The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “affordability” is the top reason for home buying in 2010.

That makes sense, especially in unstable market conditions. Buyers, as always, are looking for a bargain but, more than ever, they’ve been enticed by low home prices and low interest rates, according to a survey by Weicher Realtors, Inc.

The survey gathered information from 1,261 of the company’s customers who bought homes between July 1 through December 31, 2010.

What about pride in homeownership? it appears that buying a home because they didn’t want to rent, was not the driving force. Instead, it came down to price. This differs from survey results five years ago when respondents (26%) said, “the desire to own their home and stop paying rent” motivated them to buy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Another influencer was the desire for more living space. According to the Wall Street Journal the survey reported that 28% of the respondents said, “they bought a house because they wanted more living space or a larger property”. However, 11% of those surveyed said that “potential financial growth” motivated them to purchase a home. This response is similar to the answers received in the survey’s first year (2005) when respondents answered the question, “What motivated you to purchase your home at this time?”

A sharp drop (12%) was reported by respondents who said they bought a house in 2010 due to relocation. The figure was the same as 2009. However, it’s a decrease from 20% in 2008.

Real estate experts believe that buyers are still motivated by the potential financial growth, but indeed a good value in the form of low interest rate and discounted home prices is the driving force these days. So, if you are listing your home for sale, focus on value. Detailed marketing materials that showcase your home’s amenities, walking-distance retail outlets, and neighborhood parks and schools will also help create value.

Don’t underestimate the importance of valuable upgrades such as new appliances, water heater, solar panels, green technology, smart wiring for commonly used technology, and, of course, any energy-saving lighting and/or heating/air conditioning systems that you might have installed.

Light up your house as much as possible when showing or holding an open house. Even if you typically keep the shades drawn, open them up, turn on light fixtures and, if you have skylights, make sure they’re clean.

Value increases for buyers the more they can see themselves living in your home. So, make it cozy, comfortable, and attractive. In the bathrooms, hang color-coordinated towels; some fresh flowers in a vase. And if the walls are scuffed, try using a Magic Eraser. If that doesn’t work, touch up the paint or paint the entire bathroom.

In the dining room or the kitchen, set the table. But don’t overdress the table. Too much stuff on a table makes it look crowded, small, and can be a turn-off.

Remember, selling your home is about creating value for buyers. That means how you live in your home may not be the way you show your home. You may have to put away a lot of the clutter such as trinkets, family photos, pet toys, electrical cords, kids’ toys, and anything else that is personal to you. By doing this you’ll create a greater chance of buyers viewing your home as theirs. And that’s value.

January 21, 2011

Courtesy of Realty Times