Saturday, October 27, 2012

Size Does Matter in Austin Real Estate

The House is HOW Big??!!???   ---Size Does Matter in Austin Real Estate

512-740-6486 – – Austin, TX Real Estate and Investment Specialists.

As Realtors, Rodney Campbell and I have lots of experience in meeting the housing needs of growing families in Austin, TX. 
As parents/step-parents of 5 kids, a mastiff and a yellow lab, we personally have always sought out the largest house possible within our price range and school boundaries. 
In fact, we often giggle that we don’t understand why someone would shy away from extra square footage.  A separate bedroom for each child?  A game room for the incessant video game playing? A bathroom set aside just for company?  Oh, we know the benefits of extra space for a family with 5 kids!
Well…as becomes evident when showing large homes to people with small families or very young children, large homes can have a multitude of drawbacks in the eyes of a potential buyer.  Among them: high heating and air conditioning bills, constant stair climbing, cleaning and furnishing all that space, and maintaining the large yards that generally accompany the large houses.
Here is some advice for sellers of houses with a lot of square footage in order to make them more appealing to a larger audience:
1.      Make sure the home is impeccably clean, including the light fixtures and windows.   If your home has interesting features like vaulted ceilings or art niches, make sure these are dust free.  You don’t want the home to seem overwhelming for a potential buyer.
2.      Ditto for the yard.  Trim the trees and hedges and make sure the grass is maintained.  Make it seem easy to care for, even if it isn’t.
3.      Decorate with a warm color palette.  Many large homes, like mine, have been inhabited by large families with many children and pets.  Often, a seller’s first instinct is to put a fresh (cheap) coat of paint on the walls and new (cheap) carpet on the floors.  This usually ends up being a combination of beige on beige, and just adds to the cavernous feel.
4.      Don’t sell the house vacant!  Hire a professional stager and rent furniture if you must.  Large houses seem insurmountable huge to ‘average’ size families when they are vacant. 
5.      Post signs on each thermostat mentioning that there is a separate A/C unit for each story, and that each thermostat can be programmed separately (assuming this is true).  You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t realize this is standard for large homes.
6.      Place past copies of your electricity/yard care/cleaning service/pool cleaner bills in a binder for potential buyers to review.  They almost certainly are anticipating these expenses will be more than they really are.
If you are thinking about selling a house in Austin that is larger than the average in your neighborhood, contact us for a complimentary consultation.  We would love to share these and several other strategies we have used successfully in the past to find buyers for extremely large homes.

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