What Buyers Want

Thinking of selling your home in 2018? Here are some tips on how you can make your home the most attractive to Coastal Bend buyers.

By: Dr. Coral Dworaczyk

ome decorating trends and styles are always changing, and it’s amazing to see what interior designers and builders can create! As a REALTOR, I hear many different buyers voice the same requests over and over. If you are thinking about selling your home in 2018, you may want to consider some of these suggestions to change or upgrade your home to make it more appealing to Coastal Bend buyers!

There are some really beautiful natural and synthetic countertop and backsplash materials available right now, and it’s really interesting to see how owners are mixing woods and natural stones with more modern structures and appointments. Buyers are falling in love with marble and rich woods all over again, and they love seeing it worked into countertops or backsplashes. Backsplashes can be a relatively inexpensive upgrade, and it may be worth your time to consider a subway tile or a mosaic.

Everyone still loves granite countertops, but it isn’t anything special anymore. If you are considering upgrading your countertops, consider going with something different, and not the most common “Level One” products available. You may want to consider a more exotic granite (we have some great wholesales here in our area), a quartz or even stainless steel or butcher block.

If you do go with a basic granite or quartz, this may be the perfect opportunity to upgrade your backsplash to make your kitchen noteworthy. If you still have laminate product on your countertops (like Formica), you may want to seriously consider replacing it before you put your home on the market if you want to demand a premium sales price.

White cabinetry is still very popular, but some people are opting for brighter, non-traditional colors or doing different colors on the upper and lower cabinets. However, if you are selling, be careful about limiting your pool of potential buyers by painting anything too off-neutral. I have seen some great options from some local homebuyers where the cabinets were painted a neutral and the island was kept as a stained wood or painted a different, but compatible color, and it was very well-received by buyers!

The biggest bathroom change I have seen in 10 years is the disappearance of the bathtub in the master suite. Garden tubs and whirlpools were all the rage for years, but now, people have realized that they often go unused. Most adults are shower-takers, and many would rather have a more luxurious tiled walk-in shower that a small shower and a huge tub.

Buyers tend to rave about mosaic tile work, fancy showerheads and high-quality glass surrounds. Keep in mind that buyers still have a need for a tub somewhere in the house, so please don’t remove every tub from every bathroom if you plan on selling at any point.

A very inexpensive upgrade for bathrooms can be as easy as changing out mirrors and plumbing fixtures. If your home still has the long, unframed mirror in the master bath, please consider framing it or removing it and hanging a more updated mirror over each sink.

There are typically few things you can change in bedrooms other than flooring and paint. Buyers are gravitating toward lighter greys, spa-like colors and natural light. Heavy, dark colors and textures are less popular for most people on the coast.

Dining areas
Homes with formal dining areas are often misunderstood. Some people, myself included, still love the idea of a formal dining space, especially when they are planning for the holidays. However, many builders are opting to create larger informal dining areas, so the separate formal areas are often unused or undesired.

For buyers who don’t need a formal dining area, consider other uses for this space. I have seen some great examples lately with formal dining spaces staged as additional entertainment areas, lounge spaces and offices. If your home has two (or more) dining spaces, you may want to consider staging one of them as “flex-space” with other purposes.

Quick updates
Not every seller has an unlimited budget to move walls and remodel rooms. If you are looking for the most “bang” for your dollar, don’t underestimate the power of a good cleaning (please!) and a fresh coat of paint. If time and budget allow, updating light fixtures and plumbing fixtures can also really help change the overall look and feel of a home.

Selling a home is always stressful, especially knowing that your home will be judged by strangers. If you want to command the highest price, it is important for your home to be updated and stylish, or sellers may need to be prepared to overcome those obstacles with pricing or other buyer incentives.

For more information, contact Coral Dworaczyk, M.S., Ph.D., REALTOR, at

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