Understanding the top 10 criteria for home buyers will help your home stand out from competing listings and get yours to the top of home buyers' lists of must-see properties.

Knowing what home buyers look for is crucial to a successful sale, regardless of your property's value.

When selling your home, competition from other properties can be fierce. To get buyers to click on marketing images of your home, they need to be attracted to the main photo first. The text and headings used to market your home also have an important role in that first impression made, so check these and the photos before you go live online.

This all underlines the need to choose a competent real estate agent with all the know how to guide you through.

The following priorities will help you get to the top of a home buyers must-see-first list:

1. Wow factor – created by home staging, furniture placement, kerbside presentation and an uncluttered, ordered section. Less is more. 

  • Good home presentation is essential to get the best sale price for your property.  
  • Real estate agents often report a 10-15% increase in sale price due to home staging alone.  
  • Home staging can be done for little to no cost, or for those who are time scarce, there are home staging services. 
  • You can hire furniture and decor from home staging services, especially useful if the house will be empty. 
  • We highly recommend that you home stage your house before you get your house appraised, but it's not essential.
  • If time poor, using a gardening service and/or a cleaner is worth the investment. 

2. Updated bathrooms and kitchens – two of the most important rooms to make as impressive as possible. Again, less is more. 

  • Worth a fresh coat of paint when time allows. Even older kitchens can look much better – declutter the benches 
  • Home staging a bathroom to create a spa feel with fluffy new towels and flower can lift the vibe 
  • Have a serious declutter in the kitchen for a spacious Zen feel 

3. Layout – flow throughout the house – colour, calming, a place that could accommodate many buyers’ personal style 

  • Even if the layout is not modern, spacious placement of furniture will help create flow 
  • Create a sense of arrival at the entrance to the house by thoughtful consideration of what view greets people as they open the door. 

4.  Storage and an office/work station 

  • A room could be shown to be both a bedroom or an office depending on the needs of the prospective buyer 

5. Smart Homes

  • containing devices which can be automatically controlled by mobile phones 

6. Location

  • To schools, kindy, work, commute distance and any other highlights

  • Details can be turned into sales points in the property package 

7. Energy Efficiency 

  • Insulated in both roof and under floor - another sales point to highlight at the marketing stage 

8. Realistic pricing/affordability 

  • Unrealistic and over-priced will be sure to scare home buyers away – make sure your real estate appraisal is accurate and provided by a competent real estate agent. 

9. Indoor outdoor flow/lifestyle 

  • Where there is time to build one, an easily accessed deck is an addition that will add value, both perceived and actual 

10. Low-cost maintenance 

  • People are time poor these days so this is another selling point to highlight 

If you can address all or at least some of these, it will help you beat the competition, in your price range, in your area. 


If you need help to make that first impression count – Agent Finder NZ clients are welcome to email photos of their homes and we will advise, with an objective eye, on ways to make your home stand out from competing listings in your area and price range.


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Updated June 12 2020



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