Local News

Upgrades can make homes more attractive to buyers

Posted March 18, 2009 6:06 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2009 6:31 p.m. EDT

— The average home in Wake County stays on the market for nearly four months. With so many homes for sale, experts say there are things sellers can do to make their houses and condos more attractive.

Many homebuyers say "no" before they even walk through the door, statistics show. Experts say landscaping is the key to getting potential buyers to go inside. They suggest getting a stained mulch, planting flowers and putting a fresh coat of paint on the home.

Once inside, the home should look like a model home.

In order to sell their 2,400-square-foot Cary home, Kate Owenby and her family made some changes, including repainting the sea-foam green kitchen a more neutral color.

“Based off advice we received from our agent and staging consultant, it was better to have a more neutral color that everyone who would walk in would like,” Owenby said.

The Owenbys also installed granite counter-tops and stainless steel appliances. These types of upgrades can boost the selling price, real estate agents say.

“Most home-sellers see the advantage,” real estate agent Mike Regan said.

Not all upgrades are major expenses. Experts saying adding greenery, candles and hotel-white towels in the bathroom can give the home a spa-like feel.

Generic artwork instead of family photos on the walls allows buyers to envision the home as theirs.

The most important thing is to de-clutter the home, experts say. Many recommend renting a storage unit to hide extra stuff.

Owenby’s home is within a half-mile radius of 27 other similar-sized homes for sale.

“If you start your house priced right and prepared right, you should be able to sell your house no matter how much competition,” Regan said.

After three weeks on the market, Owenby said she is hopeful.

“I think it’ll only be a matter of time before it sells pretty fast,” she said.

Homes in Cary spend about 72 days on the market. In Durham, homes are selling the fastest – about two months on the market. Homes in Raleigh sit unsold for around 110 days. Holly Springs homes are moving the slowest, waiting about five months.