Santa Cruz Good Times

Feb 10th
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Seeing Your Home Through the Buyer’s Eyes

Suzy PicOwning a home gives you the freedom to express your style without the restrictions renting may have. Remodeling, wine cellars, painting and converting rooms into offices or nurseries are all options homeowners choose.

Homeowners may display their prize collection of antiques, trophies, or art against backgrounds of dramatically painted walls with special lighting. The ability to modify a house into one’s homes is one of the many benefits of homeownership. However, if an owner has the intent of selling a home within a few or more years, it is critical to consider the impact changes and decorating will make to the value of the home. This requires that changes are seen through the lens of a potential buyer and how they perceive the value of the home.

Converting Rooms: When making changes to a room, for example, changing a garage into a bonus room, keep in mind that a future sale will likely require that this “bonus room” be returned to its original use—a garage. Returning rooms to their original intended use prior to listing the home for sale will avoid discouraging buyers. Homebuyers typically look at property information provided through the county records. Meaning, when they are looking for a 3bed/2bath home with a garage, that is what they expect to find, not a 2bed with a converted garage, 1 bath with a bathroom that was converted into a wine cellar! Returning rooms to their original use will allow buyers to see the house as the canvas for their new home.

Decorating: When decorating your home with the intent of selling in the future, keep in mind that buyers will be discouraged if bold paint colors or decorating styles are used. Sometimes eclectic decorating styles can obscure the very features that you want buyers to notice and appreciate.

Smell: If you are a homeowner who enjoys smoking, keep in mind the effect it will have on future sales. Smoke can permeate walls, carpet, as well as furniture and leave an odor that will be difficult to eliminate. Smoke over long periods can even create stains that are difficult to remove with new paint.

Swimming Pools and Ponds: Although swimming pools are not as common here as they are in other parts of California, Santa Cruz does have its share of homes with in-ground swimming pools. Decorative ponds and waterfalls that are part of landscaping schemes may be very attractive to new buyers. Keep in mind that buyers may also see swimming pools as a negative if they are not properly functioning when they visit the home. Above ground pools may not be well-received as they often take up yard space that a potential buyer could envision as a garden.

Contact me if you are considering a real estate purchase for a home or investment, or if you are thinking about selling. With 20-plus years of real estate experience and a lifetime of local knowledge, I can guide you through a successful real estate transaction. Visit or contact me at 831-475-5695.