The pandemic has changed the world in so many ways. It affects the things we do, the way we interact with each other, and even the home buying decisions we make.
If you want to help your home sell quickly, make sure you're paying attention to the things that are important to buyers these days.
When it comes to home buying, people are looking for properties with home offices, they are looking for areas where socialization can be done safely, and they are looking for access to outdoor locations.
During these unusual times, buyers are seeking homes that are COVID friendly while agents are emphasizing the characteristics to make them more desirable.
This article will help make your home more attractive to buyers with the new COVID-19 landscape.
There is no doubt that the work from home trend is taking over. Many employees and employers prefer it because it saves time and money on commuting, increases employee satisfaction and allows for a more flexible schedule.
In February, statistics showed that 3.4% of the American population (about 4.7 million workers) worked from home.
Once the pandemic hit, that number increased by leaps and bounds.
Employers did what they could to keep their businesses afloat and their workers employed while reducing the risk of illness by relying on telecommunication. In June of 2020, 40% of workers were reported as working from home due to the pandemic.
Because so many people are working at home, the value of having a dedicated office space has skyrocketed. In fact, home offices are said to be the hottest housing feature among home buyers with 60% saying working from home is influencing the kind of house they want.
In order to make sure your house is appealing to the greatest number of buyers, the spaces should be optimized to provide the right professional settings. They should be equipped to accommodate high speed internet. They should have outlets for lighting and office equipment. A home office that appeals to buyers should also have plenty of natural light to maintain a cheery atmosphere within the room.
The location of the office space within the house is also important. It's important to note, buyers prefer home offices in quiet, separated parts of the home. Professional real estate agents from the National Association of Realtors, Inman, and Agent Advice agree that your home will attract more buyers if it’s not too close to other rooms like the kitchen or the children’s bedrooms as the proximity can cause distractions that limit productivity.
Paying attention to the landscape and outdoor spaces will also help you sell your home faster. While outdoor spaces have always been attractive to buyers, they have become more of a necessity during the pandemic.
Research shows that a spread of the virus is much less likely to happen outside. The air works to dilute the virus, so the chances of transmission are greatly reduced.
Because the spread of the virus is not as likely to occur outdoors, outdoor events are one of the only ways to socialize.
Therefore, if you want to see friends and relatives, an outdoor space will be the best way to do it. This could make all the difference to those of you missing your loved ones. It also makes for a great way for your children to finally see their friends.
Homebuyers will be more interested in homes with outdoor spaces that are large enough to accommodate a table and chairs for sitting as well as some play space for the kids. If you have the time, adding an attractive garden will also add to the aesthetic to make your home even more desirable.
Note, while researchers have said that outdoor spaces greatly reduce transmission of the virus, they still advise everyone to still wear a mask and stay six feet apart.
Access to Outdoor Areas
There is no doubt that since the pandemic started, outdoors is the way to go. Not only are more people gathering outdoors, they are also looking to the outdoors as the main place to go for recreational activities. Today, a day out is much more likely to consist of a hike in a nearby park than shopping at the mall.
Because outdoor activities are becoming more popular, home buyers will look for a home that's close to a park or hiking trail. The closer they can get, the better.
Also, it is more important than ever for homes to be located in a safe neighborhood. That way people can enjoy outdoor activities any time of day without having to worry about possible attacks or spreading.
Easy to Clean/ Antimicrobial Countertops
Once home buyers looked at kitchen countertops wondering which ones were the most trendy and attractive. Today however, it's about which countertops are easy to clean.
If you are looking to upgrade your home to get a higher listing price, you might want to replace your countertops with styles that don't have seams between tiles where dirt and germs can get in. Buyers are also looking for materials like quartz that are stain and scratch resistant and antimicrobial. Quartz’s nonporous structure makes it impossible for germs to get in. That alone would be a big plus in a buyer's mind.
Copper is another antimicrobial surface that ages beautifully.
Other anti-bacterial, though slightly more expensive options include semiprecious stones like agate, tigareye, and petrified wood. Many manufacturers also make laminate countertops that offer protection from microbes.
Antimicrobial wall paint is another trend you may want to be looking out for.
Certain markets have their own trends based on the community’s culture. Make sure your agent is up to date on your neighborhood’s overall architecture and desired aesthetic. Upgrading your countertop to a style that is popular in your area will help make sure you get a higher listing.
Updated HVAC Systems
COVID spreads through airborne transmission and is most likely to be contagious in indoor spaces. Optimal ventilation may limit the spread.
Some steps technicians can take to improve ventilation include configuring ducted HVAC systems to increase the rate of exchange of indoor air with fresh air from the outside.
If there is an older HVAC system in the home, the following upgrades can be made:
Replace fixed speed fan motors with variable speed ones to better control airflow
Introduce a sophisticated airflow control system that is sensitive to pressure to allow for smoother adjustment of airflow
Install high performance air purification systems
Home buyers will be looking for homes with updated HVAC systems that increase filtration and air flow control to reduce the spread of germs.
COVID has changed the face of homebuying. Today's buyers are looking for homes that provide germ free spaces, access to outdoor areas and reduce transmission of the virus. This will dictate the current home buying trends as well the face of real estate for the future.