I think the recent turn in the market has caught the attention of just about everyone and it’s created a brand new concern in the minds of buyers, if not significantly strengthened an old one. Over the past few weeks while showing I’ve been asked repeatedly “what kind of things do buyers look for?” and “how fast would this house sell if I needed to sell it?” Now, while such questions are not uncommon for buyers to concern themselves with, they have become much more prevalent than I remember them to be. The reason of course is that our market’s uncertainty has manifested into a concern that a buyer may not be able to sell down the road.
Before I get into a few things that can help ease this concern, it’s important to understand that one of the benefits of buying in a market like this one is that the market will have turned by the time you’re ready to sell, in all likelihood, giving you even more upside to your purchase than normal.
Having said that, if you are concerned about what will attract a buyer, there are a few things you should consider.
Location: First off, make no mistake, there are certain areas of the GTA that are more popular and attractive than others. The reasons for this are better suited for a different article but suffice it to say that a property in certain areas of Oakville is a safer decision than one in certain areas of Scarborough, and can be in more ways than one. Popular neighborhoods are certainly a relevant factor. Bayview Village, Bloor West, The Beaches, Joshua Creek and Greensborough, for instance, are amongst the popular. If you believe you will be happy choosing a home in a popular neighborhood and can afford it comfortably, you’d do well to consider it. Before moving forward, however, you should also consider when you foresee your next move. This will allow you to assess how relevant the current popularity of a given neighborhood really is for you. The popularity attached to certain areas of the GTA is more temporary than others.
Character: When it comes to the home itself there are certain characteristics that you can be sure your eventual buyers will be drawn to. I have yet to come across anyone who doesn’t like a double-door entrance, for instance, while a tiny yard is not high on really anyone’s want lists. Brick exterior is almost always the preference. A stone exterior, I’ve found, is just as desirable. A unique yet practical layout is one of the most wanted, yet hardest to find, features.
Ambience: I’ve also found that the majority of buyers prefer their homes to be on quieter streets, even if they prefer being very close to major ones. A large and impressive kitchen along with private baths that can be accessed directly from bedrooms are also commonly preferred. Finally, the way the home looks on the outside is of utmost importance. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but the truth is that, at least when it comes to homes, most of us do. A finely landscaped yard is a valuable trait.
Now of course many of the things I’ve described are those that can be added or improved. Things like layout and location cannot. So placing the most focus on those items makes sense. At the same time if you plan on moving within four or five years, chances are most buyers will not make major improvements, opting instead to save their hard earned cash for their next, more long term, purchase.
– Amit is a Realtor/Developer with Re/Max. email@example.com