NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Historically, homebuyers and homesellers have been the real estate equivalent of two ships passing in the night. But a new study from Homegain.com gives home sellers a glimpse of what buyers really want.
That advice should give hope to millions of home sellers in the U.S., who are staring down the barrel of a buyer-oriented real estate market.
The National Association of Realtors says that pending home sales did rise by 2.1% to 90.8 for the month of February, but home sales activity year-to-year tells a different story: It’s down 8.2% below the 98.9 reading from February 2010.
It’s obvious homeowners with a for sale sign on their front lawns can use any edge they can get. That’s where the HomeGain study comes into play. The website interviewed more than 1,000 buyers, asking them to rate what they wanted to see in a “home for sale” listing on a scale of one (least important) to five (most important).
The responses show that buyers really want to see as many visual images of the home as possible. They also want to know the sizes of the rooms in those homes, the survey found. Here are some of the highlights:
- Wide selection of photographs (4.3)
- Location of the property on a map (4.1)
- Room sizes (4.0)
- Floor plans (3.9)
- Town name (3.8)
- House number (3.57)
- Street name (3.57)
- Room description (3.51)
- 360° virtual tours (3.4)
- Information on local services, like shops and schools (3.2)
If homebuyers had one top item on their wish list, it would be seeing a home’s basic floor plan, coupled with plenty of photographs, and interactive (preferably 3D) visual tours of the property when possible.
HomeGain also took a look at what homesellers wanted from their listing agents. Cost for their services was the number one desire, listed by 29% of the 800 respondents the website surveyed. Having a robust presence on the Internet was also a big issue for sellers, as they presumably want to reach as many potential buyers as possible.