6 Things to Know When Putting Your Home on the Market

The National Association of Home Builders found that price is the principal concern among buyers. With budget limitations and resale value in mind, no one wants to overpay for a home. Millennials are armed with spreadsheets­—mapping out price per square foot, comparable home sales and inventory statistics. 


Love at first sight (hopefully) begins when the buyers step out of the car. The front entryway sets the tone for the house and should get the attention it deserves. A fresh coat of paint on the front door in a bright color and seasonal flowers will make it memorable. Spruce up the landscaping, trim trees and bushes. Paint or touch-up exteriors, including trim and shutters. Don’t let the buyer think about the time and money it will take to get the house into shape. Set the stage with an inviting outdoor entertaining area on a porch or patio.


The majority of buyers have looked at listings online before meeting with a Realtor, which means that photographs are their first impression of a home. If they don’t like the photos, they may not bother to visit the property, so staging the home is imperative. Inger Stringfellow of William Pitt/Sotheby’s, New Canaan, notes: “Homes translate very differently in a photograph. The eye is very forgiving, the photo is not.” 


To get top dollar, homeowners need to do their due diligence by prepping their home for the sale. “Kitchens, bathrooms and the master should be updated as much as possible, even if it means new appliances, countertops and light fixtures,” says Michelle Genovesi of Michelle & Company in Westport.


Try to see your home through your buyer’s eyes. What will they see, what will they notice? Clean the closets and clear out personal items, photos and knickknacks that will distract the buyer from envisioning their life in the home. “You want the buyer to notice the bride, not the dress,” says Genovesi. Take down fussy window treatments, strip dated wallpaper and rip up worn carpeting and replace it with a neutral option, or better yet, expose hardwood floors. Wash the windows, inside and out, for the best view possible and eliminate cooking or pet smells (a real turn off). 


Anticipate any objections buyers may find before you list your home. Addressing deferred maintenance and potential problem areas in advance could save a deal from falling through at the inspection stage. Some Realtors suggest getting a pre-inspection before you list to discover and address the flaws before the buyer does.