Want to Prepare Your Home for the Market? These are the Most Important Features to Home Buyers

Elegant patio in backyard

For most home sellers, there are two priorities: sell the home for the best price, and sell it quickly. Good marketing, effective listing, and an energetic seller’s agent can be extremely helpful, but there are also important features to home buyers; features that you can complete to help move the property quickly and for the best price.

If you want to entice buyers, your home should have the features and amenities that people want the most. And what are those? According to a survey of almost 1,000 homeowners, there are a few projects that are most desirable.

What are the Most Important Features to Home Buyers?

1. Back Porch or Deck

It appears that people really like to spend time outside, as the back porch or deck is the single-most sought-after aspect of a home. If you have this feature on your house, you are already enticing plenty of buyers. If not, it may be worth the investment to update your home with a backyard area for family and friends.

This is not just a popular feature with certain buyers, buy appears to be a high-demand option for many demographics, as it was #1 for Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.

2. Updated Kitchen

This is no surprise to anyone in the real estate industry, as the kitchen, along with the bathroom, is often the most important component for selling a house. With an updated kitchen that is elegant and practical, you’ll have more buyers attracted to your property. There is a strong indication that this feature is important to more women than men. The information states that women are twice as likely to value this feature than their male counterparts.

Also, the average buyer would be willing to spend more in additional purchase pricing in order to have this feature in their homes than any other option. The average for this was $4,560, meaning buyers would spend more on a new kitchen than a finished basement, a back porch, or even an installed security system.

3. Hardwood Flooring

There is something about the natural look of wood that is so attractive to homeowners all across the country, and if you want to attract lots of buyers, you could replace old tile, carpet, or even worn-out hardwood with elegant wood flooring.

However, if you are going to install hardwood floors simply to attract buyers, don’t spend too much. The survey looked at how much people would be willing to spend in order to have each feature, but hardwood floors was last, as people would only be willing to spend an average of $2,532 in additional purchase price.

4. Finished Garage

The garage is largely a utility area, used for storing vehicles and equipment but rarely used for any other purpose. However, would-be buyers apparently desire a finished garage, which seems like one of the easier and faster projects that you could complete.

5. Open Floor Plan

An open living room-kitchen area is a popular feature for many buyers, and it’s a style that seems to last.

Unlike finishing the garage, this one could be a little more difficult to complete. An open floor plan, where the living room and kitchen are essentially one area, is an extremely popular layout, and it’s a trend that has actually lasted for a few decades, indicating that it will last for a few more. Taking out walls and refinishing the area, however, could be time consuming, especially if there are load-bearing walls involved.

But if you already have an open floor plan, you can expect to have more attention for your home. If many of your potential buyers are Baby Boomers, an open floor plan will help your sale; Boomers were 31% more likely than Millennials to say this feature is important, and almost 50% more likely than members of Generation X. However, this feature still has weight, as 16% of all people were likely to choose a home because of an open floor plan.

6. Finished Basement

The basement can give you access to a large area, but it the area is unfinished, all you basically have is a storage space. Buyers want to use this space as much as possible, so having a finished basement, with a lounge area, a wet bar, or a simple living room, will bring in more buyers and could help your home command a larger price. It’s worth noting that this feature appears to be popular with women; the infographic states that females would spend an average of $5,353 to gain this feature.

7. Natural Sunlight in a Bathroom

Natural sunlight makes people happy, adding warmth (both literal and figurative) to a home and making the area feel more joyful. If at all possible, having natural sunlight in one or more bathrooms can increase your potential to sell the home quickly.

8. Updated Bathroom

If there is one room in the home that challenges the kitchen for a buyer’s attention, it’s the bathroom. People love an elegant, updated bathroom with new fixtures, countertops, and cabinets.

9. Energy Efficiency

In some ways, it may be surprising that this is not higher on the list. Energy efficiency makes living in the home more affordable, and reduces people’s impact on the environment, making them feel better about the home. Additions like new windows, efficient appliances, and even solar panels will significantly increase buyers’ interest.

10. Updated Bedroom

Imagine how many hours you spend in the bedroom. Clearly, this is a popular area for all people, and it’s no surprise that an updated bedroom is in the top ten for most desired features. If you want to prepare your home for the market, updating your bedroom will move you in the right direction.

Whether You are Buying Your First Home or a Retirement Condo, We are Here to Help!

If you are getting ready to sell, you’re likely getting ready to buy as well. Let us help you have a smooth transition from one home to another by providing an affordable mortgage loan. With access to the FastTrack program, we can make sure your loan is processed quickly.

We can even help with renovation loans so you can add these important features to home buyers. Contact us today and let’s get started soon!



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“Chad and his entire team were over the top amazing, professional, and attentive throughout the entire home loan/buying process. I could not have asked for a better team to have on my side through what could be one of the most challenging and stressful processes one experiences. From the first conversation I had with Chad, I felt comfortable with him. He helped guide us through the process without ever once making us feel uneasy, unimportant, or uninformed. I never felt silly or stupid for asking the same questions over and over until I fully understood what we were getting into, or until something made total sense to me. The home loan world is fast paced, overwhelming, and confusing, and Chad and his team held our hands and helped us to feel comfortable and confident about our choices. He and his team were always there for us day or evenings, weekdays, or weekend and never made you feel like you were a bother if you had a burning question you had to get answered at 8pm Saturday night. I will use them again and again, and suggest them to any friend, family, or acquaintance. Seriously, they are rock stars. They work hard for you to get you into your dream home, we could not be happier with their hard work, dedication, and kindness.”

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. It's my goal to keep you updated with the latest real estate mortgage news. I'm proud to provide you with 100% original and unique content. Subscribe now to get high quality real estate mortgage content and articles delivered directly to your inbox. Chad Baker is Regional Manager for Cross Country Mortgage. Chad is consistently recognized in the top 1% of mortgage originators in the United States 2011-2019. Got a question for Chad? Call (858) 353-8331 or submit your question online