Home-selling secrets to get your property noticed

5 home renovations, upgrades homeowners can make

By Tera Roberson - Special Projects Producer

HOUSTON - In Houston's hot home market, your property has to stand out to get your house noticed and sold.

Lisa Brown is with Caskey Realty and has 13 years of real estate experience. She helps sellers get their homes ready for the market.

"The house has to create the feeling that the buyer is looking for," Brown said. "It needs to look fresh and new. If it looks drab, people don't get excited about it."

KPRC 2 asked Brown to give us five home renovations and upgrades homeowners can make to give their homes a competitive edge in Houston's housing market.

Brown's client, Errin Sherman, and her family are moving to Denver after four years in Houston.

"My husband got a new job and we're making the move. I'm here until the house sells," Sherman said about her home in Missouri City, Texas.

Excited for the new adventure, but still preparing for the sale has been bittersweet as Sherman tries to make the home her family loved so much something buyers will love too.

"They needed to be able to see their selves in there so all of our pictures came off the wall. All of our personal projects went to storage and as we look around, it is really hard because this is a place where I've raised my children," Sherman said.

Brown said to remember that selling a home is a business transaction with lots of emotions involved.

"Homes evoke emotions. People walk in and the first 15 seconds they're in, they know if they want to buy the home," Brown said.

First up is curb appeal.

"Make sure your lawn is in impeccable condition. Mulch. (Make sure) it's mowed, the bushes are trimmed back, they don't look overgrown. (Make sure) the trees are trimmed so that you can see the house and it's not hidden behind the trees," Brown said.

Brown said curb appeal is very important because sometimes people drive by homes listed for sale before setting up an appointment to see the inside.

Brown also suggests making sure your door gets a fresh coat of paint if it needs one. Buyers will notice.

Next, neutralize the walls.

"You want to keep it calm, so that people feel good about it. They feel like they're buying something fresh and new and exciting for their family," Brown said.

She suggests staying away from reds, dark blues or oranges. Gray is a new popular color, but Brown also suggests popping into your local paint department to find out what colors are selling most.

Tip three: The kitchen sells the home.

"A nice backsplash can totally change everything. The kitchen needs to look fresh and new. If it looks drab, people don't get excited about it."

Brown suggests neutralizing the master bedroom too.

"We have to get rid of all personal stuff. And staging it to create an inviting environment."

The final tip is all about the floors.

"We're seeing a lot of people prefer the main floor in some sort of solid surface like a wood floor, or a tile, or some sort of wood laminate," Brown said.

Carpeting in the bedrooms is fine, but be sure it is freshly cleaned. Carpeting in the bathroom is a no-no.

Sherman said she and her husband feel confident the upgrades they've made to their kitchen, floors and walls will be worth it in the end.

"We put $10,000-$15,000 in the home and that took us from a $200,000 selling mark to a $250,000 selling mark, which just made sense. It made sense for us and it made sense for a family that wants to come in and be ready to go," Sherman said.

Brown also said professional pictures are a must when it comes to listing your home online. She also suggests meeting with a licensed realtor six months to a year before you plan to list your home to get an idea of the necessary upgrades needed to price your home to sell. She said there is such a thing as spending too much on unnecessary upgrades.

Click here to see a before and after slideshow of Sherman's home.

Click here to see the home's listing.

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