These days, buying a home can seem more like solving a Rubik's cube than making a purchase. Negotiating the price, calculating the resale value, planning for repairs or renovations – it’s enough to make your head spin! There are several factors that influence a buyer’s decision when they’re house-shopping; here are the top 10 shoppers will consider as they’re on the hunt for their next home.
1. Curb appeal: If a home makes a great impression from the curb, its sellers have already won the first battle. When a home’s exterior is attractive and well-maintained, potential homebuyers’ curiosity will be piqued and they’ll want to see what’s inside. A high curb appeal supercharges the interest of potential buyers, whether they’re arriving to tour the house or simply driving by in the neighborhood. First impressions matter – and buyers will be on the hunt for houses that call out to them as they search for their next home.
2. Age of the home: While it’s undeniable that older homes have a certain charm, they’re often more expensive to maintain over the years. Over time, damage from old plumbing systems, cracks in the foundation, leaky roofs and inefficient windows can quickly add up and cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars. Buyers eyeing an older home will need to budget for potential repairs and plan ahead to prepare for the cost of equipment replacements and professional work.
3. Interest rate: Buying a house is the biggest purchase of most buyers' lives – and it's easier to take the plunge when you've been able to lock in a good deal on the interest rate of your mortgage. If rates are projected to rise in the future, it may be advantageous for buyers to act sooner rather than later; if rates are high, buyers can be tempted to hold off on a major purchase until the market swings back in their favor, although this timing can be extremely difficult to predict.
4. Price: You know what they say: Money makes the world go ‘round. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, considerations when buying a home is its cost – and how it stacks up to its projected resale value. Is the home within your budget? Will you be able to afford its maintenance and upkeep after buying it? How much will taxes and insurance on the home cost? What is its estimated resale value? All these questions factor into a buyer’s decision when shopping for their first or next home.
5. Location, location, location! When shopping for a new home, buyers will be scoping out the best neighborhoods in town (within their price range, of course). Neighborhoods that are friendly, walkable, well-maintained and safe score the most points – bonus to an area that's close to great restaurants, shops, and parks. Who wouldn't love a cute, locally-owned bakery right around their corner?
6. Kitchen: Buyers will spend a lot of time in their kitchen, so they’ll be looking for one that includes a decent amount of space and updated appliances. Bonus points if the whole kitchen has been updated – even if you mostly use the kitchen for heating up takeout, it’s still nice to prepare food in an area that’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
7. Interior: While the outside of a home makes the initial impression, once a buyer steps inside they’ll be eyeing the interior of the place, trying to picture themselves living in it. A home that is move-in ready, painted in neutral shades, will be much more attractive to potential buyers than a home they’ll have to completely redo to suit their taste – so wise sellers will remove that floral wallpaper in the dining room ahead of time!
8. Area schools: Not all home buyers have or want children, but there’s no denying that the quality of schools near a home has a huge effect on its resale value. A home located closer to high-quality schools will be easier to sell down the road and for families who either already have children or are planning to have them, it’s a huge plus.
9. Exterior maintenance: When shopping for a home, buyers will be paying careful attention to the upkeep that will be required on the home’s exterior – and what’s already been taken care of for them. No one wants to buy a home where they’ll spend their first Sunday morning digging leaves out of clogged gutters instead of enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch of their new abode!
10. Cleanliness: The condition of the house is a huge factor for buyers; a house that looks dirty and run-down suggests that the owners didn’t take care of it properly, and in a buyer’s mind, that’s a big red flag. If the house isn’t well-maintained on the surface, who knows what problems you may run into after it’s been purchased?
From aesthetic appeal to functionality, there’s a dizzying amount of factors buyers will be simultaneously balancing as they make their decision. Understanding what they value and look for can help both buyers and sellers come to a mutually beneficial conclusion – and aid the seller as they, in turn, begin their own hunt for their next perfect home! For any other real estate ventures please call Max Haven at Remax!