The pandemic is changing all things related to real estate, and I am not referring only to the seller's market that has no end in sight, the low interest rates for mortgages, or the lack of inventory. Back in July, I told you about some of the emerging design trends resulting from stay-at-home orders. We've also heard rumors about the death of the open floor plan, the increased popularity of man caves and she sheds, and the mass exodus from urban living to large homes in the suburbs.
If you're thinking of selling your home, you've probably heard the ball is in your court right now. That's true, especially if your house has one or more of these currently "in demand" features.
1. Cozy Vibes
People have been spending more time at home, and if they venture out into the world, it can feel like a really crazy place these days. That's why people are craving the comfy feeling of home...when they're at home.
Let me backtrack for a second. Before the pandemic, think about the design trends that were "in": grey walls, white cabinets, white stone countertops, sleek stainless steel appliances, clean, open spaces (even minimalism in some cases), organization (everything serves a purpose, and everything has its place -- think: Marie Kondo), grey walls...honestly, the look was beautiful, but it was cold and sometimes uninviting. Many houses screamed, "I'm just like a Crate and Barrel catalog! This blanket is here just for show; nobody actually cuddles under it on this couch." What people want now is for their house to whisper, "Come, let me give you a hug. Sit down, make yourself comfortable, and relax for a bit."
If your house doesn't already have the cozy vibe people want, you can stage it. Coffee stations, furry blankets, fire pits, hammocks, reading nooks all say to buyers, "This is a house where you can kick off your shoes and rest." Make sure your real estate photography captures the feeling of warmth, safety, comfort, and home.
2. Home office
A typical listing description usually starts like this: "Gorgeous 4-bedroom, 3-bath house..." Guess what's now also included right at the start? "Gorgeous 4-bedroom, 3-bath house WITH designated home office space..." Yes, a home office has become a very desirable feature, a non-negotiable for some, and it will definitely make your listing stand out.
Even if your home doesn't have a designated home office, you can stage your house to make it look like you do. In fact, some people have converted their formal dining rooms into offices or classrooms for the kids. Whether it's a whole room you choose or a corner of a guest room, you want to show buyers that there is a space where they can go with their phone and laptop, close the door, and get business done.
You can also expect to tell your Realtor all about your internet speed, options for service providers, and the cost because buyers ARE asking.
3. Showcase Your Outdoor Space
Buyers are looking at homes and thinking how they would live in it if they were ever stuck at home. But who wants to be stuck INSIDE? If you have a fabulous yard, you're in luck!
Extra outdoor living space is VERY appealing, so show off your porch, patio, deck, pool, landscaping, backyard big enough for a ball game, vegetable garden, grill area, and outdoor kitchen.
4. Natural Light
The pandemic has caused anxiety. Guess what one simple thing can lift people's spirits? Sunlight! When you're home is going to be shown, make sure you open all the blinds. When the photographer comes to do your real estate photography, ask him to come when the house is filled with light.
And if you get to witness spectacular sunrises or sunsets from the comfort of your home, make sure your Realtor puts that in the listing description. Some photographers will accommodate you to get a shot of your view during that time so that potential buyers can see the show themselves.
Yes, it's a seller's market, and there are plenty of houses selling quickly above the asking price, but it's not all of them. In order to increase your chances of your home falling into this category, be sure to show off any or all of these desired features if you have them.