Getting ready to sell in the DC area's real estate climate over the last decade has been an intimidating undertaking for owners that may not be financially prepared for performing all the necessary renovations.
Buyers looking to move into the area or sprouting families that have outgrown condo or town home living have different expectations than buyers 10 years ago. This is especially true when qualification criteria have become more stringent in the wake of the housing market crash of 2008. These buyers expect turn-key properties that require no necessary upgrades so they can move in and carry on.
Since a fair amount of our business comes from real estate offices, our experience has been that real estate agents, when assessing a home's market viability, will typically focus on 4 things assuming the windows, roof and AC unit pass inspection.
- Paint (inside and out)
The focus on these things during a basic refresh for a house will always yield a dramatic result for what buyers see and the feeling that a new home may convey.
If you are a seller preparing to go to market right now you're facing decisions on what appliances to buy and what painter to hire. Maybe you're doing the work yourself. Whatever your choices, they are likely guided by a budget to minimize the costs.
When you get to flooring on that list, which typically comes last, you'll have to turn to someone to guide you and offer sensible options.
It's easy to overthink these things but one thing to keep in mind is that, while buyers want turn key, they're only expecting new and fresh, not necessarily top of the line or expensive. Abandon your personal design or color preferences in favor of the stock choices that will be neutral. Neutral doesn't mean it has to be bland or boring, just attractive to "most".
Our relationships with real estate agents have given us hands on experience with the process of staging homes. Since the color palettes used are generally very neutral to be as broadly appealing as possible, we buy and stock carpet and hard surfaces in styles and colors that agents specify. While typically considered base grade, these products will still surprise you. We can give your home a fresh look that can brighten spaces with low cost choices without "cheapening" the appearance.
At the end of the day, your agent will have good advice. They have a pulse on the market and insight to help you get the most out of your sale and making sure you are competitive with your listing.
Good luck selling and if you need us, we stand ready to help.
About the Author
JP Meyer is a founding staff member and director of marketing for Carpet & Vacuum Expo.