Pitching Houses With Entertaining Spaces
With the market perking up, more homes across the country are pitched as ‘perfect for entertaining’
Nearly 2% of homes on the market are described as “perfect for entertaining.” Getty Images
Home buyers want to have fun again.
In the years immediately following the housing bust in late 2007, real-estate agents focused on functionality and facts, like the square footage and condition of the house, to convince buyers that they were getting a good deal. Now with the market improving, sellers are seeking to establish an emotional connection with buyers by focusing on lifestyle features instead.
As a result, nearly 2% of homes on the market are described as “perfect for entertaining”—or one out of every 64 homes, according to an analysis by real-estate brokerage ZipRealty. ZIPR -0.19% That is a 15% increase over the past year. ZipRealty examined listings in 24 major metro areas from the first quarter to the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.
The top party-ready city is Los Angeles, which has the most listings with the phrase “perfect for entertaining” in ZipRealty’s analysis. The city’s buzzing entertainment industry and warm weather make it ideal for entertaining, says Carol Bird, a real-estate broker with Westside Estate Agency in Malibu, Calif., in Los Angeles County. Ms. Bird, who often references entertaining in her listings, says her clients look for open floor plans, few walls and lots of outdoor amenities, like summer kitchens and swim-up bars. “We’d rather be outside than inside,” she says.
The definition of what makes an entertaining space has evolved over time. The top features in perfect-for-entertaining homes are outdoor spaces, like courtyards and decks, according to ZipRealty’s analysis. The emphasis on outdoor space reflects the rise of more casual entertaining, Ms. Bird adds. “Entertaining used to mean formal, sit-down dinners, but now entertaining could be sitting by the pool or the fire pit,” she says.