The primary goal to selling a house is to sell quickly and for more money. Any real estate professional you talk to will agree that a common response to home improvements recommendations is, "why should I spend money on something I'm leaving? It's a natural reaction, especially to those who are from a generation that bought and sold houses for years. There was a time when buying a house came with knowing work had to be done. This of course, happened before several factors came into play to change the approach to selling real estate in the 21st century.
First reason is current lifestyles. Life is just so darn busy! Work, housework, perpetual learning, kids, kids' busy lives, family, etc. If buyers are in the sandwich generation, they're stressed having to care for both kids and parents. Who has time for home improvements? If you have a house to sell and you don't want to wait for that special buyer who wants a project, then you have to find out what appeals to your target market and give it to them. I know, you're busy too, you relate to this description but this is the new reality if you want to sell fast and for more money.
The economy also plays a factor in having to invest in your current house before you move. Low interests rates are cheap money, making it more affordable to borrow mortgage money than to buy a house in need of home improvements. Most people will have to use credit to do them, taking money out of the monthly budget, not to mention far higher interest rates. It's cheaper for buyers to purchase a property move-in ready than to do home improvements on credit.
Third, and it's a biggy, the internet. It's no secret now that it changed where the first impression is made - online but having a great experience "walking through the house" is now a feature. Technology is providing opportunities for buyers to have a virtual interior viewing before they even drive by the house and make that important call to view it physically. The vast majority of buyers turn to their computers when searching for their next home. It's what they have time for so it has to look awesome!
If you want to maximize your chance to sell in today's buyers' market for the most amount of money, you need to upstage your competition and to do that you need to prepare, prepare, prepare. Then list. Don't wait until your property has become stigmatized.
I provide a free home staging consultation within the Halifax Regional Municipality; give me a call. I'd be happy to help.