This is going to sound a little harsh, but it is true. Sellers: some, perhaps many of the things which you think are huge selling points are not important at all to today’s home buyers. Most Silicon Valley house hunters do not care about your wet bar. They care even less about your expensive wallpaper, or your heavy 1970s era curtains, which they probably hate. In fact, many of the improvements you made when personalizing the home for yourself may have cost you a lot of money, but many California home buyers either won’t like them at all or even find them to be a negative. That is often the case with wet bars!
If wet bars and wallpaper aren’t important, what is?
Buyers DO care about your foundation (please, no cracks), your roof (hopefully newer with many years left on it), your plumbing (tell us it’s 100% copper). They care a great deal about updating and remodeling of things seen – bathrooms, kitchen, popcorn ceiling removed – and unseen. Is the electrical really as old as the house? Is the sewer line on its last leg? Did your disclosures mention that rats are a problem? Do you have an issue with water in the crawl space which will eventually wreck the foundation? Does your house back up to a train line, school, freeway, high voltage line or something else undesirable which cannot be fixed? Buyers do care about these types of things. Above all, Silicon Valley home buyers want security. They want a solid house without problems. They don’t want to worry. It is scary enough to buy at all!
They may well remove your water softener (some like it, some don’t), wet bar, wallpaper, expensive drapes that look like they belong in a funeral home. When they look at your house online, they see $$$ to remove the popcorn ceiling. They can see that your cabinets are original and that you slapped on granite to make them look new. It didn’t work.
Today’s home buyers want “green” homes. They want high tech homes. Most do not want pools (though some do, particularly in high end homes on large lots).
You don’t need to know everything that your probable home buyer wants and needs. But if you are wise, you will hire an honest, capable Realtor who will tell you the truth – that is, what you need to hear and not what you want to hear – and not be browbeaten into becoming your yes-man when it comes to the condition and pricing of your property.
If you want to sell your home for top dollar, eliminate as many problems as possible. Fix or replace the broken heater, dishwasher, etc. Be realistic about the problems you cannot fix and adjust your offering price accordingly. Understand that marketing, as important as it is, cannot make up for a too-high list price. If your home doesn’t get the activity or offers that would seem to be appropriate, see if you can determine what the problem is. Most of the time it is price. Sometimes it’s a fixable condition. On rare occasions, it’s marketing – but that is seldom the case. When the price is high, it often comes down to home owners valuing things highly, like that wet bar, that most home buyers do not value at all.