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Top 7 Things Home-buyers Are Looking For

by Karen Picarello

As times change, so do the needs and desires of each generation of new homeowners. What might be a necessity in a home a generation ago might be an afterthought today. Additionally, changes in public attitudes and wealth distribution can alter the priorities of those looking to buy a home. Here are the top 7 things that potential buyers are looking for when they shop for a new home. 
1. Outdoor Spaces
While millennials are certainly bucking the previous generational trends of settling down quickly (getting married, buying a home, having children), they are often more conscientious than previous generations about what they want. The importance of outdoor spaces has been rising when home-buyers are asked about their list of essential features. While you cant do much to change whether or not you have them, there is a lot you can do to improve what you have. Making it welcoming, clean, and safe are all easy ways to increase the appeal of your outdoors.
2. Laundry Room
This item frequently tops surveys of most desired features of a new house. Having a place to clean and store your clothing is a luxury appreciated by many. If you do not have one, they can be surprisingly affordable to add to a house, although this will depend on existing spaces and utility lines. 
3. Technology Integration
The growth of smart technology has many homeowners and prospective buyers excited. Whether it is the added security of being able to monitor your home while away, or the convenience of adjusting temperature and appliances from your phone, the addition of smart technology to a home can be a huge selling point, and can really incentivise buyers to see themselves living there.  
4. Modern Kitchens
Beautiful kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, and so its no surprise to see this on the list. Having a spacious and modern kitchen which is well lit and attractive can be a big plus for potential buyers. Therefore, paying to upgrade or renovate an older design can really increase the demand and appeal of your property. Taking the time to ensure that your kitchen is going to wow potential buyers will almost certainly reward you when you are selling.
5. Work spaces
As the internet grows, more and more people are doing business through it, it is becoming more and more common for people to do some or all of their work from their home. Accommodating this trend will help endear your space to a potential buyer. If they see areas which can quickly be converted into a home office, this will reassure them that the house is right. 

External Improvements

by Karen Picarello

One great area to improve when looking help your house sell fast is the outside. While you want your house to be clean, recently painted, and give off a good first impression, many people spend a lot of time and money renovating their interior spaces, while simultaneously neglecting their landscaping and external décor. And because the first thing that potential buyers will see when coming to check out your property is the exterior, it could cost you to neglect it. Not only will the exterior feature prominently on any advertisements, but the first and last impressions visitors get will stick with them. So, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your exterior spaces.


First, no dead plants. This can mean anything from that old rhododendron which is mostly brown, to dead grass, or even to clippings which are strewn about. Replacing these with vibrant greenery can really help to sell your home. You want potential buyers to be envisioning an idyllic life here, and reminding them of the difficulties involved with home maintenance can burst that daydream. So, pay a landscaper or do the work yourself, but make sure that all unsightly plants have been disposed of.

Second, make a plan whereby your landscaping can be improved. Even if it’s just consulting with a landscaper about what you can do, getting a professional opinion on how to improve your landscaping can be invaluable. A few hours of time from a professional will be completely worth your while if it helps your house to sell. An experienced landscaper will have a good idea of what looks good, how to work with your local topography and climate, and how much it will cost you to make changes. If you want to get value out of your house, is one of the cheapest and most cost effective ways to do so. There are few things that can dramatically change the way a house is perceived like changing the landscaping. High quality green landscaping can change an “older” house to a “charming” one.

Finally, put in some external décor. Things like benches can really help a visitor to feel at home in your garden or outdoor area. Picking new and clean décor to furnish your exterior can make a marked difference in the way that your house is perceived. Therefore, putting benches, paving stones, and other decorative elements can really help your house to sell faster. 

Timing Your Sale

by Karen Picarello

One challenging obstacle to people who own a house but are considering moving is the timing of their purchase. When looking to change homes, it is critical that your timing be correct. The two main factors in a sale are ensuring that you are not without a house for too long, and that you are able to get the funds from your old house in a timely manner. If you are unable to sell your old house, or end up struggling to buy a new one, you could end up in a sticky situation.


While it would be unpleasant to end up out of a home for a period of time, this is a better situation than having a home you are attempting to buy but being unable to sell your old one. Thankfully, there can be provisions in any contract which stipulate the contingency that your other plans go through. For this reason, it is recommended that you begin the process of finding a new home once you have listed the home that you own. Then, you can include clauses which stipulate that you must find a new home in x number of days in order for the sale to be completed.

This also gives you additional negotiating power when looking to purchase your new home. If you have the cash from the sale of your old home ready, you can use that fluidity to strengthen your offer. The reverse of this situation means that you will be desperate to close the sale on your old house, weakening your ability to negotiate for the highest price. So it is almost always best to list your old house before taking steps to purchase a new one. Once you are confident in the selling of your owned property, you can move forward easily and comfortably onto the purchase of a new property.


Additionally, it is important to have an idea of what the local housing market looks like. Understanding whether buyers or sellers have an advantage will help you to negotiate your contracts and plan your listings properly. In this situation, it is best to get professional advice from an experienced realtor. A strong understanding of the local housing market and current market conditions will put you in a much better position when negotiating. Therefore, before taking any steps, it is important to find an experienced realtor who will be able to guide you through the process.


Should I Paint Before Selling?

by Karen Picarello

Painting a house can drastically change the appeal, many sellers wonder if their house will need a fresh coat of paint before putting it on the market. However, most homeowners will have a lot on their plate when getting ready to sell, and repainting an entire house can be quite expensive. So it can certainly be easier to simply decide that the house is fine without a new paint job.

Exterior Paint

An exterior paint job is one of the absolute best ways for you to make an older house look more appealing. A house that hasn’t been painted for 25+ years will have a noticeably shabbier exterior than a house with a current paint job. And this initial view that your potential buyers will get can drastically change their opinion of the house. If the paint job is deteriorating, they will suspect that the rest of the house is in poor condition as well. I have seen noticeable differences in buyer reactions to the same house before and after a paint job, and in nearly every case, buyers who view the house after the fresh coat of paint will be more lenient in their assessment of the condition of the rest of the house. So of your outside paint looks terrible and is deteriorating, it’s almost certainly worth it to go and pay for a fresh coat, or at least a touch up.

However, if your house has a more recent paint job, it can still benefit from an examination. If it was painted in the last ten years, it is likely that the paint is still in good condition. However, it is quite possible that the paint is dirty, which can dull the colors. Fixing this will be much cheaper than a new coat of paint. When safe, using a pressure washer or hiring an exterior cleaning company to clean off your paint can drastically and cheaply increase the curb appeal of your home.

In other words, unless your paint is brand new and shining, it is most likely worth it to put some effort into sprucing up your exterior. The only thing left is to ensure that your paint job is done well. So, pick a color which is appealing and matches your neighborhood, and hire a professional. Figure out what other people have done successfully in your area, and don’t be afraid to take their ideas. 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Photo of Team Picarello Real Estate
Team Picarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
Fax: (480)860-8755