Real Estate Agent with The English Team


More than ever, sellers must have their homes in sparkling condition before they are placed on the market.  Competition is intense, because more homes are on the market now than in any other point in recent history.  When faced with a decision between two similarly-priced properties, buyers will almost always choose the property that is in the best condition.  Only when two properties are in similar condition will the property that costs less hold the upper hand.

Buyers are thinking differently in today's real estate market.  They are much more likely to be turned off by cosmetic issues with your home than in the former boom market we experienced.  Houses have to be move-in ready and have all the potential "objections" removed in order to be considered as an option by most buyers.  Buyers are thinking "value" more than ever, as homes have appreciated very little in the past 12 months.  They are not counting on huge appreciation to offset deferred maintenance by a previous owner.

 Luckily for those looking to sell their home this spring, there are many things that can be done - without spending a lot of money - to give a house a jump on the competition.  We've outlined some actions that will help you get the most bang for your buck and help you get ready now to sell your Atlanta home this spring.  Good luck!


One of the frustrations of being a professional real estate agent is to make an appointment to show a home meeting all a buyer's requirements only to have the buyer decide they don't want to go inside because they don't like the way a home looks from the street.  Here are some things you can do to get a potential buyer inside:

Take inventory.  How does your home look from the street?   Is all you can see shrubs and trees?  If the answer is yes, you have some yard work in your future.  Landscaping is supposed to enhance the appearance of your home, not hide your home from view. 

Create a welcoming entry.  If you paint nothing else, at least give the front door a fresh coat of paint.  Replace broken doorbells, screens, and light fixtures.  Sweep the porch and knock away the spider webs.  Get an attractive welcome mat for people to wipe their feet on as they enter the home.

Get out the trimmers.  Trim back overgrown shrubs so that they are no higher than the bottom of the windows.  Trim trees so that they don't block the view of your home and there is room for you to walk under them. If vines are growing up the side of your home, pull them off.  Pull out vines and undergrowth from shrub beds.

Use flower power.  Weed your flower beds and use a chemical or mechanical edger to make a distinct border between grass lawns and beds.  Plant several flats of blooming annuals.  Petunias (summer), mums (fall), and pansies (winter) are just a few of the options available that will produce color throughout the growing season. 

Love your lawn.  Your lawn must look like someone cares about it.  Consider having a professional cut and edge.  Make sure to rake the leaves and put fresh pine straw in the beds.  The actual shrubs and plants in your lawn are not as important as having it well-maintained.

Accessorize.  Don't overlook other opportunities for adding color to your home.  Hanging baskets, flower pots, and even a small birdfeeder can add tremendous appeal to your home.


You like your house clean for company, so why wouldn't you have it super-clean when you're trying to sell it and get top dollar?  We've listed several basic steps you can take to get your house ready for showing.  Once it's clean, make sure to keep it that way.  You never know when someone will want to see it!

Have a spring cleaning.  Clean and organize the home with a "take no prisoners" approach.  You'll have to tackle it anyway when you move, so go ahead and do it now to reap maximum benefits. 

Get organized.  De-clutter the home, which will make all the spaces, particularly the storage spaces, look bigger.  Don't pay a mover to haul all those things to your new home and do a good deed for someone in need by giving your items to charity.

Clear the air.  You probably don't notice any peculiar odors, though it may be obvious to visitors.  Determine the source of any odors and eliminate their cause.  Be particularly wary of kitty litter boxes, dog beds, and mildew.

Clean the windows.  Wash all the windows in the house - inside and out, cleaning window sills, jambs, and blinds.  Pull down window coverings that are aged and worn.

Floor them.  Have carpets cleaned and bare floors cleaned and waxed.  If you have carpet on top of hardwood floors, consider pulling up the carpet and having the hardwood floors exposed.  There are cleaning solutions for hardwood floors and polish compounds that make old wood floors really shine, eliminating the need to refinish in some cases.

"Unfurnish" it.  Make sure rooms are free of furniture clutter.  Though it will be temporarily inconvenient, keep the best looking pieces out and put excess and shabby furniture in the garage, basement, or in an affordable temporary storage unit. 

Lighten up.  Put bright bulbs in every socket.  Keep things bright and cheery by opening up all the drapes, blinds and shades during the day even if you are not in a regular habit of doing so.  Your home will be more appealing to buyers when flooded with natural light.

Get the kitchen "Health Department clean."  Keep surfaces and appliances spotless.  Clean the oven and range, replacing the drip pans under the burners (line them with fresh aluminum foil in a crunch).  Don't forget to clean around the door seal to the dishwasher.

Expand your counter space.  De-clutter your countertops, removing toasters, can openers, radios, coffee pots, and any other appliances.  Make it look like you have miles of counter space ready to use.

 Clean your closets.  Closets should look as if they have room to hold additional items.  Box up off-season clothes and get rid of anything you've been holding on to for too long.

Don't forget the bathrooms.  Bath tubs, showers, and sinks should be freshly caulked.  Grout should be clean and in good condition.  Repair faucet leaks and running toilets. Make sure to hang fresh towels in the bathrooms and buy a new shower curtain if yours is stained or mildewed.      

YOU'RE NOT DONE YET           

So you've tackled all the items we've listed above and you think you're done?  We've listed a few things below that you might not have thought of. 

Keep outdoor toys in check.  Collect and store toys that are on the front lawn, driveway and sidewalk.  Take this opportunity to talk to children and teenagers about the importance of keeping the house looking good while it's on the market.  Give them a concrete incentive to participate (but don't deliver on the bargain until the home is sold).

Pay attention to storage areas too.  Make sure your storage areas are clean too.  Attics, garages and basements need to be organized, clean, and have good lighting. Check out the pull-down staircase to the attic, tightening it if need be.  Put a light bulb in the attic.

Don't forget the extra touches.  Remove ashes from the fireplace.  Turn the television off while the home is being shown.  Keep pools sparkling clean and free of leaves all year long. 


Only after completing the basics above should you tackle improvements that may actually require assistance from a contractor.  Many of these can be done relatively inexpensively, but are sure to pay for themselves when you sell your home.

If you do have some money to invest (or the talent and tools necessary to make the improvements yourself) below is a list of things you might consider.

Change outdated wallpaper.   Replace wallpaper with neutral paper or paint, particularly in the foyer, kitchen, and baths.   

Update the kitchen.  Replace worn kitchen countertops. Get a new stainless steel sink and a new faucet to really give the kitchen some sparkle.  New kitchen appliances can actually make the difference in your buyer prospect choosing your home over another. 

Update the bathrooms.  Take a look at the bathroom and decide if replacing the toilet, vanity mirror, or vanity sink faucet would make a significant difference. 

Add a few fans.  Ceiling fans are tremendously appealing to buyers, and you can find a variety of tasteful fans at good prices.

Give it a fresh coat of paint.  New interior and exterior paint can get the heart of a stubborn buyer beating at a rapid speed.


Sally English and The English Team are ready to assist you in the sale of your Atlanta Georgia home.  Get ready now to sell your Atlanta home this spring and we can help make your dream a reality.  Call Sally at 770-939-3174 or EMAIL and we will help you with a free market analysis of your home.  We look forward to hearing from you

Posted by

Sally English

Atlanta real estate agent

 Realty Associates of Atlanta LLC; 3350 Northlake Parkway Atlanta, Georgia 30345 |404-229-2995


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All content copyright © 2009-2013 by Sarah Bryant English DBA Sally English and The English Team, Atlanta Georgia. This sale offering is made subject to errors, ommissions, change of price, prior sale and withdrawal without notice.  Potential purchasers should make a physical inspection to verify all features independently.  EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.  Sally English is not an attorney or CPA and ALL legal or tax advice should be rendered by a professional. Sally English is an Atlanta real estate agent specializing in homes and neighborhoods convenient to Emory University and The CDC. Thanks for visiting my BLOG! 


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