What Buyers Want in a House

Small houses offer both functionality and value.

Small houses offer both functionality and value.

If you’re ready to sell your home, knowing what buyers are looking for can help you get a contract faster. Making the most of what your house has to offer can be its best selling point. A home in a nice neighborhood in the right city will appeal to buyers from the start. Since many buyers are looking for maintenance-free homes, the less fixing up your house needs when you put it on the market the better.

Home Office

A home office is a must-have among homebuyers these days, even for those who don’t work from home. According to the AVID Design Driver study, a separate home office ranks among the top amenities that buyers are looking for. In fact, many people are willing to give up a formal dining room just so they can have a home office or study. If you home doesn't have a typical office setup, find a way to highlight a usable work area and create a selling point in your favor.

Kitchen Upgrades

A large kitchen is something that buyers generally look for. When the kitchen area opens onto another room, that’s all the better. If you decide to upgrade any room in your house to make it more marketable, invest in the kitchen. Brand new kitchen cabinets or upgraded countertops really catch a buyer's attention. You can buy stock cabinets at a fraction of the cost you would pay for custom cabinets and adding a bit of trim makes them look just as good. Swap old laminate counters for stone or solid-surface tops for a fresh new look. Installing wood or ceramic tile flooring can also increase your home's resale value. Energy-efficient appliances that are new or in prime condition can be a real plus to buyers looking for a home in move-in condition.

Storage Spaces

If your house has no garage, it just won't cut it. Buyers are looking for homes with two- and three-car garages. An over-sized garage offers more than a place to park vehicles. Buyers see it as additional storage space or a place where they can set up a workshop. Another perk that can help sell your home is a finished basement. Renovated basements attract buyers looking for plenty of living space. Linen and walk-in closets are a must, with walk-in kitchen pantries making a big comeback. A separate laundry area that can double up for other uses is another asset that helps to sell a home.

Extras

Little things can make a big difference to potential homebuyers. Mark Patterson, a builder in Sanford, Maine, points out that simply replacing a standard doorbell with a fancier style can make a huge impression and costs just a few dollars to do. A fireplace is another amenity that adds both value and charm to a home. You can update the look of a tired, old fireplace by applying a coat of brick paint or adding an inexpensive mantel. Other features that may help sell your home include green improvements like water-saving faucets and toilets or a tankless water heater.

About the Author

Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

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