Updated: Mar 6
Since most homebuyers and homeowners have strong opinions about design, it’s easy to assume that you know what increases the value of a home. However, when it’s time to sell, don’t make decisions based on your own opinion or what you’ve seen online. Instead, use real data about what buyers want in their homes in 2023.
The Top 12 Most-Wanted Home Features in 2023
Through the most thorough and up-to-date data sources, we’ve put together this list of the most popular and sought-after home features for 2023 buyers. Thousands of people were surveyed to get these results, and we combined data from multiple reliable sources to get the most accurate understanding of what homebuyers are looking for.
However, your local real estate market could have very different home features that are highly sought after. If you are selling your own home, consult with a local home professional before doing any remodels or renovations.
That being said, there are simple, dependable ways to help your home appeal to more buyers in almost every part of the US.
1. 87% of Buyers Want a Laundry Room
If your washer and dryer sit alone in the corner of your basement, it’s time for an upgrade–or at least a rearrangement.
In addition to wanting a room dedicated to laundry, 63% of people also specified that the best place for the laundry room is on the first floor. Today’s buyers want the laundry easily accessible from the main living space.
Here are some simple ways to increase the value of a laundry room:
Paint the walls
Add storage solutions like shelving, cabinets or a rack to the back of your laundry room door
Install a built-in ironing board on a wall, which can be easily stored away when its not in use
Buy a stackable washer and dryer to create space for a folding table or additional storage
2. 87% of Buyers Want Exterior Lighting
Exterior lighting is generally not something that people like to search for on Pinterest or gush over during open houses. However, it adds massive value to the home in terms of security and curb appeal. Potential buyers aren’t going to be satisfied with one dim light by the front door.
Start improving this by considering what exterior lighting you already have. You may not need to hire an electrician to wire new lights–simply upgrading your light bulbs or repairing lights may make all the difference.
Another way to add value to your home is by adding landscape lighting. While this may require more than a DIY project, outdoor lighting will not go unnoticed.
3. 83% of Buyers Want Ceiling Fans
If you asked all your friends what they wanted in a home, you probably wouldn’t hear a large number of them gushing over ceiling fans. However, 83% of people chose this home feature over hundreds of other choices, so this is a home feature that shouldn’t be ignored.
Ceiling fans are relatively cheap and easy to install, so this is a home improvement that could significantly improve the perceived value of your home. Another way to upgrade the look of ceiling fans and make your space feel much more luxurious is by installing a fan-delier. These light fixtures look like chandeliers and include the functionality of a ceiling fan. They’re growing quickly in popularity and could be a highlight that will help you sell your home for the most money.
4. 83% of Buyers Want ENERGY STAR-rated Windows
Home features with energy efficiency are increasingly important to today’s buyers. A home with ENERGY STAR windows will regulate the home’s temperature and save money for the homeowners, so it’s pretty obvious why this is something buyers look for.
Unfortunately, windows are not a simple or cheap home improvement. However, it’s helpful to know the importance of ENERGY STAR windows and appliances if you’re planning a remodel. If you already have certified windows, be sure to include this as one of the features when marketing your real estate listing.
5. 82% of Buyers Want a Patio
While patios have been a highly desirable home feature for many years, the pandemic increased this value of it even more. Homebuyers are looking for a place to sit outside, drink coffee, entertain guests, or watch their kids and pets play. If you want to increase the value of a single family home, building a patio should be high on your priority list.
Homebuyers rated patios even higher than rear porches, decks, and even front porches. In fact, 82% of construction and home building experts noted that hardscaping is the most important exterior project of 2023.
Fortunately, patios can also be simpler to build because they are on the ground, not raised above the ground like decks. If you’re looking to make significant improvements to your home, creating a patio could add massive value. If your home has a scenic view or a cozy cranny that a patio can be in harmony with, your patio will be especially desirable and therefore valuable to you and your home’s eventual buyers.
6. 81% of Buyers Want a Side-by-Side Kitchen Sink
Although large farmhouse sinks can be seen all over DIY channels and design magazines, it doesn’t mean that it’s what buyers actually want. This is exactly why you should always look at the facts when you’re evaluating what improvements will sell your home–side-by-side sinks were rated as one of the top features homebuyers want.
As always, there are exceptions when a farmhouse sink may be the best choice for your kitchen design. However, the function of a double basin sink is much more likely to appeal to the most buyers.
7. 81% of Buyers Want a Walk-in Pantry
It’s no surprise that having a designated, spacious area to store food and kitchen supplies is extremely valuable to homebuyers. If you talk to your friends and family about what they want in a house, this is something that’s almost guaranteed to come up over and over again.
If your home wasn’t originally built with a walk-in pantry, it may be a challenge to add one to your kitchen layout. Even if you or the current homeowners are able to fit all of your kitchen supplies without a pantry, buyers viewing your home might need more storage. Since this is a priority, designate a space for pantry items if possible so buyers can see how to maximize kitchen storage.
8. 81% of Buyers Want a Front Porch
Front porches have returned in popularity, and likely because they add functionality, design, and curb appeal to a home. However, since this is an exterior home feature, the actual value of it may vary depending on the climate in your location. The best way to learn ‘whether’ (terrible pun) or not a front porch is a home feature desired by local homebuyers is to look at your local real estate market.
Search for homes that have been recently built and recently sold around the price that you want to list. Do these houses have front porches? Do the marketing notes emphasize this feature as a valuable asset?
9. 81% of Buyers Want ENERGY STAR-Rated Appliances
ENERGY STAR appliances are particularly appealing to buyers because they’ll save money in utility bills and maintenance over time. However, homeowners generally don’t want to buy all new appliances right before selling their home. This would be a massive out-of-pocket expense that’s unlikely to earn an immediate return on investment.
However, knowing the importance of ENERGY STAR certified appliances is important to keep in mind if you plan on selling your home eventually. As you invest in your home, the energy rating of each appliance should be a vital part of your decisions.
10. 81% of Buyers Want Hardwood Floors in the Living Areas
The days when carpet was the most-desired floor type are long gone. The majority of homebuyers want hardwood flooring in living areas, and having the same flooring in multiple rooms is another benefit. If you already have wood flooring, be sure to feature that in your listing photos and description.
It’s hard to determine exactly why buyers prefer hardwood over all other types of flooring. There are many buyers who truly want the real thing, but there are also plenty of buyers who want the look of wood without having to commit to the maintenance. If you don’t already have hardwood but want to upgrade the home’s flooring, laminate, vinyl, or wood-look tile may be the best choice.
11. 80% of Buyers Want a Full Bath In Main Living Area
It’s very common for older homes to have a half bathroom or powder room near the main living areas of a home. However, 2023 buyers want full bathrooms close to the busiest areas of the home. There are many possible reasons for this real estate trend, but it’s likely that it makes it easier for guests to be comfortable without having to go into every room of the home.
If you have a full bathroom in your main living area, it’s a good space to make some home improvements to maximize its appeal. Since bathrooms can be pricey to renovate, focusing on the one closest to the living area will bring you the highest return on your investment.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or spend tens of thousands of dollars on a full bathroom renovation, just do it virtually. Virtual staging can give prospective buyers a clear visual of the room’s potential, and it only takes 24 hours to complete.
12. 80% of Buyers Want Energy Efficient Lighting
Our designers and photographers will tell you that the lighting of a home is an extremely important factor in the overall feel and design of any space. Homes with lots of bright, natural lighting feel bigger, more open, and ultimately appeal to more prospective buyers. However, 90% of the energy produced by traditional incandescent bulbs generates heat, which increases costs and is unnecessarily wasteful.
Luckily, upgrading the lights in your home is extremely simple and affordable. You can find energy-efficient LED bulbs at most hardware or big box stores, and simply replace the energy-burning lights you currently have. Although LED bulbs will be slightly more expensive up front, they’ll save you money (and help the planet) over the long haul.