Are there things you can’t live without in your next home? Or are you thinking of adding amenities to your current home to make it more attractive to potential buyers?

The list of possible amenities for any home might be endless, but some things are pretty much non-negotiable for buyers and sellers alike.

For example, a September 2018 survey of more than 1,000 homeowners cited in REALTOR® Magazine revealed they would not buy a home without central air conditioning and a private patio. Conversely, prospective buyers were less likely to consider stainless-steel appliances or a swimming pool as deal-breaking must-haves.

Ready to be floored?

Guest bedrooms and flooring also are very important to many homeowners, the survey found. More than one in four said they consider hardwood floors to be the most essential amenity in their home. Very important to have among all those surveyed, by priority, were:

  • Walk-in closets
  • Good orientation
  • Hardwood floors
  • Good view
  • Storm windows
  • Formal dining room
  • Granite or marble countertops
  • Solar panels
  • Stainless-steel appliances
  • Swimming pool

However, what buyers are willing to pay for varies by age group. Here are a few of what they mentioned, by priority:

  • Baby boomers want: Swimming pool, private patio or backyard, good view, central AC or heater, solar panels, storm windows, guest bedroom, walk-in closets
  • Generation X wants: Swimming pool, private patio or backyard, guest bedroom, good view, formal dining room
  • Millennials want: Private patio or backyard, swimming pool, central AC or heater, solar panels, good view, guest bedroom

Online searches don’t find everything, but agents can

If you’re in the market for a home, you can filter your online home search for certain parameters such as price, square footage, architectural style, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. But to get specific, giving a wish list of amenities and features to your agent helps him or her leverage technology to find your perfect home.

If, for example, you definitely don’t want a home with carpeting, your agent can exclude all homes with carpeting from your search requirements. You might want to consider carpeting only for the bedrooms and installing hardwood-like floors elsewhere

The more specific you are with parameters, the fewer homes you might find available to you. With too many parameters, you might not find any homes at all. It’s best to be more general and less specific. Also, remember that information exported is only as good as the information imported, so it can’t hurt to take a look at homes even if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for.

Location: the most important amenity

Location is the most important amenity, yet often the most overlooked. As one agent puts it: “If you have to choose between a home with all of the amenities you want in a bad location or a home in a good location with only some of the amenities, choose the home with the good location. You can always add amenities, but you can’t change a bad location.”

It’s a good idea to narrow your list to your top three to five neighborhoods. Try to talk to the neighbors to find out if these areas are truly where you want to live. Let your agent know the ZIP codes you prefer or define the area by street boundaries so your agent can draw a map search.

Have a list of amenities ready? Connect with a real estate agent in an office near you to start your home search today.