Friday, July 31, 2015 / by Bill Berning*
Selling your home is all about knowing what your target buyer’s market wants, and appealing to it. Different stripes of buyers require different approaches to best appeal to their needs and wants, and one of the most common buyer types is the family buyer. These people are interested in how your home will work for them and their loved ones, and how well the house will grow with them over the years. Check out what families will be looking for when they’re on a visit to your home.
Location, Location, Location
It’s common knowledge that real estate is all about location, when it comes to family buyers, it’s still true. Families want to know that your home is in an appropriate and convenient area for their needs: for example, is it along bus routes, or will their children have to walk or be driven? What is the quality and reputation of the local school district? Is it right next to a busy street or highway? How far is it away from local conveniences, such as grocery stores, doctor’s offices, and more fun locales such as movie theaters and malls? Family buyers have busy lives, and want to make sure that their new home’s location doesn’t make things more stressful – and want to make sure that their children have the entertainment and socialization opportunities that they deserve.
If your home is in a prime location, be sure to talk this topic up. A great location can make for a real boost to your home’s value, so it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. However, if your home doesn’t measure up in this regard, it’s not the end of the world: it just requires a different sales pitch. More remote homes can easily be sold on their peaceful, natural surroundings, and conversely, homes located on busy streets can be sold on their proximity to local amenities. Play to the strengths of your home’s location, and don’t ever talk it down – stay positive, and your pitch will be stronger.
Space to Live, and Room to Grow
A spacious house is an easy sell for any buyer, but it’s especially important for families. More members of the household means more space needed, and if your home has extra bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, and spacious outdoor yardage, you’ll find yourself with a host of interested applicants. Having the space to begin with is a plus, but having room to expand further can be even better; especially if your buyers are considering adding to their family at any point in the future. A spacious lawn is a great feature for buyers with children, pets, or just a real passion for gardening.
Unfortunately, not all homes can be the spacious dream houses these buyers are looking for, but you can do your part to stage your home properly to give the illusion of more space. Clear clutter from your rooms and yard: pack up personal knickknacks and decorations (you’re going to be moving soon anyway, after all), and clear your lawn of debris. Staging is essential when trying to sell any home, but is all the more important when you’re trying to sell something small. Small rooms benefit from plentiful lighting, minimal clutter, and furniture that’s suited to the size of the room. Pull that oversized couch out and replace it with a loveseat, and replace a large, heavy coffee table with a lighter, glass-topped number to give the illusion it’s taking up less space. Staging is the next best thing to a proper expansion, so instead of knocking down walls, speak to your real estate agent. They often provide staging consultation services to interested applicants.
A Home Ready to Be Lived In
The home-buying process is a tedious and stressful one, and your buyers want to make sure their new home is ready to be lived in right away. While DIY enthusiasts might be charmed by a fixer-upper, most buyers will be scared off by a house that requires a lot of work to measure up to their standards – or one that requires a lot of work to live in comfortably, period. Even a low-impact project like painting or retiling rooms can scare off families who are strapped for time, skill, or cash – home-buying takes a lot of resources from a person. They want a house that’s up to code, up to speed, and ready to give them the comfort they need to live their lives.
Thus, it’s your duty as a seller to get your home up to speed as far as maintenance and beautification goes. Get your home professionally-inspected, especially in areas where it really counts regarding utilities and structural integrity: such as getting your basement inspected for water damage, having your electrical work tested, or getting upper rooms and attics inspected for drafts and holes. If anything has been bothering you in your house now, it’ll start bothering your buyers too, so take the initiative to get it fixed now. These projects will not only protect you against potential lawsuits, but further beautification and improvement projects will add a few extra digits to your home’s price tag on the market. It’s a sound investment that any seller should consider.
Appealing to family buyers is a smart move as a home seller, as they make up a solid portion of the buying market. With a little work and a well thought-out sales pitch, you’ll be able to appeal to their needs in a new home, and give them the help they need to find that perfect house to grow old in.