Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Just as with movie credits, the features you find in Frankford listings have a “billing order.” The “stars” may not be printed in gigantic superstar type—but the order in which they appear do reflect changes in current buyer priorities. For a homeowner soon to add their property to this summer’s Frankford listings, it’s important to learn which features currently tend to attract the most favorable attention from prospective buyers. It’s of more than marketing interest, as well: knowing what’s in and what out can also help determine where improvement dollars should go.
The question is, which features are most desirable, and which formerly popular features have become passé: “so Twentieth Century!”
New answers to these questions usually appear a couple of times a year—and 2015 is no exception. The latest one I found was on the Realtor.com website. It went into recent history, describing in detail how listings’ features for newly-built homes have been undergoing rapid change over the past few years. In general (and probably as a reaction to the difficult economic times that only lately have seen improvement), over-the-top luxury details are fading, being replaced in favor of features centered on efficiency, organization, and pragmatism.
Examples of the kinds of details less likely to be found in today’s listings are two-story foyers, master bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, and luxurious details like outdoor kitchens. (“NOPE” in capital letters is shown stenciled over a picture of one of those outdoor kitchens…which, I have to admit, really does look like it belongs in a hotel). Whereas ten years ago, those outdoor kitchens with fancy wine racks might have been found near the top of a listing, today it might be replaced by ‘walk-in closets’ or even, simply, a ‘laundry room.’
“It’s not sexy,” says one industry executive, “but that’s what people want.”
The most extensive survey of home builder trends is conducted by their national association, the NAHB. By quizzing nearly 400 builders, they concluded that other features on the decline include outdoor fireplaces, sunrooms, and media rooms. Taking their places (and likely candidates for what we’ll soon see creeping toward the tops of some of our Frankford listings) are the walk-in closets (since people want to get out the door efficiently first thing in the morning) and well-organized and well-lit laundry rooms (to improve the efficiency of the household).
As part of a “post-recession cultural shift toward pragmatism,” this makes perfect sense. But that word “post-recession” may offer a clue to what could be the temporary nature of the NAHB’s 2015 findings. For example, granite countertops—once a ‘luxury’ item in area listings—are now more popular than the laminate alternatives. And those supposedly unpopular media rooms are not vanishing totally. They’re simply being replaced by spaces that are “more flexible.”
If you’re soon to be scrutinizing your own home to determine which of its best features to emphasize, I’d be pleased to furnish an opinion—it will be based on the results we’re seeing from today’s Frankford listings! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com.
As soon as you decide that you will be putting your Frankford property up for sale—whether soon or at some point in the foreseeable future—it’s also time to get strategic about growing your property's value—starting with a generous dollop of objectivity.
The difficulty stems from a truth about how everybody perceives much of their property’s value. We escape from hurly-burly of daily living by retreating to the comfortable confines of our home—our place. A good part of its value to us and to our family is its sheer familiarity—the “hominess” that makes it our personal haven. But some of the very things that make it so comfortable to us will be off-putting to outsiders—and they are the prospective buyers.
Our great leather easy chair (the dark brown one that’s gotten a few shades lighter where we sit, and a little off-color where the spills happened) may look a bit peaked to the untrained eye, but it’s been that way for years: who cares? The back door needs to be bolted to stay shut…we do that without even thinking about it—hardly an issue! The sofa may sag, but it sags exactly right (for us)! The bathroom window that’s sort of stuck (okay, maybe it’s painted shut)…etc. etc. etc.
Professionals are of one voice about the real value you add to a property when you go to the trouble of systematically depersonalizing it. It helps to approach doing that seriously and deliberately—to tackle it in an organized manner. There are any number of ways to go about that, but here is one way that will pay off:
Make a list. Starting from one end of your Frankford property, note with pencil and paper every nit-picky detail that is other than what you would expect to find if it were a brand new home. This is not as easy as most people assume, because there will be such a great number of details, that
a) it will be very tempting to start skipping some of the minor ones, and
b) you will find it hard to resist the urge to start fixing the easy ones as you go along (don’t do it: you’ll derail the list-making!)
After a decent interval, sit down with the list and re-classify each item into an Easy Self-Fix List and a Professional-Attention-Needed List.
Step 3 Get bids from the appropriate Frankford professional tradespeople, calculate which fit your budget, then schedule the work.
Step 4 Get started on your own endeavors to address the Easy Self-Fix List. You’ll be able to organize your own efforts to finish up about two weeks after the last of the tradespeople are scheduled to finish their projects (a two week grace period is realistic: you are aiming to finish everything about the same time).
Following these four steps will put you well on your way to increasing the value of your Frankford property. And at any point in the process—from before Step 1 to the satisfying moment that closes Step 4—give me a call to discuss how to convert all that increased value into a profitable home sale! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.