Open Concept House to Sell? Be Ready – Buyers are Starting to Shift Away
Since the 1930’s, the the “open concept” floor plan has only increased in home buying appeal. Especially as capabilities emerged that made the open concept not only more attainable (without being super rich) but more capable as well. Since the 1950’s design styles have shifted over the decades where the kitchen became more connected to, and ultimately the key of, the central theme of the home. All other rooms became “just rooms” for the average home buyer. Now that didn’t really apply for custom homes and houses over 3,000 square feet, but generally buyers wanted the kitchen to be the central part of the home. Before the 1990’s, the kitchen was a service area. It was in the back of the house and was more about function. Remember the days when “mom said stay out of the kitchen” meant go to the family room or living room. Now, the kitchen is the family room and living room. Selling an open concept house isn’t a huge challenge, but buyers are starting to rethink home layouts.
But Trends Shift and Buyers are Reconsidering the Open Concept
There is no denying that the 2020 pandemic with COVID forced everyone, globally, to rethink the living space of their home. We all saw the commercials (gags and serious ones) where someone was on a video session with work while kids played in the same room. And, according to recent studies and analyst opinions – the work from home workforce will strengthen and grow. Not shrink. Commercial space is about to become very cheap and for good reason. But the price tag is going up on space in the home that can be used for a home office or even (part of near full-time) home schooling.
I’m Selling my House – What does this Mean to Me?
A dose of reality, a very tiny fraction of a very small percentage of homeowners will invest in removing open concept floorpans before selling a house. This is why we, at GLG Homes, always focus on the function of home and making sure it fits what buyers are seeking. For the past couple of years, we have reduced the emphasis on removing walls between kitchen and dining areas. Because the dining room, as a multi-purpose area even, is coming back. If you are selling a home and it is a complete open concept, be prepared for buyers to be unsure about the space (now). This can be partially overcome with effective home staging. But, a fully renovated house from 5-7 years ago with a complete tear down of walls is losing its appeal. Buyers want the ability to define spaces that support how they are now – and likely for a while – going to be living.
Steps to Take when Selling an Open Concept Home
- If it is vacant – stage it. Help buyers envision the best use of the space and consider putting a home office area into your plans
- If it is lived in – stage it. Seriously. Clean up the house and think about how to show the space for a buyer to consider. You’re selling the house, what do you care? Show them how to live in what can be their house not how to live in what has been your house.
- Dump the game room and show a work space of some kind – we all know what a game room can feel like, but buyers who can (or need to) work from home, are going to react more positively to a house that clearly has ready-to-use home office / home learning space
- Highlight the difference in spaces in listing photos and descriptions – help the buyer to envision things, don’t rely on their imagination
- Make sure you have a really, really good photographer – don’t let your Realtor simply use the camera on the phone
All Great, but None of that is My House
If you need to sell a house and none of this is a fit for you. We can help. In some cases, our home staging services may be enough. In other cases, we can bring our team through and make some minor enhancements that will help sell your home. Or, if you simply want to be done and move on, we can make you an offer to purchase it (and condition or floor plan is of no concern). Want to know more? Contact us at [email protected] or call / text us at 203-486-8868. If you simply want (or need) to move on without the hassle, costs or fees traditionally found with selling a house, we will give you a no-hassle, fair market offer. Whether you choose to move ahead or not is up to you. No obligations.