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By Kris Vogt
Coldwell Banker recently surveyed nearly 700 of its real estate professionals around the country on the buying and selling behaviors of their clients.
The findings? Both sides have begun adjusting expectations and “getting real” about real estate in 2012.
What may be the most interesting finding from the survey was that more than half (51 percent) of agents surveyed reported that sellers are more willing to price their homes competitively than this time last year. Additionally, 45 percent said sellers are more willing to change the appearance of their homes to entice buyers than they were one year ago.
And that was just the beginning.
Sellers more willing to de-clutter, de-personalize and make repairs. De-personalizing and de-cluttering a home before putting it on the market can help make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living there — a crucial step in the selling process. Of those Coldwell Banker professionals surveyed, 94 percent say their sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates, such as fresh paint and minor repairs. Additionally, 78 percent agree clients are willing to “de-personalize” the home, and 59 percent say sellers are even bringing in new home decorations or furniture to help make the home more appealing.
Buyer preferences are going back to the basics. Sellers, take note: when it comes to selecting a home, buyers are going back to the basics. When asked which features buyers value when looking for a home, 33 percent of agents surveyed said that a new or updated kitchen is most important to their clients. Fourteen percent say the most important feature to homebuyers is an open floor plan, while 12 percent say it is a new or updated bathroom. Interesting, only 1 percent said they believe buyers valued entertainment rooms or finished basements as the most important feature.
Homebuyers moving for babies and careers. The survey also drilled down to find which life events are key motivating factors for most people looking to buy homes. According to the Coldwell Banker agents surveyed, 70 percent say a new baby or growing family is the “most common,” or a “very common” reason buyers search for a new home. The next most popular reason for moving is relocation for job reasons (69 percent), marriage (59 percent), divorce (48 percent) and retirement (37 percent).
Overall, the results of Coldwell Banker’s survey tend to show that today’s buyers are recognizing the true value of a home — a critical shift as many buyers seem to be focused on viewing the home more as a lifestyle, rather than economic, investment.
Kris Vogt, president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Sacramento/Tahoe, provides the above tips. A Sacramento area real estate veteran with nearly 20 years of experience, Kris oversees a talented team of 700 real estate professionals in 14 offices serving the Sacramento/Tahoe area. For more information, please contact Coldwell Banker at 916-684-8180.