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What Homebuyers Want in 2021: The Hottest Kitchen, Bath, and Outdoor Trends in the New Year

If you’re getting ready to sell your home in 2021, you’ve got plenty of company.

As busy as 2020 was for the real estate market, 2021 is looking to ramp up even more—especially once the vaccine for COVID becomes widely available, and more sellers feel comfortable listing their homes.

With that in mind, what kinds of updates should you be making this year? Here’s what homebuyers want to see the most in 2021.


The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s usually one of the rooms that can make or break a home for buyers.

Even if you don’t have dated cabinetry and laminate countertops, there are still some updates you can make that will have buyers flocking to your showings (virtual or not).

Kitchen islands and walk-in pantries are the two top desired kitchen upgrades in 2021, according to insights from some of the country’s top real estate agents.

Additionally, ample counter space to prep food is another important feature, as is storage space for the many smaller appliances and gadgets that so many of us accumulated last year.


Bathrooms should feel airy, spacious, and above all, fresh and clean in order to attract buyers.

Once you’ve got that nailed down, however, upgrades that buyers want to see include:

  • Double vanities

  • Upscale shower heads

  • Heated floors (especially in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest)

  • In-bath linen closet or shelving

  • Artisan tiling

Outdoor features

Just as we’ve all come to have a new appreciation for our homes, we’ve come to appreciate our outdoor space, too—especially since congregating at parks and playgrounds won’t be wise for some months yet.

When it comes to your outdoor features, you’ll need to consider both your curb appeal—which is what will first attract potential buyers to looking further at your home—and your backyard space.

One of the best, and simplest, ways to improve your curb appeal is to do some basic lawn care and maintenance.

If your lawn is looking patchy, it may be time to reseed. If you haven’t had your yard landscaped for a few years, you may want to hire a professional company to get everything in order, from your flower beds to your edging, before listing.

For your backyard, consider how important our private outdoor areas have become: a space where you can hang out safely mask-free, have socially distanced visits with friends, and de-stress among greenery and nature.

One way to make the most of this space, for both you and any potential buyers, is to ensure that it’s a comfortable place to relax in.

Invest in some new outdoor furniture or spruce up your current furniture with some stylish outdoor cushions.

Add privacy hedges or fencing if you don’t already have it. A fire pit is another outdoor feature that most agents (69 percent in the Pacific Northwest and 59 percent in the Midwest) say buyers are drawn to. And if you have some unused or less-used patio space, consider screening it in—that’s the main outdoor feature that buyers want in the South Atlantic region of the country, according to agents there.

Think of these tasks as New Year’s Resolutions for your home! By choosing to focus on the projects that buyers want and that add value, you’ll be sure that any money you put into improving your home gives you a positive ROI.


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