Business Magazine

The Growing Divide Between Properties That Sell Quickly for Good Prices and Those That Don't

By Homesmsp @HomesMSP

In spite of a strong seller's market, buyers are more discerning than ever. There is a growing divide in properties that sell quickly and those that are more difficult to sell.  This doesn't have anything to do with size and price range, but with condition and list price relative to comparable properties, most evident in complexes with similar properties.

Properties (and buyers) most often divide into three groups...

  • Fixer uppers in poor condition throughout...
    • Often sold to 'flippers' who rehab them and resell at a profit
    • Sometimes sell to people who plan to fix them up live there themselves
    • Often sell fairly quickly, for very low prices relative to comparable properties
  • Homes that are clean and in good basic condition but in need of updates...
    • Could have older furnace/AC, roof, windows (the big basic 3)
    • Could have a dated kitchen, bathrooms
    • Could need cosmetic updates such as new flooring, wallpaper removal
    • Often linger on the market with price reductions and end up selling for lower prices and more market time than expected
  • Homes that are in good condition, updated throughout and ready to move into
    • Mechanicals, windows, roof... not necessarily new, but have good remaining life expectancy
    • Remodeled kitchen... this is big because of cost, time, energy and inconvenience to do
    • Renovated bathrooms... although not as big as big as kitchens, they are still important
    • New flooring, wood/bamboo often preferred, no wallpaper, neutral paint colors
    • Often sell fairly quickly, for prices significantly higher

Many of today's buyers are looking for homes they can just move into... and are willing to pay a premium price for this convenience. It sometimes isn't just a matter of convenience but of necessity... they can afford to pay a higher price, but don't have the cash to pay for needed updates after they move in. They frequently know the cost of remodeling a kitchen, etc and are willing to pay more if it has already been done.

Many Baby Boomers are downsizing and have spent a lot of time, emotion and expense preparing their current homes for sale. They are simply exhausted and just want to move into a new home that is also in good condition and move-in ready.

What about staging? Staging won't usually sell a house on its own... buyers are more savvy than that and can see beyond pretty eye candy. More than ever, they are looking at expenses they will have to incur after they move into a property.

However, staging is still important. Staging is what shows your home at its best, so buyers can not only envision themselves living there... they want to live there! In today's market, if your home doesn't look good in the online photos buyers may not even bother to come and look at it.


Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Twin Cities Realtor

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