The Five Most Important Words In Selling Your Home

Real Estate Agent with Kenna Real Estate Company

These five words RULE!  These five things are most important to the majority of home buyers.  If your home is lacking in any of these, decrease your price because your home will not sell quickly if you don't.

In this article I will list these five parts of your home and tell you the most important things most buyers are looking for in these areas.  My aim is to help you know what you can do to your home to make it more desirable.  Tomorrow I will list some additional things that most buyers of higher priced homes are looking for in these areas.  In the Denver area, this would apply to homes over $400,000. 

The Five Words in order of importance:  Kitchen, Bathrooms, Hardwoods, Wired and Outside.


Since this is the most important room in the house, consider as many of these as is possible.

  • Islands are big!  Buyers like the extra storage, additional counter space and seating area.  With the kitchen becoming more of an entertaining or gathering area, islands create a perfect place for cooking while interacting with family or friends.
  • Stainless Steel appliances are very popular
  • Cheerful, not boring.  Whites are popular for cabinets. 
    Colored walls in yellows, golds, oranges and reds are the most popular although keeping the boldness down with a pale gold or yellow are more likely to please the most people. 
  • Rustic woods, shaker styles, and cherry woods are all well received.
  • Metallics are gaining popularity for backsplashes and other accents.
  • Lighting is huge!  Overhead, under cabinet, in cabinet, pendant and natural lighting.  More is better.  Light up your kitchen!
  • People love big pantries.  If you don't have one and can find a way to create one without making your kitchen smaller, do it!  Knocking out a wall to a laundry, closet or other room might be a way to create space for a pantry.  If  that cannot be done, a cabinetry type pantry is a good second choice, but make sure it matches other cabinets. 
  • If you are going to be changing out your cabinets for new ones, keep in mind these popular cabinet features; moulding at the top, roll-out shelves, lazy susans, end panels, 42" heights on upper cabinets and staggered heights.
  • Hardwood is becoming more and more popular for kitchen flooring.
  • Upgrade that faucet with a newer design and one with pull-out sprayer.
  • Stainless Steel and composite granite sinks are the most popular.


  • Lighting again is huge!  Above and to the side is the best for vanity areas.  Lighting over the tub is the most left out, but desirable.  Use separate switches for different lighting fixtures so all lights do not need to be on each time one enters the bath. 
  • Tile is a must, no linoleum.  You can spruce up on tile by either bringing in a grout cleaning service or replacing the grout.  If you will be putting in new tile, there are so many beautiful choices now.  The look of stone is extremely popular.  Plain white or off-white ceramic tile is not desirable.
  • Mildewed or dirty grout around the tile in the tub area is one of the surest ways to keep your house from selling.  Once again, hire a grout cleaning service, re-grout, or replace grout and tile.
  • Bathroom cabinets take a beating.  Replacing those worn-out ones with a popular new style or wood will help your bathroom values incredibly. 
  • Likewise with faucets, shower heads and sinks.
  • Here are some bathroom additions that will add sale-ability to your home; tile additions on walls and backsplash, additional shower heads, stand alone shower, second vanity in master bath, additional lighting, additional storage-as in a linen closet or more cabinets.


  •  Hardwood throughout many areas of the home is a very strong trend  Oak is okay, but something different is better.  Hickory is one of the hardest and has lots of variations is color making it very interesting.  Other woods gaining in popularity are walnut, distressed pine, Brazillian cherry, bamboo and eucalyptus.  Walnut is a little softer than oak.  Distressed pine is beautiful if you like that rustic look, but not everyone does and it is not a great floor when you have toddlers.  Brazillian cherry, unlike regular American cherry, is the hardest of woods.  Any cherry, including Brazillian, will turn darker from the exposure to sun.  This creates lighter areas where furniture or rugs are located so that these items cannot be moved with refinishing the floor.  Many people like the idea of using woods that replace themselves faster like bamboo and eucalyptus. 
  • Most popular areas for hardwood; entry, hallway, breakfast area and kitchen. 

However, more and more hardwoods throughout the living areas of kitchen, dining, family and living rooms is what my buyers are seeking. 


  • Wired with Cat 5
  • Wired for cable
  • Wired for surround sound
  • Wired for outside speakers
  • Wired for multiple phone lines


  •  All buyers want either a deck or patio, decks being most popular. Decks need to be in good shape.  Trex decking or similar is most desirable.  The larger the deck or patio, the better. 
  • Most buyers with families want a large yard with quite a bit of grass.  However, if you don't have a large one, don't fret.  You may still be able to sell.  Empty nesters often want a smaller yard with less grass.
  • Mainly make sure your yard is picture perfect which includes being well manicured and maintained.  Some blooming flowers in the spring, summer and early fall will draw buyers even if they are only in pots. 
  • Remember, the first impression you make on your potential buyer is when they pull up to the curb.  The front of your home and yard should be very appealing.  Money spent to fix-up the front of the house and the front yard is well spent.  Ask your friends for suggestions or better yet, ask a stranger.
  • The condition of your front door tells buyers a lot about the condition of your home.  It is another very important "first impression."  Clean it, paint it and change the door knob if worn. 
  • Sure turn-offs; trash of any kind, toys and sports equipment left in driveway or front yard, trash cans left out, untrimmed trees and bushes, weeds, half dead trees, grass or bushes, no bushes, trees or grass, front porches or patios used for storage, old worn-out lawn furniture, peeling paint, broken down cars, too many cars parked in front of house, oil on driveway, severely cracked or broken concrete on drive way or sidewalks. 








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Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Around here, buyers prefer travertine in the bathrooms rather than ceramic tile.

Aug 02, 2009 12:45 PM #1
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