On Monday, I discussed what buyers want when purchasing Windsor homes. Today, I would like to continue the list. While the housing market has improved much in the past year and certainly that is great news, buyers today are still very careful before making an offer on a property. In fact, the average buyer has spent the better part of six months researching and looking at homes online before even stepping inside a Windsor home for sale. Therefore, buyers are very informed and they won’t overspend as they know what is available and what’s on the market.
So what else are buyers looking for today and what is important to them when looking at properties? Here is what they are saying:
1. A home with lots of light:
Buyers stay away from homes that are dark and dreary. Whether blocked by overgrown landscaping or bad lighting, if your home doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you may want to consider installing recessed lighting, sconces or perhaps even both to brighten up your space. Using halogen bulbs gives a room a more modern look as well. On the other hand, paint can make a room darker as well. If your rooms are painted a dark colour, then brighten it up with a nice neutral tan or earth tone colour.
2. Grass and landscaping:
This is true with buyers that have young families. Grass on flat land is especially popular. If you know that you will be selling your home in the future, then don’t even consider replacing your grass with a concrete backyard or rock garden. And make sure your yard is fertilized and getting plenty of water. You don’t have to do lots of work on your landscaping as long as it is maintained, weeds pulled and shrubs and bushes trimmed.
3. Staged home:
Do buyers like to see a staged home? Yes! If you have less than attractive furniture and lots of clutter and mementos, it would be a very good idea to hire a professional stager to make your home appealing to the vast majority of buyers. The point is, you want the buyers to imagine living in your home, and they can’t very well do that if they are surrounded by your knickknacks, photos, trophies and other belongings. And generally, homes show better when people can see furniture and how a room is arranged, but again, it may be well worth your money to hire a stager, maybe rent attractive furniture or going online and research more about the benefits of staging.
Buyers want to live in a good location. That means they want good schools, close to shopping, short commutes and near entertainment. It’s amazing that excellent locations of homes are often ignored in marketing materials. If you are selling your home in a highly desirable area, make sure it is heavily promoted. Buyers who want to live in a specific area, will often compromise on a home if it gets them into the neighbourhood of their dreams.
Today’s buyer also find built-in’s appealing, as this is viewed as “free furniture.” China cabinets, entertainment units, book shelves are all highly regarded by buyers as it makes a home not only stand out with impressive details of higher quality.
Finally, I recently read a report that buyers today will pay MORE to have:
1. Air conditioning
2. New kitchen appliances
3. Walk-in closet in the master bedroom
4. Granite countertops
5. Hardwood floors
If you are selling a home with all of these features, PROMOTE! PROMOTE! PROMOTE!
Buyers today not only consider the above important, but they also want an Internet ready home and a master bathroom in-suite. They are looking for homes that they can stay in for the long-term which is different from ten years ago when buyers were looking for homes to stay in until they would get enough equity to buy a larger home. And with the low-interest rates and lower inventory, homes are spending less time on the market which is good news, but again, buyers are smart and they know what they want and they understand what they can afford as many are getting pre-approved for a home loan.
My overall advice to sellers is to do what you can afford with flooring, appliances and paint as this is very much noticed by the buyers and can very well mean a second visit to your property and hopefully an offer in a short amount of time. But again, you don’t need to buy the most expensive. Anything mid-range is fine to most buyers and certainly easier on your pocketbook.