5 Unique Ways to Help your Rehab Stand Out Without Scaring Away Buyers
Any time you flip a house, remember that you are making a product for a specific buyer. Whether it’s a single family estate or a row home, you’ll want to have a working profile of the type of buyers you’re looking to attract. In general, the buyer will be determined by the price range and the neighborhood, so you can usually make the best choices on fixtures, additions, and finishes based on what the rest of the block is doing.
You can set your house above the rest of the market, however, by adding a few special touches. These won’t set you back too many dollars, but they’ll scream out “Buy me!” to your market. Be creative in how you make the home unique, low maintenance, cost efficient, or homey. Here are a few ideas that make your property a must-have without scaring any of your potential buyers away.
Install Energy-Saving Light Fixtures:
For about the same cost as traditional fixtures, you can outfit your property with the latest in LED lighting fixtures. These fixtures have come a long way in the last few years and provide lighting that is customizable to all levels of preference (yes, they can be dimmed now!).
Not only can you advertise the home as energy efficient with these lights, this feature will attract buyers who are looking for lower maintenance costs as these lighting fixtures will reduce your energy bill and never require replacement bulbs.
Save and Highlight Existing Character:
Most houses that are undergoing a flip have been through a lot of turmoil. You are restoring, improving, and modernizing a piece of history that was probably once an interesting home or other space. Don’t erase everything to make it into a sheetrock palace. Keep some of the humanity of the house by leaving the original brick or stone exposed, keeping architectural features like arches and pillars in place, and even reusing antique accessories like ventilation grates or wrought iron hinges.
Add Local Character:
Maybe your property is just a tract house and lacked original character from the start. That’s ok, you can add touches that give the house more life and history for less than it might cost to buy new items during the rehab. Check out your local salvage yards or antique shops for interesting pieces that could add to your property’s character without being too taste-specific.
You can usually find a treasure or two that you’d never be able to buy in a home improvement store. In addition, you can often negotiate a good price with the seller, and end up with a bargain, one-of-a-kind piece. Just remember your audience and don’t buy something just because you like it.
Add Something to the Outside Space:
It’s easy to focus on the inside of a house and make everything new, clean, and up to date. Buyers may even go along with you in skipping over the outside space on a property, but you can really make your house a winner (and get a higher selling point) if you can draw some attention to any outside space that the property has. Whether it’s a balcony or a large grassy area, adding something as simple as a patio set will make it a remarkable feature and distinguish it from the competition.
A set of patio chairs placed on the balcony lets buyers imagine sunny evenings with a glass of wine (instead of focusing on the fire escape). Something as simple as a 10′ by 10′ pad of pavers in a backyard is inviting enough to spark the thought of entertaining in a buyer’s mind and make the home seem more desirable. Either of these things can be done for a minimal investment and should have a huge return on investment. Just steer clear of adding ponds and pools which buyers see as maintenance.
Add Flexible Features:
You want your house flip to appeal to as many people as possible, while still seeming super customized to the right buyer. A great way to do this is to include flexible features so that people can imagine the home just as they like it.
For example, instead of installing a permanent kitchen island, consider placing a wheeled cabinet island in the kitchen instead. Buyers will appreciate the ability to move it and customize the function of the room to their needs.
Get to “Sold”
Everything about the house should be either tailored to your known buyer demographic or universally appealing. That doesn’t mean it needs to be boring! Implement some of these ideas to make your house the most desirable on the market.