Don’t Turn off Home Buyers in NJ

As real estate markets continue to recover, home buyers in NJ are out in full force.  Many of today’s buyers make judgments about homes within moments of seeing a listing online.  They are also more cautious than before the housing crisis.  They want to make sure they’re buying the best house and for the best amount of money.  For sellers, that means giving buyers what they want.  Though it’s a home first and foremost, it’s also an investment.  If you’re planning to put your house on the market, here are five ways you might be turning off potential buyers.

  1. A garage turned into something else.

If you’ve sacrificed the garage for something other than the garage, the trade-off might actually be a turn-off, especially to people where parking is at a premium.  Even in the suburbs, most people want a covered, secure place to park their cars.  Don’t forget that a garage often doubles as a storage location. The garage houses everything from lawn mower to the excess paper towels and cleansers.  If you convert your garage into something else, you’re likely to force home buyers in NJ to look elsewhere.

  1. A bedroom turned into something else.

Aside from location, one of the first things home buyers in NJ search for is number of bedrooms.  Why? Because it’s an important requirement.  You might think having a wine cellar, with built-in refrigerators, in your home will make it attractive to potential buyers because it was attractive to you.  And while it’s true many people work from home today at least part of the time, that doesn’t mean they want a dedicated home office, especially one with built-in desks or bookcases that would need to be removed.  If you must convert a bedroom into something else, make sure you can easily convert it back into a bedroom when you go to sell.

  1. Carpet over hardwood floors.

Many people today like hardwood floors.  They are cleaner looking, add a design element, don’t show dirt as much, and they’re definitely preferred over carpets for people with allergies.  If you have nice hardwood floors, show them off.  Let the home buyers in NJ decide if they want to cover them.  It’s easier for a buyer to purchase new carpeting of their choosing than it is for them to get past yours.

  1. Over-the-top lighting fixtures.

A beautiful chandelier can enliven a dining room.  But it can also turn off buyers who prefer simpler, less ornate lighting fixtures.  Did you fall in love with a dark light fixture on a trip to Casablanca?  That’s great.  And you should use it for your own enjoyment.  But when it comes time to sell, replace it with something more neutral.

  1. The kid’s room that is a miniature theme park.

Little kids have big imaginations.  They tend to love Disney characters, spaceships, super heroes, and such, and their parents are often all-too-willing to turn their rooms into fantasy caves.  But the more you transform a kid’s bedroom into something resembling a Disneyland ride, the more you’ll turn off most potential home buyers in NJ.  Your buyer might have teenage children who will see the removal of wallpaper, paint or little-kid-inspired light fixtures as work.  If you can, neutralize the kid’s rooms before you go on the market.

Part of the joy of owning a home is that you can do whatever you want with it, to it, and in it.  You should enjoy it.  But if you want to sell it easily and for top dollar down the road, try to picture how home buyers in NJ might react to any renovations, additions or modifications you make.  The more specific you get ,such as turning your kid’s room into a miniature castle from Cinderella,  the harder it will be to sell your home later, and the less return on investment you’ll get.  When considering changes to your home, always consider resale.

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