Maria DiCarlo - Wakefield, MA Real Estate, Reading, MA Real Estate


Getting your home ready to sell entails quite a lot. Staging, taking photos, stocking the toiletries, and--in the case of an open house--entertaining guests. You want the visitors to your home to feel welcome and like they could live there someday.

To achieve this it takes planning and an eye for what really “works” in your home. To do this you’ll have to let go of everything you’ve made your home into and turn it into a blank slate where others can imagine it fitting their personal taste.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on preparing your home for an open house or showing to leave the best possible impression on your visitors.

Remove yourself from the picture

It might be sad to take down your family photos and personal effects, but imagine yourself in a visitor’s shoes. When you enter a home you’re thinking of buying, you don’t want to be distracted by what the previous family did with the home. Rather, you want to look forward and imagine your own family making a life there.

Declutter

Even the most minimalistic of homeowners tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. However, walking into a home filled with items is distracting from the features of the home. You want to draw people’s eyes toward the best characteristics of your home--whether that’s spaciousness or architectural features.

We suggest packing your belongings by room and renting out a storage facility while you wait to move into your new place.

Stage appropriately

Working with someone to stage your home is a guaranteed way to make sure your house looks welcoming for your guests and photos. However, if you plan on doing the staging yourself take a look at some similarly styled homes online to find out what looks good in their photos. When we furnish our homes, we do it based on our personal taste, comfort, and utility. Staged homes are about aesthetics and atmosphere.

Once you’ve finished staging, it’s time to clean up after yourself. Wipe down surfaces, polish wood, and clean the windows.

Don’t neglect the exterior

The outside of your home is as important as the inside. It will be visitor’s first impression when they arrive at your driveway. To prepare, make sure your siding and windows are clear of dirt, the lawn mowed, the gutters cleaned, and the doors freshly painted, if necessary. Sweep the driveway and remove any yard tools from sight.

Welcoming guests

Your real estate agent knows how to run an effective open house. However, here are a few key things to remember on the day your guests will arrive.

First, light a candle and use air fresheners where necessary. A neutral smell is the best option, but an air freshener is better than a bad one if there are parts of your home that are prone to bad smells.

Next, make sure the bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper, tissues, and clean towels. If yours are getting old, it could be a good time to replace hand towels altogether.

Finally, welcome your guests with a new welcome mat at the front door to make a great first impression.


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.


Want to list your house in the not-too-distant future? Ultimately, your house's curb appeal may have far-flung effects on your ability to sell your residence.

In most instances, a house with a dazzling front lawn is likely to make a distinct impression on potential buyers. This home may prove to be more popular than similar residences that are available, and as such, sell at or above its initial asking price.

On the other hand, a home with a messy, cluttered front lawn is unlikely to impress potential buyers. In fact, the front lawn may detract from the home's value, making it tough for a seller to maximize his or her earnings.

When it comes to enhancing your house's front lawn, it may be a good idea to hire a professional landscaper. Because if you have a professional landscaper at your disposal, you can get the assistance that you need to rejuvenate the front lawn of your home and enhance your residence's curb appeal.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you find the ideal professional landscaper before you list your house.

1. Shop Around

Many top-notch professional landscapers are available in cities and towns nationwide. If you evaluate assorted professional landscapers in your area, you may be better equipped than ever before to make an informed hiring decision.

Remember, as a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your house's curb appeal. And if you dedicate the necessary time and resources to find the right professional landscaper before you list your residence, you can improve your house's curb appeal and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

2. Ask Questions

A professional landscaper typically is happy to respond to your questions. Thus, you should not hesitate to ask lots of questions to a variety of local professional landscapers to ensure that you can find the right landscaper to fulfill your requests.

Don't forget to discuss your home improvement goals with various professional landscapers too. That way, you can compare and contrast myriad professional landscapers and hire a landscaper who can help you achieve the best-possible home improvement results.

3. Review Client Feedback

Client feedback about professional landscapers usually is readily available, particularly for landscapers who have completed a wide range of successful projects in the past. Therefore, you should search far and wide for client feedback to find a professional landscaper who can match or exceed your expectations.

A simple web search of a professional landscaper may provide you with access to client feedback. You also can request client referrals directly from a professional landscaper to learn what it's like to work with a particular landscaper before you finalize your hiring decision.

Lastly, if you need extra assistance as you search for a professional landscaper, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent can put you in touch with first-rate professional landscapers in your area and ensure that you can bolster your house's curb appeal before you list your residence.


Ready to sell your condo? As a first-time condo seller, it sometimes can be tough to streamline the process of finding interested property buyers and getting the best price for your residence.

Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of selling your condo.

Here are three tips that every first-time condo seller needs to know.

1. Check Out the Prices of Comparable Condos

When you price your condo, it is important to set realistic expectations from the get-go. And if you ask too much for your property, it may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

On the other hand, an informed condo seller will have real estate market data that he or she can use to gain an advantage over the competition.

How does your condo stack up against similar properties? Perform an in-depth assessment of the competition, and you'll be able to price your condo accordingly.

Check out the prices of recently sold and currently available condos. By doing so, you can better understand how to price your condo competitively.

Also, spend some time performing assorted condo interior and exterior repairs before you add your property to the real estate market. This will allow you to boost your condo's appearance both inside and out and make your property an appealing choice to condo buyers.

2. Conduct a Property Appraisal

Hire a property appraiser to inspect your condo. That way, you can receive expert insights into your condo's strengths and weaknesses.

During a condo evaluation, a property appraiser will review all aspects of a property. He or she then will provide you with an in-depth report that you can use to understand potential problem areas with your condo.

A property appraisal is a valuable learning opportunity, and you should try to make the most of it.

Choose a property appraiser with condo experience. This professional will be able to take a close look at your condo and help you prioritize potential repairs.

In addition, review a property appraiser's findings closely. This information will help you determine the best ways to enhance your condo and ensure it can stand out from the competition.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to selling your condo, it is always a good idea to work with a real estate agent.

Hiring a real estate agent with condo experience is a must, particularly for a first-time condo seller. This real estate professional will teach you about the ins and outs of the housing market and help you promote your condo to the right groups of property buyers.

A real estate agent will set up condo showings and open houses and negotiate with condo buyers on your behalf. Plus, he or she will offer honest, unbiased condo selling recommendations to help you get the best price for your property.

Don't leave anything to chance as you get ready to sell your condo. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can accelerate the process of selling your condo.


Adding a house to the real estate market should be simple. However, a home seller must consider various factors before listing a home, or risks missing out on opportunities to stir up interest from potential homebuyers.

Some of the top factors to consider before you list a residence include:

1. Your Home's Interior and Exterior

Ultimately, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. If a home seller dedicates the necessary time and resources to update a house's interior and exterior, he or she may be able to increase the likelihood of a quick home sale.

To improve a house's interior, it is important to declutter as much as possible. Remove any non-essential items from a home; these items can be sold at a garage sale or online or put into a storage unit until a home sells.

Furthermore, to enhance a home's exterior, a home seller should mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and perform assorted home exterior maintenance projects. With a dazzling home exterior, a home seller can help his or her residence stand out from other available houses.

2. The Local Housing Market

How does your home stack up against the competition? Study the local housing market closely, and you should have no trouble establishing a competitive price for your home.

Examine the prices of available residences that are similar to your own. Also, take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. With this housing market data in hand, you can understand whether you're preparing to operate in a buyer's or seller's market and price your residence appropriately.

3. Home Appraisal Results

When it comes to getting a home ready for the real estate market, it never hurts to conduct a home appraisal.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house's condition. After the appraisal is finished, this inspector will provide a homeowner with a copy of a home appraisal report.

A home appraisal report offers valuable insights into a home's condition and enables a home seller to prioritize myriad home improvement projects. As such, the report may help a home seller find ways to enhance a residence before he or she adds it to the real estate market.

Lastly, if you're looking to list a house in the foreseeable future, working with a real estate agent is key.

A real estate agent is happy to help you prep your residence for the housing market. He or she will offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations and ensure you can upgrade your house as needed. Plus, this housing market professional will set up home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and do whatever it takes to help you sell your residence.

Get your house ready for the real estate market – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can transform an ordinary residence into an awe-inspiring home.




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