Do all the listings in your portfolio look shockingly similar? The key to your next sale (and your next commission advance) could be simpler than you think. Sniff out which distinctive features take a home from ordinary to extraordinary and you’ll give buyers a reason to sign on the dotted line.
Smart Home Gadgetry
Fancy remote-controlled lighting and voice-activated thermostats used to seem futuristic, but it turns out that the future is now. Home automation has hit the mainstream, and buyers are demanding state-of-the-art devices that provide convenience and help save money. The global smart home market is expected to reach more than $40 billion by 2020; properties that are slightly ahead of the curve now may well garner additional interest once they hit the MLS.
The popularity of restoration-themed TV reno shows highlights the public’s continuing affection for modern twists on vintage details. People want all the ease of contemporary living but with the charm and aesthetic look of old-school features like a claw-foot tub. These days, though, you don’t have to go hunting for an original piece. Lots of companies are designing new tubs that have sleek lines, gorgeous hardware and even whirlpool jets.
Experts say that millennials are cooking at home more than twice as often as baby boomers, but almost everyone likes to entertain on occasion. Having people over for happy hour is a lot easier when you can gather the gang around a built-in bar as you shake up a tray of martinis or margaritas.
The weekday rush leaves little time for a leisurely sit-down breakfast, but busy parents can make bag lunches, prep a heap of cereal and toast and keep an eye on the kids when the little ones are tucked into a breakfast nook rather than a separate room. Even if kids aren’t in the picture, breakfast nooks offer a casual, comfortable spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and the Sunday crossword puzzle. To maximize space, designers are trending towards multifunctional nooks that double as storage or use wall-mounted benches as seating.
A Kitted-Out Laundry Room
No one wants to trot up and down a flight of stairs over and over again just to complete a week’s worth of laundry. A laundry room with built-in shelves and cupboards, a drying rack, countertops for folding and a sink for tackling tough stains and handwashing delicates could be the tipping point for buyers trying to decide between two properties that are otherwise equal.
Curb appeal has always been an influential factor in real estate, but these days a well-manicured lawn just isn’t enough. Outdoor lights shine a spotlight on key architectural features and add visual interest (especially around a pool or garden area), but there’s also a safety issue at play: Motion-triggered lights can make a buyer feel more secure, especially if the property is particularly remote.
Highlighting Quirky Features to Help Close the Deal
Once you zero in on a property’s “it factor,” share it with the world. A Facebook Live video, Instagram post or pithy blurb with accompanying photos will garner the attention you need to get more people to your open house — something that can only bode well for your next commission advance.
In markets where cookie-cutter properties make it hard for buyers to find a home that stands out from the crowd, outside-the-box features can be a huge selling point. Scouring the MLS only to find listing after listing that read almost identically is exhausting and frustrating. When you start off your listing copy with the property’s biggest differentiator, you’re forcing buyers to sit up and take notice — and that could lead to more money in your pocket once you make the sale.