What Buyers Really Want In A Home

What Buyers Really Want In A Home

Size matters, according to the recent survey by The National Association Of Homebuilders. It seems buyers are now seeking homes that are approximately 2,000 square feet, but the problem is half of U.S. homes are nearly 40 years old and don't have many of the amenities buyers want.

NAHB says that only about one-third of the current homes on the market have 2,000 or more square feet of livable space. NAHB writes on its website, "Existing homes, on the other hand, are more likely to be under 1,600 - or even under 1,200 - square feet, a size relatively few buyers say they want."

So what does this mean for sellers whose homes might not be in that 2,000 square-foot-sweet spot? Will buyers just shun your home and continue on to find the home that meets their square footage requirements? Well, that depends.

Size, like location, is a very important consideration. However, both of these areas are often open for negotiation and buyers may consider sacrificing one aspect in order to achieve a more important amenity.

For instance, if the home is smaller than the buyers were originally looking for but is in an area that has the best school district and the potential for expansion, then suddenly this home becomes more appealing.

However, in order to market a home properly, you have to find out who your target is. If you reference this recent survey, then you can assume size matters. If your home falls short in this area, look for other great amenities to highlight. Make sure you and your agent have good marketing flyers that play up the features of your home.

Another great thing to do is to show what's possible with the home. If you had ever considered remodeling and had received ideas from a remodeling firm, you can let buyers know what options you had considered. This can give them an idea of how to use various areas of your home. Maybe they need a den and you have an area that could be easily turned into a small den or office loft. Helping buyers see the possibilities will open up their minds to opportunities and help them not rule out your home simply because its current condition doesn't meet all their needs.

As with any home, the way you show it is going to be a big influencer. With small homes this can be extra important because if the home is crowded with furniture and clutter it will look even smaller and maybe even give a claustrophobic feeling.

Remove any furniture that doesn't complement the home. The furniture should showcase the home, its architecture, and style without engulfing it. In my experience, this means that you will likely remove several pieces of furniture because often, over the years, people add lots of pieces that they actually don't need. Taking them out could give the home a refreshing, open airy feel.
Ultimately, remember, even if your home is smaller than what many buyers want, it doesn't mean you won't find that perfect buyer, it just might be that you need to emphasize the fantastic amenities that come in small packages!

Written by Phoebe Chongchua