The Covid-19 pandemic upended most people’s lives in some way. Whether you were working from home for the first time, your children were learning virtually, or your gym routine became a visit to your basement, the way you use your home has probably changed. These lifestyle changes not only affected how people live in their homes, but also what prospective buyers want in a future home.
If you’re planning to sell this year, it’s important to understand what appeals to today’s homebuyers. Whether they are repeat or first-time buyers, researchers have found that homebuyers have shifted their wish list for the location, layout and features of their home.
- Multigenerational homes. Whether they want to bring aging parents or adult children to live with them, more buyers opted for a multigenerational home in 2020. If you have a space that works as an in-law suite or a lot with room for future expansion, point that out to buyers who may be looking to share their home with extended family.
- Home offices. If you don’t have an office in your floor plan, consider staging an extra bedroom as an office or convert a closet to a “Zoom room” for conference calls with a small desk and lighting. Showcasing space for children to do virtual learning—and homework once they return to in-person learning—also adds to your home’s functionality.
- Outdoor space. Even a small balcony or yard can be spruced up to appeal to buyers who want their own place to breathe fresh air. If you have unused outdoor space such as a side yard, this may be the time to enhance it with lighting or furniture to demonstrate additional ways to enjoy the outdoors.
- Storage and organization. When stay-at-home guidelines were first implemented, many homeowners went into a decluttering frenzy and others despaired that they would never have the pantry space to accommodate their extra supplies. Any simple organizers that increase the efficiency of your closets, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room or garage will capture the attention of prospective buyers.
- Private nooks. While most buyers still want an open floor plan, any house can seem a little crowded when everyone is home and sharing the great room all the time. Designing small nooks by tucking a cozy chair in a bedroom corner or next to a window can create a calming effect for your home that will appeal to many buyers.
- Room to exercise. Not every house has room for a fully equipped gym, but you can still create a place where the future homeowners could lay down a yoga mat or squeeze in a Peloton bike. Staging your house to demonstrate where someone might find space to exercise, even if it’s in a basement storage room or a walk-in closet, can increase its desirability for buyers who prefer to exercise at home.
- Clean rooms and clean air. Keeping a clean house became even more important in 2020, so features that help you do that are key to highlight, such as special air filters or touchless faucets. Even having a place to discard shoes, jackets and backpacks—plus a spot for hand sanitizer—at your home’s entrance can show buyers how easy it would be to stay clean and organized.
If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, contact me for local market expertise and knowledge of national trends. I’m primed to help you manage your real estate transaction and have extensive resources to inform your decisions and showcase your home to the widest pool of potential buyers.