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How to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar

When you are ready to sell your home in Calgary, there are a number of things that you
can do to improve the homes value and its saleability. Similarly, there are a number of
things you can do, or not do, that will kill your ability to sell your home. Below are some
of the hard-learned lessons by a top Calgary Realtor that can help you sell your home.

First is the issue regarding home improvements; do you know what improvements
actually add value and which ones are a waste of money? Not all home improvements are
the same, make sure that if you are going to do a home improvement that you are adding
value and not wasting your money.


The front entryway is one of the best home improvements that you can make. They are
relatively inexpensive and provide a good rate of return as well as a stunning visual
impact that can greatly increase your homes curb appeal. Not to mention that fact that
upgrading your door can improve your homes energy use efficiency by providing better
insulation than the older door or entry way currently in place.


Your windows, which are often overlooked by many homeowners, is one of the best
investment you can make to improve the value of your home. Besides a dramatic increase
in your homes curb appeal and high visual impact, modern windows with improved
technology and manufacturing processes can go a long way to increase the energy
efficiency of the house. If you are looking to sell your Calgary home, this makes for a
great sales position, especially in today’s market where more and more consumers are
concerned with “going green.”


Renovating your kitchen can be one of the best investments you can make to improve
the value of your home. The kitchen is always, and I do mean always, one of the most
important selling points of a home. This is the area where families spend a majority of
their time so it is important that it have a broad base appeal. Believe it or not, simply
upgrading the appliances and including them with the home can go a long way in getting
that house sold.


Adding a deck to the home is a great and, relatively, inexpensive way to improve the
home and add value. Decks extend the usable living space of a home, effectively adding
a new “room” without the expense of actually doing so. Unbelievably, if done correctly,
this home improvement can usually return about 80% or more on your investment.


A little known and little used home improvement is the addition of a backup power
generator. Long gone are the days of the noisy, smelly and energy inefficient generators.
Today’s generators provide economical power that can power your whole house with
one small generator. These new generators can easily be installed in the garage or right
next to your heat pump/AC. With the ever-growing concern of the failing power grids in
most cities, this one addition alone can make all the difference in selling your property
and making the home more attractive to home buyers. Trust me, the next time you have a
storm that knocks out the power grid in your area you are going to thank me for making
this recommendation

Next are a couple of property pitfalls that can ruin your chance of selling your home.


I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have gone out to look at a property
only to pull up to houses with a yard sign in it. Why are these signs a problem? Let me
explain. Let us say you have a sign in the yard asking your neighbors to keep their dogs
off of your yard. Sure, some of the signs are cute but, quite frankly; they all mean the
same thing to me: the neighborhood has a “pet problem” and lawn upkeep is going to
be a problem. Nothing looks worse when you are trying to sell a house than a big brown
patch of dead grass. What if you have a potential buyer that is a gardener, do you think he
wants to have to worry about dogs defecating in his garden?

Alternatively, what about the “no parking” signs. You know what that means to me and
other potential buyers: it means that there is a parking problem in the neighborhood. It
means that I am going to perform my “due diligence” and find out why you need the sign.
Does it mean you have disrespectful neighbors that park wherever they feel like? Does
it mean that perhaps you have a local church that has a garage sale once a month that
blocks off your exit from your cul-de-sac?

What about those attractive “security company signs;” perhaps that means there is a
crime problem in the neighborhood? I know it gives me a second pause and makes me
ask questions.


Yes, I like homeowner associations because they do help in maintaining an attractive and
appealing neighborhood. However, I am sure that at some point we have all personally
dealt with or know someone who has had to deal with the dreaded HOA enforcers. You
know, those pesky, intrusive enforcers of the HOA who throw a fit and fine you because
your car was parked 2” to far away from the curb. Or even worse, the time that my
contractor and I decided on a wonderful paint scheme for the house and then spending
over $3,500 to do the makeover on the house only to be told, after the fact, that the paint
scheme was not acceptable to the HOA and it needed to be changed. Forget that I already

had an approval letter; New Year, new board, new rules. Between the fines, the materials
and the labor cost we are talking about a $10,000 mistake. How can you protect yourself
as the seller? Get involved in the Homeowners Association and voice your concerns to
the board. If all else fails, run for a board position. Remember, this is about selling your
home and doing whatever it takes to sell your home at the best possible price.

Finally, let us talk about saleability. Today’s real estate market is extremely challenging so
small investments can go a long way in selling your home.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) there are several home
electronic upgrades that buyers absolutely love. Home technologies are having a greater
and greater impact on home sales. In just the last two years alone nine out of ten real
estate agents, have in one way or another, been involved in the purchase or sale of a
home that was equipped with a home technology upgrade. The most popular item was
a home security monitoring system, which accounted for over 93%, with a close second
falling to home theater systems at 89%.

However, what is even more interesting is that more and more home buyers are “going
green” and want technologies that make them feel like they are doing something to help
the environment. In respect to making your home more seleable the CEA reports that over
50% of homes that were either bought or sold had technologies and system for home
automation and energy management.

Your best options for making your home more salable are:


Relatively inexpensive to install, depending on your model and features, and provides a
great selling feature to the home. With security always being a huge concern for families
this is a great investment to make. According to the CSA, over 93% of homes bought or
sold by a real estate agent had home security systems.


Also relatively inexpensive to install, this is a great feature to add to a home. Just do
not go overboard. Home theater systems and wiring can reach into the thousands if not
tens of thousands of dollars if you are not careful, so do not over do it. With a shrinking
economy and less disposable income more and more homeowners are looking to home
entertainment to save money. By having a house all ready pre-wired to provide this
entertainment need you instantly make your home more sellable.


More and more home buyers want to go green and as well as looking for ways to
save money. Why not provide a solution to both of those concerns. A home energy
management and automation system can save the home buyer money each and every month, year after year and gives them a sense of giving back to the environment. This technology has been around for years in commercial application but is only now making its way into the home real estate market.

Hopefully, with the information we have provided, you can get the edge over your competition and get your Calgary home sold.

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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license. REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.