How to sell your home for a higher price

Meera Siva | Updated on October 29, 2019

Mr Sharma wanted to sell his flat. He invited his friends – young and old – for a brain-storming session. As the group munched on snacks and sipped tea, they understood why he wanted to sell. They discussed and quickly concluded that this was a good time, rather than wait, to get a better price.

They then wondered about how to ensure there are interested buyers, given the lacklustre market. Everyone felt that you must first know the current price of similar homes in the market, by making enquires as a buyer — with brokers, developers or sellers.

To do

 Mr Ravi, who was looking to buy a resale home, shared his experiences based on what buyers look for. “Storage is a big factor for residents, as you run out of space to keep things. Among flats in the same project, I was willing to pay a premium for the one with more storage. Investing even ₹2-3 lakh to provide more closets and lofts would give you immediate returns,” he said.

His wife added that extra car parking was another one that was priced at a premium. “We were looking for a 3 BHK and two car parks; we were willing to pay more, as we knew that single car park was more common,” Lisa said. She noted that there may be car parks available for sale or on lease from the builder or association. “This may cost you lakhs, but signing up for one would help when it is time to sell,” she advised.

“Make the house look really good so people feel that it is special,” said Mr Pandey. “For example, change switch-boards, light fixtures and door knobs to look new and interesting. A good main door gives a good first impression. These do not cost a lot, but can impress the buyer so that they may not want to bargain on price,” he said. 

He added that fixing peeling paint and broken laminations are also important to not reduce the value of the house.

Mrs Nair had a point on rented-out properties. “Buyers often assess the value of the home based on the rent earned. If your house earns more rent, it is likely to be seen as a better property. See if you can increase the rent, especially if you have a long-term tenant who may be paying below the market rate. If that is not possible, get specific data on rents in adjacent flats to show the potential,” she said.

Mr Nair added that buyers also look at the housing community. “If it is well-run and the costs are low, the apartment can fetch a premium. But this is not something that you can pay and get; you need to invest time in working with the residents’ association in their decisions and execution,” he said.

Mrs Ghosh, who is a lawyer, talked about title and other documents. 

“You must ensure that the house documents are in order, and there are no tax or other dues. 

“This is more important for land or an individual home, but even for a flat, proper sale deeds and current property tax receipts attract buyers,” she noted. 

Check and do

 “You need not throw money on a major remodelling project that does not fit with the needs of the potential buyers,” said Ms Gupta, an interior designer. “For instance, if you have a budget home in a middle-income location, adding high-end kitchen or bathroom fittings may put the home above many buyers’ sweet spot, hurting sale prospects,” she cautioned. She added that adding luxury features or upgrades to keep up with fashion may not be money well spent. “It may not suit the taste of the buyer,” she said.

“Some investments just don’t make sense,” said Mr Sahoo, a young property investor. “If the property is over 30 years old, you must not look at investing in appearance. Sometimes even fixing structural issues may also not be worth it, especially if it is over five per cent of the property value. Rather, you must find ways to make it ready for redevelopment by talking with builders and getting details on the costs and returns. You can target buyers who would look to such an investment,” he explained. 

“Do not over-price, and make sure you give yourself time to complete the sale,” said Mrs Sharma. “Also, we should consider professional support such as a broker – online or offline – rather than trying to do it ourselves, as you want to have many buyers to see the place.”

The author is an independent financial consultant

Published on October 29, 2019

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