What Are Features That Attract & Detract Home Buyers

Different home buyers have different priorities of what matters most when looking for a home to buy. Obviously, there are some current trends in what people look for in a property, but an attribute that’s critical to one buyer, may be completely irrelevant to another. One thing that’s certain, however, is that nearly all buyers, even cash house buyers, place practicality above aesthetics when making a purchase decision.
After making a decision about “where” to buy, it becomes a matter of “which property”. Buyers typically have 4 or 5 “must-have” features in a home that they aren’t willing to compromise on. Following the “must-haves”, there’s generally a longer list of “nice to” haves, but those are usually more negotiable.
If a property ticks all the “must have” and many of the “nice to have” boxes, buyers now focus their attention to whether anything represents a sufficient “turn off” that could stop them from making an offer.
To increase your chances of selling at the highest price and within the shortest period, it is important to highlight the positive aspects (turn-ons) of the property and if possible, completely eliminate, or at least reduce the impact of any negative attributes (turn-offs).
For discerning buyers, here are some of the key trends in “turn-ons” and “turn-offs”.


1.      Outdoor Space

Outdoor space is increasingly important for many buyers since the garden is generally considered an extension of our living space. Aspect and size of the outdoor area are both important, with West and South facing gardens being especially attractive.

2.      Room for Expansion

Buying a home is a costly and sometimes stressful process and isn’t something the average person looks forward to repeating every couple of years. Any home that meets the current needs of the buyer and offers flexibility for future expansion too will be especially attractive. The opportunity to increase the livable space though a garage conversion, extension, loft conversion, etc. is a strong selling feature of any home.

3.      Energy Efficiency

Today, people are increasingly becoming aware of the impact their homes have on the environment. Buyers equally recognize that an efficient home will be cheaper to run. Buyers are likely to look at loft insulation, window quality, radiators, boilers, etc. closely.

4.      Home Working

The increasing shift towards flexible working means that many buyers are currently looking for a property that allows for a home office or workspace. The requirement translates not just in the space required for establishing an office, but also ensuring that there’s sufficient internet and mobile reception to work from home efficiently.

5.      Quality Bathrooms and Kitchens

A quality bathroom and kitchen are both still strong selling attributes. After all, most other rooms in a house are usually just 4 walls, a window, and a door. There’s little you can do to put too much of a “wow factor” into a living room or bedroom (although the floor covering, size, and decorative condition are all important). The real wow factor is usually in the kitchen and bathrooms, where quality fittings and fixtures can make any home stand out.

6.      Open Plan Living

Today, people no longer care as much for highly compartmentalized homes and buyers are increasingly looking for living space that seamlessly flows from one area to another. This is especially the case when it comes to the kitchen and dining areas,
We all enjoy entertaining and socializing and having a space that supports such a lifestyle is especially appealing. Open plan living is also a consideration for young families since it makes it easier for busy parents to keep an eye on the children.

7.      Privacy and Safety

Buyers might like the idea of integrating into their community and being social with the neighbors, but they generally also want to ensure their safety and privacy.


1.      Internet and Phone Reception

The modern world that we are currently living in is increasingly connected where access to high-speed internet and reliable mobile phone coverage is considered a must-have. Having poor mobile accessibility and data could be a potential turn-off to buyers.

2.      Dark or Small Rooms

Dark and smaller rooms usually create a claustrophobic feeling. If this is a problem in your home, then you should do everything that you can to brighten up the rooms. You can achieve this by opting for neutral wall colors, being minimalist with furniture, and exposing as much of the windows as possible. If the room is too tiny, you should consider whether it can be “opened up” to any adjoining room.

3.      Poorly Looked-After Neighboring Property

Poorly looked-after neighboring properties can be a huge turn off to buyers. Curb appeal is important and no matter how smart your home looks, if the adjoining property is rather “shabby” it will definitely weigh on the mind of a prospective buyer.

4.      Limited Parking

The reality is that traffic congestion and parking are definitely not getting any easier anywhere in the world. If your property does not come with dedicated parking space, it can be a real turn off for prospective buyers. If you are unable to provide a dedicated parking space with your home, make sure that you have a compelling story of what could be done to park “on street” or other public areas.

5.      Limited Storage Space

People generally don’t like the idea of storing bikes in the hall or the pushchair in the kitchen. Living in an obstacle course is nobody’s idea of fun. If you are preparing your home for sale, have a spring clean and thin out some of the cupboards so that it looks as if storage is available in plenty. Buyers typically open cupboards and, if each one is full, this will likely be a cause for concern.

6.      Poor Quality DIY

While some buyers have no qualms about undertaking home improvement projects, some tend to be more reluctant. If a house has been renovated recently as is reflected in the asking price, the prospective buyer will critically examine the quality of work done. Nobody like the idea of paying top dollar for a new bathroom and kitchen if it is evident or later becomes evident that it will cost a lot to redo a job that was done so poorly by an inexperienced amateur.

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