Top Realtors | Getting Your Home Ready to Sell: What You Need to Know


We asked leading real estate specialists what are the most important things that a homeowner must know and do to sell their home as quickly as possible. Below you will find sound advice from professionals with years of experience and, most importantly, success in the field.



Annapolis Fine Homes Office | Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

Your home must be appropriately priced and in pristine condition. Today’s buyers are very savvy. They watch the market closely and are astute with current trends and property valuation.

You should consider improvements that are affordable and that coincide with the market expectations in that price point. Ideally buyers are looking for updated kitchens, baths and a neutral décor.

Definitely remove all clutter and personal photos, put all extra items such as oversized and outdated furniture in storage, use fresh paint in neutral trendy colors, clean windows and remove screens for more light. Clean up the outside with fresh mulch and flowers. Always get professional photos taken. Remember, a buyer’s first impression is on-line. The younger buyers cannot see past a homeowner’s décor. Buyers notice the negative first so make it a positive first impression!

Some not-so-costly projects that can bring value to the home are replacing all carpet with new or preferably hardwood floors, a new kitchen counter, replacing the windows, front door and updated garage door. A fresh coat of neutral paint can add thousands of dollars in value. Think clean inside and out. You have just one chance to make that first impression!





Northrop Realty, A Long & Foster Company

The difference between a home that lingers on the market for months and one that receives an offer the day it is listed could be something so simple, yet so vital—staging. While it is possible to sell a home “as is,” one that is deliberately staged can maximize its appeal and have the home off the market in no time.

When you stage your house, it attracts more potential buyers. Most buyers shop for homes online these days, so the visual presentation of a home has to be 100 percent. Data shows that on average a home that is staged brings a higher sales price and a quicker contract than one that is not staged.

Bring each room back to its original purpose to show off your square footage and create balance in each space. If your home is in need of paint, use colors to neutralize aesthetics or if carpet replacements are needed due to pet stains—go ahead and make those changes. If the changes are more substantial—bathroom or kitchen updates—consider that your preferences may not match those of potential buyers.






Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

When it comes to marketing and selling waterfront properties preparation can vary. In general, improving and maximizing the view is usually the most important. Consult with an good arborist to determine if any trees can be removed or limbed up to improve the view. Buyers usually can’t envision what a view could look like, and some buyers are intimidated by what can or can’t be done inside the critical area. Prior to photography, have the windows professionally cleaned. Other recommendations: If your pier is older, have it power washed and stained. Consider outdoor staging to help buyers envision how they will be able to enjoy the best parts of your outdoor spaces and waterfront. Service boat-lifts and have boats detailed. Some buyers will assume deferred maintenance on boats equates to deferred maintenance on the home.










Carol Snyder Group of Monument Sotheby’s International Realty

Selling a home “as-is” in today’s market is risky. Buyers today focus on condition and do not want to take on major projects. Even if the buyers aren’t in love with a specific tile choice, if it’s neutral, inviting and newly completed they are willing to move forward with a purchase. If they are forced to make updates immediately, they want a significant reduction on the price of the home to a number well below market.

The most important things a seller can do to prepare their home to sell quickly is to be open to the suggestions of a qualified stager. The buyers in today’s market are hyper-focused on how a home makes them feel, both online and in person. Therefore, sellers must be willing to address paint colors, lighting and furniture placement to ensure the photographs and in-person impression create the right feeling to appeal to today’s buyers. They must create a space where the buyers can envision themselves living and creating memories with their families and friends.









The Reynolds|Fettig Group, Keller Williams Flagship of Maryland

Pricing needs to match property condition. Sellers should address deferred maintenance items and freshen up the home that they are preparing for the market. The goal should be to position the home for a buyer’s discerning eyes while minimizing potential red flags that a home inspector may note. We have found that small enhancements can pay large dividends and limit time on the market. Things like fresh paint, new landscaping, updated fixtures and flooring can increase a seller’s net while reducing time on the market without the upfront expense of a large overhaul. By removing family photos and other personalized items, buyers can better see themselves, instead of the seller, in a home.

Further, a seller should begin to see their home as a commodity, thereby chipping away at some of the difficult-to-shed emotionalism that a loving seller possesses. Although a home may have significant emotional value to the seller, this doesn’t translate into financial value in the market. Emotional value can work against the well-informed solid market data provided, and result in a seller insisting on unrealistic pricing. If this is not overcome, it can negatively impact a seller’s ability to sell.


Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 9, No. 5 2018