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


There's a ton of cleaning and preparation involved in readying your home for resale. When you have pets, there are some extra steps you need to take to make sure your home is ready to be shown to prospective buyers. If you’re reselling without renovation—new carpets, wood flooring, etc.—you want to make sure you make your home as presentable as possible to help buyers envision themselves in it. What time and money should you invest to de-pet your home?

Walls and Doors

A clean freshly painted house goes a long way toward helping your home sale. Before you try to cover up any damage with a coat of paint, think again. Smart buyers look for damage all over the house and will see your feeble attempt at a cover-up as evidence that the home hasn't been taken care of. You will lose interest from excellent potential buyers who think the house likely has hidden issues that will crop up later. Take the time to fill in scratches and gashes to create a clean surface before painting. Check your walls, door frames, doors, and cabinetry for pet damage and mark all the areas that need attention, so you can get to work.

  • First, start sanding. Using a sanding block or heavy grit sandpaper go over each area of damage to buff out the surface and make it as smooth as possible. If there are doors or door frames you want to stain instead of paint, it is especially necessary to take the time to minimize significant damage. 
  • Second, for areas that you will paint take spackle and fill in any gashes that you couldn't buff out all the way. Remember to let the spackle dry before your second round of sanding. Try using a blow dryer to hurry up the drying process, but it is always best to let the spackle dry naturally, to the time listed on the instructions, if you can spare the time. Don’t over spackle and make the drying and cleanup process longer for yourself. Just fill in the holes as needed using as little spackle as possible. When applying the spackle make sure you’re extending the coverage space slightly with each pass blending the repaired part with the rest of the surface you're restoring. 
  • Third, go over all the spackled areas with sandpaper again. You can start with the coarse paper and move to a less coarse paper for final smoothing. When you're satisfied that the gashes have filled and the surface is level you’re ready to clean and paint. 
  • Fourth, clean all surfaces with a damp cloth and clean up all dust and debris from the floor. Clean the entire wall or surface you’re going to paint so you can best gauge color match results. If you’re not painting the whole wall or door and are just going to touch up around the repair, you'll want to make sure the paint blends as well as possible. If a lot of sunlight hits the surface, your paint has probably faded a bit, and your new touch up could be glaring.
  • Fifth (and last), paint. For best results prime the wall before you paint. Once your primer dries, you're ready to apply paint. Start with light coats and as with the spackle slowly fade the paint out from the repair over the rest of the surface. Let the first coat dry and check your color matching. If the repaired area is too glaring, consider painting the entire wall, door or cabinet for best results. Note: just because you repaint a bedroom wall doesn’t mean you have to repaint all of them. If you’re painting with the same color that is already on the walls the overall difference from one wall to the other won’t be noticeable if you paint the whole wall, instead of one spot alone.

With walls, door, and doorframes done, you're ready to move onto carpet and wood flooring. Check out part 2 and 3 of this series for more tips and instructions. 

If you’re reselling and aren’t sure what repairs to make before selling ask your real estate agent for advice on where to invest your time and money before resale.


Selling a house is no small feat, particularly in a competitive real estate market. As such, home sellers may be prone to make mistakes if they don't plan ahead for potential pitfalls.

Common home selling mistakes include:

1. Listing a Home Without Performing Housing Market Research

Let's face it – selling a house can be stressful. In many instances, home sellers will want to speed through the home selling journey – something that may lead these sellers to list residences without evaluating the real estate market in advance.

Spending even a few minutes looking at the prices of homes in your city or town may make a world of difference. Ultimately, the more housing market research that you perform, the more likely it becomes that you'll be able to optimize the value of your house.

Take a look at the prices of available homes in your city or town that are similar to your own. Also, evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your area. With this housing market data at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than ever before to price your residence competitively and boost your chances of a profitable home sale.

2. Accepting an Initial Offer on a Residence

The first offer that you receive on a residence may prove to be the best offer. However, in some cases, the initial offer may fall short of your expectations.

Immediately accepting the initial offer on a residence may prove to be costly. Fortunately, a home seller who understands the housing market can take a data-driven approach to determine how to proceed with any offer, at any time.

Performing a home appraisal before you list your residence can provide valuable insights into a property's value. Then, you can list your house for a competitive price, one that helps generate substantial interest in your house and may lead to offers at, near or above your initial asking price.

In addition, don't forget to consult with a real estate agent. If you receive a home offer and are unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter it, a real estate agent can provide expert advice to help you make an informed decision.

3. Ignoring a Real Estate Agent's Recommendations

A seller's agent is committed to helping you optimize the value of your residence, and this housing market professional will offer recommendations as you sell your house to ensure you that can get the best results possible.

If you ignore a real estate agent's recommendations, you may miss out on a golden opportunity to sell your house. A real estate agent provides housing market analysis and insights, along with honest, unbiased recommendations about how to overcome a wide range of home selling hurdles.

Furthermore, a real estate agent always has a home seller's best interests in mind. This housing market professional also is available to respond to a home seller's questions, guaranteeing that a home seller is fully supported at each stage of the home selling journey.

Ready to sell your house? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you should have no trouble achieving your desired results.


When we’re trying to find a new home and planning for the changes that will come with moving, it can seem daunting to also have to think about how you’re going to sell your old home.

Everyone has their own unique situation that they’ll have to account for when selling. Some people choose to buy a new home and move in before selling their old home. For others, this isn’t always possible and they have to rent or stay with family while they wait to close on their new house.

Regardless of your circumstances, there are a few things you can do to make the process of selling your home easier. In today’s post, we’ll teach you how to do just that.

1. Make a timeline

Undoubtedly, you’re going to have a lot going on in your life when selling your home. To keep yourself on track, work with your real estate agent to establish a timeline for accomplishing everything you need to do.

This will help you avoid feeling rushed when it comes to completing the tasks on your list. Whether that includes cleaning, packing, preparing documents, or popping the champagne bottle after your sale, it always pays to have a schedule.

To make this process even easier, be sure that you and your spouse/family are working on the same schedule so that everyone is on the same page.

2. Pack and store

When you’re showing your home to potential buyers, you don’t want it to be cluttered with your personal belongings. Furthermore, all of those belongings will soon have to be packed and transported anyway.

To save yourself time and to increase the appeal of your home while it’s on the market, pack up your items by room and store them until you’re ready to move.

You can do this by renting a storage unit or just packing things neatly in your basement until you can move.

3. Make minor repairs now

Before ever putting your home on the market, it’s a good idea to do a thorough walkthrough of the home to check for small issues that you either haven’t noticed or have been putting off.

When a potential buyer visits your home, you can be sure that they’ll be looking for signs that the how was well-maintained. This is your chance to prove that you’ve been staying on top of things around the house.

Making these repairs in advance if selling your home will relieve some of the workload and stress you’ll be feeling once you get closer to selling.

4. Be available

This last step can be the hardest, especially if you and your spouse work full-time and have children with obligations like sports.

Your real estate agent will do most of the work for you when it comes to showing and preparing the home. However, it’s vital that you’re available to respond quickly at key times. This means answering any questions your agent has for you, gathering paperwork when it’s needed, and discussing offers when they’re made.


If you can pull of these four steps, you’ll be in good shape to sell your home quickly, ensuring a smooth sale and transition for you and your family. 


Selling a house should be a fast, simple process. Unfortunately, potential pitfalls may arise that make it tough to achieve the best-possible home selling results.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for the home selling journey.

Now, let's look at three steps that every home seller should take before listing a house.

1. Evaluate the Real Estate Market

The housing market fluctuates week to week. Thus, a real estate market that favors sellers one week may favor buyers the following week, or vice-versa.

A home seller should examine real estate market data closely. By doing so, this seller can analyze housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This housing market information will allow you to see how long homes were listed before they sold and help you set realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

Also, examine the prices of local residences that are comparable to your own. With this housing market data, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive price for your house.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal

Don't wait to conduct a home inspection and appraisal. If you perform these assessments before you list your house, you can gain valuable home insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your house both inside and out. Then, this property expert will provide an inspection report that you can use to prioritize assorted home repairs and upgrades.

Meanwhile, a home appraisal can help you determine the present value of your house. The appraisal will be conducted by a property expert who will examine your house, as well as review myriad data about homes in your neighborhood and the local real estate market. Next, this property expert will provide a property valuation that can help you determine how to price your residence.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house. Fortunately, this housing market professional also knows how to identify and address these challenges early in the home selling process, increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she then will help you put together a strategy to sell your home quickly and maximize your earnings.

When it comes to promoting a residence to potential buyers, a real estate agent knows exactly what to do too. He or she will help you craft an engaging and informative home listing that hits the mark with the right buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host open house events and home showings to provide buyers with plenty of opportunities to view your house.

Want to list your house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can boost your chances of a terrific home selling experience.


For those who want to achieve the best-possible results during the house selling journey, it helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you get ready to list your home and enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three items that every seller needs to pick up before listing a house.

1. Cleaning Supplies

A stunning home interior can make a world of difference in the eyes of property buyers. Thus, you should purchase cleaning supplies to ensure that you can transform your house's interior from drab to fab.

Cleaning supplies are easy to find at any grocery or convenience store and won't force you to break your budget. Plus, they often come with instructions so you can use these supplies for maximum effectiveness.

2. Lawn Care Equipment

In addition to improving the look of your home's interior, you'll want to do everything possible to bolster your residence's curb appeal. Because if potential buyers drive past your home and like what they see, these individuals may be more inclined than ever before to schedule a property showing.

A lawn mower, hedge trimmer and other lawn care equipment are paramount for a home seller. With this equipment at his or her disposal, a seller can improve a house's curb appeal. And as a result, this individual can help make his or her home an attractive option for prospective buyers.

3. Hand Tool Set

A hand tool set will serve a home seller well even after this individual sells his or her house. This set includes a hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers and other essential tools that will make it easy for an individual to perform quick fixes around a house.

In most instances, a standard hand tool set includes everything that a home seller will need to complete basic house repairs. And remember, an individual can always add to his or her hand tool set down the line too.

As you prepare to list your home, there are lots of things that you can do to differentiate your residence from the competition. In fact, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive home selling insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased property selling recommendations. He or she can help you get your residence ready for the housing market and ensure it generates plenty of interest from potential buyers. Also, a real estate agent will show your residence to prospective buyers, keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your house and much more.

Perhaps best of all, if you have concerns or questions during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them. This enables you to gain expert home selling insights and receive the support you need to succeed.

Employ a real estate agent today, and you can begin a successful home selling journey.




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