Ever wonder what potential buyers for your home are looking for? Wonder no more. The National Association of REALTORS 2013 Home Features Survey tells it all and it really depends upon whether the home the prospective buyer is looking at is new or previously owned.
According to the survey, the dream list for most buyers includes:
Walk-in closet in master bedroom
Ensuite master bathroom
New kitchen appliances
Stainless steel appliances
The percentage of buyers who ranked each of these items as "very important" was directly correlated to a new versus previously owned house. If the buyer was looking at a new home, each of these items had a high percentage of "very important" rankings. If the buyer was looking at a previously owned house, the percentage of those buyers ranking these same items as "very important" fell from 15 percent to more than 50 percent.
What does this data tell you if you're selling or thinking of selling your home? In a nutshell, buyer expectations for your home are lower than their expectations for a brand new home. Homebuilders had better put upgrades everywhere to sell their homes. You, on the other hand, will get a bit more leeway from prospective buyers who don't expect to find all of these wish-list items in your home. But if you do have some of them, that might just seal the deal.
And if you have these wanna-have features, or even if you don't, make sure your real estate agent takes a lot of photos of your home or property and posts them in your online listing. In the National Association of REALTORS 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, nearly 100 percent ranked photos and detailed information about the property as at least "somewhat useful," with more than 80 percent ranking them as "very useful."
These results aren't surprising in an age when people do most of their home shopping online. Just imagine. It wasn't long ago that buyers had to sit down with their agent and cull through one-page listing sheets with a few photos to come up with their list of contenders. The great thing about going digital is that buyers can look through hundreds of properties to get a feel for neighborhoods, features, realistic prices and more. Now, it's truly a case of "show, don't tell," so make sure your agent snaps flattering shots of your property and plenty of them to upload with your listing. That virtual tour might leave a potential buyer wanting to see the real thing.