What are homebuyers looking for in 2021?

Are you planning to sell your home in the new year? Understanding what potential buyers are looking for can help you position your home to gain more attention and hopefully increase the price you receive for it.

House prices predicted to fall 14%

During the first lockdown, house prices stalled as restrictions were placed on viewing homes and potential buyers, particularly first-time buyers, struggled to access mortgages. However, as the market reopened and Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a Stamp Duty holiday, house prices began to rise again.

Yet, with economic uncertainty for 2021, house prices could fall. The Centre for Economic and Business Research forecasts that property prices could fall by almost 14% next year. While this is only a forecast and not guaranteed, considering what buyers are looking for can help your home to stand out on the market.

So, what can you do to attract homebuyers at the start of 2021?

1. Beat the Stamp Duty holiday deadline

The Stamp Duty holiday means the majority of people that complete a house sale before the end of March 2021 will save money. It is still possible to sell your home and take advantage of this. However, you’ll need to act quickly.

Demonstrating that you’re in a position to move fast can help you attract sellers hoping to save thousands of pounds on the sale of their own home. Plus, it could save you money too. Back this up by responding promptly to all queries and negotiations from the beginning, giving buyers the confidence that you’ll continue to do so throughout the process.

If you also need to take out a mortgage to buy a home, working with a mortgage broker can help you speed up the process and secure a competitive interest rate too.

2. Open spaces

The impact of Covid-19 means that homebuyers are looking closely and the local amenities potential homes have to offer, with a particular focus on open, outdoor spaces.

There’s not much you can do to change your local area. However, you can change the way you advertise your property. You might already emphasise the performance of local schools to attract young families, for instance, think about doing the same with open space. If you have local parks or other outdoor spaces within walking distance, these could be seen as a real benefit in the current climate.

3. An attractive garden

Much like the above, homebuyers want an attractive outdoor space they can use as part of their own home too. Gardens are moving up the list of priorities for homebuyers as space where they can both relax and entertain.

If your garden has been neglected, some investment here can go a long way. You don’t need to invest a lot of money either, in some cases, DIY and some time can help you create an attractive outdoor space. Fresh paint on the fence, cleaning patio areas and tidying up plants can all go some way to show off the garden you have with little monetary investment.

4. Office space

One of the biggest trends during Covid-19 has been the rise in homeworking. While many will return to the office once the pandemic is over, it has changed the way we work. Research suggests that by 2025, 40% of employees around the world will work from home. Even those that return to the office are likely to have increased flexibility, such as the option to work from home regularly.

As a result, having office space within your home can make it appealing to homebuyers thinking about their working situation. Be cautious though, converting a bedroom into an office could reduce the number of buyers interested. Instead, show how versatile the space can be. You may also want to consider getting estimates of costs that would add more floor space, such as a loft conversion, to show how an office could be added.

5. A flexible layout

Open plan living has been growing in popularity. However, attitudes are changing, perhaps as families have been forced to spend more time in their home than usual. According to Zoopla, 28% of Brits have changed their opinion on open plan living. However, 11% said it’s no longer practical for the new normal, while 17% say they now prefer the idea.

With this in mind, showing how flexible your home can be is important. If you already have an open plan layout demonstrating how it can be split into different sections can help catch the eye of some buyers. If your home isn’t open plan, it may be worth looking at the cost of having the work done so you’re able to advise potential buyers that prefer this layout.

If you’re hoping to sell your home and move to a new property in 2021, we can help. Please get in touch to discuss your mortgage needs.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.