13 tips to sell your home at the best price


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It has been your beloved home base, the setting for all the special occasions and daily comings and goings that have made so many memories. Now is the time to take those memories with you to a new place. Your home is worth a lot to you, and you want that reflected in your asking price.

Now is the perfect time to sell. As Northjersey.com reported this summer, median selling prices in Bergen County jumped 14% in April, compared to the previous year. And with a little planning, a well-priced home can attract competing offers.

“We have had several examples of our real estate agents marketing a home and recommending that their clients take on several projects to maximize the sale price,” said Sonja Cullaro, executive vice president of Christie’s International Real Estate Northern New Jersey. “Properties sold for a 10 to 15% premium. “

Before you market your home, be sure to check out the advice offered by local real estate agents, interior designers, and landscapers here.

No fixer, please

Everyone wants value for their money, and it can be a good idea to sell a home that needs work as is and price it accordingly. But according to Jason Pierce, real estate agent at Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Tenafly, “most buyers want a turnkey home that’s ready to move in.”

To find them, they search online more than ever. “The most effective presentations are the most comprehensive,” he says. “Buyers want as much relevant information up front as possible, and they won’t pay extra for features and benefits they don’t know about.” Sometimes, he adds, buyers base their decisions on what they see online and don’t even set foot in the new home until after it has closed.

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But whether potential owners see the homes virtually, in person, or both, there are steps you can take that will broaden its appeal to a large number of potential buyers.

Banish clutter

“Buyers want to see clean surfaces and spaces,” says Lynn Brescia, real estate broker at Coldwell Banker in Wyckoff. “Vendors have to get rid of pictures that are everywhere, dried flowers and knick-knacks, stuff that clutters a room.”

Diane Cookson, real estate agent at Compass in northern New Jersey, agrees. “Some sellers just leave personal items out,” she says. “These spaces become too personal, and buyers entering may interpret this as if the house is not being well maintained or is invading the current owner’s space.”

Stay neutral

Using “fresh, clean, neutral paint is one of the easiest and most economical ways to update the look of a home,” says Christie’s Cullaro. Light grays and shades of white – as opposed to bold or patterned backgrounds – serve as blank slates against which potential buyers can envision their property.

Easy updates

Quick fixes can take away the appearance of a home for years. “Decorative lights have a big impact and are quite easy to change,” says designer Sharon Sherman, owner of Thyme & Place Design at Wyckoff. She also suggests getting rid of old window coverings and letting light through the windows. The old wall-to-wall carpet should come out, she says, in favor of the solid wood floors underneath. New drawer handles, knobs and other forms of hardware are also desirable. “The new material is like icing on the cake,” she says.

Pay attention to kitchens and bathrooms

The received wisdom that updated kitchens and bathrooms deliver the best return on investment is true, Brescia says. “You can paint old brown cabinets white, install a new countertop, and install new appliances,” she says. “Try to get as close to 2021 as possible in style. We used to do more stone bathrooms with browns and beiges, and now they’re crisp white with color accents.”

Add these popular contemporary features

If you already have smart home technology, great. But if not, Pierce suggests installing features like the Nest Thermostat, an affordable Wi-Fi-enabled electronic temperature control that can be programmed with your phone. Other sought-after green elements include LED bulbs and low-emissivity windows (specially coated to deflect UV and ultra-red light).

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Set the scene

“The look and feel of a house at an exhibition is so important,” Cullaro says. The floral arrangements and the pleasant smells of baked goods or candles create a comforting feeling of home. Cookson says that putting on comfy blankets and pillows can also make a space more welcoming, with subtle music.

Share the ways parts can be reused

Since COVID-19, many homeowners have used their homes for activities they sought out in public. You might already have a home bar, library, gym, wine cellar, or music room, but if you don’t have one and have the space to accommodate them, let them know. into potential buyers. “If you can show that a living room can be used as a home working or home learning space during the day and a media room at night, that’s a selling point,” says Sherman.

Even the corners of bedrooms and attics can be arranged for other functions. “Private spaces, especially nowadays, are more important than ever, even if it’s a window seat that becomes a private reading space,” says Terri Fiori, owner of Fiori Interior Designs at Wyckoff.

Add pops of color

Eric Cording, landscaper at CLC Landscape Design in Ringwood, is also a real estate agent at Terrie O’Connor Realtors. He advises guests to focus on curb appeal and recommends adding color throughout the plantings – for example, with a layer of evergreen boxwood and a second layer of hydrangeas or catnip. perennial Junior Walker in lavender color. Catnip has the advantage of not leaving bare spots in the soil after they’ve bloomed, he says, and “that won’t break the budget. Annuals also add variety. People are excited about color. ” He recommends edging foliage such as purple and multi-colored coral bells with different colors of leaves.

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Landscape to profile your home

“Make sure you open up your design so that it doesn’t hide the beauty of the architecture of the house,” says Rich Cording Sr., Eric’s father and founder of CLC. “A good design should frame the corners of the house, hug the building, and tie it to the ground.” If the house has large stones, he says, less planting may be needed on the property.

Install theater lighting

Low-voltage accent lighting that silhouetted trees from below adds beauty, especially in the fall and winter, says Rich Cording; up-lights can also be installed to highlight attractive stones and columns. Path lighting has the added benefit of making walkways and steps safer.

Add currently requested items

During the pandemic, as homeowners spent more time outdoors, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces became more popular, as did structures that provide shade, such as pergolas and gazebos, says Rich. Cording.

Think creatively about using the backyard

The Cordings say that while level backyards are “the fantasy,” they don’t have to be as flat as soccer fields. “There’s never a house that I can’t have a pool in, so even if the house doesn’t, it can be designed and added later,” says Rich. He remembers an owner whose “backyard was a cliff”. To persuade his client’s potential buyer that he could be turned into a rock garden and waterfall feeding a swimming pool, Rich made two-dimensional and 3D designs and laminated them. “The house sold in two weeks because the buyer could see the vision,” he says. “People buy out of emotion.”

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