What are Dallas Homebuyers Really Looking for in a Home?

September 28, 2020

At the beginning of this year (before you-know-what hit the fan), I shared some insights into the features that Dallas homebuyers are looking for in a property. I told you about buyers’ need to have multi-functional spaces, open kitchens with room to socialize, and a light color scheme.

These things are all still true — I’ve seen them in action — but there are a few more that are edging up the list in popularity.

Now that most of us are working from home (likely into next year), schooling from home (depending on the district), and not getting to travel (sigh)… well, a home now has a LOT more requirements to meet. 

So, what new features are homebuyers really looking for these days? Let’s look at the top 3…

1. Home Office

I bet you saw this one coming, right? Having a dedicated at-home workspace is becoming essential, especially for couples where both spouses work. Can you imagine taking Zoom calls at the same time, in the same space? That will strain a career (and marriage) fast!

What can you do, as the homeowner (or investor), to make these spaces appealing?

Staging is one easy way to do it. Depending on the neighborhood (families vs. couples), staging a spare room as a home office is far more likely to grab attention than staging a second guest bedroom. At the minimum — be sure to include a desk, a chair, a lamp, and a rug to ground the space. Bonus points if there’s great natural light. (Who wants to work in a dungeon? Not today’s homebuyers.)

If the property doesn’t have a spare bedroom for this purpose, you can still create an at-home workspace by staging a smaller area, like a nook or section of the living room. Again, depending on the neighborhood you’re in, even formal dining rooms (which often go unused) could be contenders for a stylish home office. 

I know I’ve said it before, but this is where a professional is worth their weight in gold. Having the insights into the neighborhood and ideal buyers for the home will help make these decisions simple and will help with a staging that is irresistible.

2. Home Gym / Exercise Space

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That’s right. At the beginning of the year, the desire for home gyms was on the rise. Since the onset of COVID, this home feature has skyrocketed in popularity. Homeowners need and want their homes to meet ALL of life’s demands. 

While this is something that we can stage for, it is more likely that you’ll be considering the options of adding this type of space to your property during the renovation process. I believe in minimal renovations with maximum return on investment. 

It’s also difficult for me to say, in general, “you should always make ____ type of renovation.” You have to determine that on a case by case basis. It depends on the home itself, the neighborhood, the price range, the ideal buyers, etc.

However, a renovation that ADDS livable space is almost always a good investment (assuming it doesn’t consume the whole backyard). So if you’ve been contemplating the idea of an add-on, ask yourself what it’s purpose would be? Could it be a home gym or home office? Would it add to the desirability of the home in your ideal buyers’ eyes? 

Again, this is where a professional who knows the area, local buying trends, AND construction and design can be a huge asset.

3. Outdoor Living Spaces

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Last but not least, outdoor living spaces are becoming less of a bonus feature and more of an essential. First, the number of people who own pets has increased (seriously, the number of dog owners LEAPED this summer). And second, if homeowners are spending more time in their homes, they need an outdoor space to escape to.

There are two ways you can prepare the outdoor spaces of your property to appear irresistible to buyers. First, landscaping. Green grass, beautiful plants (maybe even some tropical ones for a vacation feel — Lord knows Dallas is hot enough for them!), and colorful flowers will create an inviting atmosphere that’s difficult to pass up.

Your second strategy is to use staging to create social spaces, like a living room, but outdoors. Depending on the amount of space you have available, you could layer a rug, then chairs with pillows, a coffee table or side table, and accessorize with a candle or small plants. 

If you have less space available, two small chairs with comfortable pillows might be enough to set the scene. Again, if we work together, this is something we will definitely talk about during our initial consultation.

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If you think home sales are slowing down, guess again. As our needs for our homes change, as proximity to the office becomes less of a necessity, the real estate market is still very much alive and well… and with the right strategy, there is no reason you shouldn’t get a slice of it!

Together, we can make a plan for identifying your home’s most likely buyers, updating your space, and staging it to be irresistible. If you’re ready to prepare your property and market it strategically for top ROI, let’s talk. 

— Keti

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