Craig Della Penna, Realtor® | Northampton Real Estate, Amherst Real Estate, Florence Real Estate


If you've decided to put your home on the market, one important thing to keep in mind is that perception is everything -- or close to it, anyway!

The impression you make on prospective buyers can either help seal the deal or break it, depending on whether that impression is positive or negative.

The visual aspects of your home often have the strongest impact on what prospects think of your house, but three other senses can also influence buyer decisions.

The sense of smell: Without getting too specific, there are a variety of unpleasant odors that can quickly sour a prospect on the possibility of making an offer on your home. In many cases, there's justification for a sudden loss of interest. A musty smelling basement, crawlspace, or attic, for example, implies problems with water seepage, plumbing leaks, or mold. That musty odor is unpleasant and gives buyers the (accurate) impression that there are air quality issues in the house.

Pet odors can be another major turnoff, especially if the people touring your home have allergies or sensitivity to certain odors. Strong or artificial odors of any kind, including room deodorizers, overuse of commercial cleaning solutions, and scented garbage bags can also be objectionable and suggest that you're trying to cover up odors.

On the other hand, you've probably heard stories about home sellers and agents who create pleasing fragrances by brewing a fresh pot of coffee, baking a loaf of aromatic bread, or preparing a fresh batch of blueberry muffins or chocolate chip cookies shortly before a house tour is scheduled. While it may be impractical to do that every time, it is a strategy worth experimenting with! The simple act of infusing your kitchen with enticing aromas can help make your home more attractive, inviting, and appealing. Fresh flowers are another nice touch that can enhance the ambiance of your home.

The sense of touch: Probably the main thing you would want to avoid in this category would be allowing countertops or floors to feel sticky, gritty, or wet to the touch! Many people will take notice of how clean (or unclean) your house looks, smells, and feels, and they will undoubtedly deduct "points" if countertops, bathroom fixtures, and floors aren't immaculate. Perfection is not necessary, but the appearance of cleanliness is! As mentioned earlier: Perception is everything!

The sense of hearing: Some noises you can fix; others are beyond your control. Squeaky hinges and dripping faucets are a relatively easy fix, while street noises, barking dogs, and loud neighbors are much more difficult -- if not impossible -- to regulate!

The bottom line, of course, is to control what you can, put your best foot forward, and hope for the best when it comes to noises in the neighborhood!


If you're ready to sell your home, you may wonder if the time is right. Timing is truly everything when you’re selling a home. If you have some flexibility, it might be a good idea to wait to sell your home. Even with time constraints, there are a few strategies to employ that can help you find the sweet spot in your time frame.


The Month Matters


It’s widely accepted in the real estate community that the best time to sell a home is in the spring. Since people want to get moved in over the summertime, May could be the best month of the year to put your home on the market. 


Why Spring?


Springtime offers favorable weather conditions in most places. The good weather means that it’s easy for buyers to get to open houses. Homes will also look more attractive with green grass and flowers blooming. Parents also want to get their kids settled into a new home and new neighborhood over the summer months before they start a new school. 


Competition


The favorable conditions along with the urgency of springtime buyers translate into more competition which equates to a better price tag for your home because buyers are willing to pay more due to the anxiety of wanting to find a place. 


The Day Of The Week Matters


Most buyers start looking for homes when they have free time which is generally on the weekend. That means the end of the week- preferably a Thursday- is a good day to pick to list your home. Homes that were listed earlier in the week will be farther down on the search page. Buyers will be more likely to see your listing first the later in the week that it’s listed.   


Consider Your Needs


While timing is a good marketing strategy to sell your home, you need to go by your own timeline. If you need to move due to a job change or other life circumstances, you can’t wait to sell. There are pros to selling during many different times of the year; it just may not be as busy or competitive on the buyer’s side of things. Selling your home fast might not be a sure thing. No matter what time of year you decide to sell your home, just make sure it’s inviting to buyers.         


A buyer's market can challenge even the most diligent home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you stir up plenty of interest in your house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to sell your residence in a buyer's market.

1. Assess the Housing Market

You know a buyer's market favors homebuyers over home sellers, but you still have no idea how this market operates. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about the local real estate sector, you'll be better equipped than ever before to maximize the value of your home.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can see how long these homes are generally available before they sell. You also can examine the sold prices of these houses to better understand how you should price your residence.

Furthermore, you should assess the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. This housing market data can help you establish a competitive price for your residence from day one.

2. Perform a Home Inspection

A home inspection commonly is performed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer on a house. However, if you perform an inspection before you add your residence to a buyer's market, you can take a proactive approach to address various home problems.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and detail his or her findings. You then can use the home inspection results to prioritize home improvement projects and upgrade your residence. As a result, you can enhance your house and find ways to differentiate it from the competition.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home in a buyer's market is exceedingly difficult, especially for those who choose to work alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.

By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance at each stage of the home selling journey, even in a buyer's market. First, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home, as well as your home selling goals. This housing market professional then will offer recommendations to help you enhance your home and ensure it stands out to potential buyers. Next, a real estate agent will list your residence and host open house events and home showings. And if a buyer submits an offer on your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and make an informed decision.

When it comes to selling a home in a buyer's market, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can separate your residence from the competition and boost the likelihood of a profitable home sale.


Many sellers rely on agents to help them to deal with the task of selling their home. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, a real estate agent isn’t required. There are many advantages and disadvantages to selling your home as a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO). Read on to discover the good and bad of selling your home on your own. 


The Pros


Avoid Paying Commission


Real estate commission is the main reason that many sellers choose to go it alone. You’ll pay about 6% commission on the sale of your home between buyers and sellers agents. When figuring out the asking price for your property, this number that you’ll pay for a commission is included. This sale price also should be enough to pay off the remaining balance on the property. If you don’t have a lot of equity in your home, an FSBO may be your only option if you can’t afford the commission. Another option is to wait to sell your home until you have built up enough equity for the transaction to make sense for you. 


You Can Find Other Resources To Help You Sell The Property


There are so many resources available to FSBOs in today’s market. Yards signs aren’t the only thing that sellers can use to get people interested in their property. Many websites and resources assist people taking the FSBO approach. You still may not be able to get your property listed everywhere if you’re not a real estate agent. 


Cons


You Won’t Be Able To List The Property Fully


Only licensed real estate agents have access to the MLS, where buyers' agents and other websites pull available properties.  Not having access to this can be a deterrent to the marketing of your home. You could miss out on getting many home showings that you otherwise would if your house was listed on the MLS. 


There’s No One To Help You With Paperwork And Negotiations


Real estate agents certainly earn their commission. There is a lot of work in both selling and buying a home. If you hire an agent, he’ll be taking phone calls, sending off forms, and dealing with the negotiations on the property. An agent will also coordinate home showings and have the ability to show your property when you’re unavailable. If you go it alone, you won’t have that assistance and may be a bit overwhelmed during the selling process.


A real estate agent also understands the lingo better than someone who has been outside of the business. There are many advantages to paying his fee if you decide to hire him for the sale of your home.           



If you plan to sell your house and need to declutter quickly, hosting a yard sale may prove to be ideal.

Ultimately, a yard sale enables you to get rid of excess items and earn extra cash at the same time. It also may help you connect with neighbors and lay the groundwork for long-lasting friendships.

When it comes to hosting a yard sale, it is important to sell the right items to the right buyers. By doing so, you can increase your chances of transforming an ordinary yard sale into a successful one.

Now, let's take a look at three items to sell during your yard sale:

1. Clothing

If you're moving from a warm-weather climate to a cold region – or vice-versa – you should sell clothing that you no longer need.

Wash any clothes that you plan to sell as part of your yard sale. This will ensure all clothes are stain-free.

Furthermore, consider the buyer's perspective as you determine which clothing to sell. And if you find that some of your t-shirts, turtlenecks and other clothes are faded or ripped, you may want to dispose of these items altogether.

2. Electronics

TVs, video game consoles and other electronics often prove to be popular yard sale purchases. As such, if you have excess electronics, you should sell these items at your yard sale.

If you plan to sell an old desktop or laptop computer, make sure to clear the hard drive. This helps eliminate potential cybersecurity headaches down the line.

Also, test any electronics to ensure they work properly. If electronics are battery-operated, install batteries to make it easy for yard sale shoppers to test these items. Or, if electronics require an electrical outlet, set up a power source that allows potential buyers to try these electronics.

3. Appliances

If you are moving to a new house that already has a refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances, a yard sale provides an excellent opportunity to sell your current appliances.

Be realistic when you set prices for your home appliances. Check out the prices of brand-new and used appliances, and you can establish a price range for your appliances based on their age and condition.

In addition, don't hesitate to negotiate with buyers on appliance prices. Because if you fail to sell your appliances at your yard sale, you may be forced to move these big, heavy items on your own.

Those who understand which items to sell at a yard sale should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in any yard sale, at any time.

Lastly, if you want extra help as you plan for a yard sale, a real estate agent can offer expert assistance. This housing market professional can provide home decluttering tips to ensure you can sell the right items during your yard sale.

Start planning for a yard sale today, and you can move one step closer to decluttering and selling your house.




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