Buying a home is probably one of the biggest financial decisions most people have to make in their lifetime. I work with a lot of homebuyers here in Richmond VA and the process can seem fairly stressful, especially in this very hot sellers market we have been having!
But most buyers today will most likely only be in the home they buy today for maybe another 5 to 10 years after closing! So it is probably likely that you are NOT thinking about selling the home in the future!
But you should! It is important to keep in mind that at some point you will be selling your home - and, no matter what the real estate market is at that time, you will want to get top dollar for it! No one has a crystal ball that will tell us what the future of the Richmond real estate market will be - but there are some things that can help you make sure that you are able to sell your home for top dollar, no matter what the real estate market is like at the time you go to sell your home!
So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 things to look for in your home that will help you get top dollar when you sell it!
The Neighborhood - When you buy a house, you are not just buying a house but you are also buying the neighborhood! Whether you are looking at a planned neighborhood or one that is in the city of Richmond, make sure the neighborhood is one that you like and has the amenities you want! After all, you will be living here for years to come! So know the pros and cons of the neighborhood you are buying in!
The Price History of the House - Is the price of the house in line with the value of other homes in the area? When did the current owner purchase the house & for how much? If the current owner purchased the house a couple of years ago for $200,000 and they are now asking $350,000, were there any upgrades or improvements done over the years, or is the new value in line with what the neighborhood has been doing!
The Home's Size, Layout & Features - In a hot market, you may be able to forgive some design flaws, but the hot market we have today may not be the hot market of tomorrow - and may be a much cooler real estate market! Are there good renovations that have gone bad (a wooden counter top painted to look like granite in the kitchen but still sticky is one example)? Are there overly creative customizations in the house (a garage that was turned into a home gym in a neighborhood where people actually use their garages to park in)?
The Home's Condition - There are a lot of houses in neighborhoods in Richmond that are up and coming neighborhoods, which have good bones and have been well maintained but just not recently updated! If the price is a good price, don't pass it by! But if the house has not been well maintained over the years & still needs updating, you may want to rethink this home!
The Schools - You may not have kids, but your future buyer may and so taking schools into consideration is something that could impact your resale in the future!
A Room With A View - A home where you can look out and see well maintained neighborhood homes and a quiet street will be much more appealing to your future buyer than if they are looking at a poorly maintained house or a very busy street!
Bedrooms & Baths - If the home you are looking at only has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, while all the other homes in the neighborhood have at least 3 bedrooms, 2 baths - you may be at a disadvantage when you go to sell. Your future buyer may have other homes to consider that may be more suited to their needs!
Kitchen - The kitchen is the heart of the home! Buyers today like the open floor plans where they can be in the kitchen and talking to family and friends from there! And if your future buyer is a cook, they will definitely want to have lots of kitchen space! A renovated kitchen that is functional will appeal to your future buyer!
Location in the Neighborhood - The old adage of location, location, location is so true in real estate! If you have found the perfect neighborhood, make sure that you have also found the perfect location within that neighborhood! In a less hot market, having the railroad tracks behind your home, or having a home that sits right at the entrance to the neighborhood off a busy road, may not be your future buyer's desired location!
Nearby Amenities - Many buyers want to know that they can get to amenities such as swimming, etc. as well as close to shopping and churches! If your future buyer has to travel 45 minutes to get to the grocery store or the nearest Starbucks, it may take longer for your home to sell!
This list is just a guide! When buying a home, make sure that you take these things into consideration! Your home is an investment as well as a place to make memories with your family!
Have questions? Thinking of buying a home? Want to know what real estate is doing in your neighborhood? Let me know - I am happy to help!