Through the years and even in the midst of economic tailspins, Houston’s home buying market manages to maintain its integrity. That means there is truly no bad time for selling a home in Houston. There are nearly 30 million people living in Texas, and over 2 millions of those citizens live in Houston alone.
Home sells in Houston increase every year and are targeted to continue to increase into 2021. So, if you have been considering selling your home, now is a great time. The problem is, with such a lush market, you will have lots of competition.
It is important that you do everything you can to make your property stand out against the rest. So, where do you begin?
We’ve put together a helpful guide with the best tips and tricks for those selling a home in Houston. Whether you are worried about where to live in-between homes or where to keep your pet during showing, we’ve got the answers. So, if you are preparing your Houston home for market, read on!
Know Your Market: Who Lives in Houston?
Houstonites know a high-level of living. In fact, their median income is above the state average by nearly $5,000 a year. Many high-level professionals call the area home. Some of the most renowned dentists, breast reconstruction specialists, and other cosmetic medical professionals, which are some of the highest paid careers in the United States.
When preparing your home for sell, keep in mind who may be coming to look at your property. It is a good idea to keep décor, staging, and upgrades fit for a modern professional’s sense of taste. Here are some of the most current and loved home décor choices among modern professionals:
Modern Shower Heads
This might seem like a silly area to focus your décor funds, but most home buyers take a lot of stalk in the quality of a bathroom – specifically the shower/tub. This is because after a long day of work or play, the shower is where every home buyer goes to relax and finally feel at home. When selling a home in Houston, you can practically guarantee the buyer has a career that puts stress on their shoulders. So, they will surely love a great shower upgrade.
Upgrading to a modern shower head, like a rain shower head, adds a touch of luxury to the home with very little effort. You can even opt for showerheads that have built in lighting features. These shower heads can often be purchased right at local hardware stores but may require a plumber or other professional for installation.
Useful Kitchen Island
If you are serious about selling a home in Houston, you need to focus on upgrades that scream both lavishness and practicality. Kitchen islands are one of those upgrades. These additions can greatly improve the flow and usability of a kitchen space while also adding a beautiful look to the kitchen’s overall aesthetic.
If installing a full island is out of your budget, or the size constraints of your kitchen, there are some modern alternatives available as well. Roll away islands are popular in homes with daintier kitchens. Another great idea is an island with a leafed top. This means the island top can be shrunk to a smaller size for everyday use but expanded into a larger area when necessary.
Most homes in Houston come with at least a single car garage, which means your home likely has one as well. It might feel like a pretty standard part of your home, but a few upgrades can make it a lucrative amenity. Finished garages are hugely popular among the professional community as they can be comfortably used as a “play space” for things like crafting, playing music, or a multitude of other hobbies.
Finished garages are fully drywalled, have no exposed beams, often have modern flooring versus concrete, and has a heating/ cooling source beyond an open garage door. Often, running an additional duct from a central heating and air unit can cost a very reasonable amount. However, you will want to ensure your garage is properly sealed from the elements to keep from wasting utilities. Focus on garage door repair and sealing any cracks or holes to keep your heating and cooling inside.
Neutral Paint Colors
Neutral paint colors in the home are hugely popular among affluent homeowners. This is for a variety of reasons. One, it leaves the option for customization open and easy. A home buyer can easily picture their own décor on neutral walls.
Another reason is that neutral colors match well with other high-end additions like marble counters, hardwood flooring, and stainless-steel appliances.
Adding smart home addons can create a huge selling point for your home. From app powered light fixtures to remotely controlled security, heating, and other utilities – there are dozens of options for smart home upgrades that are surprisingly cost efficient.
Remember to focus on products that work with both major smart home hubs (Google and Amazon) so that your buyer isn’t limited in device usage
Sell Your Neighborhood as Much as Your Home
There is a chance that there are a lot of other people selling a home in Houston the same time as you. There are so many fantastic neighborhoods that buyers may be overwhelmed with choice. That’s why it is important to sell your neighborhood alongside your home.
What makes your neck of the woods better than other neighborhoods in Houston? Brag about everything, from great restaurants to, local wax places, to that family-owned candy store with all 5-star Yelp reviews. You want home buyers to imagine how convenient and amazing it will be to live in your home.
Focus on Home Safety
If you’ve lived in Texas long, you know how seriously you should take inclement weather. From hurricanes to tornadoes, there are more than a couple ways mother nature can really sour your day. That’s why selling a home in Houston is easier if you have safety measures to brag about.
If the home you are selling is waterfront, you may want to consider focusing on seawall maintenance. Remove any plants, unclog weeps holes, and do a full visual inspection. If you are wary of anything, have a professional assess the state of the barrier so you can give any prospective buyers a piece of mind.
Another great addition to the home, no matter where it is located, is a storm shelter. If you don’t already have an underground storm shelter (which should be regularly maintained), there are fantastic concrete prefab options that can be installed in less than a day.
Alternatively, you might opt for a safe room addition to the home that doubles as protection from criminals and a storm shelter. These take longer to install but can add a real sense of opulence and safety to your home.
Preparing for Showings
Preparing for showing the home is an important part of selling a home in Houston. Where will your pets stay? Where will you hide all your stuff? There are dozens of questions you may be asking, but it doesn’t need to be so difficult.
What do to with pets?
If you are still living in the home while showing to prospective buyers, the thought of hiding pets during showings can be stressful. Your best bet is to remove them from the home completely. Showings are prescheduled events, so you don’t have to worry about a home buyer showing up unannounced.
Look into pet boarding services in your area to see about prices and requirements. Pet boarding is a great option because you essentially get to send your pets for an exciting playdate while you focus on selling the home.
Alternatively, you might opt to have a family member keep your pets during these times. This is especially helpful for exotic pets who may not be welcome at a boarding location.
Should Your Hide Your Stuff?
Though displaying your property as a welcoming household is vital to selling a home in Houston, there are certain affects you may want to hide. According to some of the top realtors in Houston, here are five things you should put away before a showing:
- Family Photos
- Taxidermy or other Morbid Decor
- Décor that Reveals Political or Religious affiliation
- Pest Deterrents (mousetraps, roach bait, etc.)
Where to Live While Your House Sells
Beyond selling a home in Houston, one of the most stressful questions about selling a home anywhere is “where will I live while my house sells?” There are a few options you might want to consider, depending on your budget.
One way to avoid ending up with two mortgages while selling a home in Houston is to look into housing rentals. You can opt for a small, inexpensive rental to simply give you a roof over your head, or something a little larger and capable of comfortably fitting your family for a long period of time.
Though you will still have to focus on paying your rent while selling your home, rentals have shorter contract terms, which means when your home sells you can focus on purchasing your new home. Additionally, you don’t have the stress of being responsible for the maintenance of two properties at the same time.
If you have already looked into financing a new house and don’t want to wait for your old home to sell to begin that process, you may be interested in a bridge loan. This type of loan is based on your home equity and provides you with the capital to maintain two mortgages simultaneously. However, it is recommended that this only be used by those who believe their home will sell relatively quickly.
Moving Day Tips
Once you are done selling a home in Houston, you finally get to move all your things from the home and start your next chapter. However, you may not realize until the time comes just how difficult moving can be. There is a set date the new homeowners are able to move in, so you need to make moving quick and easy.
Packing is the longest portion of the moving process, so try to keep it organized and simple. Pack like items together, focus on one room at a time, and remember to properly wrap and mark fragile items. As packing comes to a close, make plans for a moving truck and a storage unit.
Some moving truck companies have their own storage on site to save you money.
You will want to make a plan to load the truck so you can use as few trips as possible. If you don’t trust yourself to do this efficiently, you can hire movers from most companies for an additional fee. These professionals can get your truck loaded properly and efficiently. Remember, you will need to request that they unload as well if you want those services.
These general tips for loading and unloading can apply to moving items from storage to your new home as well. Though many people choose to slowly move in items from their storage unit over time, as they settle into their new home.
Selling a home in Houston is easier than most other places in the United States, but still takes a little bit of work. You have a fantastic market of professionals looking to buy your home, but the competition will be stiff. Chances are there are dozens of other homes for the same buyers to look at, so you need to focus on standing out.
Don’t be afraid to attend the open house of other homes in the area and see what your competition looks like.
At the end of the day, remember that you are selling to locals and professionals. These are people who appreciate the amenities Houston has to offer and also want a place to relax after a hard day at work. So, get in the mind of these professionals.
What would a tired woman like to come home to after a long day at her local respiratory therapist job? What kind of house can help a tired reconstructive surgeon relax after an 18-hour shift? What parts of your local neighborhood would appeal to an exhausted lawyer after a day in court?
If you can focus equally on your home and your target buyer, you will find that selling a home in Houston is truly a piece of cake.