LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- You've probably heard that home prices are starting to rise around the country and that more houses are starting to go up for sale. In fact, websites like Realtypin.com have more than one million listings!
But what exactly are today's buyers looking for? Before you put your house for sale, you need to make sure it meets buyers' needs and desires.
That means understanding that after the economy crashed, U.S. buyers, on average, tend to be on the lookout for:
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1. Less square footage
Before the housing bubble burst, bigger was generally considered to be better. However, that was back in the days when it was easy to qualify for a giant loan. Today, with all of the additional red tape (and bigger down payments!), Americans are happier with smaller (cheaper) homes.
According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, builders believe the average American house will be 2,152 square feet by 2015. Back in 2007 (before the bubble burst), it was almost 500 square feet larger!
While you can't make your home smaller, you can make it less expensive. That same survey showed that nearly half of homebuyers are looking for a price tag that's under $200,000.
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2. More bang for their buck
Perhaps Americans value their money more these days, because they're looking to make the most out of every cent. That's why they're looking for homes with plenty of storage space and – even more importantly – lots of energy efficient features.
So, if you've got an air conditioner that's a drain on your utility bills, windows that suck the warm air outside on a chilly day, or an attic that hasn't been re-insulated in 20 years, don't count on people falling all over themselves to put in an offer.
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3. Split bedrooms
If you've got a house where the master is split from the rest of the rooms (either by floor or from one side of the house to the other), plan on selling faster than a house where all of the bedrooms are all clumped together.
More and more American families have "extras" living with them these days – like a 20-something that can't afford to live on his own or an elderly parent that can't afford to live in a retirement home. While they all may be happy to live together, they don't want to be on top of each other 24/7. By having a split floor plan, everyone will have their own space – without having to spring for a larger home.