Northampton MA Real Estate | Carla Ness - Delap Real Estate


In a competitive selling market, it’s vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.

Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if you’re on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in today’s seller’s market.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.

1. Paint the front door ($30)

One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.

2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)

Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.

3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)

They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.

For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.

4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)

Whether it’s the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.

Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.

5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)

Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.

6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)

Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.

7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)

Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.

8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)

Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isn’t all that easy to clean.

You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.


If you want to achieve the best-possible results during the home selling journey, you should be open to negotiating with a homebuyer. Because if you communicate with a property buyer, you may increase your chances of enjoying a quick, successful home selling experience.

There is no need to stress about a home negotiation. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you handle a negotiation with a homebuyer.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

Both a home seller and homebuyer share a common goal: to reach an agreement on a house sale. If you analyze both sides of a home negotiation, you may be better equipped than ever before to come to terms with a buyer.

Ultimately, it may be beneficial to make small sacrifices to ensure you and a buyer can find common ground during a negotiation. If you are willing to work with a buyer, you may find that a buyer will work with you too. And as a result, you and a buyer could reach an agreement that satisfies the needs of both parties.

2. Evaluate Your Options

A home negotiation can be stressful, but there is no need to let stress get the best of you. Instead, you should try to stay calm and consider your options as you navigate a negotiation. That way, you can make informed home selling decisions.

Oftentimes, it is helpful to review housing market data as you negotiate with a homebuyer. Information about the prices of recently sold houses in your area that are similar to your own, for example, may help you explain why you want a certain price for your residence.

You also should be unafraid to walk away from a home negotiation. If you feel you cannot find common ground with a buyer, you can continue to promote your residence to prospective buyers until you receive an offer to purchase that matches your expectations.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to enter a home negotiation on your own. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can negotiate with a buyer on your behalf.

During a home negotiation, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you achieve the optimal results. He or she will keep you up to date throughout a home negotiation. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to provide recommendations about whether to accept, reject or counter a buyer's offer to purchase your house.

Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides after you accept an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you prepare for a home closing. He or she will respond to any of your home closing concerns or questions as well.

Be ready to negotiate with a homebuyer – use the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare for a home negotiation and boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your residence.


If you're planning to sell your house soon, you should prepare for the property selling journey. This can mean identifying potential home selling obstacles so that you can address these issues right away.

Now, let's take a look at three issues that house sellers commonly face, along with tips to address these problems.

1. Exorbitant Initial Asking Price

You may believe your house is worth more than you originally paid for it. However, there is no guarantee your home's initial asking price will fall in line with buyers' expectations. And if you ultimately set a high initial asking price for your home, your residence may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

Oftentimes, it helps to evaluate the housing market in your city or town. This enables you to see how your residence stacks up against comparable houses. Then, you can use this housing market data to price your house appropriately.

You may want to conduct a home appraisal as well. Once you obtain an appraisal report, you can use the report's property valuation to determine how to price your house.

2. Poor Curb Appeal

How your house looks to buyers is key. If your residence has a messy front lawn, deteriorating siding, and other exterior problems, it is unlikely to garner buyers' interest.

For a home seller, it is important to allocate time and resources to boost a house's curb appeal. By mowing the lawn, repairing cracked or damaged home siding and performing other property improvements, a seller can instantly upgrade his or her residence's curb appeal.

If you need help with home improvements, you can reach out to local professionals. With assistance from landscapers and other home improvement specialists, you can quickly transform your house's appearance from drab to fab.

3. Cluttered Home Interior

If you have collected a vast array of antiques and artwork over the years, you may want to remove these items from your house before you sell it. Remember, the goal of a home seller is to make it easy for a buyer to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence. If your house is filled with myriad personal belongings, it may be tough for a homebuyer to do just that.

To cut down on clutter inside your home, you can always host a yard sale or list various items online. You can also donate any unwanted items to a local charity, or give them to family members or friends.

As you get set to sell your house, don't forget to hire a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional can help you identify and resolve potential home selling obstacles. In addition, they will do whatever it takes to help you get the best price for your house.

Ready to list your residence? Consider the aforementioned home selling issues, and you can take steps to minimize these problems prior to embarking on the house selling journey.


Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

You love your home, but you want to make a change. In many cases, you’ll work with a real estate agent who can help you to market your home professionally to your ideal home buyer. Yet, for some properties, having a very specific target buyer in mind can work well.

If you live in an area that’s ideal for retirement, for example, why not target the second home buyer’s market? These are individuals with a sizable amount of money to make purchases on their second home. They may be looking for a winter home, perhaps in someplace warm. Others are seeking a home that’s smaller but perhaps located close to the amenities they like. How can you market to these buyers if your home fits their needs?

Define What’s Fantastic About Your Home

A good place to start is by working with your real estate agent to carefully detail the features of your home that help it to really stand out to the second home buyer. Here are some ideas to get started.

  • Are you close to desirable areas? Many don’t want to buy a home in a tourism-driven area directly but being nearby can be attractive.
  • What’s within walking distance of your home? Are there parks, shops, coffee shops, or restaurants? Is there a Main Street area that’s perfect for an evening stroll?
  • What features does the home offer to help people relax, unwind, and love being at home? A backyard that’s expansive with features, like a pond or a garden, may be an attractive option for some people. For others, easy-maintenance and upkeep are better.

Outline what makes your home special specifically to those who are buying a second home by focusing on the benefit to the buyer. Always be clear and accurate. There is no place for any misconceptions here.

Show the Value of the Property Clearly

Many people buying a second home plan to use it in various ways. For example, some want a weekend getaway, a place they can go to every weekend to relax. In this case, they likely want an area that’s enjoyable in some way. They will pay more for homes near the lake or in a walkable community.

Others want a second income from their property. In this case, homes located in the heart of a tourism district are attractive. It’s also a good idea to point out any property management services nearby that may help them to easily manage these properties. These home buyers are also looking for on-site features that attract travelers, such as pools, numerous bedrooms, a full kitchen and a spacious backyard.

Those retiring want smaller homes in beautiful areas. They want to be around others who share the same interests but also want a home that’s far easier to manage.

As you work with your agent, determine what features and specs about your home can make the property desirable to those who are retiring or buying a getaway home. Marketing like this attracts the buyer you know can fit right into your home.


The home selling journey may seem endless at times. Fortunately, once you accept a buyer's offer to purchase your home, the finish line of this journey may be in sight.

There are many things that a house seller can do to streamline the process of reaching a home closing date, and these include:

1. Establish Realistic Expectations

Although accepting an offer to purchase is a big step forward in the house selling journey, it is important to remember that many steps still need to be completed before you finalize your house sale. However, if you establish realistic expectations for the home selling journey, you can plan ahead for the steps you'll need to complete after you approve a buyer's offer to purchase your house.

Typically, a buyer will request a home inspection after you accept his or her offer to purchase your residence. If the inspection reveals there are no major problems with your house, you may be able to finalize a home sale in a matter of weeks.

On the other hand, if a home inspection raises concerns about your residence, you can always try to negotiate with a buyer. If you complete home repairs or offer a reduced price for your residence, you may be able to speed up the house selling process following an inspection.

2. Keep in Touch with a Buyer

It is important to maintain open lines of communication with a buyer as you work toward the conclusion of the house selling journey. If you work with a buyer to finalize a home transaction, you can minimize the risk of encountering time-consuming problems along the way.

If you have concerns or questions as you work toward the finish line of a home sale, don't hesitate to contact a buyer or his or her real estate agent. That way, you can address any concerns or questions and resolve potential problems before they escalate.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Collaborating with a real estate agent can make a world of difference for any house seller, at any time. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble achieving your desired home selling results.

A real estate agent is happy to work with you throughout the home selling journey. He or she will promote your residence to potential buyers and help you analyze offers to purchase your house. Then, when you are ready to accept an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help you finalize a house sale.

The days and weeks leading up to a home closing can be stressful, but a real estate agent can help put your mind at ease. He or she will offer expert tips and recommendations as you navigate the home selling journey. As a result, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to quickly and effortlessly sell your house.

Enjoy a successful home selling journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit risk as you conclude the home selling process.




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