The good news about the Washington, DC area has always been that it is relatively recession-proof. So, luxury homes -- of which there are many -- have historically held their value in the resale market. Until now, when forces greater than the economy are at work.
That's the bad news. Today’s high-end home buyers, typically Generation X-ers with elementary school-aged children, are eschewing grand estates in the suburbs (with their attendant long commutes) for more modest and/or more contemporary homes closer into the city. It’s not that there is no market for the likes of Great Falls’ and Potomac’s elegant mansions, but the buyer segment is more narrow.
This means, if you’re contemplating downsizing, your home must be in top shape to fetch a good price. But few homeowners have the objectivity or market experience to recognize what needs to be done. That’s why a realtor who is experienced with the challenges faced by downsizers is vital. Here's how he or she can help to prepare your home for sale:
- Proposing Home Improvement Plans
A fresh coat of paint, a complete overhaul of bathroom/kitchen or attractive plants in the lawn can instantly give a new look and feel to your home. Since an experienced realtor understands buyer trends, he can propose home-improvement hacks that give your home a competitive edge over comparable properties. He can also prepare a budget for the work, prioritize the tasks, and determine the payoff of each step.
- Providing services for decluttering, organizing, moving and shipping
Decluttering and organizing can help lend a more modern and spacious feel to your house. Your realtor can recommend services to store, trash, auction, move or donate your belongings. He will have connections with charitable organizations, auction houses, movers and packers for this purpose.
- Offering Professional Home-Staging Services and Home-Staging Consultation
Staging a luxury home can help to minimize the time a home is on the market; up to 50% less according to some industry estimates. Professional home-stagers are adept at visualizing the potential of a house and creating an aesthetic that will appeal to potential buyers. However, if you wish to stage your home yourself, your realtor can suggest accessory and furnishing rentals.
- Collaborating with Contractors
Your realtor should be able to recommend bonded and reputable contractors ,such as painters, landscapers, remodelers and handymen, to ensure that the work you have done is high quality, reasonably priced and completed on time. These kinds of recommendations can make the difference between a headache-free selling process and a nightmare!
Your realtor can also aid you in determining a competitive listing price; in comparing your finance options; and in marketing your home effectively. Get a complete checklist of support services you should seek when choosing a downsizing realtor in my free eBook.