Inner Beauty: Do Homebuyers Care?

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For some time the Real Estate community has analyzed and wondered, “What features sell listings the most?” Or, “What information would be the most valuable to highlight on my website, on my listings page, or during my open house?” Let’s say you have two listings. The first has a chef’s kitchen, large square footage, beautiful views, but belongs to an area with low school ratings, moderate crime rates, and long commute times. The second listing is smaller, has a moderate kitchen, and the best view is of the next house two feet away. However, the schools are great, the crime is low, and shopping and offices are only five to twenty minutes away.

Which one is easier to sell and what do homebuyers value more; a home’s inner beauty or a home’s external community?

Realtor.com recently conducted the Luxury Homebuyer Survey to reveal the buying motivations of home shoppers as well as their highest desired home features. The Survey found that 13% of their 1,500 respondents are looking to purchase a high-end luxury home while an additional 26% of respondents stated they might consider purchasing a high-end luxury home. The survey also showed that 54% of homebuyers crave a chef’s kitchen, 44% of homebuyers want significant home views of the ocean, mountains, or cityscape, and 38% of homebuyers want large square footage. Based on the Luxury Homebuyer Survey, focusing and highlighting the home’s inner beauty should be any realtor's predominant strategy.

On the other hand, NAR’s 2013 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers leans away from the importance of inner beauty and highlights the importance of the listing’s external community. As the study states, “for the past several years, the top factor influencing where a buyer purchased a home was the quality of the neighborhood. Convenience to work was the second most significant factor with just under half of buyers citing its importance.” NAR’s study also mentions that the quality of the neighborhood is something only 5% of homebuyers would compromise on while only 2% compromise on the quality of schools. Further disproving the inner beauty side of the argument, 18% of NAR’s respondents stated they compromised on the size of the home and 17% of their respondents compromised on the home’s condition, meaning homebuyers statistically compromise more on inner beauty over external community.

So between the two studies, what has higher value: inner beauty or external communities? One finding from Realtor.com’s study that leans on the external community side of this argument is that 40% of their respondents said the biggest challenge in finding a high-end luxury home was finding a property that meets their family’s needs. This may encompass school quality, crime safety, commute times, etc. So with the two studies in consideration, it seems as though inner beauty is compromised at a much higher rate than neighborhood quality. External community wins!

What do you think? Is inner beauty or external community the most important factor to highlight when selling a home? Share your thoughts in the comments below. To find out how to better  illustrate your listings external communities, ask one of our experts for advice.

Image Credit: Casa Nova