The Case for Better Closet Systems – by Home Builders and Sellers Alike
On a page filled with scribbled notes, a single quote jumped out. “I’ll go into a home, valued at $750,000, maybe $1 million or more, and see a wire system in the closet.” A Closet Factory franchise owner recently expressed this frustration from his vantage point, knowing a classy closet design seemed a no-brainer.
Why would luxury or custom home builders skimp on an element that a home owner will touch every day? Especially when the value added – in several areas – outweighs the drawbacks. Let’s consider the benefits of providing exquisite details such as upgraded closet systems in a new home, whether by a professional home builder or someone who just wants to improve their home (and its value).
Happy home buyers are most likely to leave builders and sellers alone after the sale closes, but they also might even call to say “thanks” or provide a testimonial. The value of a positive review can balance the upgrade investment. Unfortunately, smart closet design is not usually top-of-mind for home builders or home sellers.
New home buyers also talk with friends and acquaintances about their new purchase. And about 84 percent of consumers say their action was influenced by recommendations from people they know, according to Nielsen. New home owners show off everything, including the closet if it’s been done well. However if the house is a Rolls-Royce but its storage system is a Ford Focus sedan, they’ll skip the area.
Buyers on the fence between House A and House B can be nudged to one side or the other by a single detail. Why take the chance that an inadequate closet design will keep the property on the market while a similar house nearby gets sold? It’s especially noteworthy considering how current house design trends mean more open floor plans, with few partitions to obstruct views from any angle – placing more significance on organized and clean-looking closets. New home builders and home sellers must weigh the appeal of their property compared with others nearby. Just a little touch of personality can go a long way toward a buyer passing, or making your property their new home.
An owner who invested significantly in a home who then has to live with cheaper or knock-off details, such as laminate kitchen countertops, or false wood flooring, is reminded every day. Ultimately a subpar component of the home could mar the entire experience – and have longer-term consequences such as poor word-of-mouth on the seller. Relatively simple things like extra storage cabinets for a buyer’s wardrobe or deluxe closet doors can individually or cumulatively impact a buyer’s perception about the home-purchase decision.
For closets, it’s personal. The design alone can dictate how a person feels about his or herself, before catapulting into the public’s view. Think about it: a person visits his or her closet space about 50 times a week. It’s a constant reminder, unlike, say, a backyard pool or a roof. A special closet can make a person feel, well, special.
The franchise owner’s observation is not as much troubling as it was disappointing, because it was so easily avoidable. Upgrading a closet from wire shelving and baskets to, say, wood shelving or drawers is not overly detrimental to the bottom line. But the impact in the buyer’s mind – for both past and future buyers – is considerable.
For home builders, much can depend on separating themselves from everything available in the market. Certainly, cost is considered, but at what sacrifice? Home buyers of the future will do their research, and building decisions made today can carry ramifications on sales for years to come.
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