- Posted January 8, 2013 by
Tips to "Show” the Home Properly and Inexpensively
Avoid “staging” a home. Renting furniture and finding a decorator to stage a home is folklore and is in actual fact only applicable to homes that are exceptionally high-end and that are priced in the several hundred thousand-or multimillion-dollar range. Remember, these are midmarket priced homes that the investor is flipping, and staging a home with fancy furniture is usually overkill. If priced correctly, staging shouldn’t even be a factor into the equation given the methodology at work here; in other words, get in, get out, and get paid.
In terms of landscaping, don’t complete the backyard. These are usually avoidable secondary costs that can actually lessen the bottom line as opposed to adding value! As an alternative mind-set, think of an unfinished backyard as an “opportunity” for the new owner to customize it to his own taste. On
occasion, some builders actually and unbelievably leave the front yard unfinished if they can and it’s within municipal code. In some parts of the country, an unfinished yard is the norm for new tract homes. However, keeping the property too austere may have a backlash effect in that the property as a whole may appear too unfinished. This is especially true if the front yard is not landscaped. Consequently, given that the average front or backyard landscape job may cost $4,000 to $8,000 (assuming the landscapers are US Citizens), this cost is a huge capital expenditure that may not add enough upside to the asking price to justify its inclusion. The best barometer for whether or not the yard(s) should be left bare or finished, is view the comps of similar priced homes in your market. See if the homes are being sold with or without completed lots. If your buyer makes it an issue at the purchase contract negotiation stage, consider adding a landscape credit to remedy the impasse.
In summary, whether it be the back or front yard, an unfinished lot at the very least provides a creative element to your future end-user. Depending upon what you expect to net in the transaction after you have closed the flip from the builder, decide whether or not it pencils out to finish the landscaping. If it does pencil out, get it done immediately.