12 Features That Can Make Your Home Sell Faster


Homebuyers looking at a house with a front porch
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The past year has seen the housing market boom with many properties selling for more than their listed price.

That’s great news for sellers right now, but this market won’t last forever. If you have your eye on selling in the future and plan to make improvements to your home, it’s always a good idea to focus on those features that are most in demand.

For its 2021 What Home Buyers Really Want report, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) surveyed recent and prospective homebuyers to pinpoint features they deem essential or desirable.

Based upon their report, here are the top features that homebuyers say they want to see at your open house, chosen from more than 200 features.

12. Energy-efficient lighting

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Buyers who consider it essential or desirable: 80% (31% essential versus 49% desirable)

One of the easiest ways to make your home more desirable to buyers is to swap out old incandescent lightbulbs for energy-efficient lighting.

There are several energy-saving options from which to choose, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, with the most popular of these options being halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Of these, LEDs are generally the most expensive, but the DOE notes they can last up to 25 times longer than halogen incandescent bulbs.

11. Full bath on main level

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Buyers who consider it essential or desirable: 80% (42% essential versus 38% desirable)

With many people hoping to remain in their homes for as long as possible as they age, accessible features are in demand.

A full bath on the main floor is the most-wanted accessible home feature in 2021, according to the NAHB survey.

10. Hardwood floors

Wood floor
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Buyers who consider it essential or desirable: 81% (32% essential versus 49% desirable)

Plenty of vinyl and laminate flooring options replicate hardwood, but most homebuyers want the real thing on the main floor of a home.

Other surveys also have underscored the desirability of hardwood flooring in a home purchase. As we detail in “19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy,” this feature earned a high “Joy Score” from homeowners in the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors.

9. Energy Star rated appliances

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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 81% (33% essential versus 48% desirable)

By installing these highly efficient appliances, not only will you enjoy energy savings now, but the investment may help a home sell faster when listed.

7. Front porch (tie)

Porch with rocking chairs
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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 81% (34% essential versus 47% desirable)

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, front porches were seeing a resurgence. In 2019, nearly 65% of new, single-family homes were built with a front porch, up from 54% in 2005, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

In the past year, as people have spent more time at home, the front porch seems to only be gaining in popularity.

7. Walk-in pantry (tie)

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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 81% (34% essential versus 47% desirable)

If you can swing the cost, find space to build one into your home before listing it. Buyers may reward you.

6. Double kitchen sink

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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 81% (42% essential versus 39% desirable)

If you think dishwashers have made double kitchen sinks a thing of the past, think again. There are plenty of benefits to a double sink, including easier meal prep, better access to garbage disposals and convenient hand washing of items that don’t go into a dishwasher.

5. Patio

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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 82% (33% essential versus 49% desirable)

A patio can extend a home’s living space — something seemingly everyone suddenly wanted during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also may add curb appeal and possibly increase a home’s value.

4. Energy Star rated windows

Man opening a window
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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 83% (39% essential versus 44% desirable)

Energy Star rated windows are the top “green” feature sought by homebuyers, according to the NAHB survey.

That’s not surprising. Nationwide, Energy Star windows lower energy bills by 12%, on average, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

3. Ceiling fan

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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 83% (49% essential versus 34% desirable)

One inexpensive way to improve your home’s appeal is to install a few ceiling fans. The vast majority of homebuyers are looking for them.

In addition to adding character and interest to a room, a ceiling fan can be an energy-saver. According to the Department of Energy, having a ceiling fan lets you set your air conditioning system 4 degrees higher in summer while staying just as comfortable.

2. Exterior lighting

lighting house night dark exterior
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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 87% (42% essential versus 45% desirable)

Exterior lighting can serve multiple functions. For example, in addition to adding functionality, such as by allowing you to use that patio at night, exterior lighting can create a more inviting atmosphere and enhance a home’s curb appeal.

Not only does exterior lighting deter would-be criminals but, when done well, it also helps residents and guests avoid potential tripping hazards at night — promoting both security and safety.

1. Laundry room

Mother doing laundry with her child
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Buyers who consider this feature essential or desirable: 87% (47% essential versus 40% desirable)

If you don’t have a laundry room in a home you intend to sell, it’s a good idea to figure out how to create one. A laundry room is the No. 1 feature sought by homebuyers.

You can’t blame them. Who wants laundry spread across the couch or kitchen table when those piles of clothes could be contained in one room?

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.



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