If you’ve been following the news recently, you’re probably aware that homes in many markets are selling at all-time highs due to a combination of employers allowing employees to work remotely, historically low mortgage rates, and a shortage of inventory.
As HomeLight notes in their Top Agent Insights for Q4 2020 report, 84% of real estate agents nationwide report that housing inventory has been lower than expected and 92% report that they are seeing seller’s market conditions in their territories. Although every buyer has individual preferences, HomeLight’s report found that sellers should prioritize energy efficiency and improvements that account for the fact that people are spending more time at home than ever before.
Tips to make your home stand out
Improving your home’s energy efficiency
Now that many homebuyers are working from home or attending school at home, energy efficiency is a top concern of buyers today. Examples of energy efficiency upgrades that you can implement in your home include adding solar panels, adding spray-foam insulation to your attic, and installing double-pane windows.
While many of the previously mentioned upgrades require an upfront investment and/or hiring a professional to help with installation, they’re still worth exploring as they can pay for themselves. As HomeLight reported in their Top Agent Insights report, 61% of agents feel that buyers are most likely to care about the energy efficiency of windows in relation to other upgrades.
Aside from windows, 65% of agents report that sufficient insulation is a selling point to buyers, while 47% report LED or CFL lighting is also beneficial.
Choose home improvements based on your home’s age
Given that energy efficiency is just one component of homeownership, you’ll also need to take a holistic approach to make your home stand out from others. Instead of just focusing on what the buyer immediately sees, you also need to ensure your home’s wiring, plumbing, and other structural elements are sufficient and meet current code standards.
Regardless of your home’s age, it’s important to ensure your space is configured to meet the needs of today’s home buyers. Going back to the HomeLight report referenced earlier, kitchens, baths, and outdoor features are three areas homeowners should focus on improving.
HomeLight reports that 64% of agents report that a kitchen island is in the top three kitchen features that buyers seek, while 62% and 57% reported large amounts of drawer and cabinet storage made the list respectively.
In the bathroom, many buyers are seeking vanities with double sinks. Even if your bathroom only has a single sink, you can make your home pop by installing upscale shower heads such as a rain shower or dual-shower head. You can also enhance your home’s value by installing a linen closet with shelves, and/or a heated floor.
Another area to focus on is your outdoor space. Now that buyers are spending so much time at home, they’ll want to make the most of outdoor space. 54% of real estate agents report that fire pits are a huge selling point for buyers, and 46% report that adding a full outdoor kitchen with a sink, grill, fridge, and bar center is valued.
Since every housing market is different, it’s important that you work with a professional real estate agent in your area. By considering a few common-sense tips from this article you can make the process of choosing a real estate agent much more manageable.