When you’re trying to catch a buyer’s attention, high on the to-do list is prominently positioning the features that home buyers want.
We love helping our sellers take an objective view of their properties, starting with guiding them to bring out their home’s best features, while playing down the ones that could be a turnoff. Similarly, we focus on the home’s strengths as we create compelling listing descriptions and photos.
So, what’s on the list of features that home buyers want?
The ranking varies slightly depending on the source, as well as the region, and whether you’re asking 1st time homebuyers or those moving on to their next homes, but overall, these are what we see consistently at the top of buyers’ lists right now:
- Laundry room (preferably with storage)
- Energy efficiency, including Energy-Star-rated windows, appliances (and whole homes, though only new construction can earn that mark)
- Open floor plans
- Enjoyable but low-maintenance outdoor living features like a patio and exterior lighting that highlights architectural or landscape features
- Ceiling fans
- Garage storage (the more organized and functional, the better)
- Walk-in pantry (closets too, especially for 2nd or 3rd time buyers)
- Hardwood flooring
- Double kitchen sink
If you have any of these features that home buyers want in your home, calling them out in the listing and in any promotions that you’re doing is a smart move.
And if your home is missing any, or if a closer look at competitive listings reveals that an upgrade would help put your home in a better position, the good news is that many of them come at a cost of under $1000 each.
What features should you downplay or steer clear of?
- Wall-to-wall carpeting (the bedrooms might be exceptions, if carpeting is really clean and neutral in color)
- High-maintenance landscaping
- Brass or faux crystal fixtures and knobs
- Popcorn ceilings
- Acoustic tile or other drop ceilings
- Elaborate custom window treatments (some may be okay, particularly if they’re a neutral color and pattern, but they tend to reduce the light in a room, suggest costly dry-cleaning bills, and may not coordinate with a buyer’s style, so not a popular feature)
And what if you’re remodeling? What features are the best investment?
- The kitchen is still top of the list for buyer appeal. The rise of DIY shows and kitchen makeovers continues to shape our view of what a home should look like, so if you’re going to make a big investment and your kitchen is 10+ years old, that’s a good start.
- As noted above, hardwood floors are a plus, so new (or refinished) hardwoods would be a smart feature to have in your listing.
- Something a little less exciting, but that scores highly on remodeling impact reports is the assurance of having a new HVAC system. People are extra likely to bring up the question in the summer months.
No matter what type of market you’re selling in, it’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward when it comes to marketing your home.
When we start putting your listing together we’ll want to highlight the features that home buyers want most, including photos and details to help your home catch a buyer’s eye. If you’re ready to put your home on the market, give us a call – we’d love to put our expertise to work for you.