Does your home have what it takes to attract buyers for a quick sale?
Experts predict that 2016 will be a true seller’s market, as we have already seen for the first half of the year. But that doesn’t mean that just any old house will sell for top dollar prices. Most homes are a unique mosaic of attractive features and frustrating flaws. Whether or not the “pros” out-weigh the “cons” will help determine how quickly your place will move.
A study by Realtor.com looked at millions of listing records from the past three months and evaluated them based on two metrics: (1) the number of days each home stayed on the market, and (2) the number of page views each listing received. Find out which homes generated the most interest and sold the fastest in relation to their architectural style and amenities.
Spanish-Style Is So Hot Right Now
I love Spanish-style homes, and it turns out most of you do too. Spanish-style homes make up only about 1% of the available homes for sale, but they are being snatched up by buyers in about half the time as other listings. Spanish-style homes spent a median of just 47 days on the market, whereas other homes averaged 93 days. Spanish-style homes are mostly located in California’s coastal cities.
After Spanish-style, traditional homes are the runner up in attracting buyers. This broad category may sound dull, but real estate-savvy buyers know that a mainstream style is likely to appeal to the largest portion of buyers.
Custom homes, on the other hand, have not fared well in today’s market, sitting unsold for an average of 109 days, 17% slower than the national median.
I was also surprised to find Craftsman homes on the tough-to-sell list. Craftsman homes are prominent in Los Angeles, the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. Some say these aging homes that emphasize handiwork and natural materials need too much maintenance and upkeep, which may be why they are sitting on the market for an average of 103 days.
City Skylines Trump Soothing Waves
Living by the beach is a dream for many, but the view at night can be rather boring. It turns out, homes with a view of the urban jungle sell the fastest – at just 83 days on the market. Beachfront properties take a little longer to sell, at 98 days. But also keep in mind that homes by the beach carry a much higher price tag, limiting potential buyers. It’s likely more cost effective to find a home further inland, but at least you’ll have a nice view of the city lights.
This one frustrates me a little bit as I was hoping we were moving away from stainless steel appliances and granite countertops; hopefully consumers will catch on soon. As it stands however, homes with stainless steel appliances sell 15% faster than other homes.
One amenity that has lost favor for buyers is a fireplace. Again, my personal disappointment as I find fireplaces charming and are great for creating a warm, inviting ambience, especially around the holidays. However, their charm among buyers is markedly waning; homes with a fireplace now sell at the same pace as homes without.
We all know the old adage about the value of location in real estate, and it still holds true. But there is more to location than your zip code. Neighborhood amenities and proximity to them is most important.
Homes nearby schools, especially good schools, flew off the market in 76 days and had significantly higher views per listing and fetched higher than average prices.
On the other hand, homes located near a major medical center aren’t getting much love. They command the lowest prices, receive the fewest views, and stay on the market the longest.
Less Is More
Yes, Americans love big homes. Traffic data showed that the bigger the homes, the more page views it received. An 8,000 square-foot mega home receives about 30% more views than a cozy 1,000 square-footer. But most of that activity is just window-shopping.
In reality, most home buyers settle for a home that is about 1,500-2,000 square feet. These modest-sized homes sell on average within 86 days. The larger the home size, the longer it will likely sit on the market.
Price Is Paramount
As the national homeownership rate hovers near a 50-year low, those who can afford to buy are making prudent decisions. Lower-priced starter homes are winning most buyer’s hearts. Homes listed between $200,000-$250,000 were sold in 83 days on average, significantly faster than in any other price range.
Of course, the more expensive the home, the fewer buyers that can afford it. If you happen to be selling a high-priced or luxury home, have patience as these homes can take several months to land a buyer.