Here’s how you can increase the value of your home before putting it on the market, writes Sushma Veera
PLANNING to sell your house but do not know how to increase its value? You don’t have to spend big bucks as easy, inexpensive fixes will get the job done.
Wadie Sumanteri, a senior negotiator with Red Reality, says generally, Malaysians take into consideration the location, features and the price of the pre-owned home. She says homebuyers have different views and purposes when it comes to selecting a location.
“Since most buyers want to immediately move in, they look for a place with acceptable features and which doesn’t require major renovation or repair,” says Wadie.
Having been in the industry for the past six years, Wadie often comes across clients who put up their vacant property for sale without bothering about how the house looks like. They would leave behind their unwanted stuff everywhere, making it an eyesore for potential buyers.
“They don’t realise that they can easily mark up the asking price between 10 and 20 per cent by just sprucing up the exterior and interior of a house.”
WHAT NOT TO DO
According to Wadie, a common mistake is that the house owner tends not to seek advice from property experts when selling his unit.
“Without proper advice, a homeowner may ask for a higher selling price than the estimated market value, resulting in unsold property. Likewise, he may also under price his property, meaning less returns.”
The other mistake is not to spruce it up before putting it on the market, adding that a clean and tidy house looks more spacious and appealing to the buyer.
A clean and empty unit will help the buyer to clearly see the potential of the house. Says Wadie: “This will allow them to imagine what they could do to the floor areas and how they want to decorate it. The owner do not need to waste money dressing up the property as it may not be to the buyer’s taste.”
Ideally if the home owner wants to dress it up, then just stick to the necessary items such as the fittings or increasing the built-up area. Do a little facelift by repainting both the exterior and interior of the house. It doesn’t cost much but will mark up the market price as the house will look better. “Replace all old light fittings as sometimes, we can tell when the house was built by just looking at the lightings. It doesn’t have to be expensive lighting as long as it looks nice.
Also remember to repair all fixtures,” advises Wadie.
“The kitchen will look better if you polish the solid surface tabletop and replace the worn out knobs. Plant some flowers and shrubs to make the house even more attractive.”
And built-in kitchen cabinets and wardrobes, lighting, fans, air-conditioners, automatic gate, alarm and water heater system can help to increase the market value.
LESS IS MORE
“But do not overdo or spend too much on dressing it up as buyers may have their own preference and taste and would not want to pay extra for unwanted features.
“A little effort, however, can go a long way to increase the house value and thus, the owner’s revenue,” she adds.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER
HOUSE owners, in the past, were not able to get advice from real estate agents as many were not design savvy then.
But now, property agents like Wadie Sumanteri are able to offer tips and advice on how to transform their houses to impress potential homebuyers.
Property owner Datuk Amir Hussin Awang spruced up his apartment before selling it in 2001.
He says: “First impressions are very important. A spruced-up unit is definitely more appealing and if it meets the target customer’s needs and is within their budget, he would definitely buy.
“House owners can sell their property as it is but it would take a longer time. The asking price may be lower but first impressions matter.”
Since his was an apartment, he just focused on the interior like the kitchen cabinet, wardrobe, bathroom, ceiling, wall decorations, lighting, air-conditioning and furnishing.
“I managed to sell the unit for an additional 25 per cent from the market price.”