Giving Homebuyers What they Want
What do today's homebuyers want? The latest research shows that they want it all and are willing to wait, search, and negotiate until they can get it.
Sharon Leger, agent with Century 21 Bessette, says the newest crop of potential homebuyers has definite ideas about not just what they want in a home, but also clearly defined guidelines for what they are not willing to accept. "Although the national housing slump did not have a huge impact on our market, it did lead many people to postpone the purchase of a new home. They didn't sit idly by while they waited. They did their homework and fine-tuned their wish list. Now they are armed-and-ready to make a deal on the home of their dreams."
The latest research reports from the National Association of Realtors and AVID Ratings both found that overall, homebuyers are going back to basics and in the market for solid, well-maintained properties that will give them their money's worth. "One of the biggest things we are seeing is buyers who are looking beyond surface appeal for real value. Demand is high for homes that are well-maintained," says Leger. "They've learned that the housing market is unpredictable and that they may need to hang onto their home for a while. People aren't as interested in fixer-uppers as they were in the past. They don't want those unknown expenses hanging over their heads."
Today's buyers are also looking for a rock bottom price. "They've know it's a buyer's market," says Leger. "They want to drive a hard bargain and are more focused on negotiating to get the home they want at the price limit they have set for themselves. They aren't as willing to settle because they don't feel like they have to."
In addition to value and price, Leger says there are several other home features that rank high on the list for homebuyers shopping the real estate market:
Buyers are buying smaller homes, but Leger says they want to be able to use every inch of space. They want functional and practical home designs with no wasted space.
Walls between rooms, particularly those separating the kitchen, dining room and living room are coming down. "This trend goes hand-in-hand with the desire for more functional living spaces," says Leger. These are the areas families spend the most time in, so combining these spaces just makes sense to many families."
Popular features include decks, patios, screened porches and outdoor kitchens. "These are great selling points that make a home more competitive in the market," says Leger.
Energy-efficiency is a top priority for buyers. At the top of the list are appliances and high-efficiency insulation and triple-glazed windows for long-term cost savings on utility expenses.
Demand remains high for walk-in closets, linen closets, large pantries and other functional features that will help homeowners make the most of the square footage they purchase.