Tips For Selling A Home: A Little Work Goes A Long Way

By Connor Beach

Selling a home can be one of the most stressful experiences in a homeowner’s life, but some local real estate agents have shared tips on how to mitigate that.

Maria Boccard, a Huntington resident and Daniel Gale Sotheby’s real estate broker with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, said properly prepping and pre-marketing a home are important steps.

“Little projects and staging can make a big difference,” Boccard said. “Sellers don’t always want to put in the time and effort, but with all the real estate TV shows these days, often times they are aware of the importance of prepping a house before the real estate agent mentions it.”

Major kitchen remodeling or bathroom renovations are not the only ways that sellers can improve the desirability of their homes on the market; Boccard offered some tips that any seller can do without paying top dollar for a professional contractor.

“A little soap and water goes a long way,” she said. “Cleaning the door knobs and the light switch plates makes the home seem cleaner and more attractive.”

Buying a house is a fast-paced experience these days, according to Boccard. If a house doesn’t speak to a buyer on the first visit, then they’re likely to move on.

“It starts at the driveway; remove cars from the driveway and pull or spray weeds before taking pictures for the internet, where most buyers start their search,” Boccard said.

The outside of the home is just as important as the inside, she added. Gutters should be cleaned of debris or any green material from the environment. Relatively simple landscaping projects can improve the all-important “curb appeal” of a seller’s home.

“Planting seasonal pots, weekly maintenance, and cutting bushes and trees away from the foundation is all money well spent,” Boccard said.

Inside the house Boccard said it is important to make sure that the locks wor and for kitchen counters and bathroom vanities to be cleared out. She added, “A fresh coat of paint goes a long way; grays, whites and beige can make a room feel like it’s not from another era.”

Monique Serena, a Huntington resident and agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, has an extensive background in the fashion industry that gives her a particularly keen eye for aesthetics.

Serena acknowledged the importance of small projects like painting, decluttering and landscaping, but she put an emphasis on staging a seller’s home.

“Staging is important for homes that are just entering the market, but it can also provide a change for a listing that has been on the market for a long time,” Serena said. “I don’t always think sellers understand just how important staging is if they don’t have an eye for it.”

Serena, who stages her own listings, said that although some sellers become very attached to the way their home looks it is often in their best interest to remove things in order to make the house look its best.

Both Boccard and Serena said sellers are often reluctant to spend money, but if a little elbow grease is put in, there are inexpensive tasks that can help sell any home.