If you’re selling your Houston home, you have to think like a buyer. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can remove yourself from your subjective and biased thought process and view your home as someone would on the outside looking in. This gives you the opportunity to make changes, implement strategic pricing, and/or optimize your listing so that it appeals to as many prospective Houston homebuyers as possible. The question is, what do they want in a house?
8 Things Houston Homebuyers Are Looking For
Let’s preface this article by being clear about one thing: No two homebuyers are the same. Regardless of location, people are unique and will look for different things in properties. And what a homebuyer wants will depend on a variety of factors like budget, family size, personal style preferences, neighborhood, and home features.
But having said that, there are certain sweeping trends that tend to attract a larger portion of the market than others. And at the end of the day, selling a house is a numbers game. You want to give yourself every opportunity to engage as many interested buyers as possible.
Here’s a look at what Houston homebuyers are searching for in today’s market:
1. Open Floor Plan
While many older homes still have very segmented floor plans, buyers are no longer interested in compartmentalized layouts. They’d rather have open floor plans where main living areas easily and effortlessly flow into one another. The kitchen and the living room should almost be one. (In ranch-style houses, which many older Houston homes are, this might be more challenging to achieve.)
Give your floor plan a look and consider removing a couple of non-load bearing walls to open up sightlines. In addition to freeing up space, open floor plans tend to be brighter and feel arier. Natural light pours in from multiple angles and the house feels less restrictive.
If you already have an open floor plan, be sure to emphasize this in your listing photographs and copy.
2. Neutral Color Palette
Styles come and go. Interior design best practices seemingly fade in and out of popularity. But at the moment, clean, sleek, and minimalistic are popular. And when it comes to color palettes, neutral is the way to go.
Buyers love whites and grays. You can also get away with soft pastels. However, the darker colors like reds, blues, or greens will make your house look smaller than it is. Feel free to use them as accents, but avoid them as your primary colors in rooms.
3. Updated Kitchen
The kitchen is the money room. It’s the first room that people naturally gravitate towards in a showing or open house. It’s also one of the top rooms in terms of renovation ROI.
You probably don’t want to gut your entire kitchen prior to listing. (Unless it’s terribly dated.) But a few cosmetic changes can generate a positive ROI. Try the following:
- Upgrade to white quartz countertops
- Paint cabinets white
- Install sleek hardware pulls
- Upgrade lighting – using LED strip lighting underneath cabinets
- Add a fresh subway backsplash
Depending on the size of your kitchen, all of this can be done for a few thousand dollars (especially if you’re handy and willing to do the simple tasks yourself.) However, these upgrades have the potential to add $10,000 or more to the value of your property. Not bad, right?
4. Outdoor Living
We’re in Houston, which means outdoor living is a must. But buyers don’t just want just any outdoor living – they want something that allows them to enjoy their property for as many months out of the year as possible. That means a way to stay cool during the heat of the summer!
Screened porches and covered decks will always outperform decks in terms of ROI. Outdoor kitchens are another thing buyers look for. You probably don’t want to build one just to sell the house, but having one is a major plus. (Feature it in your listing!)
5. Laundry Room
Did you know that 91 percent of homebuyers want a dedicated laundry room? Having this separate space in your home instantly makes it more attractive to a large portion of the marketplace.
If you don’t already have an existing laundry room, consider adding one. If you have a basement and the utility lines are already there, you can probably build one for $1,000 or less. All you need are a few walls and a door. (A full-scale laundry room with a sink and storage cabinets could cost you $10,000 or more, though.)
6. Sizeable Garage
Buyers love garages. Not necessarily for parking cars, but for hobbies, storage, and even extra living space. If you have a two-car finished garage, you instantly have an advantage over other comparable listings that lack this versatile space. (Having a utility closet in the garage is an added bonus.)
7. Swimming Pool
Hot Houston summers mean pools are always in high-demand. Having a swimming pool on the property is always a win, but you can also command premium value when your house is located in a neighborhood with a community swimming pool. Either way, this is something you should tout in your listing to lure buyers in.
8. Energy Efficiency
Homebuyers have really been turned on to the idea of energy efficiency over the past few years. They understand that the right appliances, materials, and systems can potentially save them thousands of dollars per year in energy costs. If you have any of these features, clearly outline the value to buyers so that they understand what they’re getting.
Sell Your Houston Home With Green Residential
At Green Residential, we’re proud to be a local, family-owned business. We’ve spent decades learning and understanding the Houston real estate market and have been able to parlay that into building one of the most trusted names in the market. If you’re interested in buying or selling your home, we have the experience and resources to help you maximize value. Contact us today to learn more!