After being Frederick Md Real Estate agents for over 26 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of home buyers and home sellers. Even though home decorating trends come and go and new home products hit the market all the time, there are some things that are true for any time and market. In our experience it’s true, kitchens sell homes, however there are several items today’s buyers think are important to have in a home. Here’s my home buyers top 10 wish list for 2018:
Home Buyers Top Ten Wish List:
Kitchens and Baths Sell Homes
1. Modern, Updated Kitchen. The kitchen in today’s home is the communal place where family gathers for socializing as well as eating. The best investment a seller can make is to update the kitchen. The cost of updating a kitchen for a buyer is often an expense they’d rather not deal with, as most want a home that is move-in ready. If they see a kitchen with too much work involved to update it, unless there is some other compelling reason why they are in love with the home, they’ll usually move on.
The best recommendation for homeowners is to make updates and maintain and repair their home throughout the time they own it. Waiting until you decide to sell the home can mean a shock to your wallet when you have a lot of updating in front of you at once. Similarly, deferred maintenance often leads to chronic problems that are more expensive to fix in the end.
2. Bathrooms. Buyers will look next at the number and age of the bathrooms. The cost of updating a bathroom is usually the 2nd most costly update, after the kitchen. A master bath that evokes a modern spa retreat is a coveted feature. Although you can’t hide major imperfections in a bathroom, staging can do wonders in this area. Painting the bathroom in a serene color, adding plush towels and a stylish decorator soap dispenser set can change the entire feel of a bathroom. There are also some clever inexpensive ways you can update a bathroom, like painting the trim on a dated shower, or updating the lighting or fixtures.
3. Number of bedrooms. I recently viewed a large (5000+ square foot home) on 2 acres in an estate neighborhood. The home had only 3 bedrooms in a neighborhood where the comparable homes have 4 or 5 bedrooms. Can you say “Fatal Flaw”? The original homeowners designed and built the home according to their needs and wants, not thinking of the resale. The home had been on the market for over 2 years. The only remedy is price in that instance.
Today’s homeowners have higher expectations than their parents or grandparents did. Today’s families require that every child have their own bedroom, and sometimes their own bathroom. If you have rooms that you have repurposed for other uses, make sure you convert them back to bedrooms before you put your home on the market. Most of the time people are looking for standard bedrooms, not special purpose rooms, or bonus rooms like hobby or craft rooms. Those are fine if they don’t come at the cost of a bedroom.
4. Accessible and dedicated laundry space.
Laundry rooms used to be relegated to the basement. In most modern homes the laundry space has been brought upstairs to the bedroom levels or to the first floor where people live. Cabinets and counter space is a value-add for managing clothes and cleaning products. An organized laundry area that allows the homeowner to control clutter will be a plus.
A Home Buyer’s Must Have: Room for Stuff
5. Storage. People have stuff. Stuff needs space. Most buyers tour a home looking at the overall storage possibilities.
If you don’t have a huge amount of storage in your home, don’t fret. Make sure you make the most of what you have. Pay attention to your storage spaces and rooms in your staging. Cull the closets to show as much room available as possible.
If your bedrooms are smallish, make sure you maximize the space. De-clutter and minimize furniture. This is just one reason why staging is important. It shows your home in the best possible way. Look at it this way, you’re going to be moving soon anyway…why not pack up a good amount of your stuff now?
6. An Organized Garage. One item that is a moving up the home buyers top 10 wish list is a functional garage. Today’s families appreciate a space large enough to fit 2 vehicles and offer storage space for their many activities. Having an organized storage system in the garage is a big plus for a home seller.
Here are some great ideas for organizing and primping up the garage from Realtor.com.
The trend for the last decade has been moving away from “McMansions” and toward more manageable homes with better plans. Homeowners want to have all the functionality in a smaller home, including the outside of the home.
Outdoor living space can be found in a deck or patio, or even in a side-yard. Creativity and some good old-fashioned labor can produce attractive outdoor spaces that add to the livability of any home. Add some inviting staging touches and you can add a lot of charm and appeal.
8. A Home Office has been growing in demand over the last decade as more people work from home either part-time or full-time. If a home doesn’t have a dedicated office space, it really adds to the appeal just to carve out office space in a kitchen or family room.
9. Energy efficiency is high on today’s buyers’ wish list. Buyers are more aware of and interested in green innovations, both for the environment and for their wallets. The top of the list of green features are energy-efficient appliances and high-efficiency insulation and windows. There are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home, from simple additions like a programmable thermostat, or replacing your lighting with energy saving LED lighting fixtures.
10. Upgraded Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans. Sometimes the most obvious things can get overlooked. Lighting and ceiling fans are so easy to replace with modern, design-friendly fixtures, for a very reasonable cost. Even if you don’t need to replace them, make sure you use the brightest bulbs possible. Lighting makes a huge difference and is one of those details that gives you the most bang for your buck.
7 Tops Tips for Getting Your Home Sold Quickly, by Lori Cain, Mid-Town Tulsa real estate agent. Lori gives several good tips to help you get your home in move-in ready condition, something most of today’s buyers put at the top of their list.
In my article 15 Staging Rules, learn the principals behind the steps you can take to stage your home.
Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Appeal, don’t forget the aesthetics of your home, the “feels” that speak to potential buyers.
Decorating Trends for Homeowners 2018 because it’s always a good idea to have a fresh look. Outdated looks can suggest that the home itself is outdated.