In real estate, it’s a seller’s market these days. Homeowners who sold their property in the first quarter of 2017 realized an average gain of $44,000 over their purchase price, according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions. Strong demand from buyers and low inventory mean many homes sell almost as soon as they hit the market. Things are moving so fast that some people are actually reluctant to list their homes for sale for fear they won’t be able to find a new place to live, a Redfin survey found.
In a market this hot, it might seem like homeowners don’t have to worry about whether their home will attract buyers. But even in a strong market, sellers still need to pay attention to what people want if they hope to get top dollar for their property.
So what catches the eye of picky home shoppers? Mid-sized homes that are good for families rather than huge houses with flashy amenities are in high demand, according March 2017 data from real estate website Realtor.com. It looked at what features attracted the most and least interest from shoppers on its site.
“While we often think of dream homes as being big and bold, that’s not what we’re hearing from potential buyers today. These insights can help guide potential sellers in deciding which rooms or features to invest in before listing their homes,” said Sarah Staley, a housing expert for Realtor.com.
Here are six of the things most important to people shopping for a new home.
1. A single-family house
Most buyers want a home of their very own, not a townhouse, condo, or apartment. Fifty-three percent of shoppers were looking for single-family properties. The older the shopper, the more likely they were to want a traditional, standalone house. More than three-quarters of people over age 55 wanted a single-family house. Buyers under the age of 35 were the only group more interested in townhouses, attached row houses, condos, or apartments.
Next: Buyers’ favorite home style probably won’t surprise you.