We’ve all seen or heard mentions in our media reporting that on average, home values have increased. However, homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn that their home is valued less than they expected. You’ve spent many years in there, you’ve taken care of the home, so it should be worth more, right?
Not necessarily. It can depend on the buyer’s discriminating tastes. What was great in the 90s doesn’t satisfy the buyers of today. Take for example popcorn ceilings. These cottage cheese type textures are from yesteryear so they tend to make a home feel dated and can detract value. This means buyers are less likely to make a competitive offer.
Homes don’t always age well—here’s why
We get that you love your home, and you’re looking to fetch top dollar, but it’s time for some tough love. If you had spinach in your teeth or your shirt buttoned wrong before an important meeting, you’d want us to tell you right — same goes for helping you sell your home. Here are some common factors that may devalue your home.
- Older-style Pergo (laminate) flooring
It’s not that laminate flooring is bad, but when it is too light in color or older, it just doesn’t work well to bring out the best features in your home. Specifically, the flooring that is trying too hard to simulate wood and isn’t neutral enough of a character to focus on the other elements in your home. Likewise, if you walk on it and it is loud, or it feels soft and mushy, that could be a sign that your flooring might need to be redone. The good news is if you installed newer laminate floors with texture, color and grain variation with beveled edges, you’ll be in great shape. Active families enjoy the damage-resistance that modern laminates offer.
- Older appliances
Consider for a moment that new homeowners (and first-time homeowners) are strapped for extra cash when they move in. They expect to be able to move into a turn-key home with an updated refrigerator, oven and microwave. They expect their home and its appliances should last for the next 15+ years. Nobody wants a drab fridge or an oven that has decades of grease baked into it. Stainless steel, modern appliances are the way to go. If you’re thinking of selling soon, don’t bother with a new $3000 refrigerator because it likely won’t yield much return.
- One bathroom
Many older homes were built with only one bathroom. Single-bathroom homes are a tougher sell later since most prospective homeowners want to have at least two or more bathrooms. If you have one bathroom, it should at least be in a good, clean condition to make it attractive for a buyer looking for a starter home.
- Located near commercial areas, busy roads, and overhead power lines
While you have less control over this directly, it’s good to take a moment to manage your expectations that the typical valuations might be a bit lower than expected. Typically, homes that take longer to sell are those that are located near dense business areas. Make the best with what you’ve got to ensure that your home is as presentable and welcoming as it can be.
- Outdated cabinets
The cold hard truth is that cabinets that wowed people ten years ago no longer excite all buyers and could even be a deal-breaker. It’s not you; it’s the reality that every ten years or so, there is a new crop of kitchen trends that catches our fancy. As far as kitchen cabinets go, wood cabinets are out of style. Signs of significant wear or age doesn’t help your home’s value, either. Painted kitchen cabinetry is one of the trends that are here to stay – including a “classic” white kitchen.
These are just some of the more common reasons why some homes could sell for less. Other symptoms that drag down home value might be the location, neighborhood features, sales performance of comparable homes, local economic outlook, regional trends, and much more.
Smart homeowners know when to let go
These tips are helpful to understand many of the factors help or hurt a home’s value. The reality is that these projects are costly to take on yourself. While they can improve a home’s value, it rarely results in a financial return favorable to the seller. It’s often easier to let it go and focus on your next step in life.
If you plan to sell your home in the future, take a few moments to receive a no-obligation analysis of your home from OfferPad.