The housing market has seen a mini boom during the second half of 2020, with pent up demand caused by lockdown and the government’s announcement of the stamp duty cut, buyers have been flocking to the estate agents to find themselves a new home. But has the turbulent year caused a change in preference when it comes to what buyers are now looking for in a property?

What Buyers Seek

With the stamp duty cut announced by the government to run until the 31st March 2021, now is an ideal time to sell and buy property, with the market seeing a boom due to the potential money that can be saved. With stamp duty now at 0% for houses between £0 and £500,000 a buyer could save up to £15,000 in tax.

According to a recent survey by Hammonds, The Fitted Furniture Specialists, buyers are seeking well-presented homes that have minimal issues, and unsurprisingly outdoor space is high on the list of must haves. With almost half of homebuyers saying they would pay more for outdoor space (45%), closely followed by a garage (37%) and a conservatory (31%). If you are looking to sell your home, Holly Herbert, Head of Content at WeBuyAnyHouse gives this advice, “In general, to get a house in a good position to sell I would say decoration is key – freshly painted walls make a big difference, even if it’s the same colour as before, as it will make the place brighter and remove any scuffs and marks.”

The lockdown early in spring caused many people to reassess what they would like from their home, with home offices also more of a necessity than a luxury, due to working from home increasing for much of the population.

A Negative Impact

Buyers now come armed with a wish list and with a competitive housing market, there are a few things that can instantly put off a potential buyer. Mould and/or damp are dreaded by most potential property buyers, with 62% saying it would put them off buying and 57% stating that any signs of a pest infestation also has a negative effect. So, if you are looking to sell your house and there are any signs of mould, damp, or pests, irradicate the problem before selling. Michael Patterson, Managing Director of WeBuyAnyHouse, claims these issues can knock a huge 20% off a property’s value, or £49,471 off the average house price of £247,355.

Smaller details can also put off potential buyers such as an overgrown garden or ugly walls, although, these can easily be changed to maximise your profit. A lack of storage can also be a potential negative for buyers, even for those who lead a minimalist lifestyle; this can easily be rectified, however, with the installation of fitted wardrobes or an under stair cupboard.

With the housing market continuing to grow and buyers seeking to get themselves a bargain before the stamp duty is reinstated in April 2021, be sure to use it to your advantage whether you are buying, selling or both.