Understanding the buyer

Sellers can only control three factors that will affect the sale of your home:

  • The home's condition
  • Asking price
  • Marketing strategy

But realize there are many other factors that influence a buyer, and it helps to understand these consumer trends when you enter the market place. The more your home matches these qualifications, the more competitive it will be. Your real estate agent should advise you on how to best position and market your home to overcome any perceived downsides.


The number one, most influential factor in determining your home's appeal to buyers is something you can't control: its location. According to the National Association of REALTORS(r), neighborhood quality is the No. 1 reason buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school.


While some buyers want to simplify their lives and downsize to a smaller home, home sizes in general have continued to increase over the decades, nearly doubling in size since the 1950s. Smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and "empty nesters," or couples whose children have grown up and moved out.

Amenities (ever changing tastes)

Preferences in amenities and floor plans go in and out of fashion, and your real estate agent should discuss the "hot ticket" items that are selling homes in your market. If your home doesn't have certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal, but be forewarned: That's not always the right move. Using market conditions and activity in your neighborhood as a gauge, your agent should help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your net-profit margin and expected time on the market.

California Houses Online

Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of . This information is for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties you may be interested in purchasing. Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent has not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.