The Showcase Magazine - Articles


Yes! It's still a seller’s market! Now that mortgage interest rates have fallen below 7%, buyer demand continues to exceed homes for sale.

While buyers are ready, willing, and able to pay top dollar for your home, they have definite needs and wants. Whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, it’s always important to prepare your home for sale.

There are two different ways to prepare for the sale of your home. General maintenance of your property is important because it makes it more appealing to buyers. More importantly, if a property is well maintained, it instills confidence in buyers, especially first-time buyers, that they are making the right decision to buy your home. The other way to prepare your home for sale is to make updates and improvements. When making improvements, it’s wise to focus on current trends and those items that will give you the greatest return on your investment.

General exterior maintenance includes basic, low-cost items such as

  • Trimming trees and shrubbery away from the home and foundation allows natural light into the home and prevents moss buildup on the roof
  • Power washing exterior siding and walkways
  • Window washing enhances natural light in the home
  • Clean gutters to prevent runoff and moisture seepage into the foundation
  • Weeding and applying 1-2” fresh mulch to garden beds

General interior maintenance including

  • Freshly painted interior using warm, neutral colors and earth tones which are currently popular
  • Remove all carpeting to expose hardwood floors, important to prospective buyers with allergies
  • Install new lightbulbs in all fixtures to enhance brightness
  • Have the HVAC system and all appliances serviced to ensure in proper working order
  • Have any plumbing leaks repaired
  • Have all windows and doors serviced to ensure they open and close properly

Home improvements can be expensive, so prioritize what items are most important to buyers and those that will give you the greatest return on investment

  • Programmable thermostat, exterior lighting and video doorbell
  • Replace non-working appliances and windows with Energy Star-rated products
  • Expand powder room to first floor full bath with walk-in shower as today’s buyers focus on “aging in place” rather than “downsizing”

In addition to making some of the changes described above, making certain modifications to the interior layout and simple staging can enhance the sale of your home. For example, the demand for home office space is still strong. Over the past year over a third of all buyers express a need for home office space. Simple staging of a “guest bedroom” as an office, creating an office alcove by removing doors from an oversized closet or pantry, or staging an office in a second-floor loft space are ways to satisfy this buyer need. Recent buyer surveys indicate that they still want open floor plan interiors. This can be challenging in an older home. However, widening doorways or removing a non-loadbearing wall between the dining and living space can produce a significant return on investment.


For additional information please contact:

Diane Belcuore
Realtor ®
NJ 5 STAR AWARD Winner 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,2019,2020,2021
Accredited Staging Professional