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Custom Closets Have an Oversized Impact on Home Values in the D.C. Metro Area

3 minute read, by Closet America, on Mar 18, 2016

It might not be the first thing you think of when calculating home value, but custom closets can actually be a major selling point—a factor that can push a buyer from “maybe” to “yes.”

Before I became a blogger for Closet America, I was a realtor in the Washington D.C. area for 3 years. During my time in real estate, I learned a lot about people who are on the precipice of the huge life decision that is buying a home. One thing I was always struck by was how little the physical structure of a house had to do with the buyer’s decision. When going out with buyers, I’d often show them homes that matched their specifications perfectly – location, square footage, architecture – and yet they’d leave disenchanted. It didn’t take me long to realize that it is not so much the shelter a home provides, but the feeling it imparts, that matters to people.

If it isn’t immediately clear to you how emotional the decision to purchase a home is, think about the existence of the home staging industry. If you go to any open house in the D.C. area, you won’t get to see the home in a “natural” state, the way the owners left it. Nor will you get to see it in its most clean and organized state. No, you’ll see something even more appealing than that: a professionally staged masterpiece, where each room looks better than it ever has when there were actual people dwelling inside of it.

Given how important the emotional factors of a home are, I decided to speak with some of my former colleagues in the real estate business, people who still work in the D.C. market, and ask them what really sells a home. During our conversation, I wasn’t surprised to hear words like “view,” “pool,” and “garden.” But the word I kept hearing over and over was “closet.”

Now, don’t get me wrong; I fantasize about the idea of a Carrie Bradshaw closet as much as the next woman. But I wouldn’t have thought of it as a major selling point—that is, a factor that can push a buyer from “maybe” to “yes.”

My former colleagues had a lot to say about that.

“I’ve had cases where buyers stipulate that closets must stay intact – rugs, chandeliers and all – as a condition to their purchase of the home,” said one of them, who works in the Bethesda area. “Of course, it depends how nice the closet is. If it’s just a big space with some cheap shelving in there, it only has a marginal effect. But something really custom and gorgeous can have a major influence on a buyer’s decision.”

Another colleague, who represents D.C. clients, added “When someone opens a closet and sees that it’s beautifully organized and customized, they feel that’s how their life will be. And conversely, a dark, messy closet will make buyers feel that they will also be messy and disorganized.”

Throughout the conversation, I heard the old adage repeated again and again: “You can never have too much closet space.”

The rub with closets? “Impossible to get a good picture of,” said my Alexandria-based colleague. “No matter how gorgeous they are, capturing their beauty in a photo is rare. Usually I will emphasize the closets in the listing description and then wait for people to experience them in person. It’s better that way anyway.”

It was so interesting to me to hear a full conversation amongst experienced realtors focused just on closets. By the end, it seemed everyone was in agreement: “You need to have the basics of a home – the location, size, and style – in place for a buyer to want to see the home in the first place. But once they’re inside, it’s the ‘wow’ factors that cause them to fall in love. A custom closet is one of the biggest ‘wow’ factors you can have.”

Now that I’m working with Closet America, I’m also realizing that custom closets are a surprisingly good value as well. If you compare them with other “wow” factors which can be major, once-a-decade expenses, custom closets are very reasonably priced – especially given their impact.

Closet America is the D.C. area’s leading creator of custom-made closet, office, garage, and pantry storage spaces. Our experienced team of designers and engineers help create unique solutions with your space in mind. Let us help you get your life more organized. Connect with us today to learn more!

 

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