There is no such thing as a ‘universal trend’ when it comes to residential real estate: a quick look through the current Marin County listings will confirm that. At the highest end, the most luxurious features will always attract some homebuyers, just as in the great majority of listings, practical value prevails. But some shifts in priorities do seem to be underway, perhaps because of today’s altered selling environment. Some features that used to help sell homes in Marin are no longer being emphasized – a sure sign that buyers aren’t asking for them.
For anyone preparing a property for sale, it is important to observe clues that can prevent wasting time and effort. Some formerly popular elements are fading in today’s market:
1. Square footage and grandeur
There was a time (not very long ago) when buyers looked for the largest home they could financially support, with high-fashion accessories and embellishments that marked its expense and grandeur. The reality is people can no longer afford those luxuries, or, even if they can, are electing to shy away from some of the more showy features. The homes currently moving on and off the market with ease are for the most part small, comfortable homes with an open floor plan. Especially those with a high level of energy efficiency. There is a growing trend towards recycled materials, such as recycled wood and recycled glass tiles in both kitchens and bathrooms. Green features both inside the home and in the outdoor space –with native and sustainable gardens becoming more common–are gaining in popularity
2. Formal Living Room
When “big” was in, so were grand formal rooms. More of today’s buyers, however, tend to seek multi-purpose rooms with an open layout and seamless flow. They don’t want a sunroom, a formal entrance, a formal dining and/or formal living room: they want a kitchen that is functional, built to last, easy to clean, and one that opens onto the rest of the living space. I have to confess that, even when formal living rooms were in vogue, I usually could see the question in the back of most prospects’ minds, who ever uses that ‘formal’ living room, anyway?.
3. Whirlpool Tub
Once considered the gold standard in master bathroom remodels, the jetted tub has gone the way of the other more formal features as buyers shift to a more environmentally-friendly mindset. I can’t tell you how many homes with Jacuzzi tubs I have listed where the owner tells me, “I never use it – I don’t even know if it works!” If you are considering a bathroom remodel, the new trend is free standing bathtubs; I am noticing them in most of the recently remodeled Marin County homes, and I love them! I just saw one in a Ross home listed over ten million dollars last week (see photo). Another option you might consider is a larger shower — currently a popular option with the baby-boomer crowd mindful of easy bathing access.
The takeaway? More of today’s homebuyers are passing up the grander features (especially energy-hoggers); instead gravitating to the listings that emphasize practicality and modern functionality.
If you are preparing your own home for sale, do give me a call. I’ll be happy to offer my input on the most direct course to today’s homebuyer.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789. I specialize in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs. I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator. My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.
I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner. I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty. I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live. I know and love Marin County!
I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.