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Selling in Sussex: Your resale home's toughest competition is...

If you have a property for sale right now in Coastal Delaware, your stiffest competition is all the new construction, the housing of choice for buyers coming to Sussex County today.

Why is new construction such tough competition? Its not just the designs and long list of upgrades and options. If you have a home for sale with no basement, no garage and no first floor Master Suite, you are competing with similarly priced new homes that do offer full basements, large garages, elegant master baths, and some pricing incentives.

What do buyers want?

The new buyer coming to Sussex County is likely to be a couple over 50 from New Jersey who never considered Delaware until the latest tax hike. Many have never vacationed here and have no family or friends that live here. They are attracted by low taxes and cost of living, our central location in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic Region and lots of new housing options at relatively reasonable prices. Proximity to the beach is important but not to the same degree as historical buyers who have been coming here for years.

One of the most compelling reasons buyers may want a new home in a new community came from a couple that had relocated many times in their careers. They found that moving to an existing neighborhood always made them feel like outsiders. When they moved to a new community, however, they found that everyone was in the same boat. Everyone was new and it was easier to find common ground and make friends quickly. That made so much sense to me because I was moved many times during my previous career and I remember that feeling.

How can sellers compete?

So, how do you sell your home in this competitive market? You have to look critically at your home and your neighborhood through Buyers eyes. Would you buy your home today? Have you gone to look at the competition? How does your home compare to new homes in the same price range? Do you need to update or remodel your kitchen or bath? Does it make sense to add a first floor master suite or sunroom?

Find a good contractor and ask for advice. Get a copy of the Cost vs. Value Report published annually by Remodeling Magazine. You might not recoup the full cost of a remodeling project but it might just sell your home.

You may not need a contractor but you will need to prepare your home for sale and make it more attractive to a buyers eye. If you need help, ask your Realtor to refer you to a local professional home stager and give those new homes some real competition.

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