Get your Wow on

Do you want to sell your house not only quickly, but for more money? Does your house have a wow item? What is your wow item?


In the 15 years I have been lending (Fairview has been lending since 75 on both commercial and residential properties), I have found there is one common trend that will sell a house quickly and for more money. I call it the wow factor. It does not matter what price range a property is in; to get the highest dollar on a property it must have something that grabs your attention.

We’ve all been in houses that as you walk around you see something that is really “cool” and a little different. This item catches your eye and you think that you would love to have this in your house. This item is the “wow factor”.

This wow factor also comes into play when selling a house. Of course one needs to do the basics (curb appeal, clean, uncluttered, etc…) but to get the top dollar there has to be at least one element that catches the attention of a prospective buyer. This wow factor has to draw a buyer in and differentiate a house.   For example, I recently inspected a house that was in the under 200k price range. The house had been extensively remodeled, in the kitchen, the owners had made a custom bar with rock and a butcher block top. This element looked great, spiced up the kitchen, and caught my attention. This sold the house quickly and for more than the listing price. The buyers cited that they fell in love with the kitchen.

So what does “get your wow on” mean for a seller? For you to gain top dollar for your house, you need at least one element to make the buyer remember your house over other houses. Obviously you want the “wow” to be a good wow (a custom steam shower) not a bad wow (a turquoise tub or fire pole in the master bedroom, both of which I have seen in houses).

I physically inspect well over 200 properties a year for loan underwriting and have seen it all. Based on my experiences, I developed four tips to get your wow on:

  1. Focus on the at least one of the four major “food groups” : Kitchen, Bathroom, Master, or outdoor spaces (outdoor spaces is the hot category now)
  2. Make sure your wow is truly a good wow. I went in a house where the owner had brought in an extra circuit from the power company in order to have an indoor grow operation (he stated it was for vegetablesJ). This was definitely a wow, but not one that would increase the value to most buyers
  3. Keep the wow traditional. I see sellers all the time that have updated a kitchen or bathroom “ultra-modern” this might appeal to a certain buyer, but to get the highest price, make sure the wow items are more traditional (slab granite countertops as opposed to polished concrete with sea shells and infused glass)
  4. Creating a wow item in your home should be looked at as an investment and what your return on the sale of the property will be. For example on a kitchen remodel, you might love the purple cabinets, but this is unlikely the best investment to increase the value of a property


Sellers should follow the four tips above and focus on having a wow factor in one or more of these areas. Your wow should help increase your sales price and decrease your listing time. So, the question is: “How are you going to get your wow on?”

By Glen Weinberg

COO/Partner Fairview Commercial Lending


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