People buy homes for different reasons.

If you are putting your home on the market, you'll want to appeal to as many of those reasons as you can. The result will be a speedier home sale.

It’s easier than you might think to make your home appealing to more people. That’s because there are certain qualities most home buyers want.

Here is a list. If these features don’t already exist in your home, it’s sometimes possible to add them economically or else stage your home to create the same impression. 

Less formality

The trend is toward more open spaces. Create the look with less clutter. Matched floor coverings and seamless color schemes help, too, as does casual furnishings.

Move-in ready

More than anything else, most buyers want a no-hassle move. They should not have to make immediate repairs. Have a home inspection done and take care of deferred maintenance before listing.

Primary bedroom

Because who doesn’t want a special room off-limits to the rest of the world? If you don’t have a bedroom ensuite as part of your floor plan, be sure to make the primary bedroom and one bath feel like a private retreat for grownups.

This bedroom exhibits the luxurious look of a master bedroom. 
The horizontal lines of furnishings and window treatments create the 
illusion of spaciousness. Photo: Shea McGee Design.

Light-filled spaces 

As long as privacy is assured and the view is pleasant, the more windows a home has, the better. Create the feeling by staging with minimal window dressings that make openings look large. Paint with pale colors. Use more-than-adequate lighting. 

Modern kitchen 

Buyers fall for spacious kitchens that boast upscale appliances. Here is one place to make some investments if your kitchen is out of date. You don’t need a remodel to buy a new fridge or stove. A spotless, bright, uncluttered kitchen feels more modern, too.
Not everyone demands a huge kitchen.
Up-to-date appliances
and cleanliness go a long way.
Photo: Pamela Dailey Design.

Storage solutions

No one has too much storage space because most of us have too much stuff. Clean out your closets and stage them to look roomy. Make smart use of all your storage areas by compacting and organizing your things.


Ideally, your home has wireless compatibility throughout. Upgrade the electrical system up to today’s needs. Stage a space as a charging station. Remove outdated entertainment systems (looking at you, jumbo dish, roof antenna, and bulky TV armoire!).

Energy efficiency

HVAC systems and energy-efficient windows are important but expensive. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature while it’s on the market. Yes, ceiling fans are still okay.

Outdoor spaces

Usable areas for entertaining and relaxing outdoors are priorities for most buyers. It’s economical to create these spaces on even the smallest lots, even if your outdoor space is just a balcony. If you have a side yard, or a front porch or deck, make it look like a place that is useable as a spot to spend time. Some outdoor wicker or metal furnishings add that casual vibe buyers like. 

Stage and promote

Create closet envy with an arrangement anyone
would love. Pack your non-essentials up and
stage it glam. Photo: Akin Design Studio.
Your buyer is out there and ready to be educated about your home.

Therefore, it’s important to be specific about the desirable features your home has. Make these specifics part of your MLS listing, your Realtor’s promotional info and online descriptions.

When you talk to neighbors, family, colleagues, and friends about your home for sale, let them know what makes your place special.

If the heating and cooling devices are new, document it. If the patio is shaded in summer, make sure buyers know. If there is additional storage space in the attic, mention that in the online specs. If your HOA maintains outdoor spaces, be sure to include that in the listing. If you’ve done major repairs that might not be obvious, make sure your Realtor knows about these. (Tip: Don’t call them repairs. Call them upgrades.)

I encourage you to consider the ways you can add or imitate the features that people want in a property. The sooner you meet these needs and market your home around what today’s home buyers expect, the sooner you’ll sell your home.

And when your home is missing some of these key ingredients, home staging can make up for the shortcomings. Download my home staging eBook to learn more about how you can make your home more appealing to more people.