Update to Separate

In the latter part of 2014, a noticeable real estate trend in our area was the increasing length of time homes stayed on the market. Entering 2015, an overview of the Four Points area sees that trend continuing and is coupled with a greater amount of residential inventory compared to the same period last year. Possible reasons for this trend are the market needs to adjust or buyers are not feeling an urgency to act on the current inventory.

What does that mean? Real Estate Economics 101: when market conditions have more demand than supply, homes that are in decent condition and priced appropriately sell quickly. When market conditions are such that we have more supply than demand, homeowners must do more to sell their homes.

When planning to sell a home in current market conditions, we advise clients to update.  With so many homes for a buyer to choose, you need to update or renovate to separate - make your home stand apart from the rest.

A lot of people prefer to purchase new construction. If that isn’t available, the next best option is a home with recent renovations. As our homes continue to age, even if you are not currently thinking of moving, putting some sweat equity in your home will provide a good return on your investment.

Good rule of thumb: flooring, countertops, lighting, landscape and paint – all advantageous improvements. The number one thing we hear from potential buyers is they prefer updated flooring. Pull out the old carpet and put in hardwoods or new tile.

Another important update is in the kitchen, change out the old countertops and replace with either granite or Silestone. If that task is already complete, consider putting in a new backsplash. Additionally, change out your builder grade light fixtures for new lighting, have your home freshly painted or work on creating privacy in your landscaping.

It is a good idea to walk through model homes to see what design ideas are popular. Rough Hollow, in Lakeway, and Traviso, in Leander, have good display homes; typically the concepts found in model homes have been tested and will be around for a few years.

Keeping your house looking like a newer home allows you the opportunity to sell for the most amount of money.  For example, a “plain Jane” home in the Four Points area may sell for about $125 per foot. When updates are made, we easily see  $10 - $20 more per foot, which equals $30 - $60K on a 3000 sq ft home. So whether planning to list or to simply enjoy your current home, it is a good idea to continually improve and renovate. 

Article first appeared in the Four Points Newspaper Vol. 11 Issue 4, page 5A

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