What are some effective ways to increase the value of your home before selling?

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Fri Mar 2, 2012

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Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Wed Mar 14, 2012
Each house is different, but there are common rules on preparing your house for sale:
1. Pretend it's not your home and you are a buyer, not a seller. Or, that you are a professional stager or a realtor. It'll be easier on you this way.
2. Forget your personal taste in decor for the time being - go visit a few contemporary furniture stores for the feel of the current trends, getting an inspiration from the popular colors (to get some new updated colorful pillows for that old couch f.e.) This is only for ideas, not buying.
3. With your new mindset and cutting edge designer’s acumen, get rid of what you always wanted to get rid of but never got to first. Then, either donate (tax deduction) or give away the absolute maximum of your furniture. If you'll need the furniture in your new place, storing it somewhere is another way. If none of the above works, move the furniture in a way that creates the absolute maximum of space and an easy viewing flow. F.e. if you have a nice view - which is a major selling point for you - nothing should be in the way of walking towards that balcony, terrace, patio etc.
4. If you have time, grab a Feng Shui book in the book store and peruse it there for some good ideas.
Energy flow is important, and so are the colors used (dramatic colors like black are not great - rather sad for the buyers, especially in smaller areas).
5. I loved the answers on sparkling clean windows and shiny surfaces, as well as brightly lit rooms. Re. curtains - they "devour" light that buyers are usually looking for.
6. Pops of color are great (couch pillows (3 on small to 5 on a big one), bright yellow-orange-green pictures on the walls (one per wall is enough), better not to use reproductions of famous artists unless Klimt. Otherwise, the house will not be memorable and just too flat for the buyers.
7. Declutter, declutter, declutter...Please don't leave any personal pictures. Otherwise, buyers feel like they are intruding on someone else's home...Kitchen counters empty, except for a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses, new bright kitchen towels, a bright bowl with cookies, maybe bright decorative vases in kitchen style.
Not too many objects though or they become a destruction for the viewing.
8. Bathrooms should have new hotel style like towels and small bright soaps etc. Not too many objects though.
9. Curb appeal - especially near the entrance - a few new healthy looking plants (look at some of the landscaping magazines for the inspiration) will soften the look of the house, and fresh mulch will add the "well taken care of" look.
I could go on for a while, but the main point is:
MAKE YOUR HOME A SHOWCASE! Preparing the house for sale is not about making your decorative style known. It's about showcasing the house and making it look its best - more spacious, brighter, more "happy", making it stand out against your competition.

I'll be happy to answer any of your other questions.
Irina Karan/Beachfront Realty, Inc. Sunny Isles Beach, FL 305-904-2355 IrinaKaran@gmail.com
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Agnes Tabor, Agent, Naples, FL
Tue Mar 13, 2012
So many great answers! The 2 rooms that will give you the best return are the kitchen, master bedroom and bath. In this market it is not so much about increasing the value as realizing as a seller you have decided it is time to move on so it is very important that buyers look at your home as having the best value. This could mean location, views and overall property amenities, all the reasons that you purchased the home in the first place. That does not necessarily mean throwing money at the home as much as presenting it well on the internet. Be sure that photos are on your listing as soon as it goes live and stay interactive with your agent..
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Gary Hitchco…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Tue Mar 13, 2012
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Linda S. Cef…, Agent, Franklin, WI
Thu Mar 8, 2012
Wash windows.
Shine all glass and metal surfaces. Don't forget the T.V. screen. Anything that can shine, should shine.
Scrape and paint peeling paint surfaces.
Remove wallpaper.
Keep collections at a minimum. Rule of thumb - no more than 3-5 items per surface (shelf on bookcase et cetera)
Take down heavy drapes and fluffy curtains.
Don't burn potpourri. It is a huge turn off to most buyers. Some believe you're trying to hide another odor and some are allergic to it.
Remove throw rugs with the exception of the front door for shoe deposit during inclement weather.
Buy a new welcome mat for the outside of the front door.
Plant some fresh greens or flowers at the entryway.
Keep grass and bushes trimmed. If you have a garden, plant it.
Fresh paint is always a plus - neutral colors.
Repair any leaky faucets or squeaky doors.
If you live in an area where basements are common, don't forget them. Clean and fresh paint can really brighten an otherwise dark and dreary area.
Put the brightest light bulbs in every socket in the home. (Warning: make sure you check the fixture for wattage so you don't overload your fixture.)

Note: Kitchen and bath are the two most important rooms in your home. They can make or break the sale. Look through the internet to see check on the latest trends. Be cautious though. In this market, it is very difficult to recoup updating costs. Keep them at a minimum. Hire a home stager if you need to. It is well worth the $75-$150 consultation fee. Make sure that they specialize in staging for resale. They can help you bring your home to a more contemporary style without breaking the bank.
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Margaret Has…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Mar 8, 2012
Update the home - add granite countertops in the kitchen. New paint and flooring also help.
Web Reference:  http://tampahouse1.com
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Rosie Morot-…, Agent, Miami, FL
Sat Mar 3, 2012
All the Raltors are right, make sure your house has a great curb appeal as well, many buyers will check out the house from the ousite and the neighborhood .If thier first impression is not good they will not call and ask to see the inside.
If you take care of all thiese things you should have no problem selling your house no matter where it is located.Please feel free to call me ,i'll be happy to help.
Web Reference:  http://www.rosiemorot.com
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Audra McColl…, Agent, Miami, FL
Fri Mar 2, 2012
The most important and least expensive way to increase value - CLEAN YOUR HOUSE!!! Make the beds, scrub the baseboards and walls, check inside cabinets for food drippings (like where you house your garbage can), clean the showers and baths...speaking of baths, clean the grout and caulk where needed!

Another Realtor mentioned 'de-personalize'. Some ways to de-personalize:
1) remove clutter from countertops
2) remove items on the fridge like coupons, calendars, report cards, notes, etc.
3) box any clothes/shoes/purses you aren't using in your closets and store them elsewhere so your clothes aren't smashed together - your closets will look bigger.
4) keep family photos to a minimum.

Also - if you have pets, try to move their litter boxes or bedding into discreet areas (like the garage) before showings and make sure the house does not have a pet odor.

Many other ideas on this subject. Please let me know if I can help you with pricing your home to sell and marketing for you.

Good luck!
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Hans Klemm, Agent, MIAMI, FL
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Some fresh paint inside and outside, cut grass and trees, have good light, reduce overloaded furniture and DE-personalize the interior decoration. "Stage" for showings, a good realtor can give you important hints...
Once nice, you can take better pictures and show the increased value before even people come to see you.
What is the property you want to sell? Please tell me more: HansKlemmRE@gmail.com Best HANS
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Steven Epste…, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Fri Mar 2, 2012
There are soooo many you'll want to call me, I don't mind to schedule a quick look at your in the coming week.
Regards, Steve E
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