Buying a house can be a complicated process. A lot goes on behind the scenes, with a ton of planning, financial preparations and due diligence.
That is why all sellers should think from the other side's perspective. This can really help the process along, and it could also mean that the property for sale gets off the market quicker - even at a higher price.
Therefore, it helps to figure out what exactly buyers want from their next residence. Before anyone lists their home, they should talk to a property inspection professional. These experts can find out where there are problems, and what can be done so a house is in great shape.
Not everyone wants a project
The fixer-upper is often the pinnacle of a real estate deal. The price is low, sellers are looking to move on and the buyer can inherit a lot of interesting do-it-yourself projects. However, this tends to sound better than it really is.
When it comes down to it, not everyone wants a fixer-upper, according to Bankrate.com. In fact, most buyers would rather buy a home in decent shape for a slightly higher price.
"Some buyers may be willing to do a little bit of cosmetic work like replacing the carpet or having something painted, but most are looking for a home in ready-to-move-in condition," Ben Coleman, owner of San Francisco-based Century 21 Hartford Properties, told the news source. "The preference is for a maintenance-free home, although few homes are truly maintenance-free."
At the moment, many people don't want to close on a house and then have to deal with a list of contractors and cleaners. Instead, they would rather get the keys, move in their furniture and enjoy.
In addition, Bankrate.com explained that many buyers want a functional home, as well. In the past, trends may have leaned more toward size and opulence. Now, smaller is perfectly fine. Given today's economy, people are more cautious about their finances - and a mortgage and property taxes factor directly into that.
Therefore, sellers should be smart when getting a home ready to be listed. One great step is a home inspection, which can ensure that the entire structure is in move-in ready condition.
The features that catch buyers' eyes
Not every buyer wants massive bathrooms with hot tubs, or six-bedroom expanses. On the other hand, most people can be a lot more flexible when it comes to the features that are considered attractive.
For example, a recent National Association of Home Builders report looked at a number of things that homebuyers found desirable. Nearly everyone wants something a little bit bigger - in the neighborhood of 2,226 square feet, or roughly 17 percent larger than their current properties. However, 25 percent of the survey respondents noted that they didn't care about the size of the lot.
The NAHB reported that buyers care more about quality and appearance in regard to home components. This could include flooring, doors, countertops and carpeting, for instance. When it comes to appliances, most people wanted quality and brand name.
In addition, 57 percent considered a laundry room a must have, and 35 percent felt the same way about Energy-Star rated windows. On the other hand, 51 percent of the survey group responded that they didn't want only a shower in the master bath - instead, they would prefer a larger layout.
Overall, sellers may want to cater to these preferences when getting their house ready for a sale. A property inspection is another smart choice, as a detailed report can identify a number of problem areas, or put potential buyers' minds at ease.