Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


If your house is currently on the market or you're preparing to put it up for sale, the secret of success lies in the lyrics of an old popular song called "Accentuate The Positive." Although it was originally published in 1944, the song has been resurfacing for years on television, in movies, and music recordings.

"Accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative" may seem like basic, old-fashioned advice, but when homeowners follow it, they increase their chances of selling their home faster and for the highest possible price.

Although your real estate agent will provide a ton of helpful advice on how to present your house in its best light, there are dozens of things you can start doing now to improve its marketability, curb appeal, and the positive response you get from real estate agents and buyers.

  • Avoid or minimize any aspect of your home and property that gives the impression of neglect. That could include anything from peeling paint and cracked windows to overgrown bushes and weedy yards. Weeds growing out of cracks in walkways, driveways, and concrete flooring often looks the worst -- but weeds, in general, always detract from the appearance of a home for sale.
  • Reduce or eliminate anything that might create a feeling of "unpleasantness" in the minds of prospects. In other words, if there's anything about your home that might cause buyers to cringe, frown, gasp, crinkle their nose (in displeasure) or shake their heads, then you probably need to take corrective action -- and fast! A prime example would be pet odors, stains, and loose fur, which can be major turnoffs for many people -- especially if they have allergies!
  • If little or no interior painting has been done over the past five or ten years, there's a strong chance that your walls are faded, marred, and looking worse for the wear. A couple coats of neutral-colored paint can often infuse a more vibrant, updated appearance to those tired-looking rooms. Subtle, light colors -- although, not necessarily stark white -- are often advisable. The objective is to appeal to as many people as possible, without taking any decorating risks that might alienate anyone.
  • Speaking of "harsh versus eye-pleasing," your home's lighting is another important thing to scrutinize when looking for cost-effective ways to increase the attractiveness, appeal, and marketability of your home.
As you're searching for ways to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, try to view your home from the perspective of someone who's just seeing it for the first time. In all probability, your real estate agent will be enormously helpful in that respect, and immediately begin looking for ways to effectively stage your home. If they've been showing homes in your area for a number of years, they will have a good sense of what attracts and repels today's home buyer. Your agent can provide a professional opinion on everything from flooring and counter tops to wall colors and curb appeal.

When we’re trying to find a new home and planning for the changes that will come with moving, it can seem daunting to also have to think about how you’re going to sell your old home.

Everyone has their own unique situation that they’ll have to account for when selling. Some people choose to buy a new home and move in before selling their old home. For others, this isn’t always possible and they have to rent or stay with family while they wait to close on their new house.

Regardless of your circumstances, there are a few things you can do to make the process of selling your home easier. In today’s post, we’ll teach you how to do just that.

1. Make a timeline

Undoubtedly, you’re going to have a lot going on in your life when selling your home. To keep yourself on track, work with your real estate agent to establish a timeline for accomplishing everything you need to do.

This will help you avoid feeling rushed when it comes to completing the tasks on your list. Whether that includes cleaning, packing, preparing documents, or popping the champagne bottle after your sale, it always pays to have a schedule.

To make this process even easier, be sure that you and your spouse/family are working on the same schedule so that everyone is on the same page.

2. Pack and store

When you’re showing your home to potential buyers, you don’t want it to be cluttered with your personal belongings. Furthermore, all of those belongings will soon have to be packed and transported anyway.

To save yourself time and to increase the appeal of your home while it’s on the market, pack up your items by room and store them until you’re ready to move.

You can do this by renting a storage unit or just packing things neatly in your basement until you can move.

3. Make minor repairs now

Before ever putting your home on the market, it’s a good idea to do a thorough walkthrough of the home to check for small issues that you either haven’t noticed or have been putting off.

When a potential buyer visits your home, you can be sure that they’ll be looking for signs that the how was well-maintained. This is your chance to prove that you’ve been staying on top of things around the house.

Making these repairs in advance if selling your home will relieve some of the workload and stress you’ll be feeling once you get closer to selling.

4. Be available

This last step can be the hardest, especially if you and your spouse work full-time and have children with obligations like sports.

Your real estate agent will do most of the work for you when it comes to showing and preparing the home. However, it’s vital that you’re available to respond quickly at key times. This means answering any questions your agent has for you, gathering paperwork when it’s needed, and discussing offers when they’re made.


If you can pull of these four steps, you’ll be in good shape to sell your home quickly, ensuring a smooth sale and transition for you and your family. 


The number one factor that affects the length of time a house remains on the market is curb appeal. That's the consensus of real estate professionals across the country, and was documented in a recent study by a well-known real estate website.

So if it's such a high priority, then why do a lot of homeowners skimp on that aspect of preparing their home for a fast sale? Sometimes it's a lack of awareness; other times it may be a lack of money. In extreme cases, it can be quite pricey to transform a home from "shabby" to "exquisite!" That's an unusual scenario, though, and in most cases the cost of enhancing your home's curb appeal should be both affordable and cost effective.

Where to Begin

The ideal visual (and visceral) effect you want to achieve can be summed up in ten words: fresh, well cared for, aesthetically pleasing, manicured, meticulous, updated, and clean. Perhaps a more concise way to describe the image you want to project to potential buyers is "pride of ownership." Once you're conveying that impression, people are going to make positive assumptions about the value and condition of your home. While it's not necessary that the front of your property and home look perfect in every imaginable way, it is important to pay attention to small details and overall impressions.

Some homeowners will see this goal as an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn't have to be. The first hurdle is to take care of the basics, such as making sure your lawn always looks freshly mowed and that there's no signs of peeling or faded paint on your home and garage. Pulling weeds, placing a few colorful hanging flower baskets in strategic locations, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees are also effective ways to make your property look more desirable.

An advantage of working with a seasoned real estate agent is that they can quickly size up the outside appearance of your home, and make cost-effective suggestions of ways to improve curb appeal and increase the attractiveness of your property. When it comes to selling your house in the shortest period of time, first impressions are vitally important.

One helpful tactic for getting your house noticed by house hunters and real estate agents is to take a walk (or drive) in your neighborhood to see how your curb appeal stacks up to other homes for sale in the area. Ideally, you want your home to look at least as good, if not better, than other nearby properties. Since potential buyers may be focusing their search on specific neighborhoods, such as yours, you'll be giving yourself more of an "inside track" in the real estate market by making sure your home compares favorably to others in the immediate area -- both inside and out.