Top 10 (cost-effective!) ways to get the best price when you sell your home!

Everyone who lists their house wants to get the most possible for it.  For some sellers with unlimited budgets, this can mean renovations, home-staging and more.  But if you're approaching this with a modest or minimal budget, there are still things you can do in get up to 20% more for your home.   And in our market where the average home is close to $1,000,000 that's a substantial amount you are walking away with.  

These are our top 10 low cost, high return recommendations to do before you list that will help you get the best price for your home.

1) Make a plan:   This first stage is the foundation to you having the most successful sale possible.  Understanding what your budget is, what needs to be done to make your home shine and what is your timeline, helps you focus on the most important items that get you the most bang for your buck.   Speak to an agent to see what homes in your area are selling for and to get a current market analysis.  This will help you determine how much you'll need to invest to ensure your home is competitive and appealing.  Your realtor will also be able to provide advise on areas to focus on based on their experience and market knowledge. If homes are modest in your area, doing a high-end renovation may end up costing you more then you get in the sale, or price you out of the market. 

2) Get a home inspection:  This is not done as often as we recommend.  Most buyers will get a home inspection prior to purchasing your home. Having this done first not only gives you an advantage when accepting offers, but also helps you to see any potential surprises like larger repairs or issues that need to be addressed.  If you uncover something larger that you don't have a budget for, your realtor will help you price your home appropriately so that you still achieve your goals with less negotiating at the end. 

3) Deep clean:   A clean home will automatically be more appealing to a buyer.  Even if the home needs updating a shiny clean home will set the buyer's minds at ease, as they feel you've taking care of the home.   This one of the biggest returns on investment and the best news is that it can be free.  If you do have a bigger job or are short on time, hiring a cleaning company will pay you back in spades.  A deep clean can be up to $1000, but with studies showing that a clean, staged home sells for up to 17% more than a messy home.  The #1 area to focus on: Kitchen! Then bathrooms.

4) Declutter:  Time to start boxing up all your non-essential items:  knick-knacks, extra toys, extra dishes, excess family photos etc.   You're planning on moving, so not only will this get you a head-start when it's time to go, but it will also help your home feel brighter, fresher, cleaner and the buyer will have an easier time envisioning their own belongings in the space.  Look around the house and identify the things you don’t use that can be packed in a storage unit until you move.  Create a sorting system on what to throw away, what to keep, and what to donate. The room should have just enough furniture to feel comfortable while appearing larger than it is.

5) Curb Appeal:   The first impression of your home is the most crucial. When people pull up to your driveway, the gardens and your front door create an image in their mind about the condition of the home.  If the garden is too overgrown, some buyers will feel overwhelmed and bypass your home completely.   According to a recent survey realtors felt that improving curb appeal could increase a home's value by up to 20%, while poor curb appeal could decrease it by up to 10%.  

6)  A fresh coat of paint:   If you are a DIY or if you hire someone, having a fresh coat of neutral paint (like white or off-white) not only helps that fresh and clean feeling, but also helps provide a blank canvas for the buyer to envision their own personal taste.  You may love that deep purple in the living room and forest green bedroom, however the goal is to appeal to as many buyers as possible.  Dramatic colours and patterns may be seen as an added expense in the buyer's eye as they determine which home is suitable for them

7)  Lighting:  Fix or replace any burnt out  bulbs.  If a room is darker or north-facing, add an extra lamp. Ensure all the blinds and curtains are open and that the windows are clean.
That first impression as buyers tour your home and see the warm, bright inviting interior can be a game-changer. 

8)  Repairs:  Ensure that any dings in the walls, broken handles and light switches and other small items showing wear & tear are repaired.  It may seem like a small thing, but it puts the buyer's mind at ease to know the home is well taken care of.  Obvious signs of neglect are a warning sign to buyers that larger problems may be lurking and if they do come forward with an offer, be sure that their offer will reflect their lack of confidence in the soundness of the property. 

9)  Update your kitchen:   This can be the largest expense but will also provide one of the biggest returns on investment.  If you're working with a budget though and can't do a full renovation, focus on the high-impact areas:  new appliances if you can afford it, painting the cupboard doors, changing the hardware, replacing the faucets, organizing your pantry and drawers.  

10) Update your bathroom:  Modern vanity lighting, new mirror, faucets, grouting the tiles.  These can transform a bathroom without breaking the bank.  

Many of these items are simple but can be time-consuming.  At Manley, York & Associates, we offer a white-glove concierge service that provides many of these tasks to help you take your home to the market as stress-free as possible. 

If you're thinking of selling, call us. We'd love to help you go from the life you live to the life you dream about. 

Manley, York & Associates
Rachel Manley, Janai York, Peter Spangehl, Becky Black