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How to Sell Your Home

In a world of dwindling customer service, paying more for less and lipstick-on-a-pig DIY renovations, sometimes as consumers it feels like getting good value for anything is almost impossible. In the land of home ownership, this can certainly be the case.

But I received an email this week from a homeowner who is a ray of hope showing that perhaps this world is changing for the better. She actually wants to go that extra mile when selling her home by not only doing the usual things, but throwing in a few extras for good measure and for even better value.

Dear Vanessa,

I will be putting my house up for sale in the next few months. I have read that we are in a buyer’s market and I really want to sell quickly. I’ve done all the usual stuff you recommend like de-cluttering, making all the necessary repairs and cleaning my house from top to bottom. But what else can I do to really make my house stand out from all the rest?

Typically, there are two basic aspects to selling a home quickly and for top dollar. The first is to prepare the home for sale by doing all of the things you listed in your email – de-clutter, do the repairs and thoroughly clean your home. The second aspect is to set a realistic list price for your house and if you want to be really competitive, set that price slightly below market value.

However, going that extra mile to sweeten the deal for buyers can put your home at the top of their list and get it sold in record time. Let me start by stating the obvious: you always have to consider your budget – what can you afford and how much of a net return will these ‘extras’ give you. Generally, I recommend spending between 1-3% of the value of your home on these ‘perks’ but your real estate agent and contractor can help assess the potential return in terms of property value for your individual home.

1. Give your house some flash – adding an ensuite with a tub and separate glass shower is the kind of feature that makes a buyer instantly think “luxury”. Similarly, if you ‘make do’ with your current kitchen but an outsider could find it damn ugly, you might want to consider some improvements such as new cabinet fronts, new hardware or just a modern glass tile backsplash.

2. Surfaces make a difference – granite counters in your kitchen and sustainable flooring can really add value, even if they are relatively superficial when you walk into a room. Bamboo flooring is all the rage at the moment, and for good reasons with a unique look and a relatively similar price to hardwood options it can give your house that desired ‘perk’ in a buyers mind.

3. Better “stuff” – stainless steel appliances give your kitchen a professional look, even for those of you out there who can’t actually cook. Offering a slick, modern kitchen, or a bright and updated bathroom with new features will help the sale.

Occasionally, a lick of paint and tidying up around the house might be enough to sell a property, but then again it might not, so why take the chance? If you are thinking of selling your home, I recommend going that extra mile to offer more value to your potential buyers. Sometimes it is just the little things that can make all the difference in the world and be the deciding factor in whether the SOLD sign goes up on your front lawn or someone else’s.

Do you want to sell your home, but don’t know where to get started? Take a look at eieihome’s directory of interior design and decor professionals.

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