Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Looking For?

By: Pete Sherer

Today’s homebuyers are looking for smaller, more affordable homes with open floor plans and high-tech upgrades. You’re sure to get a good price for your home in today’s market, but you can up the asking price if you have what buyers are looking for.

The best way to ensure a good selling price is to prep your home for would-buyers who don’t want to upgrade anything themselves. You can start by improving your curb appeal. 

Buyers Want a Pristine Lawn

Buyers are looking for homes that don’t require a lot of maintenance. No matter what you think your Minneapolis property is worth, drawing potential buyers starts with the front yard. Lawn care is crucial when selling your home because an overgrown lawn filled with weeds implies the yard will be high-maintenance. A well-cared-for lawn tells buyers the rest of your home is also maintained. Mow, weed, edge, and water the grass regularly.

Spruce up the beds with flowers from local nurseries. Purple coneflowers, wild petunias, and phlox are colorful native plants that need little care and attract pollinating bees and butterflies.


Today’s homebuyers want to spend more time enjoying the backyard and less time working in it. They want a low-maintenance yard with amenities like fire pits, pergolas, decks, built-in-barbecues, and attractive landscaping and hardscaping. Privacy fencing is a bonus, especially for people with kids and pets.

Open Floor Plan

Rather than the traditional dining room, found that 90% of today’s homebuyers want an open floor plan that merges the kitchen with the living room and family area.  People want to hang out and socialize,while they prepare dinner.

Energy Efficiency

Does your home have energy-efficient kitchen appliances? That ranks high on buyers’ wish lists, as do energy-efficient lighting and windows and doors.

Landscape lighting is also a plus, but many buyers are looking for updated energy-efficient solar lighting. 

Modern Bathrooms

Bathrooms are the most used rooms in the house — they get grimy, dirty, germ-infested … no buyer wants to inherit that. Homebuyers are looking for perfection.

You don’t have to invest in a new bathroom, but you can give the powder rooms a refresh by replacing scummy shower doors, moldy tile, ripped linoleum, old faucets, and cracked toilet seats. Upgrade light fixtures with LED bulbs.

Home Office

Working from home is now a popular alternative to going into the office. With an estimated 1 in 4 Americans working from home, having dedicated office space is a must for would-be buyers. If the house doesn’t have an office, basement, or loft, you can create space with room dividers and bookcases.

Smarten Up!

Cellphones and smart gadgets have changed our lives, helping us with just about everything. Today’s home buyer wants the simplicity of life that Artificial Intelligence gives us, from apps that turn on lights and control doorbells, locks, garage doors, thermostats, and lawn sprinklers. Consult a technology expert to upgrade the house with the latest gadgets. 

Don’t have everything buyers are looking for? That doesn’t mean you should shell out thousands for a remodel. Most renovations will give you less than 90% of a return on your investment. But you can upgrade the smaller things like house numbers, mailboxes, and flower gardens.

The key to attracting bids for your house is in the staging. Set up the home to show off its best light. That may mean upgrading all the lights, too.

Pete Sherer is a lifestyle and landscape and design writer. He has refurbished a number of older homes with a focus on low-maintenance gardens and spaces for home offices and entertaining.

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