If you’ve been in the same house for several years, it can be daunting to think about putting it on the market when it’s time to move. After all, the selling points that swayed you to buy your home way back when probably aren’t the same exact features that will entice today’s buyers.
Knowing what most homebuyers are looking for can make a world of difference when it comes to selling your home quickly, even in an otherwise hot market. And let’s face it — no one wants their house to sit for months when nearby properties are going like hotcakes.
Whether you simply want to take stock of your home’s marketability as-is or you plan to execute a few smart upgrades to make it more appealing, here’s what the average buyer wants in their next home.
Most Wanted Home Features
It’s a great time to sell your home: demand is strong, inventory is low, and sales are still running above the pre-pandemic pace. While these factors may make it a seller’s market, buyers still know what they want — and they’re just as likely to wait for it than settle for less.
While your home doesn’t have to offer everything prospective buyers are looking for these days, it certainly helps if it has a few high-demand features.
To capture the big picture of which selling points are most important to today’s buyers, the National Association of Home Builders conducts an annual study to get a clear understanding of what home buyers really want. In 2021, this includes:
If your washer and dryer sit in your unfinished basement, it may be time for a mini home renovation project. Nearly nine in 10 homebuyers are looking for a house with a separate laundry room, and about three in five buyers believe that room should be conveniently located on the first floor.
Most buyers want a kitchen that feels fresh and updated, for the simple reason that most people don’t want to have a major kitchen remodeling project on their hands from day one in their new home. The most-wanted kitchen features of 2021 include:
- Side-by-side sinks
- Walk-in pantry
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Central kitchen island
- Space for a table
- Drinking water filtration
You don’t necessarily have to renovate your kitchen just to get it market-ready, however — there are plenty of smaller projects that can breathe new life into your space. Refaced cabinets with new hardware, a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and a new floor can often feel transformative enough.
A home with energy-efficient components has a major appeal to most buyers in an era of climate change and increased environmental consciousness. This includes energy-efficient lighting, centrally-located ceiling fans, a programmable thermostat with a multi-zone HVAC system, and ENERGY STAR-certified windows and appliances.
When prospective homebuyers were asked to rank which features they wanted most in their next home, hardwood floors — specifically on the main level — ranked in the top 10 out of over 200 home design details. In fact, four in five homebuyers feel that having hardwood floors on the main level is highly desirable or essential.
Open floor plan
The pandemic lockdown of 2020 may have had many homeowners wishing their open floor plans weren’t quite so open, but the desire for separate spaces hasn’t dampened the equally strong desire for open, spacious living areas.
Nine in 10 buyers are drawn to homes with open living spaces, specifically ones that incorporate a great room, dining room, and kitchen all in one area. At the same time, today’s buyers also want separate rooms for specific purposes — home offices and second “separate” living rooms are especially popular.
Patio or front porch
Pandemic living has also pushed outdoor spaces to the forefront, making them a much-desired home feature for a majority of people: four in five buyers say that a patio and/or a front porch are preferred or even indispensable. Upgraded exterior lighting is also a very in-demand feature.
Get Your Home Market-Ready
While you’re not going to renovate your entire home just to make it more appealing to today’s buyers, making strategic upgrades can increase its value and make it more marketable.
The team at Hogan Design & Construction can help you understand which projects may be most strategic for your home, including which ones provide the best return on investment (ROI). We can also help you complete those upgrades with client-centered service that prioritizes quality craftsmanship, communication, and transparency above all else.