Sellers are forever trying to second-guess what buyers want, which is what makes research on home-buying habits, trends and desires so useful.
Home Quality Mark (HQM), a 5-star rating standard for new-build homes, has analysed the factors behind a buyer's decision to buy a property and how they have changed through the decades. What appeals now didn't necessarily appeal in the 70s, 80s, 90s or Noughties. Things change, things involve, buying habits move with the times.
Nonetheless, some things endure. Some 67% of those surveyed cited their main concern as the community where their new home is located. Even now, with the rise of technology, a more faceless society and nearly everyone in the country possessing a smartphone, the attractiveness of a strong community holds strong.
However, Brits are now obsessed with increasing the quality of the place they call home. Modern, well-furnished, well-finished properties are the order of the day. While luxury bathrooms and kitchens might have been viewed as flash and pretentious in the 1980s, it's now the accepted norm. People expect bathrooms to be hotel-style quality, while there is a high demand for contemporary, stylish, up to date kitchens with all the latest modcons.
In fact, 78% of Brits place a lot of emphasis on high standards of workmanship, seeing it as very important or even a necessity. Daylight levels, too, have become increasingly important, with 71% highlighting them as a key priority.
It's nothing we didn't know about before – the importance of sellers offering quality and well-maintained, attractive homes has long been the case – but it's something that sellers need to remind themselves of frequently to prevent complacency setting in. A home that is well-designed, handsome, fully functioning and characterful will, of course, be far more desirable than one that is run-down and shabby.
Whichever look you are going for – whether chic, sophisticated and high-end, classic and traditional, rustic and homely or ultra-modern and swish – you need to ensure that the quality of your home is up to scratch. Home comforts that were all the rage in the 80s and 90s are unlikely to hold the same sway today. Carpets in bathrooms and kitsch colour schemes, for example, will have modern buyers turning their nose up.
When it comes to purchasing a home, we know that buyers will be on the lookout for any little flaw – understandable, given the investment they could be about to make in the property. As such, it's vitally important that you give them no reason to be put off, from the garden to the converted loft. Everything needs to look perfect when buyers come to view.
Second-guessing what buyers want can be difficult – with each different buyer looking for something slightly different – but a clean, tidy, bright home should have considerable appeal.
Homes, like fashion and food fads, tend to move with the times. If, as a seller, your home isn't meeting the needs of a 21st Century audience, then your chances of selling will be that much lower.