Peggy Farber, CRS, CIPS, TRC - oldCape Sotheby’s International 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!


As a home seller, it sometimes can be tough to balance short- and long-term goals. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline your house selling efforts and ensure you can maintain your focus as you proceed along the property selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you stay on course after you list your residence.

1. Establish a Home Selling Timeline

A home selling timeline can help you take the guesswork out of selling your residence. This timeline enables you to determine what tasks you will need to complete as you navigate the property selling journey. Plus, it can help you get a good idea about how much time you will need to sell your residence.

Be flexible with your home selling timeline. Remember, unexpected problems may arise at any point during the home selling journey, and these issues may slow you down. But if you maintain flexibility, you can address any potential home selling hurdles and finish the home selling journey as quickly as possible.

2. Create Home Selling Goals

With home selling goals in place, you can achieve many milestones throughout the property selling journey. These goals can help you stay focused as you complete each step of the home selling process. They also enable you to enjoy a sense of accomplishment as you finish a wide range of tasks when you sell your home.

You can create as many or as few home selling goals as you'd like. As you set up goals, you should consider the steps that you'll need to complete as well. This may allow you to further accelerate the home selling journey.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about what to expect during the home selling journey, you may want to find a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to maintain your focus throughout the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home in any real estate market, at any time. First, he or she will help you establish a home selling strategy. This housing market professional next will promote your residence to potential buyers and help you review any offers to purchase your home. And if you accept an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to complete the final steps of the property selling journey.

Let's not forget about the expert guidance that a real estate agent provides, either. A real estate agent is happy to respond to a home seller's concerns and questions. As a result, a real estate agent will help a home seller make informed decisions as the property selling journey progresses.

Maintain your focus as you sell your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can remain on track throughout the house selling journey.


Although you may have listed your residence in the hopes of a fast home sale, the real estate market has been tough to navigate thus far. As a result, your house has lingered on the real estate market for several weeks, and no end to the home selling journey appears in sight.

Fortunately, we're here to help you generate interest in your house and speed up the home selling process.

Let's take a look at three quick, easy ways to stir up interest in your residence.

1. Clean Your Home Both Inside and Out

Your house's exterior can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. If your house has a pristine lawn, immaculate siding and other outstanding exterior features, it may stand out to large groups of potential buyers. Conversely, if your residence fails to make a positive first impression on homebuyers, it is unlikely that these buyers will set up home showings.

Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform assorted home exterior maintenance and repairs. By doing so, you can instantly boost your house's curb appeal and make your home an attractive choice to dozens of potential buyers.

Furthermore, don't forget to mop the floors, wipe down countertops and ensure your home interior dazzles. Because if your home interior impresses homebuyers, it may be only a matter of time before these buyers submit offers on your house.

2. Declutter As Much As Possible

Clutter can make your house appear smaller than it actually is and get in the way of a potential home sale. As such, you should remove as much home clutter as possible.

Renting a storage unit is a great option for any home seller. With a storage unit at your disposal, you can pack up excess items and store them securely until your house sells.

Also, keep in mind the homebuyer's perspective as you declutter your residence. A homebuyer wants to envision what life would be like if he or she purchases your house. Therefore, you should remove artwork, photographs and other personal mementos from your home to help a homebuyer imagine life as the owner of your residence.

3. Collaborate with an Expert Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you promote your residence to the right homebuyers, at the right time, every time. Thus, if you hire a real estate agent today, you can move one step closer to selling your house.

Ultimately, a real estate agent will support you in a number of ways. He or she will help you list your residence, set up home showings and host open house events. Also, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about any home offers and provide recommendations throughout the home selling cycle.

Accelerate the home selling process – use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly stir up plenty of interest in your home.


Trying to get your house ready for the real estate market? Ultimately, a home appraisal can help you set a fair price for your residence, thereby boosting your chances of a quick home sale.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will evaluate your residence both inside and out. Then, this inspector will provide you with a report that details his or her findings, along with an estimated value of your residence.

With a home appraisal report in hand, you can establish home improvement priorities. Plus, you can enter the housing market with a good idea about your house's value and price your residence accordingly.

Clearly, there are many reasons to complete a home appraisal. But it also is important to do everything possible to get your house appraisal-ready to increase your chances of getting a high appraisal.

For those who are struggling to get their homes appraisal-ready, we're here to help.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep your residence for an appraisal.

1. Take an Objective View of Your Residence

Consider how a homebuyer may see your house – you'll be glad you did. If you take an objective approach to selling your residence, you may be able to identify various problem areas before you list your house.

For example, cracked or chipped home siding may seem like a minor issue to you, but this problem can affect how homebuyers perceive your house. Conversely, if you fix cracked or chipped siding before a home appraisal, you can increase the likelihood of a favorable appraisal.

2. Spend Some Time Cleaning Your House

A tidy house is a pristine residence, one that will surely stand out to homebuyers. Meanwhile, if you allocate some time to clean your residence, you may be able to identify potential home problems that otherwise could hurt your residence's value.

If you need extra help with home cleaning, it certainly pays to hire a professional cleaning company. This business hires friendly, experienced staff members who will help you enhance your house's interior and exterior in no time at all.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Getting a house appraisal-ready may prove to be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive extensive support as you prep your residence for an appraisal.

A real estate agent will examine your residence before an appraisal and offer honest, unbiased home improvement recommendations. In addition, he or she can put you in touch with the top property inspectors in your area to guarantee that you can receive a comprehensive appraisal.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent acts as a home selling guide. This housing market professional is ready to respond to your home selling concerns and questions and will do whatever it takes to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence.

Move one step closer to selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of getting your home ready for an appraisal.


Selling a home may seem exceedingly difficult, particularly for a first-time property seller. However, if you receive an offer on your residence that falls just short of your initial expectations, you may be able to negotiate with a homebuyer.

How you handle a negotiation with a homebuyer may dictate how quickly you sell your residence.

If you're unwilling to understand a homebuyer's point of view, you risk missing out on an opportunity to get the best results from your home sale.

On the other hand, if you stay calm throughout a home selling negotiation, you may be better equipped to understand a homebuyer's perspective. This may help you find common ground with a homebuyer and ensure you can speed up the home selling cycle.

What does it take to remain calm during a home selling negotiation? Here are three tips to help home sellers maintain their composure throughout a negotiation.

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check

A home selling negotiation can be stressful. But home sellers who manage to keep their emotions in check can boost their chances of a quick home sale.

If you feel stressed during a home selling negotiation, don't hesitate to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to sell your residence. With the lines of communication open, you and a homebuyer can work together to ensure all parties involved in a negotiation are satisfied with the end results.

2. Look at All of the Options at Your Disposal

If a home selling negotiation goes south, there is no need to panic. Instead, consider all of the options at your disposal, and you'll be able to determine how to proceed from here.

For home sellers, it is essential to note that many homebuyers are on the lookout for high-quality residences in cities and towns around the country. Thus, if a negotiation with a homebuyer fails to work out, you can continue to promote your house on the real estate market.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for many home sellers, and for good reason. This housing market professional will handle a home selling negotiation and ensure you can seamlessly navigate the entire home selling journey.

Typically, a real estate agent can negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf. He or she will keep you up to date about any homebuyer requests and offer honest, unbiased home selling suggestions. As a result, you can receive expert home selling guidance and make informed decisions at each stage of a home selling negotiation.

A real estate agent also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time. That way, this housing market professional will make it simple for you to alleviate stress in a high-pressure home selling negotiation.

When it comes to handling a home selling negotiation, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble remaining calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a homebuyer.




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