Happy New Year! I sat down to come up with my business ideas for 2012 and thinking creatively how to sell my listings in Vinings, Buckhead and throughout Atlanta. In thinking back to the buyers I worked with this year, one common theme runs through all the homes that they were interested in – Light and Bright.
Back when I started in real estate – now a decade ago, I remember a very experienced agent telling me something that stuck with me “light and bright sells”. That idea runs through staging a house for sale and time of day to shoot a house for pictures.
Often I have my client take down draperies that are blocking any sunlight. They may have spent thousands on having them made, but when we’re showcasing a house for a buyer, the more light the better!
One of my recent buyers was very interested in making sure the back of the house was south. Since most kitchen and family areas are on the back they would tend to get the most sun. I actually got her a “happy light” for Christmas as she truly believes that light affects her moods and she’d have to undergo light therapy if her house didn’t face the right direction!
Around 2005ish when new construction was booming, builders were building tudor styles with dark doors, dark beams, dark floors and cabinetry. I’m thinking these styles have gone the way of hemlines. (You know they say skirt hemlines go down in a bad economy and up in a good one.)
I’m thinking that in a bad economy people want to feel happy and light and bright houses help accomplish that.
I don’t believe everything has to be white to get that feeling. Designer Lori Tippins (Tippins Interiors) has helped two of my clients accomplish this feeling without doing that by:
- darkening the floors and kept the walls lighter with color still added
- helping clients make their houses more “still” and cut down on “busy”ness to give them a calm feeling.
- not putting granite in a kitchen in at least 4 years!
Without a lot of new construction out there the latest styles are not seen as often, buyers are having to make changes to update their homes. Lori believes in marbles, wood, concrete and other products like that. I do see some of the builders still using products that they were successful with 5 or 6 years ago.
Even my most traditional buyers want wide open, bright spaces. Sometimes that may mean cutting back trees or limbing them up on resale houses, as we all tend to like the trees in our yards, but as they begin to block windows, it is time to move them or cut them down.
I’ve sold two new construction houses in metro Atlanta since December 2011, and both were sold due to the light and bright feeling. One was very European feeling (Laurel Drive) with a wall of windows in the kitchen and hardly any upper cabinetry, but the feel of this room and the level backyard with a South Beach feel is what emotionally attracted the client to this home.
The other home I sold in December 2011 was in East Cobb (326 Greyhaven Lane) is the one that has good light, but Lori had to help my client with changing paint colors converting to marble etc.
Another item that is a new material I’m seeing in these homes is PVC supply plumbing. The first time I saw this I was shocked, but the inspector assured me it was OK, then when I saw it again in the Greyhaven house I was more prepared. With copper prices so high and the fact that the copper is actually being ripped out of the walls during construction, builders are moving to this type of plumbing. The jury is still out on it in my mind, but the inspectors say it will be fine.
Another aspect of this light and bright “need” is that I have definitely seen a real need for contemporary houses. The traditional houses that are all over Atlanta, are not what many younger buyers, clients from other countries and those moving in from out of state are looking for.
I think I’ll feature this desire for more contemporary style architecture in Atlanta in a future Blog Entry as it’s a pretty important new trend. I’d love to have any ideas you have on helping homes become light and bright!