Set against the dramatic Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque offers a little something for everyone.
In this place of high desert, shoppers get a taste of the city’s rich Spanish history in Old Town, while local artisans sell their handmade crafts at the Rail Yards Market. Indie coffee houses serve up choice lattes and host book clubs.
And when locals aren’t chowing down on green-chile burritos, they’re digging into pizza at the Green Jeans Farmery and following that up with a few good microbrews.
However, to move house quickly you’ll need to get your home prepped to capture the attention of your target buyers: millennials and Gen Zers who put a premium on high-end finishes and amenities.
According to Dennis Chavez, a top-selling local real estate agent, a home with remodeled kitchens and bathrooms and an open floor plan sells especially quickly. “It has less competition,” he said.
Selling your Albuquerque home? Go with a bright look
Bright and light is the byword for today’s Albuquerque buyers, according to Chavez.
“I think buyers these days are looking for bright kitchen and bright bathrooms,” he said, adding that eye-catching multi-colored backsplashes, like these tile mosaics from Home Depot, are particularly appreciated.
In sun-drenched Albuquerque, which gets 280 sunny days annually, buyers want to see the inside reflect the outdoors.
- Prior to painting, smooth out holes with filler, then use a power sander to smooth.
- Use white primer to ensure your color comes out true when dry. We recommend the white in the satin finish primer from Benjamin Moore. Albuquerque-based Mike’s Quality Painting, a multi-year winner of the Angie’s List Super Service Award, notes that a primer coat will keep the paint from streaking, increasing your paint coverage.
- Roll the paint on the wall in large, wide M or W shapes. When reloading the paint roller, roll in on the slanted part of the paint tray to remove some of the paint—this will help avoid roller lines in the paint finish.
- If you can see any of the previous color, add a second coat.
Enhance your Albuquerque home with simple, no-sweat curb appeal
Curb appeal matters, big time. Buyers want to fall in love with a house before they ever set foot in the front door. In Albuquerque, buyers favor low-water, low-maintenance front yards that look as neat as they are undemanding.
If you’ve already got a xeriscape setup in the front yard, you’re ahead of the game. Xeriscape refers to an environment that demands little to no water. According to Chavez, this brand of low-maintenance landscaping appeals to most Albuquerque buyers due to the dry Albuquerque climate.
Buyers like to see “a natural rock kind of landscaping,” he said, “an easy-to-maintain (arrangement) with a drip irrigation system in the front yard.”
Rock landscaping can be created by:
- Removing all grass and weeds.
- Digging 4 inches into the soil.
- Using a steel rake to smooth the soil and then compacting it with a hand tamper.
- Covering the soil with stone pack, spraying to dampen.
- Laying landscape fabric over the compacted soil.
- Covering the fabric with the desired amount of rocks and/or gravel.
- Raking the rocks to even them out.
In the backyard, however, Albuquerque buyers seek more family-friendly landscaping, complete with grass, sprinklers, and drip systems, plus “patios and access to gas lines for their outdoor kitchen,” Chavez said.
A few methods of achieving this include:
- Use natural materials. One idea is tree stumps for seating areas.
- Create a sensory herb garden for children to enjoy. Medicinal herbs such as calendula and motherwort particularly thrive in the local Albuquerque climate.
- Provide canopies for outdoor dwellers to seek shelter from the sun.
Now let’s look at an amenity you may not want: a swimming pool. If you’re thinking of putting in a pool, or if you believe your pool will help sell your property, think again: Chavez says that Albuquerque buyers aren’t all that interested. “Pools are not really popular in the Albuquerque area,” he said. “Most homes do not have pools. It’s not a really hot demand.”
A word on outside maintenance: The typical Albuquerque home offers a Southwest sensibility enhanced by materials such as adobe, which is often protected by stucco to enhance its historic value.
Stained stucco should be washed, not covered with paint. You can do this by applying an oxygen bleach solution for 30 minutes. Regular maintenance can simply be done with water and dishwashing liquid.
Attract Albuquerque buyers with open, updated floor plans
In Albuquerque, the open floor plan has steadily gained favor. Even if your home has a divided, closed-off layout, think about how you can create a sense of an openness within your current constraints.
“I think the biggest tip for sellers is … trying to create that open kind of floor plan as much as possible,” Chavez said.
Houzz, an online community that CNN calls “The Wikipedia of interior and exterior design sites”, has a few tips to enhance your open-floor plan to best entice buyers:
- Use daylight as a delineator of spaces. One idea is using a roof light to highlight a room’s middle layer, which in turn increases the sense of depth in a room.
- Give purpose to individual spaces by using an island. This is most common in kitchens, where islands offer preparation areas along with defining zones within the room.
- If you’re dealing with small spaces, work to combine zones instead of separating them. In the case of a smaller kitchen, for example, a defining device such as a kitchen island may be more of a barrier than a help.
- Open-concept homes benefit from visual separation. You can really enhance the sense of extra space by differentiating new and existing building elements. For example, juxtapose a brick wall against a freshly painted surface to highlight the contrast.
“People like to gather together in one big open area,” Chavez said.“So the open floor plan with brighter colors, white, and wood flooring (is popular).”
Traditionally, Albuquerque homes feature rooms that are separated, keeping occupants apart. “Now everyone wants to be part of the conversation and the action, not segregated by walls,” says Chavez.
This particularly applies to kitchens, where large islands are in favor among Albuquerque buyers. This allows family members and visitors to gather together even as a meal is being cooked—no one wants to miss out on the fun.
Spend your Albuquerque home remodeling dollars on kitchens, baths
Sellers should also consider upgrading and opening up their kitchens in order for their homes to show well to Albuquerque buyers, according to Chavez. In addition, upgraded bathrooms are in demand—particularly with double sinks, which he says are a “must”.
“The biggest thing is getting your kitchens updated, either remodeling or painting or re-tiling—same with bathrooms,” he said.
“Bathrooms and kitchens seem very popular for getting buyers in the door.”
A few ideas for updates that we recommend include:
- Go from fitted to freestanding counters to emphasize that these are not simply utilitarian spaces—they’re places for living.
- Get greener. Choose more environmentally friendly options for flooring and appliances—low-flow toilets are particularly popular in dry Albuquerque.
- Built-ins are in. From coffee-pot niches to shelves for cookbooks, buyers are looking for these sleek spaces to store stuff.
Update your flooring and when in doubt, go with a wood aesthetic
Wood floors are popular with Albuquerque buyers, so if you’re looking to sell your Albuquerque home fast and you’ve got carpeted rooms—or even carpet throughout—you may think about changing that out.
Carpet Source USA, which offers services in Albuquerque, cites the following as advantages of wood floors:
- Wood is classic—it never goes out of style.
- It never needs updating.
- It has an abundance of character and elegance.
- You can choose amongst varying types to make your rooms look larger, earthier, or trendier.
According to HomeAdvisor, the typical range for installing wood floors is $2,502 to $6,530, with a national average of $4,379. Low-end work can be as cheap as $1,000, ranging up to $10,000 at the high end.
“Carpet is not popular anymore,” he said. “People are using throw rugs to enhance the look that they are trying to arrive at now.”
Since many Albuquerque homes feature adobe clay or brick floors, it’s important to remember that cracks in these surfaces are very porous when it comes to water, particularly if they are unevenly dried. To allay this, use a water repellent.
You can also test your terracotta flooring tiles for porosity by putting water in the middle of a tile. After 15 minutes, check to see if the water has soaked into the floor. If this is the case, you will need to use boiled linseed oil followed by a floor sealer that will keep dirt and grit from getting ingrained.
How to price your Albuquerque home for sale
While Albuquerque is considered relatively affordable when compared to nationwide sale prices, the local housing market is heating up.
According to Realty Times, the housing affordability index in Albuquerque went down to 126 in May, an 8.7% decline from a year earlier. Though this is still far more affordable than Santa Fe ($365,000) the numbers reveal a market on the rise.
A few actions to take when pricing your home in any market:
- Check out comps and recent sales to see how your home measures up.
- Pull the history for any expired and unsold listings to see what’s not working.
- When pricing your home in line with current market conditions, keep in mind that in a balanced and neutral market you can adjust for price trends, which is currently the case in Albuquerque.
Your real estate agent is one crucial factor in this decision. He or she will be able to advise you on exactly what factors go into your home’s individual price point.
When should you sell your Albuquerque home?
If you’re trying to figure out the best time to sell a home in Albuquerque, wonder no longer. As with many other markets, spring and summer are the best time to sell homes in Albuquerque given the good weather and the fact that people with children prefer not to move during the school year.
To help you make this decision even easier, HomeLight has collected actual real estate transaction data to learn the best and worst months to sell.
Based on our current data, it appears that the best time to list your house for sale in Albuquerque is October, when you could sell your home for 62.49% above the yearly average.
How can you find a top Albuquerque real estate agent to sell your home?
There are 3,013 active real estate agents in Albuquerque—some are top-notch, while others don’t have the track record or experience level you’re looking for.
While it’s not hard to find a real estate professional to represent you in your home sale, it’s tricky to separate an average Joe from a rockstar. We’ve found that the top 3% of Albuquerque agents get homes off the market in 49 days, selling for $12,355 more than their peers.
If you’re ready to sell your Albuquerque home fast, we’re here to help make it happen. Get matched with a top agent in your area who will use their expertise to work for you today.