Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | September 27, 2011

Want Top Dollar ?

While it is true that the price you get for a property for sale relies somewhat on conditions beyond your control (such as the economy and market conditions), you do have an active role as a seller to get top dollar for their property.

It’s more than working with what you’ve got; it’s about presenting what you’ve got in the best, most favourable light.

Recognize the Impact of the Visual

Bottom line, people are willing to pay more for something that actually looks sleek and well-kept. This also has the effect of suggesting value for dollars spent as well. This is where things like de-cluttering comes in to suggest maximum space. Repair things like cracks in flooring and walls.  Use lighting to underscore space.

Even though it may seem minor, the main idea is to, in your every move, give your buyer compelling reason to pay what you’re asking- and to not give them reasons to disagree.

Curb Appeal

There is a study that states that upwards of 40% of a purchaser’s decision to commit to buy is made before they enter the home.

This really drives home the importance of curb appeal. Make sure that lawns are tended to, and free of weeds. Depending on the season, make sure that walkways are clear, or that gardens are nicely planted.

Make sure the exterior of the home is in good repair as well. Items like a shoddy roof or cracked siding are going to give prospective buyers power at the bargaining table.


Again, people are more willing to pay top dollar, if they are given a visually rich experience when they walk through the door.

Staging, really, is the transformation between a house as a means of shelter, to a home, where a buyer can throw down roots and create their own space in which to live their lives. You should realize that Cheryl was the first “Home Stagers” to be licensed in Victoria and this is a level of expertise that she brings to your table each time we are asked to assist you in Selling.

Buyers will pay what is required for shelter. A home, however, suggests an emotional connection and will likely support a willingness to pay more to feed that emotional connection.

Create an enticing atmosphere. Consider things like neutral paint colours, complementary pieces of art and furniture that is current and vibrant.

If a home is vacant, it is advisable to furnish it, if possible. Homes that are empty lack visual warmth.

Sensory Experience

A desire to purchase, and the delivery of compelling reasons why to pay top dollar are not just restricted to visual warmth.

Some people like the smell of baked goods. If that is not your cup of tea, consider scented candles, or drops of scented oil.

The key here though, is subtlety.  You don’t want to overwhelm prospective buyers with noxious perfumes, the idea is to entice with aromatic infusions of warmth.

Know Your Market

In order to get top dollar, you really must know who you are selling to. A little money invested into making a property look good can go a long way to generate financial rewards. By the same token, a little time invested in really understanding the needs and wants of your target market can go a long way too.

It helps to situate the property within the neighbourhood accurately, and to increase its appeal.

Are the needs unique to a specific area that should be highlighted?  Are you selling to young families, who might be interested in things like schools? Are you selling to ethnic or cultural groups, who might be interested in cultural centres and support in the area? Are you selling to urbanites seeking shopping and nightlife?

Bottom line; know who you’d have the best chance of selling the property in question to and position both the property itself, and the neighbourhood to address needs and wants.

Drum up Interest

One of the most effective ways to place upwards pressure on price is to create a sense of urgency and competition. Generate interest in a property by making sure that it is well advertised and well visited. Keep in mind that all advertising comes out of the personal pocket of your realtor and it only represents 7% of the sales generated, so be reasonable in your expectations.

Similarly, make sure all prospective buyers are aware of others in the buying arena. If a buyer is on the proverbial fence, there is nothing like the knowledge that someone else might beat you to the punch to compel a buyer, not only to act, but to make their offer appealing to the sellers right out of the gate.

Timing is Everything

Not always, but depending on your market, and where you are geographically situated, often fetching a price has to do with the seasonal cycles of real estate.

It is often more difficult to sell a property in colder months, partly because of difficulties in getting around, which can create problems in generating excitement and interest, and sometimes properties can lose some of their valuable curb appeal if they are buried under snow.

It is also more difficult for a prospective buyer to get a flavour of a neighbourhood, if all the neighbours are inside hibernating.

On the flip side though, again depending on your market, you have less buyers looking, but you may have less properties on market as well, which can work in your favour if you have a buyer in need of a quick purchase.

The key here is to be aware of seasonality, as well as the ebb and flow of your own local market under these conditions, and to position yourself accordingly.


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