What do Home Buyers Really Want in a House?
Don’t let the “small stuff” sabotage your sale.
As a home seller, you probably hear this advice a lot– and that’s for a good reason. Investing time and money on the turn-offs in your home can alleviate potential buyer hesitations and lead to a quicker, higher priced sale. So what qualifies as the “small stuff?” What details are home buyers really looking for in a house?
When you’re preparing to sell, take a second to step into the mindset of the buyer. They are probably looking for a home that fits their spatial needs, design preferences and ideal budget. Here are some selling points you can highlight in your home to capitalize on a home buyer’s wants and needs.
Flexible space to accommodate growing families and changing needs is ultra-important to buyers (like a home office conversion into a bedroom or an art studio that transforms into a nursery). Though you may not be able to knock down walls or change the bones of your home, you can use creative staging techniques to show the versatility of your space.
According to NKBA’s 2017 Design Trends Report, preference for contemporary design has passed traditional for the first time. Buyers want a home that’s modern without being too edgy. Update fixtures, hardware, wall colors, windows, carpeting, trim and/or any other details as needed to accommodate for this shift. Keep this in mind, too, when staging your home. Stash the cluttered antiques and opt for a clean, simple feel in each room.
Lots of Light
Everyone loves light. One of the biggest selling points (or breaking points!) in a home is its amount of natural light. Update traditional windows with larger, more modern ones as you’re able to. Install overhead lighting where needed and add standing and table lamps to rooms to showcase their potential.
Sustainability features are a niche in many regions, but energy efficiency is at the top of many home buyers’ lists. Zillow’s most recent Housing Trends Report found that nearly half of homebuyer respondents find energy efficiency desirable. Consider using Energy Star–rated windows and appliances, insulating your attic, adding solar panels and modernizing your HVAC system.
The Community-Centered Kitchen
The kitchen will always be the center of the home, and home buyers want a center that’s optimized for gathering. Islands, breakfast bars or additional counter space in the kitchen are ideal (for cooking and hanging out!). As the heart of our technological lives, make sure your kitchen has enough outlets and USB ports for charging devices and room for plugging in and housing a TV.
Consistent with the rest of the house, home buyers want a bathroom with a modern feel. While jetted tubs were once the on-trend detail for master baths, demand has slowed. Instead, buyers are favoring large, luxurious showers, often with multiple shower heads, hand showers, and sprays. If you’re unable to make big changes in your bathroom before selling, try streamlining water use. Water-conserving fixtures are a safe bet and often a must-have for buyers. (And great redeemer if your bathroom is not-so-great!)
Buyers want their homes to be individualized, and to stand out from their neighbor’s homes. Mixing textures, colors, and materials is a great way to do that. Try mixing in contrast with dark trim or gutters contrasting against a white façade, or dark-toned window frames in bronze or black. Consider painting your front door a bold color and using the seasons to your advantage to decorate. But remember, a cluttered exterior will only hurt your curb-appeal.
Knowing this, what are the selling points in your home, and what are the potential non-negotiables that could be the downfall of your sale? Using the resources you have, make some changes in these areas so that any buyer would be crazy to turn down your home.