Elmer Letterman in his book ‘Commissions Don’t Fall from Heaven’ advised salesmen to ‘sell the sizzle, not the steak’ to make sales. It means emphasize the benefits, advantages and positive points of the product they are selling, not just the product itself. When selling your house, this translates to what real estate people call ‘presentation’, and that means, in many instances, redesigning the house interior to make it invitingly habitable for the prospective buyer.

Experts agree that, when planning to sell your house, the first consideration is to make the house more appealing to the buyer, and you might have to redesign the interior to do so. Not really remodeling the house, as that will be expensive and the cost is rarely recouped in the final sales price, but to make small renovations in certain areas of the house to make it comfortably livable.

Start at the kitchen. Some old houses have small kitchens clearly ‘separated’ from the rest of the house with old-style cupboards and cabinets. To redesign it, you might want to ‘open’ it to the adjoining areas by removing the door and some part of the partitioning wall. If the cabinets are still good you can simply refinish them, repair broken down hinges, or repaint the inside parts. Clean up the sink tiles and grout as well.

See what’s under the carpet. If you have hardwood floors in fair to excellent condition, give a heartfelt prayer of thanks: hardwood floors are very valuable. A little inexpensive refinishing can raise your home’s value tremendously as hardwoods floors are rare to come by, the reason faux wood floors sell so much. If the floor is not hardwood, don’t despair; just give it a thorough refurbishing and you will increase your house’ resale value.

Refurnish the bathrooms. The trend now is to have a bath beside the master’s bedroom complete with tub and shower, and half a bath per house level. Meaning, if you have two-storey or split-level house, you must have another bathroom somewhere within the house. Clean up the tiles to a sparkling shine while you are at it.

Add a room down below. The basement is additional home space, not only for storing your seldom-used items but also as a workspace for many things. Cleaning up and even redoing the basement into an extra living/working room is an additional invitation to a higher selling price for your house, for who would want to have a cluttered, dark and forbidding basement under one’s home?

Rearrange your furniture. While you are comfortable with the way your house is arranged, simply rearranging the furniture can sometimes add a look of airiness, comfort and livability that appeals to any buyer.

Paint. Paint the house’ exterior for that ‘first-look appeal’ as it is first seen from the road. Paint the interior to hide the blemishes in the wall, window sills and ceilings. Painting is the least expensive thing you can do to your house to raise its value if you do it well.

Finally, consult an interior designer or home decorator first for suggestions before you do anything. His or her fee can be worth a hundred times when you finally sell your house.