We all know that virtual home tours are the most probable way to view a home these days, but have you given any thought to how that changes the view of your home? Regardless of where you live, there is still a risk and concern of another quarantine. Many people are afraid to travel too far and even those of us willing to take the risk are under certain legal restrictions for now… and the foreseeable future.
Having travel restricted has led potential home buyers to look for details that they never before considered important. Here are three of the things that people are looking for in a new home:
An inviting outdoor space
Your back yard used to be a place to let the dog out or stuff a kid’s play structure. After being stuck at home for several months, that has changed. Now, we crave a sanctuary; a calm space or an active area to get away from the worries of the world.
If you’re living in an apartment, consider creating a lounging patio before listing your home. Bring in as many elements of nature as possible (for example, choose a wood table and chairs rather than plastic, and fill the space with plants), and consider ways to provide privacy from the neighbors. One trick we follow when staging balconies is to think about the things you might need for a relaxing moment on the patio and bring those elements into the photo.
If you have a small backyard, make sure it is clean before anything else. You can still have structures, like a swing set, but any images that show clutter will give the viewer a feeling of stress.
Wherever possible, provide images that will give the potential buyer ideas of how they might enjoy their backyard enough to not miss vacations! Lawn games and vegetable gardens have both become popular distractions this year.
If you have a medium-sized or large backyard, one of the benefits recognized recently has been the ability to entertain friends while outdoors. There are few things that can entice a buyer right now more than the ability to socialize safely. Provide photos of outdoor kitchens, patio areas, pools, or dining tables that will let potential buyers see themself finally getting back together with friends and family.
A flexible space
The key to a good home investment is time. Unless you plan on flipping your home, you’ll need to stay for a few years in order to make money on the sale. And, of course, you’ll need to invest in home maintenance and upgrades.
If the home you are selling has the ability to be used in more than one way, you should market that fact. For example, if you have a basement with a separate entrance that could be rented as an apartment, this could help the buyer get through a difficult time. This ability for your home to be flexible makes the property a better investment.
If you have a garage that could be remodeled as a mother-in-law suite, not only are you showing the flexibility of your property, but you are opening yourself up to a greater audience of potential buyers. Spending the time upfront to stage the property in different ways will pay off when you receive multiple offers.
A home office
This has recently become a must-have item for most home buyers. Whether your home has room for a small nook office in the living room or a dedicated room for more than one employee, buyers will appreciate the vision of being able to work from home.
When setting up the office, organization and cleanliness are key. Don’t clutter the space and don’t get bogged down with practicalities like, “Where would I put a printer?” Creating a vision is more about creating an ideal rather than being practical.
Showing homes recently has spotlighted what we have all found difficult about being homebound and the ways that we can make our lives easier moving forward. Buyers are looking for certain elements that will act as a kind of insurance should they be quarantined (or forced to stay home due to financial difficulties), and, by getting one step ahead of the game, you can make your home selling process so much easier.
If you need more help selling your home, buying your next home, or investing in property, we are here to help!
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