Specific home buyer tastes in room features, layouts and features vary greatly depending on geographic region, climate and architectural tradition. Ensuring that your home listings address these trends is a great way to attract buyers’ attention and ultimately close deals faster. This can especially be the case when you are serving a robust housing market segment, such as median-priced existing homes.
According to a REALTOR® Magazine article entitled “Regional Trends: What Buyers Want Most−and Get”, the national average for median-priced existing-home sales was $193,300 at the end of Q3, 2013, up 9.4 percent from the previous year, a figure that of course varies in and of itself depending on the market. But one thing remains consistent across the country: While most buyers in this segment may not expect palatial kitchens, spa-quality saunas or glamorous outdoor fire pits, they do have specific amenities on their wish lists. The following are a few highlights from REALTOR® Magazine, broken out by four markets.
- Des Moines, Wash.—Median home price: $245,000. Desired features: good condition, two-story or ranch plan, 1,700 square feet, updated bathrooms, deck and natural gas for barbecue. Home buyer turnoffs: fixer-uppers and overpricing. For $100,000 more: partial view of Puget Sound or Olympic mountains, fourth bedroom, updated kitchen, basement and bigger footprint.
- Jacksonville, Fla.—Median home price: $170,000. Desired features: hardwood floors, high ceilings, walk-in closets in master bedroom and a pool. Home buyer turnoffs: no second bathroom and no garage or just a single-car garage. For $100,000 more: updated kitchen and bathrooms, fourth bedroom, three-car garage, bonus room and outdoor living space with kitchen.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.—Median home price: $208,000. Desired features: updated kitchen, three good-sized bedrooms, two bathrooms, basement and central air. Home buyer turnoffs: smaller living room, no dining room and no attached garage. For $100,000 more: more upgrades, bigger closets and larger foundation.
- Warwick, R.I.—Median home price: $241,000. Desired features: good kitchen, less than one-quarter acre lot and modest taxes. Home buyer turnoffs: airport noise and small yards. For $100,000 more: newer house (built after 1980), 1,700 square feet and two full bathrooms.
Home buyers will fall in love with brokers who them show multiple properties that contain these key features that are also in their price range expectations. Understanding how specific amenity expectations increase for homes valued at $100,000 more than the median average can also be beneficial. The cost of these added home features can serve as a reality check for those who think they are not getting optimal value for median-purchase prices. These added amenities can also serve as opportunities for higher-priced sales for buyers who can and want to pay for more whistles and bells on their next home.
Are you seeing specific trends evolve in your region for median-priced homes? If so, please share in the space provided below.