What attracts a home buyer to a house? What do potential buyers look for in a home? Sellers continue to ask these questions in hopes of helping their house to the top of the list.

Local Realtor with Keller Williams Todd Engels has sold homes throughout Grayson County. He said there are a few things that buyers look for in a house locally.

“Price, of course, is a great attraction,” Engels said. “People like what the neighborhood has to offer. They like parks, pools and playgrounds. Proximity to schools also factor in the decision process. Buyers like schools to be walking distance, and how good the schools are plays a big role in the decision.”

Andre McElyea with Guild Mortgage in Sherman said buyers also love kitchens.

“Kitchen and master bath are always key,” McElyea said. “You can never underestimate location, location, location, though.”

McElyea also does renovation loans in which the kitchen is usually the focus for the loan.

“When we do renovation loans, it almost always includes kitchen upgrades such as granite counters and appliances,” McElyea said.

Debra Pettit with Town Center Real Estate, Pettit Group agreed saying kitchens are important to a buyer’s decision.

“Almost everyone wants an open kitchen to the main family room,” Pettit said. “Quartz counters are the rage. If the counter tops are laminate, they need to be white. White laminate is neutral enough to not draw any attention to it.”

Pettit explained finishes throughout the kitchen make a big difference.

“Subway tile is very popular as a kitchen back-splash or in a bathroom,” Pettit said. “Glass subway tiles are very expensive, but are really pretty. Honey comb pattern bathroom floors are popular. Gray and white is still strong. My daughter is an interior designer in Dallas and she said that the best bang for your dollar if you can only do one upgrade is to do a subway tile back-splash in the kitchen and do modern handles on the cabinets.”

Pettit added the size of the lot may also play a role in attracting a buyer.

“The thing that draws people to Van Alstyne is affordable housing on land — at least an acre,” Pettit said. “Also, schools really drive a real estate market. Van Alstyne, Gunter and Pottsboro schools are the districts that my clients most often ask for.”

Lisa Biddle, a Keller Williams Realtor who covers Grayson, Collin, Denton and Fannin counties, said priorities depend on whether the buyer is a suburban buyer or not.

“Collin County is one of the fastest growing in the nation,” Biddle said, “But I really think it depends on what the buyer is seeking. For suburban buyers, it is schools, parks, kids’ activities, employers, shopping, accessibility to highways and airports, and neighborhood pool. If a buyer is looking for country living, they are drawn more to Fannin. For the residents looking to buy closer to the bigger paying jobs, then Dallas county is the attraction. Looking for better schools, Collin County. Lower taxes are in Grayson County.”

Pettit said the current buyer market is not looking for houses that need to be remodeled.

“Right now, buyers seem to have more money than time,” Pettit said. “Very few of our buyers are looking for a fixer upper. Most want the house to be updated. Most prefer no carpet. If there is carpet, it needs to be new or very clean.”

Norman Gordan with Virginia Cook Realty in Sherman said buyers look at the number of bedrooms and bathrooms specifically when filtering their home search.

“Buyers tend to look for homes with three or more bedrooms and at least two bathrooms, along with at least a one car garage,” Gordan said. “Buyers also look for central heat and air. They like updated kitchens and bathrooms, or at least some remodeling in those areas. Updated flooring, and fresh paint draws potential buyers. Buyers also love a fireplace and fenced backyards. And it goes without saying, a good location.”