Increase the Value of Your Home with Gorgeous New Upgrades

Considering putting your home on the market? Unsure what to invest in or what to fix first? “Precision appliances and fixtures, impeccable cabinetry and exquisite surfaces,” says Bret Parsons, Realtor, Executive Director, Architectural Division, Pacific Union International. As part of our My LA interview with Bret last week, we also sought his advice on readying a home for sale. With his experienced eye, especially with properties of architectural note (Bret is based in Hancock Park), we asked what he’s seeing on the market and what he thinks is a smart move for sellers. For added inspiration, we've included a few of our favorite products. From faucets to saunas, we can help on any scale.

What would you say always makes a worthwhile investment when updating kitchens and bathrooms before sale? "First, park your ego in the garage and toss the decorating magazines in the recycling bin. Then, hire a kitchen and bath design professional you feel an affinity towards and heed his or her advice. Spaces tell you what they need to be once you understand how form follows function. Aesthetic beauty will emerge naturally this way."

What do you hear buyers saying when they tour properties—especially when they see kitchens and bathrooms? "Most wave their arms uttering, “gut it,” unless they’re expertly crafted."

What advice would you then give to someone prepping his or her home for sale? "Spotless kitchens and baths, regardless of era or condition, sell a home the fastest. And spend $5,000 on a deep clean for the entire home, inside and out. Your return will be ten-fold."

Have you noticed any lifestyle trends developing that sellers might consider ahead of renovation? "Rooms today are multi-functional: kitchens are family rooms and ensuite bathrooms are mini offices."

On that note, what’s one of the most memorable multi-functional design features you’ve spotted in a home recently? "I recently listed a home with an ingenious counter along an entire dining room wall. Underneath featured remarkable dinnerware storage racks plus a wine refrigerator and a warming drawer, all behind doors. On top, sections of the stone counter functioned as warming trays. The owners entertain often and said it makes buffets a breeze. When not used for serving it’s used to display art."

For more ideas, and to learn more about some of the products and manufacturers featured, check out our previous posts:

Editor Linda Grasso Reveals Her new Dacor Kitchen in Ventura Blvd Magazine

Snyder Diamond and Kathryn M. Ireland in Elle Decor

Get Flowing: Our Roundup of the Best New Faucets for Kitchens and Baths

Purcell Murray: From Breakfast to Dinner

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