is adding up the expense of tearing them out and remodeling. Then they mentally deduct this perceived cost from the price you are asking, unless you have calculated condition into your list price. Your Realtor must be able to prove this.
Price per square foot has become ever more important. If your Realtor cannot do this calculation for you, get a new one! Different neighborhoods in the same town sell at an intrinsic value. Busy streets sell for less, large level lots sell for a higher price. Condition plays an important role. Well done new construction, by reputable builders tend to sell at the highest price per square foot, opposed to a fixer upper. Curb appeal, street desirability, perceived perception of the elementary school, snob appeal are all factors. Old rules still apply, you never want to buy the most expensive house on the street, UNLESS the neighborhood is turning and all those little capes will be made into tasteful non-mcmansions. Little jewel houses all sell for a high price per square foot. Unique can work for and against you, unique as in a renovated barn is good, a modern structure built into the landscape-good. A Georgian Colonial on the outside and a 1950’s retro on the inside-not so good.
So you get your house on the market and here comes the litmus test…IF you have showings but no return showings and no offers, and if the number of showings starts to decline, THEN…. YOU ARE PRICED TOO HIGH. It is simple as that. The market is rejecting your house at the current price, not only that, your overpriced home is making the competition look good. You are in fact helping to sell your neighbor’s home.
It would be helpful to you as a seller to walk through your own house as if you were a buyer. Most of my sellers are also buying another property. When they walk through a new property they don’t want to renovate the kitchen and the bath, sometimes they find it easier to move than renovate. The truth is, I spend a lot of time convincing my clients that buyers don’t want to renovate the kitchen in their house either. Houses that are fully renovated sell at a premium. Let me add that houses that are cheaply renovated with shoddy work are mentally discarded immediately. One of the biggest turnoff’s is looking at a hastily repaired house. Buyers get the feeling that the seller is trying to pull one over on them, and many times they are correct.