Survey asks what buyers want

A new survey by Century 21 Canada says buyers are more interested in a home with energy efficiency upgrades than one with updated finishings such as granite countertops or hardwood floors.

“It’s well-known that home buying is an emotional process, so understanding the shifts in where buyers place value is key to a sellers’ success,” says Todd Shyiak, national director of operations for Century 21 Canada. “Location is still important to today’s home buyers, but the sheer volume of information available has made them more aware of how a home’s features can impact their lifestyle.”

The survey says layout is the most important consideration when selecting a home, even over location factors such as the desirability of the community or commute distance. Layout also has the strongest impact on their first impression of a house, while a home’s size carries much less weight.
The survey also says buyers are willing to renovate for looks but not for repair.

Only 13 per cent of Canadians view the need to renovate rooms as a major home-buying deterrent. Yet, 30 per cent will walk away from a purchase if they notice just a small amount of water damage.

Uncleanliness tops home buyers’ list of turn-offs.
Some of the other findings of the survey:

– Forty per cent of Canadians say their No. 1 motivation to buy a house is to “better fit a new life stage,” followed by the desire to “have a home of their own” and “because it’s a smart investment.”

– Size matters to millennial home buyers while boomers have bigger concerns. Millennials look more at the face value of houses, including square footage and room count. Boomers are more concerned with lifestyle factors, such as how well the space is laid out or if it’s located in a desirable community.

– Boomers are less likely to be turned off by a home’s cosmetic features, such as dated flooring. This demographic, who may be settling in for retirement or downsizing, seek homes that won’t cost them time or money in the long run. Boomers prefer homes with energy efficiency upgrades and are more likely to avoid ones with outdated plumbing or electrical facilities.

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