Want to know which features buyers find most attractive when house-hunting, and which ones can be troublesome to sell? Then read on…

When you sell property, you’ll find that some aspects are much more valuable to prospective buyers than others. Check out our list of what features get buyers to reach deeper into their pockets, and what aspects can prove difficult to sell.

Adding value

Floor plan is the key, says Damon Warat of Ray White Ascot in Brisbane. ‘ Entertaining areas, views, elevation and the layout remain the most important. Fixtures and fittings can be amended, but layout becomes difficult and expensive to change.’

Ray White Adelaide’s principal, Brett Pilgrim, is in agreement: ‘Everybody is different; however, the majority first search by number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms. Then they really spend some time on the floor plan – that has to work for them.

‘The wow factor of a property certainly helps things, like renovated kitchen, bathrooms and a nice street frontage; but I think we have seen a big change, more to the opportunity a property provides. So a finished home is not always as popular as something that can be renovated.’

Danny Grant, director of Ray White Lower North Shore in Sydney, says liveability is the chief value-maker for buyers: ‘A good kitchen is always a big attraction for buyers as it is the heart of the home and tends to leave a lasting impression when buyers inspect a home. Living space is also a huge seller, especially for families. And natural light in a home is also high on the list for buyers.’

Possible detractors

On the subject of features of a property which can be difficult to market or get buyers willing to pay more for, Grant is quick to reply: ‘Gadgets. Sellers really love their gadgets, but they don’t sell houses. If you push those features on buyers, they feel like they will be paying too much for gadgets they could take or leave! [Also, among] homes I have sold, a spa has added no value whatsoever. In fact, if a bathroom has a spa, it is seen as dated and detracts from the value.’

Pilgrim says certain lifestyle features can limit the number of possible buyers you attract. ‘A pool area can look amazing but unfortunately there are a lot of people that simply don’t want a pool,’ he says.

Don’t overcapitalise!

‘The one that is probably the most disappointing and the biggest trap is when someone spends the money to do quality right through their home on all the little things, from tapware, extra insulation, door furniture, electronics, garden; the list goes on,’ says Adelaide’s Pilgrim.

Grant from Sydney agrees. ‘Prestige homes need quality finishes. However, in the majority of family homes, quite often sellers spend too much on personal features. For instance, an Italian white wall tile that is $120 dollars a square metre will achieve you no more money on resale than a white wall tile that is $20 a square metre. Provided the tiler does a good job, there is no difference in value,’ he says.

‘Light fittings are another [thing] that’s easy to overcapitalise on. Buyers usually see no value in light fittings worth thousands of dollars.’

In some cases, though, it can be a case of not how a renovation is done but whether one was actually needed at all.

‘One trend of overcapitalising is buyers purchasing a property already in okay to good condition, then doing a full renovation. If they purchased a ‘raw’ property in need of full instant updates, their money is better spent,’ says Brisbane’s Warat.

The most important thing to consider is that just because you love something in your home, it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else will. Take a commonsense approach to spending money on your home if you intend on selling down the track and ensure any work you do will have broad appeal!

Check out more tips from Domain on selling property.

Posted by Adam Zuchetti – Domain Blog on 3rd February, 2015