What do house buyers look for when searching for a home?

While it’s never wise to second-guess what house buyers want, there are certain attributes that most will find attractive. As a seller, you want your home to appeal to as many people as possible, so itís good to bear in mind what some of these key attributes are.

Of course, some things will be outside of your control ñ your home might not have good on-street parking, a garage or a decent-sized garden, for example ñ but if you can offer at least some of the things that many buyers are looking for it makes sense that your chances of selling your home will go up.

What, though, are some of these deal-breaking attributes?

Location, location, location
This is often the key selling point for buyers, with homes close to good public transport links, good schools, green spaces and local amenities likely to be most in-demand. Naturally, you canít affect the location of your property, but if you have a home within the catchment area of a high-performing school, nearby to reliable transport links or within walking distance of green space, then this is likely to impress potential buyers.

People will be looking for different things ñ a family with young children will have different wants and needs to a young professional, for example ñ but a few things remain the same across the board. A home in a safe, friendly neighbourhood ñ with good shops, restaurants and leisure facilities nearby ñ will always have considerable appeal.

Yes, buyers will be eager to negotiate a reasonable deal and wonít want to pay over the odds, but at the same time most buyers will be willing to pay a little more if the home in question is really special, particularly in a dog-eat-dog marketplace where competition is fierce and those who rest on their laurels tend to miss out.

As things stand, sellers are in a pretty good negotiating position, with demand for homes continuing to outstrip supply. That being said, you still need to be sensible and realistic when it comes to asking prices. Itís a difficult balance to strike ñ set your asking price too low and you risk under-selling your home, but set it too high and it could serve to put prospective buyers off. This is where we can really aid you, using our experience, knowledge and awareness of market conditions to set a fair and reasonable asking price for your home.

The wildcard approach
Most buyers will have basic requirements for a home depending on their circumstances. So, for example, commuters will want to be near a train station, those with kids will want to be close by to good schools and young professionals might be after easy access to the town/city centre. In some cases, though, buyers might still be willing to make an offer on a home even if it doesnít meet their basic requirements. It might be a little bit out of their budget, it might be a bit further out than they like, it might not have a garden or it might be a bit smaller than theyíd hoped for. Still, they love the home enough to take a gamble on it. Even some essential odd jobs which need doing may be ignored by potential buyers keen on buying your home.

As a seller, you can take advantage of this. Everyone has an idea of their dream home, but itís rare that this plays out exactly in real life ñ if a home is nearly perfect, but just short of a few little things, that is unlikely to put most house buyers off. When selling a home, you shouldnít narrow your options; you should be open to a wide range of potential buyers and demographics. After all, a wider pool of would-be buyers means a higher chance of receiving an offer.

The non-deal breakers
These are the things that house buyers would like in an ideal world, but can do without. So, for example, two bathrooms instead of one if there are lots of people living in the same home. A utility room, on street-parking and a garage/shed are other examples of things that arenít deemed essential but would be an added bonus all the same.

In other words, sellers who donít possess the above shouldnít panic. However, if you do have good on-street parking, a spacious garage and a handy utility room, donít be afraid to use this as part of your sales pitch.

The added bonuses
These features are ones that buyers wouldnít expect, but might be on their secret ìluxury wish-listî. This includes things like a south-facing garden (which provides far more sun in the summer months), a feature fireplace and an electric door on the garage. None of these are essential, but they all help to add a nice little bit of gloss to a home. Even more out-there would be things such as swimming pools, home cinemas or a games room.

As we said, house buyers wonít be desperately hoping for these elements, but if you have any luxury, standout features it is once wise to show them off.