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What Home Buyers Are Looking For


From left: Pam Jones, Kevin Elson, Briana Price, Deb Polise, Kim Carpenter and Jane Wells discuss housing trends.

If you expect to list a property and sell it at or above the asking price, sellers have little choice other than to present a fully updated, head-turning product to potential buyers.

That was a constant theme we picked up on from our conversation with some of Indianapolis’ top Realtors during a recent focus group put together by Tish and N2 Publishing, publisher Indy Top Producer magazine. In today’s market, buyers aren’t looking to do a lot of work. They want their new home to be move-in ready; so a home that doesn’t match their aesthetic or that requires a little work may be dismissed.

In this, the first of our three-part blog series, we examine some of the hottest trends and areas of interests for buyers as we steamroll into 2017.

The Hottest Colors gray-beige

Grey is the new white for many buyers. Realtors have identified grey-beige to be one of the most popular color choices for paint. While white can still be a powerful and dynamic color, many are looking towards richer shades.

White is still used in both traditional and more current “edgy” interior schemes, however. When it comes to a classic trim color, white has always been the standard. White trim showcases grey-beige and dramatically offsets darker tones in carpets and flooring.

White is also making a HUGE comeback in the kitchen, as many buyers are choosing it for cabinets and drawers. Re-facing or painting dated cabinets in white remains a standard approach to updating kitchens.

Right flooring for the right room

Homeowners and buyers don’t want just one kind of flooring covering the entire house. A hot trend is coordinating different flooring styles for spaces that vary in use and activity.

No carpet on the main level: Many homeowners are reserving carpeting for steps, halls, bedrooms and lower levels of the home.

Resilient plank flooring on main level: Resilient planks products are taking over on the main level of many homes. Features such as better durability and superior resistance to water and scratches make resilient plank ideal for heavy traffic areas, spills and the everyday wear from pets and children. Also, it is softer underfoot compared to ceramic or porcelain. With resilient authentic tile and stone or hardwood visuals are attainable without the price tag of the expensive stuff.

Long tile planks in master baths: Tile has always been THE choice for master bathrooms, but now there is a whole new emphasis on longer tile planks to help open up the area visually. Also on the topic of tile, stay away from tile in dining rooms. The Realtor focus group found that tile in dining rooms is off-putting to prospective buyers.

“Clean” kitchen look

When it comes to kitchens, homeowners and prospective buyers are looking for two important components: stainless steel appliances and granite countertops – big surprise there, right? When used in tandem, this combination still creates a crisp and powerful statement that many expect in their kitchens.

Wide open spaces

The latest trends in flow and layout are being influenced by high-style homes with open floor plans. Closed off kitchens, separated living rooms and boxed-in dining rooms are passe. Instead, buyers are drawn to large interconnected areas. Big showers and large walk-in closets and pantries are also part of this trend.

Home Selling Quick Hits

So in an era where aesthetic perfection seems to be the standard, what can you do to make your listing more marketable? Our Realtor focus group gave up a few quick tips on how to transform a home that may not be market-ready. (Even if a home isn’t for sale, some of these tips could help refresh and invigorate spaces that have been unchanged for too long.)

  • New light fixtures. Nickel and bronze are hot finish choices right now.
  • Fresh paint. Give walls and trim a once over to invigorate spaces that could use a boost. You can even paint over door knobs and light fixtures in lieu of getting new ones.
  • Landscaping. Obviously, a home that is manicured on the outside is much easier to sell. Give those hedges a trim, lay down new mulch, plant some flowers or at least make sure all weeds are pulled. Punctuated by brightly colored flowers, no need to overdo it.
  • Install new flooring. Rip out that worn carpet and lay down something new and exciting in a dining room, family room or den. A bold color or subtle pattern will offer a memorable home feature for potential buyers walking through. Even steps can become a cool focal point with the right unique carpet. Other than kids’ bedrooms which can  offer another opportunity to experiment with fanciful fabric, it is best to stay away from basic or neutrals in bedrooms and common areas.


Need a little work done around your home to get it market ready or just looking to spruce things up a bit? When it comes to flooring, look no further! Tish Flooring has a wide variety of carpet, tile, vinyl and laminate to fit any and all your needs. Call 317-879-TISH (8474) or schedule your free, no obligation estimate online today! Tish brings samples straight to your door. This Brings It!

Part 2: How Technology Has Influenced Real Estate

Part 3: Looking Ahead to the 2017 Housing Market