Real Estate – Home Selling Tips

Preparing a House for Sale

Home Staging Advise

NH real estate agenciesLearn how to Stage your Home for Sale like an Expert. Selling a home can be a very stressful venture. A number of factors determine the speed and success at which you are able to sell your property. A good real estate agent, a good market, location, and staging. Ask us about NH Realty or share comments. To feature your Realty Agency, contact us.

Real Estate Home For Sale Staging



New Hampshire Real EstateBefore selling your home, it is good to go over the home and look for improvements or repairs that should be done. Have your real estate agent assist you in finding things that should be improved or repaired.

Your first step in preparing your home for sale is to create an overall list of things to fix or improve. Consult with your real estate agent. If you are still trying to decide which real estate agent to list your home with, please see our list of tips on choosing a real estate agent. Involve the agent as you make your list, since the agent should be familiar with homes in your neighborhood. He or she is the most qualified person to tell you how your home will be perceived by potential buyers. They should be able to identify things within the home that potential buyers might have a problem with. The real estate agent is objective and will see your home through the eyes of an outsider, just like potential buyers. Ask the real estate agent to be candid with you. Any advice that the real estate agent gives you is to help you, not insult you. Don’t take anything they say about your home personally.

Below are some major factors which should guide you when you are inspecting your home for possible improvements. You can systematically develop a list of what needs to be done and why. Your real estate agent can help with the details and help decide how far to go with each project.



One of the most important issues in determining the salability of your house is how inviting potential buyers find it from the street or curb. Your real estate agent, as a newcomer with no special emotional attachment to your house, is in a better position to evaluate your home’s appearance in a way that approximates what a prospective buyer sees. Curb appeal is critical because many prospective buyers will only drive by your home. If they decide to go on without stopping, they’re no longer a prospect and your odds of selling at a good price just dropped. Ideally, you want every person who stops and looks at the house from the curb to be sufficiently enamored that they want to come in and see more. Curb appeal is made up of three primary components: the front entrance, the rest of the front of the house, and landscaping.

First among the considerations for curb appeal is the front entrance. The front door, porch and any surrounding windows and structures form the focal point for the eye and for the heart as well. The door needs to look sharp. A fresh coat of paint is usually a good idea. If the door does not have a small roofed area, the addition of one can sometimes dramatically improve the overall look of the house. Freshly painted or polished door hardware also makes it more attractive. Other useful ideas include: easy-to-see house numbers, a freshly-painted mail box, and attractive, functioning porch lights.

After checking out the entrance way for possible improvements, look at the rest of the front of the house. Is the siding clean? Is the paint in good shape? Are shutters in good condition, freshly painted and hung straight? Are the windows clean, free of spider webs and vines and in good repair? Are the gutters clean, sharp looking, and hung securely? The third major component of curb appeal is the landscaping.

The landscaping includes the lawn, plants and such structures as retaining walls, walks and steps. Getting the lawn in shape usually takes the better part of a year, depending on when you start, so planning is important. The lawn doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want it to be one of the nicer lawns among homes that are competitors to yours. Your real estate agent can help you figure out how far you need to go. The trees and shrubs need to be well trimmed. Many older homes have overgrown shrubs that hide the house and make it look smaller than it really is. This is rarely a plus to buyers. Garden beds need to be well defined and freshly mulched. Walks, steps and walls should be in good shape. If the front walk is starting to break up, sometimes the best bet is to have a mason apply a top layer of brick or flagstone over the old concrete. In this way a minus gets converted into a substantial plus.

Once you’ve checked out those factors that drive curb appeal, you need to look at any major deficiencies in the rest of the home. A leaking roof or wet basement should be dealt with in advance. Often, part-way solutions aren’t enough. If a discerning eye can tell that the roof is at the end of its useful life, a repair on a leaking portion probably won’t suffice. Some people will rule out your home because they just don’t like dealing with such things as roof replacements, or wet basements.

Today, disclosure requirements and the associated liabilities make it mandatory not to hide current and potential problems. Kitchens and bathrooms present their own problems. As a general rule, a kitchen perceived as a negative when compared to other houses on the market needs to be addressed. If it’s not completely up to date but is on a par with the other houses in the market, no major changes need be made. If you do need to fix it up, your real estate agent should be able to guide you as to what is really necessary. Often a fresh coat of paint, a new countertop and a new floor are sufficient to bring a kitchen up to speed without great expense. Bathrooms are generally the same way. People often contemplate adding a bath or making a half-bath into a full bath, but this only makes sense if your lack of baths is likely to be perceived as a marketing negative. Again, your real estate agent will likely know what other homes on the market have or don’t have and how buyers perceive that.

The next major issue to consider when getting your house ready for sale is often the least expensive and the most troublesome: getting rid of clutter. Most people are totally convinced that their homes aren’t cluttered, so the advice of an honest outsider is critical. Because people tend to acquire furniture, knick-knacks, and doodads over many years, they aren’t even aware of the accumulation of these items. The effect of clutter, whether caused by expensive art, luxurious couches, classic books, or any other kind of stuff, is to make rooms look smaller and darker. Getting rid of all the stuff is difficult because most people typically become quite attached to it. What can you do?

Reducing the clutter in your home pays off. Nearly all homes will show better if 30% to 50% of the clutter is removed. Your home will appeal to more buyers, which could result in a higher selling price.

Some solutions to the clutter problem are: putting things into storage until you’re ready to sort through them or move. Or, have a yard sale, an auction, or even donate it all to charity and take the tax deduction. You will be surprised at how much money it’s all worth. The most organized and disciplined home sellers often realize enough money from their yard sale to pay for many of the other improvements and spruce-ups necessary to get the home ready for sale. You save again with reduced moving expenses later on! Be careful in your cleaning, on rare occasions, people get carried away with clutter reduction. If rooms are so barren that they feel cold, sterile or unlived in, prospective buyers will have a hard time relating to them.

The next area of concern in getting your home ready to sell is all of the interior surfaces. Walls, carpets, floors, countertops, and ceilings should all be reviewed with a critical eye. Regardless of the surface, if you are going to refurbish it, choose neutral colors. It doesn’t really matter whether you like the color. What does matter is that as few people as possible will dislike the color. With paint, that nearly always means an off-white. When dealing with floors, use lighter colors in the most popular patterns. If you are unclear about what direction to go in, go to a couple of open houses in new home developments and see what patterns and colors they have used. They usually spend a lot of money determining what sells.

In most cases, if you haven’t done much painting recently, it makes sense to repaint the entire inside. Sometimes it is hard to anticipate what a difference it will make. Even white walls become yellowed over time. The process is so gradual it is hard to see. After a fresh coat of paint the wall becomes much brighter and cleaner. Don’t make the mistake of planning for piece-meal painting–a wall here, a ceiling there–because when you repaint one surface in a room, the contrast makes the old finishes look much worse and you end up needing to repaint everything anyway.

If the carpets are in good shape, a thorough professional cleaning will usually suffice. If they are old and ratty, stained or musty smelling, you are better off either replacing them or removing them and sprucing up the floor underneath. Hardwood floors are quite popular again, so if you are lucky enough to have those under the carpet, consider removing the carpet and refinishing the floors. If the hardwood floors are in good shape, a simple refinishing will usually do the trick. If they are stained and worn, they will probably have to be sanded and then refinished.

In bathrooms and kitchens, replacing a tired old vinyl floor can really brighten things up. Use good quality materials, and avoid patterns and colors that are overly exciting to you. In general, if you get really excited about a color or pattern, it is a color or pattern you should avoid.

In checking all of your plumbing and electrical fixtures, a systematic approach is best. Go through each room and try every electrical outlet by plugging in a portable lamp. Test every light switch, replacing bulbs when necessary. In general, you want the maximum wattage bulb permissible for the fixture. Light sells!

In each bathroom, check each faucet. Don’t forget the shower and bathtub. Note any that are leaking or otherwise in need of servicing. Also note any tile or caulking problems. Caulking deserves special attention. If a prospective buyer comes into a bathroom and sees layers and layers of caulk, he or she will assume that you have a frustrating leak (and who wants to inherit frustration?). Your best bet is to remove all the old caulking around the shower or tub and re-caulk. If you use masking tape to assure even edges and your finger for a smooth finish, you can make the tub look sharp, turning a liability into an asset.

As you form your list of projects to prepare your home for sale, make sure your home ends up with a couple of distinctive features. Perhaps you already live next to a park, have a nice wooded lot, or have a Victorian gazebo in the back yard. These become talking points that help your real estate agent entice potential buyers to your home. If your home is lacking in talking points, and you are doing a number of repairs, look for opportunities to expand one or two of the repair projects into something distinctive. Freshly refinished hardwood floors would be a good talking point. If you have to replace a rotted back porch, consider enlarging it to a small deck at the same time.

You have now identified everything that you will need to do to prepare your home for sale. Look at your overall list and decide which things you want to handle yourself. Keep in mind that sorting through the clutter will take a lot longer than you anticipate. For that matter, nearly all do-it-yourself projects take longer than you think, so be realistic about what you can accomplish on your own. In general, you will save if you do it yourself, but things like roofing and floor refinishing are almost always better left to the pros. You want to avoid a lot of last minute hassle and expense having pros coming out to do things that you never got around to, and you don’t want to risk putting yourself in the position of having to show the house before it’s really ready.

Your next step is to group projects by type. Group all plumbing things together. Sometimes plumbing companies also deal with heating issues, so they can be grouped together as well. Then group electrical to-dos. Don’t forget phones, doorbells, thermostats and outside lights. Small carpentry and drywall repairs can usually be handled by either painters or anyone doing major repairs or remodeling for you. Roofers can usually handle exterior caulking and anything to do with vinyl or aluminum siding or gutters. It is often difficult to find someone for a very small job. If you can’t do it yourself, try to pair it with a larger project or group of projects to make an attractive overall job for a contractor. Grouping things in this manner will usually also save you money and time.

These tips will help make your home more attractive to potential buyers. The money you invest in fixing up your home will help raise offers given by potential buyers. Good luck in the sale of your home!

Bill Lydon Realtor,NH WHite Mountain Homes, Coldwell Banker Wright Realty
"Team Lydon" - Sharon Lydon, CBR, Certified Stager, and Bill Lydon, ABR, CBR, RSPS - REALTORS @ Keller Williams Lakes & Mountains Realty, 3641 White Mountain Hiway, No. Conway, NH 03860 | 603-569-4663
"Professional Service with Personal Care!" We provide Buyer and Seller representation in the White Mountains, Mount Washington Valley and Western Maine. Let us help you reach your dream, whether it is a primary, vacation or investment property; condos, camps, cottages, cabins, mountain homes or waterfront. 
Visit KW Lakes and Mountains Realty Website


Peabody and Smith, White Mountains  New Hampshire, White Mountains NH, Commercial Realty Real Estate Properties
Peabody & Smith Realty, 383 Main St., Franconia NH; 11 Riverglen Lane, Littleton NH; 9 Remick Lane, Bretton Woods, NH; 85 Main St., Plymouth, NH 03264
Specializing in White Mountains real estate: residential, land and commercial offerings, in the greater Littleton, Franconia, White Mountain area. Our team approach in servicing our clients has given us "A Reputation for Results".
Visit Peabody & Smith Realty Website


Roper Real Estate Waterville Valley NH
Roper Real Estate, 8 Davos Way, 2nd Floor, Waterville Valley NH 03215 | 603-236-3636
Waterville Valley is an oasis in the White Mountain National Forest. Only 2 hours from Boston, it is the first major resort off of Interstate 93. We know the market in Waterville because we live here in Waterville and we love it. As members of the NH MLS and NH Board of Realtors, we have an extensive mailing list and email database of people active in the real estate market in Waterville Valley. See a virtual tour online at our website.
Visit Roper Real Estate Waterville Valley Website


O'Rourke Realty
O'Rourke Realty, 126 Main Street, North Woodstock, New Hampshire 03262 | 855-948-6867
O'Rourke Realty is proudly serving the White Mountains Region which includes Lincoln NH, Woodstock NH, North Woodstock, Campton NH, Thornton NH, Carroll "Twin Mountain" "Bretton Woods" NH, Franconia NH, Bethlehem, NH and others. As locals, we are proud to offer homegrown community awareness as well as contemporary real estate market information. Explore our up-to-date, NH MLS Real Estate Listings and our Exclusive NH Properties for sale. Contact us for all of your realty needs.
Visit O'Rourke Realty Website


Michael Bean Group, N.H. Real Estate Listings, MLS Listings, New Hampshire MLS Listings
The Bean Group, LLC
The Bean Group is a full service New Hampshire Seacoast Real Estate Brokerage. We offer hassle free access to the New Hampshire Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the freedom to involve an agent only when you are ready. Buyers can begin by searching the MLS listings 24 hours a day - when you're ready we are available to assist you 7 days a week.
Visit The Bean Group Real Estate Website


Verani Realty, Berkshire Hathway HomeServices Verani Real Estate, Keene New Hampshire Homes for sale, Monadnock NH real estate listings
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty, 111 Maplewood Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801 | Ph: 603-431-8977.
On this web site you can search for homes or land, review subdivisions and new construction, preview virtual tours and access upcoming open houses. Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty is committed to providing remarkable value in real estate services that exceeds the expectations of our clients and customers. 
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Buck Rub Realty  & Rentals
Buck Rub Realty & Rentals, 2253 North Main Street, Pittsburg, New Hampshire 03592 | 603-538-9925
Sandi Canada-Thistle is a licenced NH Realtor that knows and loves the North Country and Connecticut Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Sandi would be honored to assist anyone in the purchase or rental of their property in The Great North Woods. Servicing the NH Towns of Colebrook, Columbia, Clarksville, Errol, Stewartstown, Pittsburg, and Stratford. Also licensed in Vermont, she services; Canaan, Beecher Falls, Norton, Averill, and Lemington. For excellent customer/client service in the assistance of your real estate purchase, sale or vacation rental. Contact Sandi.
Visit Buck Rub Realty & Rentals


Bellville Realty, Brattleboro Real Estate, Keene Real Estate
Bellville Real Estate, 255 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301
Our knowledgeable agents have been assisting customers and clients with their New Hampshire real estate needs for more than 100 years and will recognize your individual needs to ensure your trust and peace of mind during your property transactions. We offer services in all areas of Real Estate from selling and listing homes, commercial property and land to exclusive estate and buyer representation.
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Berkley, Veller, Greenwood Real Estate, Country Realtors, Monadnock Region Real Estate
Berkley, Veller, & Greenwood Country Realtors, Main St., Walpole, NH 03608
"Celebrating Our 40th Year." We have access to the largest selection of listings in Southeastern Vermont and Southwestern New Hampshire, with offices in Brattleboro, Mount Snow, and Walpole, New Hampshire. Vermont and New Hampshire Real Estate is one click away.
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Verani Realty, Berkshire Hathway HomeServices Verani Real Estate, Keene New Hampshire Homes for sale, Monadnock NH real estate listings
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty, One Verani Way, Londonderry, NH 03053
On this web site you can search for homes or land, review subdivisions and new construction, preview virtual tours and access upcoming open houses. Berkshare Hathaway Verani Realty is committed to providing remarkable value in real estate services that exceeds the expectations of our clients and customers. 
Visit Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty Website


Verani Realty, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate, Keene New Hampshire Homes for sale, Monadnock NH real estate listings
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty, One Verani Way, Londonderry, NH 03053 | Ph: 603-434-2377.
On this web site you can search for homes or land, review subdivisions and new construction, preview virtual tours and access upcoming open houses. Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty is committed to providing remarkable value in real estate services that exceeds the expectations of our clients and customers.
Visit Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty Website


Adam Dow Real Estate Agent, Kellor Willliams Realty
Adam Dow, ABR - Keller Williams - Dow Realty Group, 136 South Main Street, Wolfeboro, NH 03894 | 603-569-4664
My properties include New Hampshire Lakes Region Real Estate; homes, inns, business and investment property, waterfront, luxury vacation homes, condos, cottages, land, lots and more. Born in Wolfeboro, NH - 10th generation in the Lakes Region. Search all Lakes Region Listings by Town or Lake.
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Wolfeboro New Hampshire Real Estate, Prudential Spencer Hughes, Lakes Region Realty Listings
Prudential Spencer-Hughes Real Estate, Route 11, Alton Bay and 22 South Main Street, Wolfeboro, NH | 603-569-6060
Search for ALL Lakes Region Listings on our web site. Whether it's a waterfront home, cabin, cottage, compound, land, commercial, investment, or building lots, we can be of service.
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Verani Realty, Berkshire Hathway HomeServices Verani Real Estate, Keene New Hampshire Homes for sale, Monadnock NH real estate listings
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty, 60 Whittier Highway, Unit 3, Moultonboro, NH 03254 | 603-253-7766
On this web site you can search for homes or land, review subdivisions and new construction, preview virtual tours and access upcoming open houses. Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty is committed to providing remarkable value in real estate services that exceeds the expectations of our clients and customers. 
Visit Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty Website


Peabody and Smith, White Mountains  New Hampshire, White Mountains NH, Commercial Realty Real Estate Properties
Peabody & Smith Realty, 383 Main St., Franconia NH 03580 | 603-823-5700; 11 Riverglen Lane, Littleton NH 03561 | 603-444-1294; 9 Remick Lane, Bretton Woods, NH 03575 Ph: 603-278-1140; 85 Main St., Plymouth, NH 03264 | 603-238-6990
Specializing in White Mountains real estate: residential, land and commercial offerings, in the greater Littleton, Franconia, White Mountain area. Our team approach in servicing our clients has given us "A Reputation for Results".
Visit Peabody & Smith Realty Website


Preferred Vacation Rentals, Lakes Region NH, Lake Winnipesaukee Vacation Rentals
Preferred Vacation Rentals Inc., 34 Whittier Hwy. (Route 25), Center Harbor, NH 03226 Toll-Free: 877-525-3764 or 603-253-7811
Preferred Vacation Rentals features the LARGEST selection of pre-inspected waterfront and lake access vacation rental homes in the Lakes Region. Rentals are available by the week, month or season. Free color Vacation Rental Guide available. We are available 7 days a week to serve your vacation needs. Call 1-877-525-3764, or visit our website for more info.
Visit Preferred Vacation Rentals Website

O'Rourke Realty
O'Rourke Realty, 126 Main Street, North Woodstock, New Hampshire 03262 | 855-948-6867
O'Rourke Realty is proudly serving the White Mountains Region which includes Lincoln NH, Woodstock NH, North Woodstock, Campton NH, Thornton NH, Carroll "Twin Mountain" "Bretton Woods" NH, Franconia NH, Bethlehem, NH and others. As locals, we are proud to offer homegrown community awareness as well as contemporary real estate market information. Explore our up-to-date, NH MLS Real Estate Listings and our Exclusive NH Properties for sale. Contact us for all of your realty needs.
Visit O'Rourke Realty Website


Dartmouth NH Real Estate, century21,Hal Sheeler, Hanover New Hampshire Realty
Hal Sheeler, Vermont and New Hampshire Realtor Century 21 Energy Shield Realty, Lebanon, NH 03766 | 603-643-0127 Direct: 603-643-2039 Cell: 603-398-2151
Join the many who regularly check www.HalSheeler.com to view NNEREN Multiple Listing System property listings in the Dartmouth / Upper Connecticut River Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire and find valuable area information. Contact Hal Sheeler for honest and competent real estate services as your BUYER AGENT or to list property for sale.
Visit C21 Hal Sheeler Energy Shield Realty Website


Milestone Team Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate,
Milestone Team - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, 224 Main Street, New London, NH 03257 | 603-526-4116
Teamwork means working together to accomplish a goal. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Milestone Team can help to insure that you will achieve your goals. Let us put our proven Team to work for you! We brainstorm, share problems and successes, look to each other for advise and opinion...help each other all the time. For our clients and customers, this means that there is always someone available to make life easier!
Visit Milestone Team Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate


Michael Bean Group, N.H. Real Estate Listings, MLS Listings, New Hampshire MLS Listings
The Bean Group, LLC is a full service New Hampshire Seacoast Real Estate Brokerage. | 603-766-1980
We offer hassle free access to the New Hampshire Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the freedom to involve an agent only when you are ready. Buyers can begin by searching the MLS listings 24 hours a day - when you're ready we are available to assist you 7 days a week.
The Bean Group Real Estate Brokerage Website


Roger J. Roberts Real Estate, Lebanon NH real estate
Roger J. Roberts Real Estate, 6 South Street, Hanover, NH 03755 | 603-448-4005
Roger J. Roberts Real Estate is a full service real estate and appraisal service company that has been serving clients for more than fifty years. Offering Personal Property Appraisals, Full Service Real Estate Sales and Buyer Representation.
Roger J Roberts Real Estate Website


CG  Shepard Real Estate - Vacation Rentals
CG Shepherd Realty LLC, Grantham: 603-863-3278 Hanover: 603-643-3278 Lebanon: 603-448-3278, 120 Route 10S, (Sawyer Brook Plaza), Grantham, NH 03753 & 199 Heater Rd., Lebanon, NH 03766
CG Shepherd Realty, LLC has knowledgeable local Realtors who will represent your interests enthusiastically! Learn all the local secrets and traditions of the Upper Valley, Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee, Eastman and Vermont regions by contacting us or visiting our website.
CG Shepard Realty Website


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