I once had a very experienced appraiser tell me five to ten percent of the value of a house is intangible and attributable only to the subjective feeling and opinion of the buyer who wants it. Ninety percent of the value is determined by facts and up to ten percent determined by feeling.
The conversation was years ago but it’s always stayed with me.
I visit with lots of folks thinking about selling their homes. Our visits include a conversation about the value of their home. And really, figuring out ninety percent of the value of a home is fairly easy. Compile data…count rooms, gather past sales and current on market listings, consider price/square foot, know market inventory level and direction. Put that information together and it will “produce” a number, a “the house is for sure without a doubt at least this much” number that’s proven by the data compiled.
It’s the other five to ten percent of the value that’s harder to quantify because at least a portion of it, as the experienced appraiser told me, is intangible and determined by the feeling and opinion of the buyer that likes and wants the house.
When you are selling your home and want to maximize the sales price it’s critical to focus on, plan and prepare your home for the buyer that wants it. Because it is their opinion, their feeling when they walk in the door that accounts for a five to ten percent portion of the value of a home. Think feeling for dollars!
My visits with sellers thinking about selling their homes also always include a conversation about preparing the house for sale. And most sellers thinking about selling their home admit to being “done with the house.” They don’t want to put a whole bunch of effort and money into doing anything to the house they no longer want…
“A buyer can pick out paint colors”
“I don’t know what kind of carpet they would like.”
“I still have to live in my house.”
“I like the living room this way.”
“We never put mulch in the flower beds.”
I get it, and it’s all true…a buyer can pick out their own paint colors, they can replace carpet and buy mulch. A seller doesn’t have to do a thing. The house will sell, every house sells eventually. A seller just needs to decide if they want to sell their house for the ninety percent of its value that can be proven by compiled data or if they want to sell for the full value of their home, the value that includes the intangible feeling of the buyer.
A seller needs to decide if they want to give feeling for dollars.
Do you have to paint your aqua kitchen a neutral gray?
No, you don’t. It’s not going to affect 90% of the value of your home. But if you want a prospective buyer to feel like they’re walking into their new kitchen instead of your old one, you should consider it.
Do you have to buy new bedding for your master bedroom?
Nope, don’t have to do that either. But if you want a buyer to walk into the master bedroom and feel like they can’t wait to cozy up in bed in their new master bedroom then you’ll recognize the cost of a luxurious bed in a bag set is a minimal price to pay for the feeling it will evoke.
Do you need to rearrange the furniture? Take down the wall of family photos? Clear the kitchen counter of the toaster, crock pot, and mixer?
You don’t have to do any of it. But if doing any of those things gets traces of “you” out of the house and invites the buyer to see themselves in the house, to feel their search is over, well, it’d be foolish not to.
Do you need professional photographs?
Nope. But professional photos will make a prospective buyer pause online. You can bet the photos will give your house a chance…they’ll click on each image. They’ll linger on each photo longer than they will the photos snapped with an iPhone…beautiful photos will evoke the feeling, “this one’s a possibility.”
We real estate agents and our stagers make recommendations: paint the family room, declutter this, rearrange that, add fluffy white towels, change the bedding, take this down, put this up, get a bowl of lemons for the kitchen island. Taken individually each recommendation sounds almost silly. Realistically, is new bedroom bedding going to sell your house? It’s not. But in their entirety, or as close to entirety as possible those recommendations are about creating the intangible. Creating a space that evokes a feeling...the “Oh my gosh I could see us here, this is our house” feeling for the buyer. It’s the five to ten percent…it’s about feeling for dollars.
Want to get top dollar for your house? Give feeling…for dollars!
The Amy Curtis Group can compile data and crunch the numbers like nobody’s business…but we are experts in feelings. When you want to sell your home for top dollar, give us a holler.