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Most homeowners we work with have two goals: to sell their home for the most money possible and/or to sell it on a timeline that fits their schedule.

Some of our seller clients are relocating away from the Tri-Cities, so the timing might be more important to them. In that situation, most of our clients want to get their Tri-Cities home sold on a schedule that fits their move. They still want to get the most money possible, but timing might be the bigger concern.

But for most sellers, getting top dollar is the top priority.

We’re pretty darn good at that, if I do say so myself. Here are seven things we recommend to help our seller clients increase their home’s value.

1. Professional Staging & Photography

We use professional staging on just about every home we list for sale.


Because first impressions matter, and staging your home can make a world of difference! It showcases your home’s best features and helps potential buyers envision themselves living there.

Professional stagers have an eye for design and can transform your home to appeal to a wider audience. We’ve had several examples of clients ignoring our stager’s advice and the home not selling as quickly as expected…and then selling almost as soon as our client gives in and does what the stager recommended.

We also use professional photography on almost all of our residential listings. (Some of our land-only listings didn’t warrant a professional photographer’s keen eye.)

We know that many buyers begin their home search online. That’s where high-quality, professional photos can make your home stand out and create a positive first impression. Sure, smartphones take really good photos, but there’s a difference between what you and I can do with an iPhone and what a pro does. Professional photographers know how to highlight your home’s best features and make them look their best. They understand proper lighting techniques and how to take photos that make your home appear bright and inviting.

Investing in professional staging and photography is a small expense compared to the potential increase in your home’s selling price that it can bring. And by the way…we pay for both professional photography and staging; we don’t pass those costs to our sellers.

2. Paint All Walls a Neutral Color (Unless Your Agent Says Otherwise)

Neutral colors create a blank canvas for buyers, allowing them to envision their style in the home. Neutral colors appeal to a wide range of buyers, reducing the risk of turning anyone away because they don’t like the same shade of green you love. Lighter neutrals can make rooms feel more spacious and airy.

bedroom painted with neutral colors

But, if you need to repaint, be sure to consult with your real estate agent before making color choices. Your real estate agent and/or their preferred stager can offer guidance on the most suitable neutral colors for your specific home and market. They’ll know what colors are trending now or will be popular soon, and help you avoid choosing colors that have gone out of style with today’s buyers.

3. Make Sure All Flooring Is Cohesive (Unless Your Agent Says Otherwise)

You may not have heard the phrase “cohesive flooring” before, so let me explain.

Cohesive flooring is flooring that matches from room to room, or throughout a section of your home. If you have tile flooring in your kitchen and dining areas, they should be the same tile. If you have carpeting in the hall and bedrooms, it should be the same carpet. The flooring should flow together seamlessly and NOT leave buyers wondering, “Why is this carpet blue, but that carpet right there is green?” When different flooring materials or styles clash, it can be a turn-off for buyers.

You’ll probably also boost your home’s value with neutral-color carpeting. (Just like with your paint color choices.) I once sold a house with blue carpet. My seller didn’t want to replace it because the carpet was in good condition. We made it work, but the home would’ve sold for more (or sold faster) with a neutral-color carpet.

But as I said above, check with your real estate agent before redoing all of your flooring. We’ll let you know what’s popular with buyers and fits best with your overall style of home.

4. Upgrade Your Home’s Curb Appeal

The outside of your home is the first thing buyers see, so improving its curb appeal can have a big impact on your home’s perceived value. At a minimum, walk around your home as if you’d never seen it before. Look for easy improvements like pulling weeds and cleaning cobwebs on your light fixtures and wherever else you see them.

Tri-Cities home with beautiful curb appeal

Beyond that, professional landscaping can make a great first impression on buyers. Maintain a well-kept lawn, trim bushes and trees, and add colorful flowers or plants to create an inviting look. A fresh coat of paint is another great way to improve curb appeal — especially on your front door if it looks old and dirty. Think about installing new Cari-or-stager-approved light fixtures, too, to impress buyers.

Making a strong first impression from the curb can set a positive tone for the rest of the home tour.

5. Make Your Home Spotlessly Clean and Eliminate Odors

A dirty or unpleasant-smelling home can be a major turn-off to buyers. If you smoke or have pets, there might be odors in the house that you don’t even notice anymore. But a potential buyer walking inside for the first time will definitely notice them! And it’s not as simple as baking cookies or opening the windows to cover those unpleasant smells. We have some tools we like to use when we work with sellers whose homes need some odor control.

Beyond smells, be sure to declutter your home and keep it that way the entire time buyers are coming into your home. If needed, consider hiring professional cleaners to give your home a thorough deep clean. Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms.

Check with your real estate agent for their advice on whether a deep clean is needed. A clean and odor-free home will leave a lasting impression on buyers and send a message that your home has been well cared for.

6. Make Home Improvements

In addition to the ideas above, a few strategic home improvements can also boost your home’s value. Consider making upgrades in your kitchen and bathrooms, especially. A modern kitchen with updated appliances and fixtures is a major selling point for many buyers. Likewise, updated bathrooms with stylish features can make your home more attractive.

kitchen being remodeled

Your real estate agent may have suggestions for other upgrades that can boost your home’s value. For example, installing energy-efficient windows, insulation, or HVAC systems can be appealing to eco-conscious buyers. Smart home features are another upgrade that can make your home more attractive to buyers.

Talk to your real estate agent to determine which improvements will yield the highest return on investment based on your local market and the condition of your home.

7. Move Out of the Home Before Selling It

I know this isn’t always possible, but moving out of your home before selling it can boost your home’s value by making it more attractive to buyers. Here are three reasons why:

  • Depersonalization: Removing your personal items allows buyers to focus on the property itself rather than being distracted by your belongings.
  • Easier Showings: It’s more convenient for buyers and their agents to schedule and conduct showings when the home is vacant.
  • Faster Sale: Vacant homes tend to sell faster since buyers can move in sooner.

A vacant home is also easier to stage and photograph, which circles back to number 1 above.

Final Thoughts

So there are seven things to do that might boost your home’s value when you list it for sale. There are countless factors that can affect the value of your home, some of which you control and many of which you don’t. No real estate agent can guarantee a magic strategy to increase your home’s value, but we can offer suggestions like the above based on our years of experience.

For Cari McGee Team clients, we take care of the professional staging and photography. And we’ll always give clients our best advice when it comes to painting, carpeting, curb appeal, and other upgrades that can help maximize the sales price. With more than 500 sales across the Tri-Cities, we have a track record of success when it comes to helping sellers get the most money for their home.

If you have questions about selling your home and how to boost its value, drop us a note anytime!

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Cari McGee

Hi, I'm Cari McGee. 👋 I've lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994 and I've been a licensed Realtor® since 2004. That's a lot of local knowledge and real estate experience that I put into every article you read on my website! We've helped more than 560 families buy or sell property in the Tri-Cities. In 2023, our community voted us the bronze winner for Best Real Estate Team in the Tri-Cities Best voting. Learn more about me by clicking the link right above. And if you have any questions, get in touch anytime!

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