Upping Your Apartment Selling Price

The New York Times published a fantastic piece yesterday about the importance of detail in selling real estate.

Of course, the examples in the article were from New York brokers prepping expensive apartments across the city.  However, the basic principles of how to increase the value of a property can apply to any asking price in any city.

Lighting designers are worth every penny. Take Michael Akerly, who was trying to sell a two-bedroom for $949,000.  Initially, it looked like he was going to have to reduce his asking price significantly: The best offer he received was $885,000, and that was after the place had been on the market for a year.  What did Akerly do?  Hired a lighting designer for $150.  Spent $2,000 making a few small updates to his lighting fixtures.  Within two weeks, he had a new offer: $917,500.

That’s an increase in value of $32,500 for a $2,150 investment.

Clutter is your enemy. It’s such an obvious statement, but it may have more of an impact than you think.  Broker Douglas Heddings estimated that clutter subtracts 5 to 15 percent off the value of a property.  One of the reasons this is such an important factor has to do with perceived size, which is just as influential as actual square footage.  A space that is cleared out will seem much larger to a potential buyer.

That’s an increase in value of 5 – 15% for a $0 investment.

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. This is a general rule in real estate: paint will always add more value than it costs.  It’s also one of the easiest, quickest things you can do to up your selling price.  According to NY real estate brokers, a $10,000 paint job can add $50,000 to the price.

It depends on your square footage and the current state of your walls to determine exactly how much value this will add, but it’s one of the #1 recommendations from savvy brokers.  Just think: a few gallons of paint can cost less than $100.

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.