With the prime home sales season warming up, home sellers are likely to see an increase in homebuyer foot traffic. That's great and all, but there are still plenty of homes that attract decent traffic and yet remain on the real estate market for months. How do you avoid this scenario?
One way to start might be trying to make sure your home has what homebuyers are looking for. With HGTV and the internet making it very easy for homebuyers to see what's out there, plus the other homes for sale in your area, you have a lot of competition as a home seller. With that in mind, you have got to give them what they want.
The National Association of Home Builders recently released its annual trends report, "What Homebuyers Really Want," which included the survey results of 4,000 homebuyers and their rankings of 175 features in a home. You may not be a home builder, but if you're a home seller, you might be able to use this report to gauge what homebuyers want in 2019.
If you've ever watched the TV shows with trendy homes, flippers or those hunting for houses, you probably have some idea of the features that homebuyers seem to want the most.
Leading the way, according to the NAHB report, are open-concept kitchen and dining areas, which were preferred by 86 percent of those surveyed. Perhaps that's an overwhelming enough response for home sellers to consider knocking down a non-load bearing wall or two.
Higher-end fixtures, as you might also expect, are high on the list, too. Two-thirds of all respondents want stainless steel appliances, and 57 percent have to have natural-stone countertops. About a third of buyers desire white painted cabinets in a kitchen.
Fancy fixtures such as granite countertops and hardwood floors probably shouldn't surprise you, but other features in the top 10 might not be quite as obvious. That category might include exterior lighting, patio space and energy-efficient and "green" solutions for appliances and windows. In fact, whole-house energy efficiency certification is big on the wish list.
You might not quite be able to call functionality a surprise, but ample-sized laundry rooms with working space and organization are also something most homebuyers want. Room for that high-efficiency washer-dryer combo might not be as sexy as those high-end fixtures, but buyers seem to have an eye toward the practical as well as the premium.
One of the trends NAHB continues to monitor is the downsizing of homes. The average home in Canada today is 1,700 square feet. That is well down from the most from 1,900 in 2015. As builders try to serve the affordable-housing market, townhomes and condos have grown more than new homes being built.
One of the results of smaller homes is less storage. And the NAHB homebuyers report reflects that concern, as garages and walk-in pantries both made the top 10 list of most attractive features for buyers. While it might be difficult for a home seller to suddenly create a bunch of storage space, it might behoove them to highlight the storage spaces they do have. Buyers seem to want them.
When you sell a home, there's only so much you're willing to do or spend in order to get it sold. You can't do everything or satisfy every buyer's every whim, but it can help to know what homebuyers truly want when you're getting ready to put your home on the real estate market.
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