2010 has been a very busy year in real estate despite all of the changes that have happened within the industry. With all that has changed, it was interesting to note, however, that buyers still seem to have the same things on their wish list when they go out in search of their next home. Here is a list of the top 5 items that buyers still deem most important when they go out to buy a home .
1) Granite is Still King – You just have to walk into a kitchen store, or even your local home depot, to realize that countertop options are endless. Fantastic products are coming on the market more frequently (Corian, Quartz, polished concrete, etc...), but most buyers still see granite at the top of that list. I am not telling home sellers to run out and replace your countertops today, I am simply suggesting that if you plan on making some improvements in the kitchen, be careful when you decide on your countertop material. Buyers still look at granite as the Cadillac Top and a kitchen with granite will dramatically increase the saleability of the home.
2) Closet and Storage Space – I have had more buyers walk out of homes due to the lack of closet and storage space than anything else. We live in a consumption society and families now come with a lot more ‘Stuff’. Today we collect more ‘Stuff’, so we need more space to store the ‘Stuff’.
3) Master Bedroom Size – Many buyers still want large master bedroom sizes. Even though this one is hard to correct from a seller’s stand point, there are things you can do to the room to make it look bigger. Remove all large furniture pieces (if you have a post bed in a small master, remove the posts), declutter and repaint the walls a light, neutral colour. You can’t change the size of a room, but a brighter bedroom with less ‘Stuff’ will make it seem bigger.
4) Hug a Tree, We are Going Green! – I am having more and more buyers asking me about the efficiency of the home. As a seller, it is a good idea to have an energy audit on your home. Even if you are not going to sell, it is important to find out where you are losing energy and wasting money. However, if you are going to sell, you will want to know how energy efficient is your furnace or air conditioner, how much heat is being lost from the windows, how insulated is the attic, etc...These are just some of the questions you can have answered with the energy audit and you can be sure these are some of the questions potential buyers will be asking when they come in for a visit.
5) Move in Ready Condition – It wasn’t too long ago people wanted to find a ‘Fixer-upper’. For the most part, unless you are in the business of flipping houses, those days are gone. People are now looking to find a home in ‘Move in Ready Condition’. Many people still find housing prices very high and don’t have the financial resources to update the home once they move in. Even if they do have the financial resources, people lead busy lives and feel they will never have the time to do it themselves OR don’t want to be inconvenienced by having a parade of contracted help coming into the house to bring it up to a standard they can live with.