For real estate professionals trying to put their best foot forward, the results of a recent survey offer clues on how to make for-sale listings stand out.
In May, online brokerage ZipRealty asked about 1,000 house hunters who registered on its site what their "must-haves" and "deal breakers" were for their future home purchase. While the survey found that house-hunting men and women tend to have different priorities when searching for a home, their preferences do overlap in some ways.
Men and women’s top 10 preferences were largely the same with two exceptions: having a view made it onto the men’s list (and not the women’s list), with 44.5 percent of men saying it was a high priority; and wood floors made it onto the women’s list (and not the men’s), with 40.9 percent of women ranking them highly.
More than a quarter, 27 percent, of all respondents ranked a "green," environmentally friendly home a high priority, the brokerage said.
The home’s location on a quiet or busy street is also important, the brokerage said, so if the house is on a quiet cul-de-sac that would appeal to families, mention it. Real estate professionals should highlight all of these must-have features in both the listing description and photos, the brokerage said.
And sellers should keep in mind not only what homebuyers want, but also what they don’t want.
"The three biggest turnoffs when viewing a home in person are structural damage, bad odors, a busy street and an awkward floor plan. While searching online, lack of parking and few or no photos and low square footage are the biggest deal-breakers," the brokerage said.
Based on survey responses, the following are the top 10 most desired home features and the percentage of respondents who ranked the feature as high priority:
1. Garage or parking space: 86.8 percent.
2. Master suite: 78.9 percent.
3. Ample storage space: 72 percent.
4. Large or walk-in closets: 66.5 percent.
5. Guest bedroom: 66.4 percent.
6. Outdoor entertainment area: 64.3 percent.
7. Gourmet or updated kitchen: 60.6 percent.
8. Breakfast room or eat-in kitchen: 55.8 percent.
9. Large yard: 43.2 percent.
10. Wood floors: 40.8 percent.
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