Despite the global pandemic in 2020, there were bright spots in the housing market that continued into Q4, according to HomeLight’s 2020 Q4 Top Agent Insights Survey. In fact, the biggest surprise last year, according to 75 percent of respondents, was that the housing market stayed strong despite the pandemic and the economic crisis it caused.
It continued to be a seller’s market in Q4, 92 percent of top agents said, boosted by low mortgage rates. As for 2021, agents surveyed foresee selling prices will continue to rise as the seller’s market persists into the new year. The pandemic did affect what buyers want in a home in 2021. If you’re hoping to sell this year, consider making these updates to appeal to new buyer interests post-COVID-19.
Throw Out The Dated Home Look
Some features are just so bad they dissuade buyers before even seeing the home, and with many home tours being virtual, you’ll need to make your home sing through the computer screen. Some of the worst features for buyers, according to top agents, are those that make a home look dated. The top five things that will dissuade buyers online in 2021 include carpet in the bathroom, popcorn ceilings, shag carpeting, wood wall panels, and dated window treatments. Sellers should prioritize modernization if they want to attract buyers through photos and virtual tours.
Spacious and Storage-Friendly Kitchens and Baths
Homebuyers are prioritizing storage in 2021. The top kitchen features they are looking for in a kitchen are an island, a walk-in pantry, and lots of drawer and cabinet storage, giving them more space for stocking up on groceries and new cooking habits.
In the bathroom, a double vanity continues to be a popular trend. With so many people working from home, it’s sure to help with busy morning routines. With two sinks, the counters are sure to get cluttered, so homebuyers are looking for more storage space as well. In 2021, homebuyers are also looking for fancy shower heads and heated floors, especially in the Midwest and Northeast regions.
The Great Outdoors
Last year made working from home the norm, and lockdowns across the country left many people stuck at home for long periods of time. So, it’s no surprise that buyers are looking to upgrade their outdoor spaces, with a fire pit, privacy fence or hedges, and full outdoor kitchen being the top things they want in a home in 2021.
An Energy-Efficient Future
The country’s stay-at-home orders have been particularly felt in electric bills and energy use. Homebuyers this year are looking to update features to be more energy-efficient, especially windows. Over 60 percent of top agents in the survey see this as being a big attraction for 2021, more so than Energy Star-certified thermostats, appliances, or water heaters. Buyers are also looking for proper attic insulation, LED or CFL lighting, and intact weatherstripping. And in the Pacific region, solar panels are high on the list.