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Surveys show what clients value in a home

by NMoore on

Todd Polinchock
Todd Polinchock

I enjoy reading about trends in the real estate market. I find it helpful to learn more about what home buyers and sellers want and how the demographics of homebuyers are changing. This inside information makes it easier for me as a Realtor® to do my job.

Lucky for Realtors®, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) conducts surveys and research and then publishes the results in amazing reports. What portion of the population is buying homes? Take a look at the National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Do buyers want to have a garage? Read the 2013 NAR Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences. What are second home investors looking for? The NAR Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey offers insight into this market.

Understanding these trends helps us to better meet our clients’ needs.

Recently, the 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences showed that home buyers rank central air conditioning as the most important feature when they buy a house — they’re willing to pay more for it. The NAR study tracks consumers who purchased a home between 2010 and 2012.

Sixty-five percent of all buyers considered central air conditioning very important and are willing to pay $2,520 more for a home with this feature. Among the 33 home features in the study, 39 percent of home buyers considered a walk-in closet in the master bedroom an important feature and were willing to pay $1,350 for this feature. Those who did not purchase a home with new appliances were willing to pay $1,840 more to have this feature.

It seems pretty obvious that buyers 55 and older would prefer having a single-level home. Buyers with children under the age of 18 preferred a finished basement, compared to those who did not have children living at home. Buyers 35 to 54 placed the highest amount of importance on a laundry room compared to buyers in other age groups.

In the Northeast, buyers really want a home with a dining room, more than even a living room. They also prefer hardwood floors to other regions of the country. Other buyers were willing to spend more for a laundry room and a den/study/home office/library.

Understanding these preferences helps you market the features (or lack of features) to the right buyers. It gives you some intuition about what single homebuyers are interested in compared to buyers who are 55 and older. As Realtors® we bring value to the transaction because we understand the local real estate market and are able to help our buyers and sellers make the most of it.

Take advantage of these reports and the other fantastic resources on the NAR, PAR and your local association’s websites. All three associations strive to help you do business more efficiently and profitably.


Sellers Homebuyers NAR Research
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