Last Updated on October 2, 2020 by HortonTeam
In today’s market, it takes more than an average home to sell for top prices. These homes are constantly competing with foreclosures, short sales, estates, and more. The only homes that are selling quickly and for optimal money are the two extremes—Diamonds and Deals. Before learning what you can do to turn your home into a Diamond (which is what we both want), it’s important to recognize the difference between a Diamond and a Deal.
What are Diamonds?
Diamonds are the cream of the crop. They’re what everyone wants, including the seller and the agent, and most importantly the buyer. Diamonds are the houses that have been maintained or upgraded to the highest level of value. These homes don’t require updates upon purchase, such as applying new paint, laying new flooring, changing out light fixtures, or any other activities that will bring value back to the home. Essentially, buyers will pay top dollar if the home they want to purchase is move-in ready. With that in mind, you will quickly understand why Diamonds are also what the seller and agent are hoping to bring to market.
What are Deals?
Even though deals may sell just as fast as diamonds, they’re not necessarily better. Contrary to what many agents will tell you (price, price, price), the three elements that will sell a house are actually location, price, and condition. While location cannot be changed, price and condition are ultimately up to the seller. Most sellers who don’t know any better assume that improving the condition of their home will be too expensive or time-consuming for their taste or relocation status. This is why so many homes that need updates sit on the market and are eventually rejected. Once this happens, many sellers elect to lower the price of their house to below market value. While this often does result in a quicker selling process, doing so will only help the buyer.
Which One Should My House Be?
There is a small group who looks for Deals, usually to utilize as an investment property or as a “project” home. While you can still sell your home quickly, this isn’t the most profitable route to take. In today’s market of distressed properties, Deals are easy to come by. Any house will sell if it is priced as a Deal, but that’s not what the seller or agent’s end-game should be. Since the larger pool of buyers want Diamonds, it is best that you commit to upgrading your home in order to sell for top value and ensure the most amount of buyers see your home.
Studies have shown that buyers are more likely to return to a home that impresses them at first glance, while homes that appear disorderly or poorly maintained fail to bring buyers back for a second look. This explains why nearly 20% of all homes for sale in Evansville and Newburgh will eventually become expired and be rejected from the market, forcing those sellers to lower the price of their homes. The remaining 80% of homes (which sell only a few days after being listed) are divided almost evenly between Diamonds or Deals. With that being the case, it’s imperative that any home that isn’t a Diamond at least be sold as a Deal or it will never come off the market. However, the seller should do everything in their power to turn their home into a Diamond before listing.
How Can I Turn My Home into a Diamond?
The good news is that there are a number of things a seller can do to evolve their average home into a Diamond. Home staging is a good start, but major value will be found in improvements to the home. Some of these investments involve money, some involve time, and most involve both. The bottom line is that a seller has to make all or most of the improvements to their house that if left alone would turn most Diamond-buyers away before even visiting the home. Common examples include inserting new carpet and flooring, painting bedrooms or living rooms, installing new light fixtures or ceiling fans, and applying crown molding just to name a few. In most cases, these upgrades must be recommended on a case-by-base basis by someone experienced on the subject and your home. Many sellers are afraid of the subject, but in truth, the cost of investment in cleaning, repairing, and updating your home is far less expensive than reducing the price of your home and settling for a Deal. While some updates may make you a little more (and sell faster) than you would otherwise, some will double or even triple your investment costs. However, be sure to consult with an expert before updating or staging your home for the market.
With a market full of under-priced Deals and average homes that will eventually expire, it’s in your best interest to prepare your home as a Diamond. Calling on the Horton Team to advise you with staging, updating, and which items to invest in will make all the difference in selling as a Diamond or settling for a Deal. What will your house be?