In Business: Real Estate Expert, Debbie Battista, Tells Real Estate Home Sellers The Key Steps to Get a Home Ready to Sell - Turning The "For Sale" to SOLD!

By: Debbie Battista

Happy New Year from The Home of Domus Realtors & Associates to Your Homes!

 If you are going to sell your home in the next year, here are some things to consider.

De-Clutter, store and purge your belongings. When people look in your basement and in your closets it will be more organized and less overwhelming. Remove all the family photos and children’s artwork. Make it easy for the potential buyer to imagine his or her belongings in your space.

Give your Home a fresh coat of paint (use neutral colors) and clean all your switch plates. It makes the buyer feel like it is clean and new. Who wants to buy someone else’s dirt?

Pay attention to the “curb appeal”. If it looks rundown and dirty from the curb, most people will assume the interior is also rundown and dirty. Think about a new welcome mat, painting your front door, polishing the brass, adding a planter to the front porch. Clean all garbage from the property and trim back any overgrown bushes and trees. Keep the lawn cut. If you have a pool, keep it clean and in good condition.

Clean up after pets. During showings have them visit a neighbor or take them for a ride .Put away all of your pets toys, bowls, beds etc. Not every buyer likes animals. Clean and Shampoo rugs. Don’t smoke in the house many buyers are turned off by the smell of smoke.

Repair any water issues. Water in the basement, leaking roof, toilet, clogged gutters, etc. Water can do so much damage, it is cheaper to solve the original source then have to replace ceilings, walls, or flooring.

Consider staging, or making some simple changes to make your home look more desirable. For example; if your dining room is small, take the extra leaves out of the table, add a throw pillow, open all the window shades, and curtains, turn on lights and make sure the home does not have an unpleasant odor. Hint; don’t overdo it with air fresheners, or candles. Some people are sensitive to perfumes and they might think you are attempting (to hard) to mask something.

Pay to have your home appraised just before listing it. The value might be more or less then you think. Get a professional to tell you (an appraiser not an agent). You will also have the appraisal to use as a tool if a potential buyer questions the value. List it for the correct price first. Otherwise, you run the risk of letting your home appear as a “stale” or stigmatized property.

Make repairs before you market your home. It almost always costs you more if they need to be negotiated at a later point. Have your home inspected for pests and treat if need be. Many banks will not give a mortgage to a potential buyer without proof of this.

Shop for your Realtor. They represent you and your interests. You want to be sure that they are a good “fit” for your needs. Are they a part time or full time agent? What fees does the Brokerage charge? Are they negotiable? What kind of advertising can you expect? Does the agent go to all showings or leave a lock box on the property? Will they do an open House? How often? How much of the commission (what is the split) will be shared with the agent of the buyer? Remember they work for YOU! What kind of feedback will you get, is this someone who you are on “the same page” with? If you are not happy with them, how do you cancel your contract? What is the length of the contract? Your Realtor can make all the difference in the world. They help negotiate, deal with inspection issues, share information with appraisers, attorneys, inspectors, and agents, and communicate between all of the parties on your behalf. They do so many “Behind the scene” things. Studies have shown that selling with a Realtor, will fetch you a better price, than selling it on your own (often paying for more than the commission rate that you are charged)! You wouldn’t try to fix your own teeth, so trust the professional Realtor. Realtors have relationships with other agents, inspectors, appraisers, lenders and owners…all of these things may be an exceptional asset to you in the sale of your property. They also have the benefit of experience…they might have solutions to problems that you cannot imagine. Not to mention the fact that if they don’t’ get the job done, they do not get paid…They are just as motivated as you.

Don’t have a “secret sale”. You must allow the Realtor to put up a “For Sale” sign. Have your agent provide you with a copy of the marketing materials, The virtual tour and any other photos, as well as your Residential Property Disclosures (remember it is the LAW to be honest and list any issues the property might have).Share them with your email list or post on your Facebook and Craig’s list. that your home is for sale. Allow technology help you sell. Ask your agent about SMS or Texting property details to potential buyers. Have your Agent provide your listing with a Bar Code. Many phone applications can read it and if someone drives by, and wants more information, the bar code can provide them with those details.

Hire a Real Estate attorney. They will not only protect you, but they often help you avoid mistakes that can come back to haunt you at a later date. They are worth every penny. Communicate with him/her during the entire process.

Start Packing, it is never too early to pack, organize, clean, sort, tag sale, donate and purge. For more information contact us at

* Debbie Battista is a Licensed Real Estate Broker, ABR, SRES, CDPE, EcoBroker who owns Domus Realtors & Associates in Connecticut. She is an expert in Real Estate Sales for Sellers and Buyers. Additionally, Debra provides services for Sellers and Buyers that are Relocating. Debbie can be reached at 203-605-6528, or by fax 203-907-1000. Visit to contact and read more about Debbie Battista, Search Real Estate Properties or Get the Current Market Value of your home.

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