The real estate world is finally recovering from its long slump, and that means more buyers are finally coming into the market. Most of these buyers are going to be first-time home owners: young people looking to stop renting and start investing in a home they can live in for years to come. Appealing to this kind of buyer can net you a lot of offers, but how can you best stage your Hamilton County home to appeal to them? With a little research and a consultation with your neighborhood drab-to-fab real estate agent, it’s easier than you think.
What First-Time Buyers Really Want in a Home
Of course, the first step in staging your home to appeal to first-time buyers is understanding what they want, and understanding where they’re coming from. First-time home buyers tend to be young, but make no mistake – these aren’t kids fresh from college. The recent economic slump and sparse job market has forced most young people to wait to buy their first home, so when selling to them, you’ll be dealing with late-twenties to early-thirties adults.
Most of these first-time buyers have rented homes or apartments before they made the decision to buy a home, and thus may not be used to being responsible for more intense upkeep and repairs – after all, when renting, the landlord or apartment super generally takes care of things like burst pipes and exterior maintenance. Because of this, first-time home buyers are generally leery of signing on for a home that will require a great deal of upkeep, or will require heavy repairs and improvements before it’s livable. To combat this, make sure your home looks its best, from the curb to the living room. Replace siding, pave the driveway, and give everything a fresh coat of paint. You want your home to look like it’s ready to be lived in, right from the get-go. If your home has any maintenance problems (i.e. , water damage, roof issues, etc.), be sure to take care of them beforehand professionally – it’s hard enough to sell a fixer-upper at a gain even to someone eager to do DIY fix-ups, and is no easy task to convince a first-time buyer looking for a stress-free purchase.
Staging-wise, you and your home staging agent should strive for a modern, contemporary look. Store away those personal knick-knacks, and go for a clean look – you want your home staging to sell your home as a product, not showcase your personal life and tastes. Make your home look comfortable, livable, and spacious enough for new buyers to add their own personal touches for years to come.
Is It Worth Appealing to First-Timers?
It’s true that first-time home buyers generally look for low prices as their goal. For a home seller looking to sell their property at a real gain, it might be counter-intuitive to appeal to this set – however, as the largest market for sale, failing to appeal to them is a death sentence. First-timers may low-ball your home offers, but don’t flat-out refuse to negotiate, or you’ll start losing interest with other buyers, fast. Offer things like home repair warranties, or to help pay some of the home’s closing costs. Engage your buyers in haggling, and you can both come out satisfied.
First-time home buyers are a fertile market for sale, and if you make the effort to appeal to their needs and interests, you’ll get big results. Ask a drab-to-fab real estate agent for staging and selling tips and strategies, and you’ll find that it’s a snap to prep your home for the young market – and you’ll be rolling in home offers in no time.