As any Realtor® will tell you, young buyers are very diverse in the type of house they like. Some want modern lines with an open floor plan, while others want the charm of separate rooms with crown molding and Victorian, Tudor, or other period styling. What unites young buyers is they do not want to buy a place that looks old and dinghy and needs lots of unexpected, expensive repairs – regardless of when it was built.
Making An Old Home Young At Heart
What this means is that if you are selling an old home to young buyers you must take some steps to make the home and neighborhood young at heart, even if you have a 100-year-old home in a historic neighborhood. This does not mean you need to add expensive amenities. While some buyers come to the home buying process with unrealistic expectations that granite counters and stainless appliance are essential to their well-being, most come to realize that homes with good bones can be turned into a perfect home.
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So what should you do to make a home stand out to young buyers?
Verify the condition of the home with a home inspection. Young buyers usually cannot afford to fall into a money pit. For a few hundred dollars, a home inspection will uncover most problems a professional can see without ripping the home apart. Whatever the inspector finds that is not fixed must be disclosed. Savvy young buyers with vision can get a rehab mortgage loan to take care of some issues. Having any problems on the table will enable them to make a good decision based on how much they remodeling they can handle.
Do the basic upkeep. Clean out the gutters, have the furnace and air conditioning system cleaned and serviced, and contract to have the septic system pumped. Having these services done (and showing would-be buyers the receipts) will offer peace of mind that basic systems are in order.
Make the home look less like Grandma’s place. Heavy draperies and overgrown trees and bushes keep light from flooding the home and make a home look old. Choosing lighter window treatments and trimming light-blocking foliage will offer a modern touch that even buyers who like old houses will appreciate. As with any home for sale, put the family photos out of sight and if possible, remove the kitsch and collectibles.
Lighten it up. For a fresh, modern look, paint the walls in neutral colors. If possible, remove that dark floral wallpaper and pull up the carpet to let the hardwood show. This will offer the buyer a taste of what the home could be like if it were their home.
Play up the neighborhood. The location of the home can sell it as well as the features it has. If buyers can walk to amenities they like, or reach them with a short drive, the neighborhood may offer special appeal. Young buyers may want cafes, restaurants, shopping, fitness centers, and nightlife, along with great schools, parks, and a nice yard for their children and pets.
Make Your Old Home Feel Like A New Home
By taking a few simple steps, you can make an old house appeal to younger buyers. Since the next owner will want to put their stamp on the place, your goal is to remove obstacles that will block their vision.
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Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991, Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. Call Roy at 902-497-3031 or contact Roy here