Real Estate 101—Tips & Tricks To Get Your Place Sold

table and chairs in a home

There’s a lot more to selling or buying a home than meets the eye, especially if the property is located in New York City. It’s simple for a seller to put an ad together and post it online, however, in today’s market it takes more than just technology to generate traffic. Now, more than ever before, it is crucial that your home stand out from the competition. It takes the right combination of pricing, presentation, marketing, and troubleshooting along the way to reach the finish line. 

Whether you decide to go it alone or work with a seasoned broker who knows how to navigate the intricacies of this complex and changing marketplace, you’ll need a leg up. Where do you begin? To give you some insight, Andrew Kramer of Brown Harris Stevens put together this checklist that should not only put a smile on your face but should be taken to heart by every seller today.

Do You Do Windows?

When you’re ready to list your place, make sure to have your windows cleaned. I’m not suggesting you do this yourself, but professionally washed windows make an apartment sparkle. Also, removing any decorations or stickers that the kiddos have left on the glass over the years is advised. This is a tip every seller should implement before they put an apartment on the market.

Slap a Coat of Paint On It

Before putting your home up for sale, say good bye to scratches, fingerprints, crayon and pen marks, stickers, and plain old wear & tear with a fresh coat of paint. A neutral color (light grey or cream) with contrasting white trim is in vogue and goes over well with almost everyone. Don’t forget about the ceilings if they need some attention.

Got Wood Floors?

If they’re scuffed, discolored, or chipped from exercise equipment, strollers and the like—now is the time to have them repaired (provided they’re real wood and thick enough to be stripped). If not, area rugs are the best the way to go.

Does Your Refrigerator Look Like a Car Bumper?

Be mindful that prospects want to be able to ‘envision’ themselves living in your space. Having signs of your life (i.e. photos, doctors’ appointments, & after school activities) plastered on the refrigerator takes away from that fantasy.

Flower Power

Now that you’ve hidden all the colorful toys and paraphernalia from sight, a vase with fresh flowers goes a long way by adding good taste and a splash of color to your home. It also brightens up your home while adding a fresh scent to welcome guests previewing. The best part is that your kiddos can help out with this task by picking out a colorful assortment.

Leave the Avocado for the Salad

Everyone knows avocados are tasty and aids to growing up strong and healthy, but when it’s the color of your appliances or the Formica countertops, it’s time to say goodbye! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get a shiny new stainless steel appliance package and/or replace the vintage counters with granite, marble, or Silestone. While you’re at it, throw in an under-mount sink, paint the cabinets (if necessary), and get a great rug. You’ve just added value to your home that will translate to your bottom line or speed up you sale, or both!

Ditch the Tchotchkes

And the family photos on every shelf in the house. Think streamline, model home that nobody really lives in…you’re getting the picture. Yep, the strollers, dishes in the sink, and bicycle have to go as well (even if it means to and from the stairwell with each showing). The name of the game here is an uninhabited canvas with carefully curated furnishings, designer of course!

Don’t Cram the Closets

When you open the closet doors, they should be on the track, and the feeling of ample space should resonate. Scooters, trampolines, Halloween costumes, and luggage stacked to the ceiling need to go. Envision an ad for California Closet and eliminate accordingly. 

How’s Your Grout?

You shined the mirrors and the new vanity looks great now that the box of wipes and everyone’s toothbrush is hidden, but what lurks behind that designer shower curtains? Will your bathroom tiles make your buyer lose their smile? Water, soap, and years of wear & tear leave their mark on your bathroom— especially the tub. The best and most cost effective way to refresh is with a re-glaze. The same process used to re-glaze tubs can also extend to the tiles on the wall. It’s amazing how fresh white & bright tiles and grout will transform your bathroom and make it look new. And don’t forget to remove anything suctioned to the walls!

Did You Make Your Bed?

This is not about hospital corners or simply making sure the comforter is spread out neatly across the bed. It’s beyond whether the sheets and pillowcases match. We’re talking aesthetics. Does the comforter match the room décor, do you have matching shams, bed skirt, and coordinating throw pillows? No worries, it’s a simple fix that doesn’t have to cost much. Go to Hello Home Goods, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and go online to grab a “bed in a bag”—ensemble and call it a day! Everyone in the house should follow suit to make their rooms look their best every morning— let’s not forget this is not a dress rehearsal!

 Andrew Kramer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales. Contact him at 212-317-3634 or at