Making Your House Stand Out in a Tough Market


As the real estate industry continues its downward trend, it's becoming increasingly difficult to sell your home. Especially if your property is surrounded by short sales and foreclosures.

As you must know by now. . prices have dropped, there are more listings than ever to choose from and distressed sellers are giving incredible deals to buyers these days.

Can you still get a good price for your property?

The answer is YES. . but you must do some homework.

This starts with Curb Appeal ;

Curb appeal is the first way to draw attention to your home. Since it is the first thing that anyone sees, you want the "WOW" factor on any buyer that takes the time to inspect your property for possible consideration.

There are cases where people that have bought houses just because of the spectacular landscaping.. .(I'm one of them) and I also know people who have not even bothered looking inside of a house because of the condition of the exterior. There is a reason why women put on make-up. . Make sure the exterior of the house is in tip-top shape so the potential buyer immediately wants to see the inside.


The following is your list of items to maintain curb appeal:


  • Cut grass
  • Trim all hedges and bushes/Add much to beds
  • Have flowering plants or potted flowers on the porch if applicable
  • Keep toys out of sight and place in the backyard or in a shed
  • Clean all cluttering debris such as sticks, garbage, old newspapers, etc.
  • You want the inside of your house to wow potential buyers just as much as the outside.
  • The following checklist gives ultimate interior appeal. Make sure all items are completed before the first showing of your house is scheduled.
  • Clean! Every floor, window, closet and cupboard!
  • Remove excess clutter, toys, paperwork and knick-knacks. Clutter makes counter tops and rooms appear smaller than they really are.
  • Paint the walls in dirty rooms or where a room needs brightening. Bright rooms give the appearance that they are more spacious.
  • Make repairs to anything needed hinges, doorknobs, plaster, steps, plumbing, etc.
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs.
  • Wash all window coverings. Open all of the curtains and blinds before a showing. Natural light makes a room appear bigger.
  • Open the doors and windows before a showing to fill the home with fresh air.


Once you have awed them with the curb appeal of your property . . . there are many things that possible buyers are looking to ignore of compromise with you in case your property is not suitable for them.

Needs Carpeting? Buyers may elect to negotiate this with you, plus they get to pick their colors. .a win win situation made possible because they made it past the front door.

First impressions mean a lot. . if you want to compete with foreclosures and short sales. The time spent cleaning, making minor repairs, and providing incentives for major repairs, will make your home stand out above the competition. Although these little fixes may require some money, time and effort, selling quickly in a tough market will be worth the effort in the end!



Fernando Herboso is a Real Estate Broker in Maryland

Herboso & Associates llc