Karen Scopetski - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Vice President, MA real estate single family


Whether you plan on selling your house in the next few years, or if you just want to make some much needed updates to your home, renovations can be a great way to increase the value of your property.

However, not all updates will pay for themselves. Some upgrades that we want for personal reasons, such as building an addition for more space, could come back to haunt you if it isn’t to the taste of potential homebuyers in the future.

So, in this article, we’re going to talk about five simple updates to your home that have the best chance of increasing its selling price. That way, when you do finally decide to move on from your home, you can sell for the price you know your home is worth.

Improve your lighting

You don’t have to be a carpenter to increase the value of your home. When a potential buyer enters your home for the first time, two of the first things they’ll notice are the lighting and the spaciousness of the room.

Since lighting is an essential part of creating spaciousness, increasing the former will also increase the latter.

So, what are some ways you can increase lighting?

  • Add recessed lights to the ceilings of your home. It will open up space in the ceiling and allow for a greater number of lights overall.

  • Add lighting under the cabinets in your kitchen

  • Use large mirrors for decoration to increase lighting and create the illusion of spaciousness in smaller rooms

Painting for the modern homeowner

Home decor trends come and go. Not long ago, wallpaper was the go-to choice. However, the surest way to increase the value of your home is to use bright and neutral colors since, statistically, these appeal to the largest number of people.

Fresh paint and good lighting work together to make your home seem more polished and modern. And, for just a few hundred dollars, you can paint your whole home.

Remember, however, that it is easy to scuff up the walls in your home. So, it’s a good idea to paint closer to the date you think you’ll be trying to sell.

Low maintenance landscaping

While there are people who enjoy mowing the lawn on Saturday morning, those people tend to be few and far between. One thing potential buyers will consider when viewing your home is how difficult it will be to take care of the yard.

Adding an irrigation system, removing unnecessary obstacles, and planting hardy bushes and plants will woo potential buyers.

Upgrade the most outdated room in your home

If your home is in need of serious upgrades, it’s best to start with the room that needs it the most, especially if that room is a bathroom or kitchen. Replacing an old vanity or putting new tile down can be simple ways to spruce up a bathroom that’s looking dated.

Fix the little things

If you have a couple of years before you plan to sell, that gives you time to fix the small issues that you’ve noticed and will continue to notice. Maintaining your home now will give you less to worry about when the time comes to sell, and you don’t want to be dealing with leaking faucets when that day arrives.


Want to sell your small town home? You're in luck, as many homebuyers are interested in relocating to residences in small towns across the nation.

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to differentiate your small town house from the competition. By doing so, you'll be able to streamline the process of adding your small town residence to the real estate market and stirring up plenty of interest from homebuyers.

Get the best results out of the home selling journey – here are three tips that you can use to simplify the process of selling your small town residence.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Complete a home appraisal – you'll be glad you did. This assessment will enable you to learn about your home's strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.

After a home appraisal, you can set priorities for home improvement projects. That way, you can enhance your small town house both inside and out.

Also, be sure to review comparable homes that are available in your town. With this housing market data at your disposal, you can find out how your house stacks up against the competition.

2. Establish a Competitive Price

Ultimately, you'll want to establish a "fair" price for your small town house. To accomplish this feat, you'll want to examine the local real estate market closely.

Check out the prices of houses that recently sold in your small town. This will enable you to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

In addition, set realistic expectations as you consider how to price your home.

What you paid for your small town home a few years ago is unlikely to match what your house is worth today. However, if you assess your house from a homebuyer's perspective, you may be better equipped than ever before to price your home appropriately.

3. Collaborate with an Expert Real Estate Agent

For a home seller, it can be difficult to navigate the home selling journey on your own. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you overcome any potential home selling roadblocks.

An expert real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a small town home and will do everything possible to eliminate these hurdles. He or she will promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers, set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf. As such, this real estate professional will take the guesswork out of selling a small town residence.

Perhaps best of all, an expert real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your small town house, this real estate professional is available to assist you at any time.

Add your small town residence to the local real estate market today – take advantage of these home selling tips, and you should have no trouble maximizing the value of your small town house.


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.


Although a slow, gradual approach to selling a house often proves to be ideal, there may be instances when you need to work quickly to list your home. In fact, some of the primary reasons why an individual may try to accelerate the home selling process include:

1. You are planning to move to a new house right away.

If you recently submitted an offer on a house that is contingent on selling your current residence, you may need to act fast to sell your present home. Otherwise, you may miss out on the opportunity to finalize the purchase of your dream residence.

For home sellers who face a time crunch, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the help that you need to enjoy a quick, seamless home selling experience.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals. This housing market professional then will craft a strategy to help you sell your house within your designated time frame. That way, you can boost the likelihood of getting the best-possible price for your residence, regardless of how much time is at your disposal.

2. You know exactly what your house is worth.

A diligent home seller likely knows all about the condition of his or her residence. Thus, this seller should have no trouble setting a competitive price for his or her house, increasing the possibility of a fast home sale.

To determine a "fair" value for a home, it generally helps to conduct a house appraisal. During an appraisal, a property expert will examine a residence and provide a valuation. Next, you can use this valuation to establish a competitive price for your house.

Also, it may be beneficial to complete a home inspection prior to listing a residence. An inspection will help you identify any "hidden" home problems and ensure you can address these issues before they escalate.

3. You understand the local housing market.

The real estate market can be complex, particularly for home sellers who face pressure to sell their residences as quickly as possible. Luckily, a home seller who knows the ins and outs of the housing market can improve his or her chances of achieving the best-possible results.

To learn about the housing market, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. In addition to guiding you along the home selling process, a real estate agent can teach you about the local housing market. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is available to respond to your home selling concerns and questions. And if you're ever uncertain about whether to accept an offer on your house, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert recommendations.

Want to list your house? Plan ahead as much as you can, and you can quickly navigate the home selling cycle.


If you encounter home selling challenges, there is no need to worry. In fact, if you know how to approach potential house selling hurdles, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you hone your approach to home selling challenges.

1. Remain Calm

A home selling challenge may seem like the end of the world. But it is important to remember that home sellers like yourself likely have faced similar problems in the past. And as such, there is probably a viable solution to address any home selling challenge, at any time.

When a home selling challenge presents itself, it often helps to take a deep breath. Then, you should try to remain calm, cool and collected and approach the challenge from an objective point of view. By doing so, you may be able to find a way to resolve this challenge in no time at all.

2. Be Persistent

Let's face it – no one said selling a house would be easy. But for those who are persistent, even the toughest home selling challenges can be overcome.

If you approach a home selling challenge with persistence, you'll be ready to explore every potential solution to address this issue. As a result, you may be able to quickly identify the right solutions to various home selling challenges and move one step closer to achieving your property selling goals.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For those who face a home selling challenge, it generally is a good idea to seek out expert guidance. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals are happy to help you address any home selling challenges head-on.

Typically, a real estate agent offers plenty of support throughout the property selling journey. He or she first will learn about your home selling goals and provide a personalized home selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and decide whether to accept, reject or counter it.

A real estate agent is prepared to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have during the home selling process too. If you are unsure about how to price your home, for example, a real estate agent can offer housing market data to help you establish a competitive initial asking price. Or, if you face a time crunch to sell your residence, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you sell your house as quickly as possible.

There is no reason to let home selling challenges get the best of you after you list your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, however, you can boost your home selling confidence and determine the best course of action to resolve any house selling challenges.




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