Nancy Judge | Newburyport Real Estate, Newbury Real Estate, Topsfield Real Estate


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.


Some houses benefit from extensive care over the years, while others show a lot of tough love. When it comes time to move on and sell your house, it might need repairs to get top dollar when selling. Fixing it up to sell is one option, but for those selling hurriedly without extra funds for significant repairs, here are tips for selling a house that may need a little work "as-is."

Clean it Up

Keeping your house neat and tidy can go a long way. While looking around at the ins and outs of your home, the day-to-day living will show. It is always worth giving a great first impression to a potential buyer. Buyers that see a cluttered house also will see that there aren't many storage options. 

A delightful and maintained garden creates an appealing outer appearance. If there is not much to your landscaping, there are options to create a more welcoming lawn. If dealing with mostly concrete, adding gravel can be soothing to the eye. The area will become more attractive with this simple addition. Getting rid of weeds, keeping the grass trimmed, and adding some potted flowers can make quite a difference. Don't be afraid to stand out!

Another simple clean-up task is the windows. Most buyers head to windows right away to get a view of the house. Clean windows and sills can change a good impression to a great one. 

Display Outstanding Features

Every house has its own unique gems. Don't be afraid to boast about the good qualities of your house. Floor plans, original fixtures, or anything unusual about the house are useful to point out to any type of buyer.

Create a focus on your selling points. A beautiful patio, ample storage, and distinctive views matter to many buyers and help with the transition of a sale. 

Highlight the location of the house as well. If the house is in a well-known, desired neighborhood, be sure to point it out. Don't forget to mention public transportation, schools in the area, and the commute to specific stores or parts of town. People desire to live in a great house, but they also want great surroundings. 

Sweat the Small Stuff

Taking the initiative to fix smaller repairs can be beneficial. Huge renovations aren't always needed. To make your place have a better appearance, often cosmetic repairs are what is necessary: Any holes or stains on the walls and ceilings should be taken care of right away. Deep cleaning appliances and bathrooms will go a long way. Leaky pipes and other small broken fixtures should be fixed immediately. Broken hinges and doors are noticeable but also easy to fix. 

The Price is Right

Presenting a charade isn't the goal here. The buyer will see the amount of work needed to achieve their dream house, and that should be reflected in the price as well. An overpriced property can turn away a lot of buyers.

Rely on the advice and expertise of your real estate professional to help you set the correct pricing for a quick but profitable sale.


If you plan to sell your house, there may be certain items that you want to bring to your new residence. However, various items may prove to be too big, too heavy or too expensive to transport to your new address. But if you leave these items behind, you may be able to make your house more attractive to dozens of potential buyers.

Ultimately, there are many high-quality items that home sellers may choose to leave behind for buyers, such as:

1. Refrigerator

Although your refrigerator has served you well for many years, transporting this kitchen appliance to your new house could prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a buyer may appreciate the fact that you're willing to provide him or her with a top-notch refrigerator as part of a home sale.

For a home seller who intends to leave his or her refrigerator behind, it is important to take some time to clean the appliance. That way, a homebuyer will be able to use the refrigerator as soon as he or she finalizes a home acquisition.

Also, scrub down the refrigerator's shelves, wipe down the appliance's exterior and remove any foods and beverages from the refrigerator prior to moving day.

2. Washer and Dryer

A washer and dryer may cost a homeowner hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase and install. Luckily, a home seller who includes a washer and dryer in a home sale can make it easy for a buyer to avoid the hassle of finding, buying and installing these appliances.

Ensure that your washer and dryer are working properly before moving day arrives. Remove any dust and debris from the dryer's lint trap, and wipe down the exterior of both the washer and dryer.

3. Furniture

If you own stunning outdoor patio chairs, a deluxe dining room table and chairs or other first-rate home furniture, you may want to include these items in your home sale. By doing so, you can help a buyer furnish his or her home in no time at all.

Selling a home can be challenging, even if you intend to leave behind assorted high-end items for a buyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to help simplify the process of selling a residence in any housing market, at any time.

A real estate agent understands that you want to enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience. To accomplish this goal, a real estate agent will learn about your residence and explore ways to promote it to the right groups of buyers.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and help you get ready for a home closing. And if you ever have home selling concerns, a real estate agent will immediately respond to them.

Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to selling your house.


Want to list your house? Ultimately, you'll want to work with an expert listing agent, i.e. a housing market professional who knows what it takes to get the best price for a residence.

Let's face it – hiring a listing agent can be tough, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline your search for the perfect listing agent.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to find the right listing agent for your house.

1. Learn About a Listing Agent's Background

Evaluating a listing agent's background often serves as a great first step in the home selling process. It allows you to better understand how long a listing agent has worked in the real estate sector and learn about his or her industry expertise.

In most cases, you should have no trouble finding information about a listing agent online. Or, you can always call a listing agent's office for more information.

Allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about listing agent's background. That way, you can understand this housing market professional's experience, education, networking skills and much more and plan accordingly.

2. Conduct a Face-to-Face Meeting with a Listing Agent

If a listing agent looks good on paper, invite him or her to meet with you. By doing so, you can gain first-hand insights from this housing market professional and find out what separates him or her from other listing agents.

Prepare a list of interview questions before a face-to-face meeting with a listing agent. This will enable you to get the insights you need to make an informed decision.

Also, evaluate a listing agent's communication skills and personality. If you feel comfortable with a listing agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this individual to help you sell your residence.

3. Get Client Referrals

How has a listing agent helped past home sellers optimize the value of their properties? Request client referrals from a listing agent, and you can receive additional insights into how this real estate professional has supported home sellers over the years.

A top-notch listing agent should be able to provide you with multiple client referrals. Meanwhile, it only takes a few minutes to reach out to a listing agent's past clients and learn about their home selling experiences.

Client referrals can help you accelerate the process of finding the right listing agent. Moreover, they can provide insights into what it is like to work with a listing agent throughout the home selling cycle.

Lastly, be sure to ask past clients how a listing agent approached challenges throughout the home selling process. If a listing agent went above and beyond the call of duty to help past clients overcome myriad home selling challenges, he or she probably will be able to help you do the same.

Selecting the right listing agent may seem impossible at first. But with the aforementioned tips, you can choose a listing agent that will promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.


If you receive a "lowball" offer to purchase your house, your first reaction may be to respond with an immediate "No." However, it is important to evaluate any offer to purchase your house closely. Because if you weigh the pros and cons of rejecting an offer to purchase your home, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make an informed decision about any homebuying proposal you receive.

Now, let's take a look at three factors to consider before you reject an offer to purchase your residence.

1. Your Home's Price

What you may consider to be a lowball offer to purchase your home may actually be a competitive homebuying proposal – it all depends on the current state of the housing market. Thus, if you analyze the housing market, you can find out how your home's price stacks up against the prices of comparable houses and review an offer to purchase accordingly.

If you find your home's price falls in line with similar houses in your city or town, you likely have a competitive initial asking price in place. And if a buyer's offer to purchase your home falls short of your house's initial asking price, you may want to decline the proposal.

On the other hand, if your home is priced much higher than comparable residences in your area, you may want to adjust your home selling expectations. In this instance, you may find a lowball offer to purchase turns out to be a competitive homebuying proposal. As a result, you may be more inclined to accept the proposal based on the current housing market's conditions.

2. Your Home's Condition

Oftentimes, buyers will account for potential home repairs or upgrades they will need to complete if they acquire a house. This means a buyer may submit an offer to purchase below a seller's initial asking price due to the fact that a house may require assorted repairs or upgrades in the near future.

Take a look at the condition of your home – you'll be glad you did. If you find your home is in need of significant repairs or upgrades, you may want to consider these projects before you reject a buyer's offer to purchase your house.

3. Your Home Selling Goals

It generally is a good idea to start the home selling journey with goals in hand. That way, if an offer to purchase your house allows you to achieve your home selling goals, you can accept the proposal. Or, if an offer to purchase your house moves you further away from accomplishing your home selling goals, you can reject the proposal.

As you get set to complete the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can help you assess any offers to purchase your house, at any time. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you determine how to proceed with an offer to purchase and ensure you can make the best-possible decision.




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