If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, you might be wondering if you should make any upgrades to help it sell faster. This is a dilemma many home sellers find themselves in. We’re seeing some clear trends in the Wichita real estate market, so we’ve compiled a list of features that home buyers want in 2018.

HOT – Outdoor Living Space

An inviting outdoor living space is a hot trend in real estate all across the country, including Wichita. Maybe in part because of the mild winters Kansas has had the past few years, people are viewing the backyard as an extension of the indoor living space. Features like outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, mini-bars and televisions are more common.

If such upgrades don’t fit within your budget, at least make sure your exterior lighting, patio, and/or deck are all clean and well-maintained. When it’s time to sell, be sure to stage the outside of your home just as you would the inside. Clean patio furniture, an inviting table set for a cookout and a couple of chairs pulled up to a firepit can help buyers envision relaxing evenings in the backyard.

HOT – Swimming Pools

Yes, you read that right. For several years, home buyers viewed an in-ground swimming pool was seen as a burden because they require maintenance. But now, perhaps because of the trend toward expanding the outdoor living space, pools are becoming increasingly popular in the Wichita market. This also seems to be part of a larger trend where homeowners are trying to doing something unique that they can show off to friends and family.

Now, we wouldn’t recommend installing a pool just to sell your home. But if you already have one, just make sure it’s clean and maintained before listing your home. The new buyer may also appreciate maintenance records and a reference for a local pool cleaning service, if you can provide them.

NOT – Square Footage

Considering the recent obsession with tiny homes, this may not be all that surprising. Today’s home shoppers aren’t necessarily looking primarily for square footage. Instead, they want features. Like more toppings on a pizza, buyers are looking for bells and whistles and higher-quality finishes. Think double ovens, huge walk-in pantries, granite and corian countertops and high 15-20 foot tall ceilings with hanging beams.

While this is good news if your home is on the smaller side, but adding high-end finishes and features can become a slippery slope. To make sure you get a good return on your investment, it’s important not to over-improve. For example, your kitchen might just need new countertops instead of a full remodel. A seller’s agent can work with you to make those tough choices and help you get the most bang for your buck.

HOT – Energy-Efficient Appliances

Even if your home doesn’t have professional-grade appliances, energy-efficiency is a big plus for buyers. After all, they’re going to be paying the operating costs for that dishwasher for years to come. If you replace any appliances prior to listing your home, choosing Energy Star-qualified models will appeal to buyers looking to keep utility costs down.

Still not sure if you should made upgrades before listing your home? Madrigal Team Gold agents can advise you on how to make sure your home is a standout in the Wichita market.