Massachusetts Real Estate Center, Lowell MA, Chelmsford MA, Ayer MA, Westford MA, Shirley M


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.


Selling a house may prove to be a high-pressure situation, particularly for an individual who is listing a residence for the first time. However, if you share your home selling plans with family members, friends and other loved ones, you may be able to receive additional support throughout the home selling journey.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to inform your loved ones about your plans to sell your house, and these reasons include:

1. You can respond to any concerns or questions before you finalize your home selling decision.

Loved ones have your best interests in mind, and as such, they probably are unafraid to tell you exactly what they think and how they feel. Therefore, it may be beneficial to tell your loved ones about your intention to sell your house, as you'll be able to receive unbiased feedback about your decision.

Although loved ones might not always agree with your decision to sell your home, it is paramount to open the lines of communication with them. And if you tell loved ones about your plans to sell your house, you can clear the air with them before you list your residence.

2. You may be able to gain extensive home selling insights.

In many instances, loved ones may have sold a house in the past, and you may be able to learn from their prior home selling experiences.

Loved ones may provide you with home selling insights that you might be unable to obtain elsewhere too. Then, you can use these insights to increase the likelihood of a successful home selling experience.

3. You can take the first step to promote your house to potential buyers.

Loved ones can help spread the word about your house to dozens of potential buyers. Thus, if you give loved ones advanced notice about your home selling plans, you may be better equipped than ever before to stir up significant interest in your house.

Of course, once your house is listed, it usually is a good idea to share your home listing with loved ones as well. Loved ones then can share your home listing with co-workers, friends and others, thereby improving your chances of a fast, profitable home sale.

As you get ready to list your residence, you also may want to seek out a real estate agent. Because if you employ a real estate agent, you can get the expert help you need to accomplish your home selling goals.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will help you put together a successful home selling strategy. This housing market professional can help you showcase your residence to interested buyers. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your home selling concerns or queries throughout the home selling journey.

Want to achieve the optimal results when you list your house? Collaborate with your loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you should have no trouble getting the best price for your residence.


Looking to list your house and maximize its value? Ultimately, a home selling timeline can make a world of difference, regardless of where your house is located.

A home selling timeline enables you to map out the home selling journey. Then, you can decide the best steps to ensure you can achieve your home selling goals as quickly as possible.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft an effective home selling timeline.

1. Set a Deadline

When do you want to be out of your current house and living elsewhere? Establish a home selling deadline, and you can determine how much time you have to navigate the home selling journey.

If you need to sell your home in a matter of weeks, you'll likely need to move quickly if you want to achieve the best-possible results. Thus, you'll need to make a plan to ensure you can promote your house to the right buyers and speed up the home selling process.

Conversely, if you have several months to sell your house, you may be able to take a gradual approach to listing and promoting your residence. In this scenario, it may be worthwhile to conduct a home inspection, identify any underlying home problems and address these issues. That way, you can perform assorted house improvements to boost the value of your residence.

2. Determine Your Budget

A home selling timeline and budget often go hand-in-hand, and for good reason. If you craft a home selling budget in conjunction with your timeline, you can ensure you have the necessary finances for expenses that may arise during the home selling journey.

For example, consider what may happen if a homebuyer identifies myriad home problems during an inspection. In this situation, a buyer may ask you to complete home improvements in order to move forward in the home selling process. And if you have already set aside funds for home improvements, you can complete these tasks and ensure you can stick to your home selling timeline.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For home sellers, it generally helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you create a successful home selling timeline and address a wide range of home selling hurdles.

A real estate agent understands the complexities of selling a house and will make it easy for you to make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey. He or she will teach you about the housing market and ensure you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence. Next, a real estate agent will promote your house to prospective buyers and help you review offers on your residence. And once you receive a fair homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly finalize a home sale.

Set up a timeline for selling your house – you'll be glad you did. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can establish an effective home selling timeline that guarantees you can optimize the profits from your home sale.


Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

All home sellers understand that there are some costs to selling a home, but not everyone realizes what they're expected to pay for (and how much the total will be). We'll look at the most common expenses and how they might affect your budget. 

Real Estate Agent Fees 

This is probably the first thing that comes to mind if you're selling a home. The standard rule is anywhere between 5 to 6% of the final sale price. Not all sellers will shoulder this cost, but the majority will. So if your home sells for $300,000, you should expect to hand over at least $15,000 to be split between the buyer and seller real estate agents. Please note that commissions can be negotiable, especially if you're selling in a popular neighborhood. 

Prep Work 

While none of these costs are strictly necessary, they can help you get your home ready:

  • Repairs: If you're not planning to sell the house as-is, it's a good idea to spruce up the interior and exterior of the property. Even if you're only buying a few cans of paint and a roller, the costs can add up quickly. 
  • Home inspection: Buyers will typically do their own home inspection, but sellers who go above and beyond can give themselves an edge in a competitive market. If you're going out of your way to buy a home inspection, it can show you have nothing to hide. These inspections cost a few hundred dollars and may reveal structural problems that you were unaware of. 
  • Staging: Arranging your furniture to show off the best of the home can really inspire buyers to view its potential. Whether you dress up your home with cozy touches (e.g., cashmere throws, small bouquets, etc.) or more modern decorations, it can help attract the perfect buyer. 

Additional Fees 

If you're moving out before you sell the house, you'll need to continue paying the utilities. You'll also need to check with your lender as to exactly how much you owe when you pay off the loan. Some lenders will charge prepayment fees upon early termination. You may also be asked to either pay or split the closing costs, especially if you're selling in a buyer's market. This can include anything from the title inspector fees to transfer costs. Finally, you may need to pay capital gains tax if your home skyrocketed in value or any lingering property taxes.

Some sellers end up paying closer to 10% of the total sale price of their home, a figure that can be difficult to swallow for many sellers. It's worth clarifying each cost so you always know what you're paying for.


You might want to believe that the home selling journey will be fast and simple, but high-pressure situations may arise that cause you to panic. However, there is no need to let high-pressure home selling situations get the best of you. Because if you know how to handle these situations, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a quick, profitable house selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you handle high-pressure home selling situations.

1. Use Data

A high-pressure situation may lead you to make a decision that causes you to miss out on an opportunity to achieve your desired home selling results. Fortunately, if you take a step back from a high-pressure situation, you can assess data to make the best-possible decision.

Typically, a data-driven approach to selling a house is ideal. If you analyze home prices in your city or town and other housing market data, you can determine if a buyer's offer to purchase is "fair" based on the current state of the real estate sector.

2. Analyze the Buyer's Perspective

There are two sides to every situation, and if you review the buyer's perspective, you may be able to successfully negotiate with this individual. And as a result, you and a buyer may be able to come to terms on a home sale agreement that meets the needs of both sides.

Although you may be tempted to walk away from a home sale if a buyer makes exorbitant demands, you should try to negotiate with this individual. If you assess the buyer's perspective, you may be able to gain unique insights into the property selling journey. Then, you can use these insights to negotiate with a buyer and boost the likelihood of finding common ground with this individual.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – selling a home can be stressful and exhausting, regardless of whether you are a first-time or experienced property seller. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you stay calm, cool and collected in high-pressure situations.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will work with you to craft a custom house selling strategy. He or she next will put this plan into action and collaborate with you throughout the home selling journey. By doing so, you can receive expert support as you navigate the home selling journey and achieve the optimal results as quickly as possible.

Let's not forget about the negotiation assistance that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf. Thus, he or she can help you get the best price for your house.

As you get set to navigate the home selling journey, it helps to understand what to expect after you list your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can remain patient in high-pressure home selling situations and work diligently to maximize your house sale earnings.




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