Ben Coleman, broker/owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties in San Francisco, says homebuyers looking for a bargain sometimes think they want a fixer-upper -- until they see one.
"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."
Gary Rogers of Re/Max on the Charles in Waltham, Mass, 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," says Leisa Frye, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in Roswell, Ga. "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."