Flippers & RE Agents- what little things make a big impact

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House flippers and/or real estate agents can you give me any advice about little things that you have done or seen done to a house that make a big difference to buyers? 

We are finishing up a live in flip and we have done all the major things- windows, floors, kitchen, paint, etc and the house looks really nice,  and will be staged well, but I really want to add a few extra touches that will make it really stand out.

I was thinking things like maybe a Nest thermostat or Ring doorbell -- something that is a few hundred dollars but that most houses won't have and will give me an edge over the competition.  

It doesn't have to be something electronic-- I am looking for input on things that you have done that people enjoy and sell a house more quickly and for more money-- even just tiny things (like bake cookies before an open house-- I haven't done it before but that is the age old thing to do right)?  

 The houses in this neighborhood already sell quickly since this is a less expensive neighborhood of an area with a renowned school district ($200-300K houses as opposed to 400K+)--but I kind of want to list this at the high end for my neighborhood so I'm looking for an edge.

If I left out any important details that would help you answer please let me know.  Thank you in advance!!

A few things that I have done:

1. Add one or two nice light fixtures in highly visible areas. They don’t have to be incredibly expensive, but more than just the basic. I’ve done this in dining rooms, stairwells, etc. and have found it can really make the space feel higher end.

2. Personally, whenever I walk into a home that smells like candles or freshly baked goods, I always wonder what they are trying to hide. I’d much rather have the smell of fresh paint or flooring.

3. Fresh flowers always dress up a space, inside and out.

4. Give extra attention to the things people will touch (hardware, faucets, etc.). You can tell when something is cheap vs. well made.

5. Beyond that, I would spend time touring other houses for sale in the area and see what features pop. And also think about your local market and what appeals to buyers there. For example, I live in an area with fairly low utility costs, so I don’t think a Nest thermostat would give me any added value. However, surround sound in a basement rec room might! I’ve also considered installing a built-in vacuum pan in areas that appeal more to families. They are around $150 these days. It really depends on what demographic your home will appeal to.

Good luck!

@Jen R. Thanks so much for your insights!  I really like your idea to upgrade some of the faucets and a couple light fixtures in the house -- actually I like all of your ideas, lol!  And I totally agree about walking into houses that smell like anything other than a house (probably why I have never done the cookie thing before)

I'll have to look into the vacuum pan thing, I have never heard of it before but this is definitely a family neighborhood so that might be my edge :) 

Originally posted by :

I'll have to look into the vacuum pan thing, I have never heard of it before but this is definitely a family neighborhood so that might be my edge :) 

 It’s called a Sweepovac and Amazon sells it if you want to look into it! I actually did pitch the idea to a fellow house flipper last year and they installed one and received really good feedback from buyers. But of course, it’s always hard to say if or how much value those kind of features add. I think it’s more about making your home stand out, as you mentioned. 

Staging the home will put you at a major advantage compared to the competition at that price point, good move on that. 

Also, a house that looks "flipped" but is being lived in is more attractive to buyers in my experience. So that is an advantage you probably haven't even thought of. The occassional buyer comes along that doesn't like to purchase a home that hasn't been lived in day to day for a year lets say. They get nervous the everyday systems will breakdown when they start using them constantly. Not common for buyers to feel this way, but its a factor occassionally. 

Are fire pits big near you? That may be something worth adding in the backyard that doesn't cost a lot of money.

@Michael Noto thanks for the input, I really appreciate hearing from someone who is talking to buyers on the day to day.  The backyard on this one is small and we're in a  very residential area so we won't be able to do a firepit but I love the idea! My last house had one and it was a great feature!