Our lives changed dramatically in 2020 with the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forcing us to spend more time than ever in our homes. Here we explore how our lifestyles and professional priorities have shifted, and why this is influencing what we look for when buying a new home.
Before the pandemic, being able to walk to the local Tube or train station, living close to the right schools and even having a well-known supermarket close by were what drew in buyers. These things, which were so important a couple of years ago, have now slipped down our must-have lists, making way for green spaces and home offices.
In fact, a report from Market Financial Services found 42% of us have changed our view on where we want to live and 46% of home movers are now looking for more space.
Gardens and outdoor areas
As we realised the true value of outdoor space, having a garden is now the top priority for many buyers, with searches for homes with gardens up 42% in May 2020 according to Rightmove.
If your current home has a garden – big or small – make sure you show it off to its full potential before it hits the open market. Set a small budget to create an area for socialising, remove weeds and clear away any junk. In a small garden or even on a balcony, some potted plants can add colour. Showing your garden as a tranquil space to relax and entertain could be key to attracting the right buyer.
No garden? No problem! Having outdoor spaces, like parks and woodlands nearby is also important to today’s buyers. If your home is near one, make sure it’s included in your property’s marketing details.
Working from home became the norm for most people in 2020 and it appears that the trend for at least some work days to be completed from home looks set to stay. Creating a dedicated home office or workspace will appeal to those who have struck a flexible working arrangement with their employers.
If you have a spare room, box room or an additional, but unused reception room – clear out the clutter and fit in a small desk to show what’s possible. Making sure your home Wi-Fi set-up is the best it can be may also be important – after all, it’s an essential tool when working from home and buyers can check broadband speeds online ahead of a purchase.
Making the most of what you have
While you can’t change where your property is, you can make it more appealing before you sell and show off the things you do have. Never has it been more important to sell a lifestyle, and as a result sellers will need to ‘set the scene’ with furniture and accessories. This will help buyers instinctively see themselves living there when looking at photos or when they’re on a viewing. Our friendly team can advise you on how you can make your home appeal to the widest audience, so get in touch.