To broadly market your house, you will need to appeal to various types of potential buyers depending on the “identity” of your home, thus increasing your chances for a quick sale. Your home's identity is defined by the location, its style and features.
Location will attract various types of potential buyers, for example, an elementary school in the neighborhood will attract a young family or a shopping district in a downtown location typically attract young professionals.
A new modern styled home with the latest in technologies will likely attract highly educated, young professionals. In contrast, a 20th century Victorian home will attract the typical Generation X'ers because they are old enough to have their education debt paid off; more confident in their ability to tackle home improvements; have more time because their children are older and their annual income is in its prime.
For example, the vast difference between Baby Boomers who come from a generation of hard work, appreciation for quality and acceptance that with a house purchase is an acceptance of having to do work to it. The younger generation typically favor things that satisfy their need of instant gratification, were not necessarily exposed to physical hard work the older generation may have been and expect a move-in ready home that does not require any immediate work. Having your favorite color on the walls will not appeal to those who dislike your color and those who do not have the time, energy or money to have it painted.
Various features in a home will also attract particular buyers. For example, a landscaped backyard that has a patio designed as an outdoor room and a pool will attract either a couple who loves to entertain or a family with mid-teens or older children. In contrast, potential buyers who are families with young children will often fear having a pool for its potential danger or an older couple who will be looking to simplify their lifestyle will not be interested.
Many preferences are related to the buyer's age and income, young buyers purchasing their first home or older buyers looking to trade down times in anticipation of retirement. Other features in a home are embroidered by most home buyers of all ages, while still other preferences depend on how long the buyer expects to remain in their home. The desirability of some features is also reflected in the buyer's choice of a new or previously owned home.
Understanding who will be interested in your home will help you to prepare so that it appeals to the majority of them. For example, if you are selling a Salt box located in a suburban neighborhood that includes local amenities and an elementary school, it is likely that your house will attract the attention of a family with young children. The house is large enough to accommodate future needs, its layout fits the needs of a family, it is located in a safe neighborhood, amenities are near for easy access and the kids can walk to school. In this case, it would be in your best interest to market your home to appeal to this target market. This can be achieved by understanding how a demographic typically perceives life and their preferences in lifestyle.
What does this mean for the homeowner getting their home ready for sale? By investing in upgrading specific areas of the home, arranging furnishings and displaying items to represent the potential buyer's ideal lifestyle regardless of how you lived in your house or your taste in decor.
You can consider upgrading key features of the kitchen such as the flooring, cabinet hardware, counter top, sink and faucet or changing the third bedroom from its current office arrangement back to a bedroom but staged as a young child's bedroom. Although your children are grown and it is only the two of you, staging the home to attract your target market will increase your chances of receiving an offer.
Remember, most buyers use their hearts as well as their minds when shopping for a new house so appeal to their emotions. You can find additional recommendations in the book, Do Your Own Home Staging.