Selling Your Resale House VS. New Constructions in an HGTV World

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Everywhere you go, HGTV & DIY shows are on our screens. From doctor’s office televisions to our tablets and smartphones, it’s pretty hard to escape Chip & Joanna, Tarek & Christina, and our other favorite home improvement stars.

Shows like Fixer Upper, House Hunters, Flip or Flop, and countless others are seemingly ubiquitous and they are shaping the modern house hunter’s — and home owner’s — taste.

While more folks’ taste is inspired by what they see on TV and online apps like Pinterest and Houzz, many of today’s buyers, especially millennials, have limited skills to enable them to do the work they see from Chip & Jo and so many others.

These buyers know what they like, and they know it when they see it, but most don’t know how to make it a reality.

So, as someone selling your five, ten, or twenty-plus-year-old home that doesn’t have white or gray cabinets, quartz kitchen counters, a walk-in frameless shower and everyone’s favorite, shiplap, incorporated into your home design, how do you compete against new construction homes that have the features and finishes home buyers are looking for?

Renovate or update prior to listing. The obvious answer is to make many of these cosmetic updates yourself. If you or someone in your household is handy enough, updating cabinetry, adding a backsplash, and painting rooms may be in your wheelhouse. If not, I recommend hiring a local professional to help bring your vision, and more importantly your future homeowner’s vision, to reality.

Tell your home’s story. Though you’re leaving your home, there was something compelling that brought you there in the first place. The most effective way to tell your home’s story is visually, through pictures and videos, but you can also tell your home’s story in words. Tell your agent all of the things that you love about your current home and what its best selling features are. Chances are, those same feelings will resonate with your future buyer.

Price below new home values. I am not saying to price your home below market value or even its highest potential value — though there are reasons to do that at times, too, to maximize your final sales price. My point is that new construction homes typically have that new home sticker price that most resale homes simply can’t compete with.

Add your own smart-home package. Many of the national builders building in our area, i.e., D.R. Horton and Lennar, are including smart-home packages complete with Ring doorbells and Amazon Echos and Alexas hooked up throughout the house. It sounds fancy and expensive, but really, it’s pretty affordable to turn your home into a smart home. In today’s market, that could be the selling point that makes the difference in a buyer choosing your home!

At the end of the day, just know that if your home is dated and you do not renovate it to bring it in line with current trends, you may have to reduce your price even further, because the days of the middle range fixer-upper/projects house are slipping away in today’s world of immediacy. Take into account what other recently-sold houses in your neighborhood look like, and use that to inform your decision.

Thinking of selling your house and need more input on how to prepare your home for market? Contact Jimmy Grappone today to schedule an in-house listing consultation.

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Jimmy Grappone
Jimmy Grappone is Team Leader with The CLT Life Home Team at Costello Real Estate & Investments. Grappone serves on Waxhaw's Main Street Advisory Board and Autism Strong Foundation's Leadership Team. He is a former president of Waxhaw Business Association and co-founder of Waxhaw's Pups n Pints festival to benefit SCDR. Grappone is an active member of St. Matthew Catholic Church. He and his wife are proud puppy parents to 4-legged son, Jack.