Growing family No. 1 lifestyle motivator for homebuyers

Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Hearld

A recent survey of 700 Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals across North America reveals homebuyers are motivated by lifestyle needs, with growing families ranking as a top motivator on both sides of the Canadian/U.S. border.

Sellers are also becoming increasingly aware of the value of presenting a home with buyers’ appeal, and are becoming more willing to go the extra mile as they compete for buyers’ attention.

Of those Coldwell Banker professionals surveyed: 94 per cent say their sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates, such as fresh paint and minor repairs – this percentage was the same for both Canadian and U.S. respondents; 60 per cent of Canadian respondents agree that clients are willing to “de-personalize” the home – this percentage was much higher in the challenging U.S. market, where 76 percent agree; 59 per cent of North American respondents say sellers are even bringing in new home decorations or furniture to help make the home more appealing.

“When marketing your home, it’s important to help buyers imagine themselves living in the property. De-cluttering and de-personalizing is crucial to this process,” says Susanita de Diego, Coldwell Banker Canadian Consumer Specialist, based out of Calgary. “Sellers need to recognize that while demand for Canadian homes remains strong, their home is competing with other listings to get results.  I always advise sellers that if their home is presented with a minimum of clutter and distracting personal items, it will appeal to buyers and improve their chances of a successful sale.”

According to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals surveyed, growing families is currently the biggest lifestyle driver for homebuyers in both Canada and the United States.  Seventy per cent of real estate professionals surveyed say a new baby or growing family is the “most common”, or a “very common” lifestyle reason that North American buyers search for a new home.  Other key motivators include: marriage – 59 per cent; divorce – 48 per cent; and retirement – 37 per cent.

While the majority of survey responses regarding buyer motivators were similar between Canada and United States, and although employment was the number two reason overall across North America, there was one marked difference.  Fifty-five per cent of Canadian respondents cited job reasons versus 69 per cent of respondents in the United States, where the economy and job market have endured recent downturns

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