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What do fixer upper and first home buyers want

What do fixer upper and first home buyers want

By Sarah Lefebvre on May 24 2018


Many people would argue that home buyers have a similar wish list when it comes to buying a home, regardless of whether they are single, a professional couple, a young family or a retiree.  

And whilst we agree that all buyers put price at the top of their list and prioritize location, there are other specific features that first home buyers and those looking to buy a fixer upper search for that differ from other buyer groups.

As a seller, knowing what your target buyer is looking for can help you ensure you promote the relevant key features of your property to ensure you attract the most number of buyers and achieve the best possible sales price.

To find out exactly what different buyers prioritize we reached out to two of our most experienced agents who live and breathe real estate and asked them what first home buyers and buyers looking for a fixer upper search for.  Here is a snapshot of their answers.

Selling a fixer-upper - what do buyers look for?


To find out what buyers looking for a fixer upper search for, we asked Jo Harris from LJ Hooker Hobart.  Jo has had over 26 years’ experience in real estate and has sold her fair share of renovator delights.

Jo says “ buyers looking to buy a property to renovate will look at a number of key factors.  Obviously the area, neighbours and the bones of the property are a major consideration.  They will also look for features such as hardwood floors hidden under old carpet, the size of the block the house sits on and if there is potential to extend the home, the natural light entering the home and if not can this be easily rectified”.

She has found buyers looking for a forever home will be more emotional about the buy and if planning to take time to renovate may be prepared to spend more on the property and overlook some of the issues the property has.  

A buyer looking to renovate and flip a property will be looking for a bargain and will look more closely at the hidden expenses and major items that will eat into their budget and need attention first like foundations, roof, electrical and plumbing.

If selling a fixer-upper the Vendor is best to the leave the property untouched apart from a good clean of the interior of the home, removal of any unwanted items or anything potentially hazardous from the site.  A good tidy up of the gardens and exterior of the property including the removal of old piles of timber etc. would also be advised.  

Selling to first home buyers - what do they want?

It goes without saying that first home buyers are focused on properties with a good location, that have easy access to public transport or freeways, are in a low crime rate area, have good internet coverage, have decent sized bedrooms and fresh bathroom/s and kitchen. But what else do they look for?

John Rechichi, Licensee at LJ Hooker Thornlie and a long-term, influential member of the LJ Hooker network, has had a wealth of experience dealing with all buyer types and has found that first home buyers have slightly different priorities when it comes to buying.

He says that in his state of Western Australia, that first home buyers “generally look for a property that is new, so they can claim the 1st homebuyers grant’. Each state has varying First Home Buyer incentives however many favour new builds offering between $10,000 - $26,000 (depending on the state) towards the purchase.

He says that even if the property isn’t new, first home buyers still “don’t want to do any work to the property, they want to just move in” and enjoy living there.  He finds that more recently these buyers “do not want formal living areas and prefer properties with open plan living with a separate theatre room”.
 
His tip for sellers who are trying to attract first home buyers is make sure you declutter your homes, tidy up the garden and make them look like they are easy to care for.  You want this buyer group to feel the property is spacious and low maintenance.
 
Once last tip, in his experience first home buyers often have good cars and ideally want parking within the property.  This does vary across the country and where people are looking to buy, but if you have a garage make sure you promote this feature as it is very appealing.

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