People who are thinking of selling their house often wonder what they can do to increase its appeal to buyers. The goal of doing so is fairly obvious: maximize profit and minimize time on the market.
Many sellers think that updating their kitchen or bathrooms, or even adding an addition, will do the trick. In a sense, they will. If you do a major renovation or addition, it will surely increase how much your house will sell for, and there is a good chance it will sell more quickly if you do substantial upgrades before you list. But, it will also cost you a good chunk of time, money, and it is possible it won’t net you more money than the actual cost of the work.
On the other hand, there is a simple tweak you can do to your house (if you haven’t already) that will increase its appeal to a lot of buyers, which is…
Create a dedicated home office space.
Home offices have been a feature buyers have liked for some time, but over the past two years they ha’ve become all the more appealing due to the pandemic. With the pandemic winding down — hopefully for good — it may seem like home offices won’t be as much of a draw. But that is not likely. Here are a few reasons why a home office is still something buyers will want to see if you are selling in the near future:
While many companies have started having employees come back into the office, many have not. There are still plenty of companies playing it safe and having their employees work remotely.
The pandemic loosened the jar lid, so to say, and now more people are doing whatever possible to continue working from home entirely — or at least in a hybrid fashion — simply because they like the quality of life better.
Gas prices fluctuate, and they won’t be high forever, but right now they are, and there is a good chance they will be that way for a while. So if you are selling soon, working from home to save on the cost of commuting is likely on a lot of buyers’ minds. Even if gas prices do go down, the sting of it will be on their minds for some time.
“What if it happens again…” The pandemic is barely in the rear view mirror, and people are sensitive to needing a dedicated home office space if there is another variant or surge, but they are also thinking about a future pandemic. It may not have been something buyers would have been sensitive to a couple of years ago, but it will be a long time before buyers don’t think what living in a house would be like if it happens again in the future.
So if you are thinking about selling your home in the near future and want to add some appeal, create a dedicated home office space if you don’t already have one.
You don’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) do an addition to add a home office. As mentioned above, the cost of doing so probably wouldn’t make sense. Just repurpose a room, or a section of one, and make it into a home office. Here are a few ideas on how to carve out some space:
If you have a spare bedroom, and it won’t take away from the marketability in your area for the likely buyer, just turn it into a home office.
If you have a finished basement, turn part of it into an office.
If you have an unfinished attic, consider turning that into an office for as little money as possible.
Section off a portion of your living room as a home office. It doesn’t need to be huge; buyers just need to see where they could set themselves up to work from home if they lived there.
Perhaps use a formal dining room, since many people don’t use them as often as they would use a home office. They can always use it as a dining room if they want to, but show them how it would look as a home office instead.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer of course, but creating a home office is most likely to add appeal to your house if you are selling in the near future. But before you do, make sure to consult with your go-to real estate agent from DFWREAdvisors and get some input on whether it is the best thing for you to do in your market and for your particular house.