3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Harder to Sell

Marc Jablon Broward County Real Estate , Palm Beach County Real Estate , real estate blog Leave a Comment

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Harder to Sell 1

There are lots of great ideas that can help your home to sell quickly and for the most money in today’s real estate market. Among them are staging your home to looks its best, cleaning out closets and eliminating clutter, and changing your landscaping so it looks inviting.

But there are also a number of changes that may seem like improvements – but ultimately turn out to be disastrous when it comes time to sell your home.

Harder Sell Number 1. Enlarging your bedroom but not your house.

Everybody wants a bigger bedroom. You’ve got that beautiful dresser you found at the flea market that you refinished. You know just the place for it, but you need another three feet of wall space.

You’re tired of that queen bed because every time your partner changes position you end up either rolling into the center or you’ve been pushed onto the floor. You need a king bed – and it would fit if you could just add another three or four feet of width to the room.

That footage runs right there along the side wall, staring you in the face every day. And the only things in the way are shirts and pants. You realize they could go into the guest closet, which you’re not using anyway. It used to be your kid’s room but now that she’s out of college and living on her own, why not put it to good use?

So you call in your handyman and tell him to remove the closet. Now the room is neat, clean, and exactly the size you need for that dresser or bigger bed.

Why this may not be a good idea.

When you decide to sell the house or condo, you have just turned off 90 percent of your buying audience. They’re counting the closets because they’ve got 2 or three children or grandchildren.

They want all of the closets because they already know what’s going into them. If there’s not at least one walk-in closet in the master bedroom (plus a standard closet, if that’s typical of the neighborhood), your house has just lost the buyer’s interest.

Harder Sell Number 2. Turning your garage into a den.

In south Florida we don’t have basements, and we don’t really have attic space to speak of. As a result, we are hard pressed for storage space. That may account for the proliferation of self-storage facilities in our state.

It may also be the reason why so many people have two cars in their driveway and a two car garage stuffed with junk they haven’t looked at for at least 10 years.

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However, after a few years of looking at all of this stuff in the garage, you realize it has no use to you. So you set up a garage sale and two days later, you’ve got an empty garage.

Well, the cars have been outdoors all these years, and you can’t see any reason to bring them back in. Suddenly there’s somewhere between 200 and 400 square feet of empty and seemingly usable space that’s not serving any purpose at all.

You look around the house realize you’ve always wanted a room for the pool table. Or you’d really like a den where you can set up that big screen TV with a couple of really comfortable chairs and couches.

Now you’ve got a den that’s separate from the kids and their friends and you and your spouse can finally enjoy some privacy. Your friends think it’s a wonderful idea and tell you they wish they could clean out their garages so they could do what you did.

Why this may not be a good idea.

When you go to sell your house, you have a minor dilemma. You don’t know whether to call your former garage a den, family room, or bedroom.

It’s got a window, so most people call it a bedroom and advertise their former 3 bedroom/2.5 bath home as a 4 bedrom / 2.5 bath home.

Sounds good. After all, who doesn’t want an extra bedroom these days? But the pictures of your house and the outside appearance of your house indicate that you have a two car garage.

So when the buyers come in and can’t find the garage, they are not pleased. They want that garage. They also want the 4th bedroom. You have just turned off your buyer.

Harder Sell Number 3. Turning two bedrooms into one.

You and your spouse have lived in the house for more than ten years, and you’d really like to make the master bath larger. It’s just the two of you, so why do you really need that third bedroom?

Now that the kids are grown up and live five hundred miles away, it’s time to make your house more compatible with your own lifestyle.

Your master bath and closet share a wall with the second bedroom. It’s not a load bearing (supporting) wall, so it’s easy to take down the plasterboard and studs.

Not only can you expand the bathroom, you can also add about 30 square feet to the closet. Now you have a walk-in his and hers that’s got more than enough room for your both of you.

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Suddenly the master bedroom is massive and it’s become your favorite room in the house.

Why this may not be a good idea.

Some day you are going to want to sell this house. Or, if you plan to be there forever, your children will have to sell it.

Today, the audience for a home with two bedrooms is almost non-existent, unless the home is in an active adult community where most of the other homes also have only two bedrooms.

But if you’re in an all-age community where families with children are the primary buyers, and where the typical minimum home size is 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, you’ve just reduced the value of your home by at least one third.

This could affect the appraisal value, which could have a negative effect on a buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage for the property.

If you’ve already implemented any or all of the above ideas, you have two choices: change them back, or leave them as they are.

The cost to transform rooms back to the original state may be prohibitive. You may find that the amount you’d have to spend on that work will come to as much or more than the amount of money you may have to concede on the asking price.

An easy selling rule to remember:

Increasing room size or adding an additional room can be a great idea, if the house increases in size. However, adding to room size or adding a room – without adding to the size of the house – most often results in a contraction in price.

Buyers count bedrooms. Buyers count closets. Buyers count garage space. If those numbers don’t add up, buyers will subtract them from the selling price of your home.

Marc Jablon, the Jablon Team
Re/Max Complete Solutions
[email protected]

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Marc Jablon