During 2013, many homeowners were relieved to finally see what looked like a significant turnaround in the real estate market. Home prices rose, and buyers finally came back onto the scene. With that in mind, many homeowners are looking to 2014 as the prime time to sell, but may find themselves asking, what are today’s buyers looking for? The 2014 Real Estate Forecast Countless homeowners found themselves sidelined from the market in recent years because of less than ideal conditions, but for those people that are ready to enter again after the positive momentum of 2013, real estate experts anticipate the year will bring an increase in home values. With that being said, it’s also expected mortgage rates will continue to rise and more homes will go on the market, meaning homeowners may be able to get more money for their home, but only if they can remain competitive against other sellers. What Are Homebuyers Looking for? There’s two things industry experts indicate are alluring to buyers in 2014—high-end upgrades and designer details. After a rough few years economically, what’s emerged are people who are at the higher end of the buying spectrum, and people who are more discerning with their tastes, and really looking to be “wowed” before jumping into a purchase. Even for someone who owns a basic or starter home, it is possible to impress these detail and luxury-oriented buyers, by making smart upgrades and renovations. Rejuvenate Kitchens and Bathrooms It’s been said time and time again, but real estate professionals still recommend kitchens and bathrooms be the focus of homeowners’ renovations. These are the primary areas of buyer’s focus. Even if a homeowner can’t afford a total remodel, look to adding stone countertops or flooring. One of the first questions buyers ask upon entering a kitchen in many cases is whether or not the countertops are granite. If granite isn’t an option, consider other luxurious yet more cost-effective options, like the increasingly popular quartz. Small changes that can bring more value in these areas include the addition of an attention-grabbing backsplash or the addition of new fixtures. Adding new lighting fixtures to a kitchen or bathroom can accentuate stone countertops and modernize the space, without costing a lot. Outdoor Space Today’s buyers, and particularly millennial are reporting the importance of a usable outdoor space. A functional and stylish outdoor space can turn a home from “blah” to “wow,” and it’s a smaller undertaking than some indoor renovations. Consider cleaning up the existing landscaping, and adding an outdoor kitchen. Buyers love the option of having an outdoor entertaining space, and it’s a great place to utilize stone countertops for that touch of luxury, combined with versatility and durability. Freshen Up the Entryway First impressions are everything, and homeowners want to be captivated when they walk into a home. Sellers can consider adding a luxurious flooring, like marble, and replacing outdated light fixtures with something that’s modern and eye-catching. Even just adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door can have a big impact on buyer’s initial impression. Today’s buyers are often ready to make a purchase, but they’re extremely selective and knowledgeable about what they’re looking for. It’s important for sellers to make changes that are going to give them a good return on their investment, and catch the eye of buyers who are seeking the best.