real estate

Buyers want homes in move-in condition

What homebuyers desire today
Buyers want homes in move-in condition

When homebuyers crave bargains, they sometimes look for fixer-uppers -- until they see one. Then, a lot of potential buyers change their minds, says Ben Coleman, broker/owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties in San Francisco.

"Some buyers may be willing to do a little bit of cosmetic work like replacing the carpet or having something painted, but most are looking for a home in ready-to-move-in condition," Coleman says. "The preference is for a maintenance-free home, although few homes are truly maintenance-free."

Rogers says the desire for ready-to-move-in homes may be a side effect of home-and-garden television programming.

"People used to love 'This Old House' and think they wanted to do their own work, but now they watch shows on HGTV like 'House Hunters,' where everyone leans toward homes that are in turnkey condition," Rogers says.

"Buyers don't want to deal with contractors," Frye says. "And they don't want a paint or carpet allowance. I tell my sellers to do everything before they even think about putting their home on the market."

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