Home offices that work for every buyer

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By Marilyn Kennedy Melia
CTW Features

Listing sheets may not read “three bedrooms and one home office” or “office in basement,” but that’s exactly what buyers are likely to find in many homes.

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According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of all U.S. small businesses are based out of the owner’s home. Moreover, many firms now allow their workers to telecommute from home.

When owners whose home doubles as their business base sell, an attractive office can entice buyers.

An office located in a room that’s somewhat separated from activity zones in the house and has a window is desirable, says Judy Glazer, an agent with Century 21 Redwood Realty, Washington, D.C.

Since many of today’s home-based workers need nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection, zoning laws that prohibit frequent deliveries to a residence or other neighborhood disruptions does not impact them, says Cindy Banks, RE/MAX Cornerstone, West Chicago, Illinois.

Even buyers who aren’t working at home might anticipate that opportunity and would find an attractive office a “boon,” says BB Wong of Century 21, M&M, Santa Cruz, California.

But agents polled in an informal survey concur that when a home’s up for sale there are places where business shouldn’t be evident. Dining rooms converted to an office should be converted back to a dining room, for instance. And if an office has been established in a bedroom, it may need to be converted back.

Concludes Tracey Barrett, another Redwood Realty agent: “If a home has four bedrooms upstairs and a fifth in the basement, and the basement bedroom is the office, this is less of a problem than if a property has three bedrooms and one is converted to an office.”

© CTW Features

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