Whether you are marketing your home to first-time buyers, young families or empty nesters, all of them are looking for some of the same characteristics in a home, along with a few special preferences that meet their specific needs.
Of course, homebuyers are individuals, too, so the feature in your home that most appeals to one buyer—such as an extensive backyard with space for gardening—could have zero appeal for another buyer. Researchers spend a lot of time profiling buyers to find out how to market existing homes and how to design new homes to appeal to a broad market. As a seller, there are some things you may not be able to change easily about your home; but the more you know about what attracts buyers, the more you can emphasize those features in your marketing materials and by staging your home.
The National Association of REALTORS®’s 2013 Home Features Survey gathered information from purchasers to find out what they bought and what features mattered most to them. According to the survey, the majority of buyers want more closet and storage space. If you can emphasize this space in your home by emptying some of your closets, you are more likely to attract top dollar for your property.
In addition, 65% of buyers said a home with central air conditioning was very important. In fact, this is the most important of 31 features listed by the NAR.
NAR’s study showed that buyers were willing to pay the most extra money for a home with a basement and an in-law suite, but, as always, upgraded kitchens were a priority, too.
While granite countertops are definitely a popular choice, only 20% of buyers said that particular type of surface was very important. Stainless steel appliances were considered very important by 17% of buyers. More important than those specific features were new appliances and an eat-in kitchen. So, as a seller, if you have limited money but want to upgrade your dated kitchen, you may be better off spending the money on new appliances instead of new counters.
Home purchasers in 2013 emphasized practicality with their focus on storage, space and appliances: 89% bought a home with a laundry room, 78% bought a home with a garage, 57% bought a home with a fireplace and 41% bought a home with a basement.
In addition to NAR’s study, surveys by GfK Roper Reports and 24/7 Wall Street looked at preferences among younger buyers and older buyers. Sellers can use this information to target their marketing to the buyers they think are most likely to purchase their home.
For example, the surveys found that hardwood floors were more important to younger buyers than to baby boomers. Older buyers think a private master bath is an important feature to have in their home. While younger buyers want this as well, it’s less of a priority for their age group.
First-time buyers and younger buyers are looking for an open floor plan and a home office with up-to-date wiring, so if you have an older home to sell it may be wise to invest a little money in upgrading your technology. You can also stage your home to show that your separate living room and dining room can be flexible spaces to use for an office or casual gathering space.
Younger buyers tend to be more interested in energy efficiency than older buyers, so if you decide to replace your appliances make sure you choose Energy Star models.
While you can’t provide a dream house for every buyer, considering buyer preferences while you prepare your home for sale can make your property more appealing so it sells faster.
This article was originally published by Michele Lerner on realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.