The topic of this article is one that all real estate agents can relate to but that even we inspectors often witness. Often times, home buyers who are searching for a new home want to see the home in the exact condition they wish it to be in prior to moving in. Every detail, down to the paint colors, furniture arrangement, and organization of dishware in cabinets must be exactly as the potential buyer envisions it for them to view the home as potentially “theirs.”
Needless to say, this is not the best method for determining if a home is the “right” home for you. These types of details are all cosmetic and are easily changed. If you like the layout and features of a house but don’t care for the paint colors, understand that new paint is very inexpensive and easy to change. In most cases, the furniture isn’t even staying at the property so you will have a blank state to work with once you’ve moved in.
Buyers are often concerned with cosmetic issues, but a home inspection is not concerned with cosmetics for the simple fact that they have no bearing on the property’s safety, structural integrity, habitability, and other important considerations.
That being said, if you are selling your home it is wise to prepare it to be as appealing as possible to potential buyers. As the title of this article suggests, there are certain factors that are more or less timeless when it comes to appeal. For example, neutral colors (beiges, grays, whites, light tones, and so forth) are typically appealing to most people. On the contrary, bold colors like red, purple, and other dark colors are either loved or hated by most people. Neutral is generally safe, whereas bold is usually risky. To give yourself the best chance of success, consider preparing your home so that it is generally appealing to most people rather than very appealing to only a handful of people and completely unappealing to others.
Now, if you are searching for a home, don’t allow aesthetics and the easily changeable features of a home to dissuade you from considering it. Consider the location, layout, systems, condition, and other important factors that really impact the house’s livability, and realize that cosmetic details are easily changed.
Certain elements of real estate are more or less timeless, and sellers and buyers should keep that in mind when embarking on a real estate transaction. If selling, make your home as generally appealing as possible; and if buying, don’t discount a house for easily altered cosmetic reasons.
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