Selling any home can be challenging, depending on the market. But if you have an old home and want to appeal to buyers in their 20s and early 30s, you may need to take some extra steps. You’ll need to showcase the features that have the most appeal to young couples and families. The following eight tips won’t cost a lot of money, and they could reap you an early offer.
1. Pre-inspect your home. One of the most difficult decisions for home sellers is to figure out how much to spend on home improvements before putting the house on the market. An inspection will help determine if there’s anything that absolutely must be done before putting the house on the market.”
In addition to a general home inspection, you should consider getting the heating and air-conditioning system cleaned and inspected, as well as having septic systems pumped.
2. Buy a home warranty. Sellers buy home warranties that cover repairs for the systems (electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling) and appliances in the home. Most home warranties are available as one-year policies and provide coverage while the property is on the market and after the closing. A home warranty costs around $300 to $400 and reassures buyers that they won’t be faced with a major repair expense in their first year of homeownership.
3. Offer a possible expansion or renovation plan. Younger buyers don’t always realize that everything they see can be changed with a renovation. Sellers can pay for simple drawings that show some renovation options that would work well with the home’s configuration and its lot.
4. Provide renovation-loan information. Mortgages are available that allow homebuyers to borrow money to buy the home plus money to pay for renovations. The most popular renovation-mortgage program is called the FHA 203(k).
5. Offer a credit for repairs. Sellers don’t always have the money or the energy to make repairs themselves, and besides, some buyers will want to do renovations their own way. While repair credits are often part of the negotiating process, if you know some things will need fixing, let them know upfront.
6. Lighten and brighten your home. Homes that were built decades ago are darker with smaller windows, so to compensate for that, you need to remove the heavy window treatments and clean the windows to make sure as much light as possible is coming in. Use the brightest light bulbs you can and update your light fixtures. Trim shrubs covering windows, remove old carpet from hardwood floors and remove dark, heavy furniture.
7. Highlight neighborhood amenities. Younger buyers often are interested in schools, even if they don’t have children yet. Your marketing materials should mention everything that appeals to young couples and families such as the location near commuter routes or public transportation, swimming pools, tennis courts, a gym, or nearby shops and restaurants. You need to sit and really think about what it is that younger buyers need. Think about what you would want today when you were younger, but the technology and design wasn’t available as readily as it is today.
8. Paint your home in neutral colors. The old rule of thumb used to be that sellers were supposed to paint their rooms white in order to appeal to all buyers. These days, white rooms tend to look boring, especially to younger buyers. Tharp says buyers like neutral colors other than white.