When you’re a homeowner, you harbor a certain degree of bias toward your residence. If you’ve lived in it for a period of time, you regard it differently than other people would.
There are memories attached to your house … both good and bad. There are probably stylistic elements you like and others you don’t. Certain features are practical for you and others are not.
But when it comes time to sell your house, you have to discard your biases and judgments. Instead of letting your personal preferences get in the way, study the averages and identify the facets that most buyers are looking for.
A Look at the “Money Rooms”
In order to maximize your home’s value when it goes on the market, you have to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If you were checking out a house — whether via an online listing, an open house, or a scheduled showing with a Realtor — which rooms would matter the most to you?
Which rooms would you immediately gravitate toward and give the most attention when you’re considering how much to offer? Every homebuyer is admittedly different, but most of them prioritize rooms in a roughly similar sequence.
From the seller’s perspective, you can set yourself up for success when you’re armed with this knowledge. Knowing which rooms have the greatest appeal to shoppers, and which fall lower on the average person’s list of priorities, you can channel your energy and give people what they want.
When you prepare to list your home, these are the rooms that matter the most. Give them the majority of your attention, because your potential buyers certainly will.
There’s absolutely no question that the kitchen is the single most important space in the home. If you had 1,000 buyers come through your house, probably 999 of them would agree.
The kitchen is where we cook our meals. It’s where we most often congregate, or at least pass one another, in the morning before everybody heads off to work and school. It’s often where we read the paper or our kids do their homework. It’s also where dinner party guests tend to gather.
It’s also useful to recall that the kitchen also houses some of the more expensive technology in the average home. From dishwashers and ovens to gas ranges, microwaves, and refrigerators, there’s a lot of appliance-related value in this room.
Finally, the kitchen tends to be one of the more openly visible spaces in the house. Bedrooms and bathrooms are hidden behind doors. If you don’t like something about one of those rooms, you may close the door and visitors will not readily notice.
With a kitchen, everything is typically out there. So if you have a few thousand dollars to spend fixing your house up prior to sale, the kitchen is where most of the money should go.
- Master Bathroom Suite
Next is the master bathroom and closet, also known as the master bathroom suite. It might seem odd that the master bathroom suite is more important to homebuyers than the master bedroom alone, but this seems to be the general consensus.
Perhaps this is because the bedroom is typically used for little more than sleeping, while the master bathroom is where we take showers, get dressed, and prep ourselves for the rest of the day.
It’s also one of the first places we go and spend a little time after getting home from the office. The great thing about the master bathroom is it’s not usually difficult to renovate it cost effectively. In fact, assuming you do a good job, you should get more out of the renovation than you sink into it.
“When time and money are running out, and you need to get the house on the market, the key to doing a bathroom upgrade is, again, making the most of what you’ve got,” Trulia explains. “Save as much of the existing bath as you can. Then, a quick switch of the sinks and faucets, new low-flow toilets and shower heads, and upgraded lighting, mirrors, towel racks and storage make for an entirely refreshed look.”
- Master Bedroom
The kitchen and master bathroom suite score head and shoulders above every other room, but of course buyers will continue to poke around after they’ve looked at those. After checking out the master bath suite, they’ll naturally inspect the master bedroom itself.
How much space does it have? Is the lighting good? Does it have sufficient room to incorporate a king bed? As long as this bedroom isn’t cramped, it should be fine.
- Living Room
Next comes the living room. After the kitchen, this is usually the second most-populated room in the house. It’s typically where everyone watches TV, plays games, and spends time with the rest of the family.
Most homebuyers today prefer open living rooms that naturally flow into the kitchen and other spaces. High ceilings are a big plus if you have them, but not necessary in some markets and price points.
- Outdoor Living
It might not qualify as part of your home’s square footage, technically, but outdoor living space is of great value to many hopeful homeowners. Whether you have a screened porch, deck, or patio, buyers love to see an exterior space where they can envision themselves grilling out or enjoying family time in the warmer months.
A lack of outdoor living space won’t inherently hurt your home’s value, but the presence of it can substantially increase your asking price … especially when your property gets compared to other properties that lack it.
On a related note, a garage can also be significant. People want to know they can fit their car(s) inside and still have adequate room for storage. If you have a garage, be sure to clean it up before listing.
Let Green Residential Help You Sell
At Green Residential, we take pride in helping Houston-area homeowners derive maximum value from their home at the closing table. If you’re interested in selling your house, but don’t know where to start, contact us and we’ll be happy to get you in touch with one of our experienced real estate experts.
Not only will we help you set a price and get the premises ready for listing, but we also promise to charge a flat-rate fee that could save you thousands of dollars in commission. What are you waiting for?