Marianne Leonard Cashman - William Raveis R.E. & Home Services


It’s a competitive market for home sellers right now. That means it’s more important than ever to make your house stand out from the competition and draw visitors to your listings and open house, as well as attracting interested buyers with excellent curb appeal.

All of these preparations take time and planning. However, if done correctly, you’ll not only bring more potential buyers to visit your home, but you’ll also be able to increase your asking price based on a few key aesthetic upgrades.

In this post, I’m going to fill you in on some of the most time and cost-effective ways to prepare your house for sale to bring the most number of potential buyers.

Make a revitalization budget

Before you start spending on your home upgrades, take the time to make a budget for the things that are the most important to making your home look and feel great. This budget will help you keep your spending in check and get the most out of your sale preparations.

Start working on curb appeal

Without spending much money, many homeowners can drastically increase the curb appeal of their home. Pressure washing the siding and sealing and sweeping the driveway is a great start.

Before taking photos or receiving visitors, trim and edge the lawn and lay down some fresh mulch. You don’t need to spend hundreds on flowers to make a substantial difference on curb appeal.

To make your home stand out and look up-to-date, apply a fresh coat of paint to your front door. Choose a color that complements your home, but one that also “pops” and grabs your attention.

Declutter and organize

Preparing your home for sale also happens to be a great time to start packing away some personal belongings. Family photos and other items that are unique to your family are best left out of your photos and distract viewers from being able to picture themselves in your home.

Since our homes are built to live in, many of us keep our things in convenient places rather than tucking them away. Now is a good time to try and find ways to integrate some minimalism in your home so that visitors don’t feel crowded by clutter.

Spend money on the right items

Some home upgrades just aren’t worth the time and money they’ll take to perform before selling. So, it’s best to prioritize the things that will have the most impact on visitors and viewers of your real estate photos.

A new welcome mat and cabinet handles are a great example of inexpensive upgrades that can make a home feel new again.

Take a look around your home and find the accessories that look dated or worn and see what you can accomplish on your budget.


No doubt about it, one of the joys of home-ownership is making your abode reflect your personality. You’ve added an accent feature here and faux finishes there, trendy geometric shutters and some personal landscaping art reflect your funky nature.

You thought this was your forever home and didn’t worry about what anyone else might think about it … but now, you’re moving on and you’re worried your expressive nature might derail your home sale. Take a moment to assess which of your personal touches should stay with the house and which ones might detract from a potential buyer.

Exterior colors: Many newer communities have color requirements for a home’s exterior, so as long as your home falls in line with the requirements, you won’t need to make any changes. In older neighborhoods, however, there may be no such restrictions. If yours is a particularly bright or stand-out color, you may want to tone it down to blend in more with your neighbors. A better option for attracting buyers includes an exterior free of mold and stains and freshly painted trim. While painted brick is all the rage on home renovation shows, if your brick is not painted, just make sure it is clean. If it is painted, but the paint is tired, chipped or faded, consider giving it a new coat.

Exterior décor: Trendy patio hangings, gazing balls, gnomes and birdbaths added to the pleasure you took in enjoying your outdoor space. A buyer with a simpler aesthetic might find these additions distracting. A better option for attracting buyers is curb appeal based on clean landscaping, perennial plants, and flora that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. This provides a cleaner canvas for the new buyer’s personal creativity. You can express your personality with a brightly painted front door, an easy fix for a homebuyer to change.

Overgrown landscaping: Depending on the age of your home, and the length of time you’ve lived there, the landscaping may need to be scaled back. Larger trees that have grown up near the foundation may cause potential buyer concerns about the costly foundation and structural repairs. Brick walls covered in ivy are beautiful but may make a buyer wonder about what’s hidden under all those leaves. Consult with an arborist about trimming back trees and if you have concerns about the foundation, get it inspected to avoid any nasty contingencies at closing time.

Water features: Of course, some locations demand a pool for summer entertaining, while in other areas a pool or hot tub is entirely optional. It doesn’t make any sense to fill in an in-ground pool unless it no longer functions, but above-ground pools can detract from a sale. Hot tubs in less-than-pristine condition can give some buyers pause, while Koi ponds, fountain and other water features may either enhance or detract from your buying demographic. Check with your real estate professional to see what is true in your area.

Try to walk around the exterior of your home with a critical eye:

  • Do some fencing panels need replacing? Gate hinges?
  • Check the exterior knobs. Do they all match? Are they keyed the same?
  • Are windows cracked or do any have broken seals—do they have condensation inside when the temperatures outside and inside differ?
  • Carriage and porch lights often get neglected. While you may not need to replace them, make certain they are clean and functional.

Ask a professional for guidance with questions about the exterior appeal of your home and the best practices for your home's future sale.


A home seller may encounter many challenges after he or she decides to list a residence. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to increase the likelihood of enjoying a seamless house selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you master the home selling journey.

1. Conduct an In-Depth Home Evaluation

Your home has served you well for an extended period of time. However, your residence may be in dire need of upgrades. And if you fail to identify problem areas before you list your residence, you may struggle to stir up interest in your house.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection before you list your residence. Although a house inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts his or her offer to purchase a home, an inspection can help you understand your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can take the necessary steps to transform myriad home weaknesses into strengths – something that could help you reap the benefits of a successful home selling experience.

2. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior

If your house is full of clutter and in need of a deep cleaning, there may be no time like the present for a home interior makeover. You can allocate time and resources to enhance your home's interior on your own. Or, you can always hire an interior decorator, home cleaners or other home improvement professionals to upgrade your house's interior.

Don't forget to bolster your residence's curb appeal too. By mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and performing other home exterior upgrades, you can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for those who want to streamline the home selling journey. He or she will help you identify and overcome any potential property selling roadblocks. Plus, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for the home selling journey so you can achieve your desired results as quickly as possible.

For example, if you want to maximize your earnings from the sale of your city home, a real estate agent will offer recommendations and suggestions to help you do just that. On the other hand, if your goal is to sell your current residence as soon as you can, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to ensure you can sell your house without delay.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive guidance that a real estate agent can provide, either. If you ever have concerns or questions about pricing your home, how to promote your residence to potential buyers or other home selling topics, a real estate agent will respond to them right away.

Want to become a home selling expert? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble mastering the house selling journey.


You likely aspire to sell your house as quickly as possible. However, you may not need to set a deadline for selling your residence to achieve your desired result. In fact, there are lots of things you can do to speed up the home selling journey, including:

1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal

A home that boasts amazing curb appeal may draw buyers' attention as soon as it becomes available. Lucky for you, it may be easy to bolster your house's curb appeal in no time at all.

To improve your home's curb appeal, you may want to complete assorted home exterior upgrades. Mowing the grass and eliminating weeds, for example, could make your front lawn stand out to buyers. Or, if you have cracked or damaged home siding, you can always devote time and energy to repair it.

Of course, if you need help with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to home improvement professionals. If you have home improvement pros at your side, you can accelerate the process of upgrading your house's curb appeal.

2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price

The initial asking price of your home should account for the age and condition of your residence, along with the current state of the real estate market. That way, you can set a price for your home that falls in line with buyers' expectations.

Generally, it helps to conduct an appraisal before you list your residence. An appraisal report is based on a wide range of factors, including the prices of comparable homes in your city or town. Therefore, if you perform an appraisal, you could receive a property valuation that helps you determine how to price your home competitively.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

As a home seller, it never hurts to receive expert support as you navigate the property selling journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can offer great insights into what it takes to quickly sell a house.

A real estate agent first will learn about you and what you hope to accomplish. Next, a real estate agent will develop a plan designed to help you achieve your home selling goals. You and your real estate agent then will put this plan into action and adjust it as needed. Perhaps best of all, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you decide whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you bolster your home's curb appeal, establish the optimal initial asking price for your home and much more. And if you have any concerns during the house selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can list your home, ensure it generates significant interest from buyers and move quickly to finalize a house sale.


Ready to sell a house for the first time? Ultimately, selling a house can be challenging, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with the real estate sector. But with the right home selling guidance, you should have no trouble getting the best price for your house, regardless of your property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three vital tips for first-time home sellers.

1. Consider Your Home in Relation to the Housing Market

Although you've likely enjoyed your residence for an extended period of time, you might have no idea how your house compares to similar homes in your area. Fortunately, a first-time home seller who assesses the real estate sector closely can find out how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and plan accordingly.

Check out the prices of available houses in your city or town. By doing so, you may be able to define a "competitive" price for your home based on the present housing market's conditions.

Also, don't forget to analyze the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data can help you determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's market or a seller's market.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal gives you the opportunity to gain expert insights into the current condition of your house. After the home appraisal is finished, you can decide if property repairs are necessary to upgrade your residence before you add it to the real estate market.

Hire an experienced home appraiser to complete your property appraisal – you'll be glad you did. This home appraiser likely understands the ins and outs of examining a house's interior and exterior. As such, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to provide you with comprehensive insights that may help you find ways to differentiate your house in a competitive housing market.

In addition, evaluate the results of a home appraisal closely. These results may prove to be essential, as they can empower you with the insights you need to enhance your residence both inside and out and boost your chances of optimizing the value of your house.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is happy to work with a first-time home seller and help this individual achieve his or her property selling goals.

Usually, a real estate agent will help a first-time home seller establish realistic property selling expectations. He or she will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to help a first-time seller minimize stress throughout the property selling journey as well.

With support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller may be able to accelerate the property selling cycle too. A real estate agent will even respond to a home seller's concerns and questions time and time again.

When it comes to selling a house for a first time, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips for first-time home sellers, and you can seamlessly navigate the property selling cycle.




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