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It seems that in spite of the wealth of information out there on how to get your home sold, there are always a fraction of society unwilling to get on board with the program. One area in particular that is most prevalent is updating old appliances. Many homeowners use the logic that they do not want to invest more money into a home they are selling. Another segment of society believe that the potential buyer will not be deterred by the outdated appliances as long as they work. Yet another think it just isn't important enough to be a deal breaker. Perhaps they bought the home themselves and it didn't bother them? The truth is, you're looking at it from the wrong pair of eyes and with the wrong wallet. Here is the perspective from the buyers eyes on your home.
Where's the incentive?
If you are aware that new construction exists, and in those newer homes exists newer updates and upgrades, where is the incentive for a buyer to choose your home over theirs? Is it the knowledge that possibly soon after moving in they will have to replace major appliances due to breakdown and old age? The knowledge that your old appliances put a drain on the energy bill, forcing them to pay more for the same electricity they'd be getting in a newer home with energy efficient appliances? A buyer is already being asked to make a major purchase on your home. The idea of having to shell out additional money to update is a deal breaker for many, especially when they are viewing other homes besides yours. Lets face it, the same things that make a car a lemon, make a home a lemon. Old worn out parts red flag the buyer that there is problems ahead.
If appliances are this old, what else has to be replaced?
Buyers instinctively know that if a home owner hasn't bothered worrying about their appliances, that they may have neglected other issues too. The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality becomes apparent and it is a buyers worst nightmare. They will interpret your lack of updates as a sign you haven't made your home's appearance or it's condition a priority. This leads buyers to wonder about hidden issues you haven't even bothered looking into. Plumbing, electrical, septic systems, even termites and rot could all be lingering just out of site, and it will all be looked for all the harder if the homeowner suspects you haven't done a lot to your home in 20 years. Home inspections usually will be used as a bargaining tool for the buyers benefit, so making sure your home is in great shape can only benefit you in the long run. Most offers placed on homes are contingent upon the home passing inspection. Do yourself a favor and spend a little now, or lose a lot later.
I'm going to offer a lower price on this home...
Homeowners will no doubt see an outdated home with old appliances and immediately start thinking how they are going to offset the expense involved with updating. This could mean getting offers well below your asking price. It also could mean a home that sits on the market for an extended amount of time which will force a few scenarios that are not desirable to the seller. Lowering the homes price, taking the home off of the market altogether, or updating the home way after it has been sitting and getting less traffic because it has been for sale so long that buyers will be suspicious about the reasons why.
Selling your home requires savvy, determination and strategy that is effective. If your home has spent over 3 months on the market without a bite, it's time to come up with a new strategy. Do your research, check out your competition by visiting real estate websites in your area, and ask for honest feedback from your real estate agent, family and friends. If you have to spend a little in advance to get the price you need, you will never regret it. If you have lost a possible sale because you didn't take the time to make the changes, it could impact your life for a long time to come.