Need To Sell Home Fast? 10 Features Homebuyers Love

I’ve been fully immersed in real estate since 2011 and worked with hundreds of home buyers. Although each buyer has a different list of “must have’s” there are often common elements that always seem to have wide appeal.

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value report, most home remodeling efforts only increase home values by 50% – 80%. You’ll never get 100% back but you will dramatically increase the chances of selling considerably quicker.

The large majority of home buyers are looking for move-in ready properties. They don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands on a house they still have to pour more money and time into.

Making small upgrades during the time you occupy the home is typically easier on your wallet rather than shelling it all out at once. Nonetheless, each upgrade, when done well, helps boost your home’s appeal.

Keep in mind that homebuyers visit up to 15 homes before making a decision to purchase. So you’ll always be competing with 14 other properties.

Keep your home updated over time and avoid primary and overly bright colors. Yellows, pinks, and greens of the 1970s have since been replaced with warm greys and blues. Avoid overly bold colors that are difficult to paint over such as reds and bright greens.

Keeping your home and yard well-maintained also goes a long way when homebuyers come calling. It shows! Giving home buyers peace of mind that the property is well looked after goes a long way.

Laundry Room

91% of Homebuyers want a Laundry Room with hanging racks and some storage. Preferably on the main level. A separate laundry room tops the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) list of most-wanted home features by buyers.

Selling Your House Guide

Smart Homes

Smart homes are growing in popularity especially among younger home buyers. Used to be that having a programmable thermostat in the home was all you needed but now with the integration of systems like Alexa, it’s a whole different ballgame. Here are some great and affordable features you might consider upgrading.

  • Wireless locks
  • Thermostats
  • Alexa enabled lights

Vinyl Windows

I’ve seen far too many wonderful homes sit on the market month after month because the homeowners refuse to replace windows where it’s clear the seals have been broken.

You can instantly tell which windows have failed when there is condensation inside the glass or a “cloud” on the window. It is well worth replacing these windows than to sit on the market wasting time and lowering your price over and over again. Yes, it can be expensive but a new home buyer doesn’t want to deal with it either! They’ll simply choose another house to buy.

When replacing windows, always opt for Energy Star Qualified windows. This will also be highlighted when you list your house for sale and is a big plus. 89% of homebuyers want this feature.

Open Layout

The big trend today among homebuyers is an open layout. They help maximize the space and make entertaining easier. Namely, the best open layouts include the living room, EIK area, and kitchen.

The cost of small-scale remodels, a 190-square-foot space ranges in price from $5,832 to $6,804, according to HomeWyse.com. This includes installing new flooring, doors, switchplates, decorative hardware, and recessed lighting.

If removing a wall entirely is out of the question, consider opening it up by enlarging the entrance from one room to the next or converting a full wall to a partial wall instead.

Top 10 Home Features Homebuyers Love | MichiganFirstHome.com
Infographic by AngiesList.com

Eat-In Kitchen

There is a huge demand for open-plan layouts and that includes an eat-in kitchen. The fewer walls diving up main spaces, the better. Parents want to be able to keep an eye on the kids and talk to them when in the kitchen. The same holds true when guests are visiting.

Taking down a non-load-bearing wall to create space for a small table and chairs in your kitchen is relatively inexpensive (as little as $1,000). However, that can quickly escalate if your demolition reveals plumbing, ductwork, and electrical wiring within the wall that needs to be removed. It’s definitely worth looking into and getting several work estimates first.

Flooring

83% of homebuyers say that the quality of flooring plays a big roll in their decision-making process. Shiny hardwood flooring wins hands-down to other types of flooring options. Hardwood floors are more durable, easier to maintain and keep clean. If your carpets are old and stained, better to replace them prior to listing your house for sale.

With the huge variety of engineered wood flooring, homeowners don’t have to shell out for pure hardwood flooring any longer. The engineered flooring is approximately 15% cheaper than the traditional option. Wide plank flooring has the biggest appeal so long as it’s in keeping with the syle of your home.

Lighting

Gone are the days of dimly lit rooms. Homebuyers today want each room in the house to be well lit. Oftentimes, I’ll come across rooms where the living spaces have only one source of lighting, usually a ceiling fan. The bedrooms seem are often devoid of any entirely.

Installing recessed lighting in main living areas and at least one light source in the bedrooms is a big plus to homebuyers. Avoid bulbs that cast a yellow hue in the room, they are unflattering to most wall colors.

Plenty of Storage

We all have stuff and we need somewhere to put it. For most, that’s typically in the basement or attic crawl space. If your basement is unfinished, spruce it up with fresh concrete water-proof paint on the walls, clean and repair any windows, paint the floor with concrete paint. That will make a huge difference in its presentation. A clean dry basement goes a long way!

If you have a sizable yard, providing a shed for outdoor equipment is a plus. A space for lawnmowers, rakes and such is always welcomed provided that the shed is in good condition and not falling apart.

Most garages have a little extra space and access to an electrical plug. You’d be surprised at the number of homebuyers who need that space for an extra refrigerator.

Garage

Most families today have two cars. Therefore, having a 2 car garage will meet that need. Sweep the leaves and dirt off the floor and the cobwebs off the ceiling and windows.

Even if you only have a one-car garage, does your garage have room for a workspace? How about your driveway? Is it in good condition? Is there room for extra parking? Is there a turnaround space?

Seal up or repair cracks in your asphalt or concrete driveway. Your driveway and yard give homebuyers their first impression of what they can expect inside.

Outdoor Living Space

In today’s market, having an outdoor living space is a common request among homebuyers. In fact, 87% of homebuyers list this as one of their top “must have’s”. Even a smaller concrete patio can still be appealing and can be staged to look quite nice.

Wrapping It Up

Incorporating all or some of these suggestions doesn’t have to break the bank. Tackling them over time is easier on your budget and less stressful for you. Are you wondering if a certain remodel is worth the effort? Have some questions about selling your house? Leave your comments below and I’m happy to answer your questions. 🙂

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7 Responses

  1. Marie says:

    This is some really great advice, thank you! We are looking to sell our home within the next 10 years, so this is an amazing guide for us to know what we should focus our efforts on.

  2. Greg says:

    Hey, thanks for the great info! I’m getting ready to sell my home soon. It was built in 1920 and has had some major remodeling, but your advice about lighting is helpful. Do you recommend removing ceiling fans completely, or just adding recessed lighting? also Most of the house is carpeted. Is it better to replace slightly worn carpet prior to selling, or give the buyer a credit equal to carpet or one of the engineered flooring types? Thanks again!

    • Annette says:

      I recommend replacing the carpeting in the main living areas and hallways if possible with the engineered flooring. It’s ok to leave them in the bedrooms. If your carpets are still in good condition and a neutral color, then I believe you could get away with just a good carpet cleaning. I’ve seen homes offering a contingency on floor replacement sit on the market. Homebuyers just don’t want to deal with it. If you want to sell fast, get it done before you list your house for sale.

  3. Annette says:

    definitely bookmarking this for the day I decide to sell my home, very helpful list.

  4. Max says:

    Hey Anne,

    This is a great post. Clearly you know exactly what you are talking about which is great. This article is very informative and I learned a lot from it.

    I recently visited the states two months ago and my aunt had recently bought a new house. One of the things that I didn’t like about it was that she didn’t have much of an open floor plan as you mentioned, and therefor it was difficult to talk to someone when they were in the kitchen and you were in the living room.

    I’ll call her right now and tell her to knock that wall down!

    Great post.

    Cheers,

    Max

  5. Great advice, and its helpful to see it pulled all together so clearly.
    I will have to bookmark the page for future reference.
    Good job !

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