Pam DeGemmis - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


Getting your home ready to sell entails quite a lot. Staging, taking photos, stocking the toiletries, and--in the case of an open house--entertaining guests. You want the visitors to your home to feel welcome and like they could live there someday.

To achieve this it takes planning and an eye for what really “works” in your home. To do this you’ll have to let go of everything you’ve made your home into and turn it into a blank slate where others can imagine it fitting their personal taste.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on preparing your home for an open house or showing to leave the best possible impression on your visitors.

Remove yourself from the picture

It might be sad to take down your family photos and personal effects, but imagine yourself in a visitor’s shoes. When you enter a home you’re thinking of buying, you don’t want to be distracted by what the previous family did with the home. Rather, you want to look forward and imagine your own family making a life there.

Declutter

Even the most minimalistic of homeowners tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. However, walking into a home filled with items is distracting from the features of the home. You want to draw people’s eyes toward the best characteristics of your home--whether that’s spaciousness or architectural features.

We suggest packing your belongings by room and renting out a storage facility while you wait to move into your new place.

Stage appropriately

Working with someone to stage your home is a guaranteed way to make sure your house looks welcoming for your guests and photos. However, if you plan on doing the staging yourself take a look at some similarly styled homes online to find out what looks good in their photos. When we furnish our homes, we do it based on our personal taste, comfort, and utility. Staged homes are about aesthetics and atmosphere.

Once you’ve finished staging, it’s time to clean up after yourself. Wipe down surfaces, polish wood, and clean the windows.

Don’t neglect the exterior

The outside of your home is as important as the inside. It will be visitor’s first impression when they arrive at your driveway. To prepare, make sure your siding and windows are clear of dirt, the lawn mowed, the gutters cleaned, and the doors freshly painted, if necessary. Sweep the driveway and remove any yard tools from sight.

Welcoming guests

Your real estate agent knows how to run an effective open house. However, here are a few key things to remember on the day your guests will arrive.

First, light a candle and use air fresheners where necessary. A neutral smell is the best option, but an air freshener is better than a bad one if there are parts of your home that are prone to bad smells.

Next, make sure the bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper, tissues, and clean towels. If yours are getting old, it could be a good time to replace hand towels altogether.

Finally, welcome your guests with a new welcome mat at the front door to make a great first impression.


After you accept a homebuyer's offer on your residence, he or she likely will complete a home inspection. Then, the homebuyer may choose to move forward with the home purchase, rescind or modify his or her offer or ask the home seller to complete home improvements.

Ultimately, a home seller is likely to have many questions following a home inspection, including:

1. What did the homebuyer discover during the home inspection?

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you can boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your house. Plus, when a homebuyer performs a home inspection, he or she is unlikely to find any problems that may slow down the home selling process.

An informed home seller may conduct a home appraisal prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This appraisal enables a home seller to identify potential trouble areas within a residence and explore ways to address such problems.

If you failed to perform a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. For home sellers, it is important to see a home inspection as a learning opportunity. And if a homebuyer identifies problems with your residence during a home inspection, you should try to work with him or her to resolve these issues.

2. Should I stand my ground after a home inspection?

Be realistic after a home inspection, and you'll be able to make the best decision about how to proceed.

For example, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty may address major home problems prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This home seller will dedicate the necessary time and resources to correct home problems and ensure a homebuyer is able to purchase a top-notch residence.

But what happens if a homebuyer identifies problems during a home inspection, despite the fact that a home seller already tried to correct various home issues?

A home seller should consider the homebuyer's inspection report findings closely. If minor home repairs are needed, he or she may be able to fix these problems to move forward with a home sale. Or, if a homebuyer is making exorbitant demands, a home seller may feel comfortable allowing the homebuyer to walk away from a home sale.

3. How should I proceed after a home inspection?

A home inspection can be stressful for both a home seller and a homebuyer. After the home inspection is completed, both parties will be better equipped than ever before to make informed decisions.

If a homebuyer encounters many problems with a residence, he or she will let the home seller know about these issues. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs, offer a discounted price on a home or refuse to perform the requested home maintenance.

Working with a real estate agent is ideal for a home seller, particularly when it comes to home inspections. A real estate agent will negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf and ensure you streamline the home selling process.


The home selling journey offers no guarantees, and as such, there is no assurance that you'll be able to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience. Lucky for you, we're here to offer insights into the home seller's perspective and ensure you can reap the benefits of a successful home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you become a smart home seller.

1. Analyze Your House's Strengths and Weaknesses

Although you've allocated significant time and resources to keep your house looking great over the years, your home soon may be just one of many houses that is available to property buyers. But if you analyze your residence's strengths and weaknesses, you may be able to identify opportunities to improve your house and differentiate it from others in a competitive real estate market.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a house inspection before you list a residence. This inspection will enable you to receive a comprehensive analysis of your house from a property expert. Then, you can use an inspection report to prioritize home improvement projects and upgrade your house accordingly.

2. Set an Aggressive Initial Asking Price

What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's present value. However, if you analyze the real estate market, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence.

Take a look at the prices of available houses in your city or town that are comparable to your own residence. By doing so, you can narrow the price range for homes in your region.

Furthermore, a home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. An appraisal enables you to receive a property valuation based on your house's condition, age and the current state of the real estate sector. With this appraisal in hand, you can set an asking price for your house that will hit the mark with many potential buyers.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Even a home seller who is persistent and intelligent may require additional help to achieve the optimal results. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can make it simple for a home seller to maximize his or her home sale earnings.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is unafraid to be honest with a home seller. This housing market professional will offer unbiased feedback about a residence's condition and provide recommendations to help a home seller improve his or her property. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to a home seller's concerns and questions. This means a home seller can receive extensive housing market insights from his or her real estate agent and make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.

When it comes to selling a home, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and anyone can enter the real estate market as a smart home seller.


Any pet owner will tell you that their pets are a part of the family. They bring joy to new families getting their first dog, and companionship to people who would otherwise live alone. However, they also bring the pet odors associated with having them around the house.

Since we spend so much time in our own homes, we oftentimes don’t even notice pet odors. So, even if you think your home is free of odors, it’s a good idea to get an unbiased opinion of the various odors of your home so that you can address them if necessary.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to identify and neutralize those pet odors before the open house or first home showing. That way you can make the best impression on potential sellers and leave them feeling like your home has been well-maintained.

Identifying pet odors in your home

Whether you’ve got a dog, cat, rabbit, or hamster, odds are your little friend puts off some amount of odor. To discover where, if any, odors can be found, invite a friend over to your home who isn’t familiar with the smells and ask them their honest opinions about the various rooms in your home. This will give you a good idea of where you need to focus your efforts.

Important areas to clean

First thing’s first: the fabrics, surfaces, furniture, and carpet in your home in your home hold onto odor the most. Renting or buying a carpet cleaner, mopping the hard surfaces, and washing or refreshing curtains is a great place to start.

Many steam cleaners can be used on various surfaces, making them a good solution to get the most value out of your cleaning budget.

Don’t forget the carpet pad

If your pets have ever had “accidents” on your carpets, it’s vital to remember that their mess likely soaked through the carpet onto the carpet pad. While it may seem like a lot of effort to pull up the carpet just to clean the pad, it may be your only option in severe cases of pet odors.  

Painting

Repainting is a guaranteed way to remove any lingering odors in your home. Try to time your painting so that the room has the chance to air out and the smell of fresh paint isn’t overpowering.

Repainting is also the perfect opportunity to brighten up the rooms of your home, making them feel more spacious. Sticking to neutral, proven colors will give you the most bang for your buck.

Let some fresh air in

Before showing your home, open up the doors and windows and doors to closets and basements and let a draft run through the house. This can eliminate any musty smells that have accumulated in the lesser used parts of your home, as well as help mitigate the effect of pet odor.

Last minute additions

The day of showing your home, use a high-quality scented candle or two in places that your pets frequent. You don’t want it to be obvious that you’re trying to mask any bad odors, so don’t use anything overpowering. Rather, opt for a pleasant-to-neutral fragrance that isn’t too noticeable.


Selling a home may prove to be difficult, particularly for individuals who strive to maximize their day-to-day productivity. In many instances, the time and costs associated with listing a home, promoting it to potential buyers and performing other home selling tasks can add up quickly. But if you know how to act as a productive home seller, you should have no trouble maximizing the time and resources at your disposal.

What does it take to become a productive home seller? Here are three tips to help you maximize your productivity throughout the home selling process.

1. Remove Clutter

Clutter will only slow you down during the home selling cycle. As such, you'll want to do everything you can to minimize clutter prior to listing your residence.

Artwork, photographs and other personal mementos in your home should be placed in storage until you sell your residence. That way, you can free up space in your house, as well as make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they acquire your residence.

Also, if you have items that you no longer need, don't hesitate to sell or donate these items. And if you own items that are broken or damaged, you should dispose of these items altogether.

2. Understand the Home Selling Process

When it comes to the home selling process, it pays to be diligent. If you understand what to expect before you list your house, you'll be better prepared than ever before to handle any home selling challenges that might come your way.

Furthermore, think about the buyer's perspective during the home selling cycle – you'll be glad you did. A homebuyer wants to find a home that delivers exceptional value. As a home seller, you'll want to do whatever you can to show a buyer that your house is the ideal choice.

For home sellers, it pays to consider what you'll need to do to promote your house to the right groups of potential buyers. If you plan ahead and learn about the home selling process, you can make informed choices that may help you get the best price for your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is committed to client satisfaction, and as a result, will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you maximize your productivity. This housing market professional will offer expert recommendations throughout the home selling journey to make it simple to achieve your desired results. Plus, he or she will set up home showings, keep you up to date about offers on your house and much more.

It helps to hire a real estate agent who understands the ins and outs of the housing market in your area. With this real estate agent at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling cycle.

Stay productive as you sell your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can increase the likelihood of a quick, seamless home selling experience.