This article was written for our sponsor, Opendoor.
It's no secret the housing market in the Triangle area is booming. Home prices and appreciation rates for homes in Raleigh continue to track above average year after year.
According to a 2019 report released by the Raleigh Association of Realtors earlier this summer, the average amount of time a house stays on the market is less than four weeks.
In terms of population growth, the Triangle cities of Raleigh and Durham continue to be some of the fastest growing in the United States. All of this growth makes for a competitive real estate market, which is particularly favorable for sellers in the area.
While demand is high, sellers should still do everything they can to set themselves apart from the thousands of other homes that are on the market, not only in Raleigh and Durham, but in sister cities like Cary, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Garner and others.
If you're looking to sell your home, here's a list of seven things that you may not realize that make your home appealing to potential buyers.
1. Where your house is
Location is the one thing about your home that cannot be changed. It is also one of the biggest drivers in decision making when it comes to buyers purchasing a home. However, if the location of your home is favorable, it's something you should heavily advertise to advance the sale of your house.
A walkability score, for example, determines the proximity of your home to amenities like restaurants, retail and entertainment within walking or biking distance. This is a big selling point for buyers who want to be able to hop on over to the store on foot or take a stroll in the park around the corner.
However, if you're home isn't within walking distance of many things, you need not fret. Being a short car ride away from grocery stores, for instance, or being located in a good school district or near public transit like bus stops,, is also appealing to buyers.
"Living close to things is important to buyers — especially for first-time home buyers. They definitely want a lot of restaurants, coffee shops and cool things to do nearby. Families want parks and things to do for their children," explained Beatrice de Jong, a consumer trends expert at Opendoor.
Opendoor is a San Francisco-based real estate tech startup that launched in the Triangle in 2017.
"You could have the most beautiful home, but if it's not in the right place it doesn't do people much good," she said.
2. Natural light
Everyone wants a home with great natural light. If you've got this in spades, make sure to market this to inquiring buyers.
Natural light infuses a home with positive energy and makes the space feel more open and alive — it's an inherent crowd pleaser. Make sure to invite people to tour your home when the lighting is best so interested buyers can get the full effect.
"Homes just feel happier when they are bright and sun drenched," de Jong said. "Plenty of natural light is also helpful for keeping indoor plants alive."
3. Great storage
Think of what a nuisance it would be to live in a home without a pantry, a coat closet, a linen closet, or a garage or shed. Storage space in a house is appealing to homebuyers who want to ensure their stuff has a home too.
If your house has an attic, a basement, walk-in closets and a host of other great storage options, be sure to communicate that in your listing.
4. Updated kitchen appliances
There's nothing that gives a kitchen a facelift more than updated kitchen appliances. While everything doesn't have to be stainless steel, newer refrigerators, microwaves and stoves really appeal to buyers.
Mismatched, energy-inefficient, "standard" appliances, or no appliances in your kitchen at all can make your home harder to sell.
"Making sure you have a cohesive look throughout the kitchen can go a long way with buyers who see themselves spending a lot of time in this area of the home," de Jong added.
5. Add-ons, expansions, & improvements
If your house has undergone any expansions, add-ons or improvements, be sure to let buyers know. And if you're planning to sell down the line anyway, it could increase the value of your home to add something like an additional bathroom or finish the basement in the meantime.
Opendoor offers a home improvement calculator that helps sellers determine which home improvements can add the biggest home value boost, along with the average increase in value for a home.
The following are examples for a home valued around $300,000 in the Raleigh-Durham area:
- Add a full bathroom - $22,350 (7.45%)
- Finish the basement - $22,000 (7.33%)
- Add a bedroom - $17,800 (5.93%)
- Add 150 square feet of interior living space - $16,200 (5.4%)
- Add a pool - $13,900 (4.63%)
"Improvements are the fastest way to build value and increase equity in your home. Even if you're not planning to sell anytime soon, you get to live with the benefit of having the upgrade done," explained de Jong. "It's an investment in your home, and you're going to increase your home value by doing those improvements if and when you do decide to sell."
6. Outdoor space
Whether you have an acre of grassy land or a quaint patio for entertaining, an outdoor space of some sort is a must for most buyers.
With so many months of the year spent outside in North Carolina, Triangle residents want a place to dine al fresco or have a yard for their pets to run around in. If you have an outdoor space, make sure to advertise it as an extension of your house that potential homebuyers can enjoy.
7. Already installed-systems
Moving into a home that is already equipped with things like a sprinkler system, an alarm system, automatic electric garage doors and central A/C can be the cherry on top for buyers looking to purchase a home. Not only do new homeowners save money by having already-installed systems, it's also less of a headache to get everything set up when it's already in place.
This article was written for our sponsor, Opendoor.