What motivates a buyer to buy one home over another? While there are a myriad of unique drivers, there are 4 important factors that are common to all buyers:

  • Price
  • Condition
  • Presentation
  • Location


If your home is priced appropriately it should gain awareness in the market rather quickly. If it is not priced properly, a golden opportunity can be missed. Pricing too low can prevent the realization of profit. Pricing too high will keep potential buyers at bay as they bid on homes that are priced more realistically. What goes into setting a list price? Here are some of the important factors.

Market Analysis

As noted, your real estate agent has considerable intelligence regarding the market in which they work, so leave it to them to source data and create reports that give paint you an accurate picture of what others have done with their listings price-wise. In turn, this information can inform your own price-setting. In addition to what others listed and sold their homes for, though, you need to take into account factors like home style/type, square footage, age, and how long their homes sat on the market.

Professional Appraisal

Hiring a professional appraiser, which usually runs a few hundred dollars, can tell you about the condition of every last detail of your home. These certified and licensed professionals conduct thorough searches of residences to gauge their worth and, as with a market analysis your agent performs, compare homes to those of others nearby in terms of quality, newness, and amenities.

Being Realistic

What your list price really, ultimately comes down to is figuring out what home buyers are spending on properties at the moment in your neck of the woods and what you’re comfortable with putting your residence on the market for. There is no one perfect price — rather, you simply need to take some time to evaluate all of these aforementioned factors and consult with your agent to find the idea middle zone.


Should a home inspector pinpoint any parts of your home that need attention before allowing your agent to list your property, you can take care of the problem areas yourself or employ a pro to take on the fixes for you. Specifically, there are three types of upgrades home sellers generally have to make to their residences before listing.


Minor projects like painting, spackling, and caulking don’t necessitate hiring a professional to come out (unless, of course, you don’t mind shelling out a a hundred bucks or more for them to do so). These types of small-scale tasks can be taken care of with a little bit of research and buying the right tools and objects at your local hardware store. Specific things to look for in your home include holes where you’ve hung paintings and pictures that need to be filled, toning down the color scheme of certain rooms, and cleanliness of your attic and basement. Curb appeal upgrades like these can go a long way in getting positive feedback from potential buyers.


Once you’ve taken care of some slight refreshing of certain corners of your residence, you can turn your attention to more substantial restoration projects. Inspect your kitchen and bathroom for broken cabinetry and handles. Look for cracks in your walls, ceiling, and floor. Determine if you need to re-tile your roof or siding. There are often dozens of small components of your home that need addressing, so carefully investigate your interior and exterior for things to fix.


Unfortunately, there may be a few aspects of your home that need to be overhauled and replaced entirely. Items like tub liners and certain types of wood floors don’t age gracefully and get scuffed and scratched with regularity. Moreover, pet owners can attest to their friendly feline and canine pals ruining things like carpet. The good news is real estate agents likely know of one or more reputable home improvement professionals who can come by and repair these areas as needed. Should you make major replacements, like new flooring, ensure you select high-quality, visually appealing material. When in doubt, go with a popular paint color, floor material, countertop surface, etc.


You’ve settled on a solid list price, you’ve made updates to your interior and exterior — now, it’s on to staging. Making your home look both functional and beautiful and marketing your revamped home to the right audience takes some skill. Luckily, your agent can help you find the right designers and photographers to ensure your residence looks brand new and appealing.

Marketing Basics

Today’s world demands thoughtful online marketing. It is simply not enough to list your home on the MLS and hope someone will find it. Your realtor should have deep online experience and the ability to leverage as many online sites as possible. You’ll want to advertise on social media as well.

Photography / Videography

Professional photos are a must. You have a few seconds to grab the attention of an online home buyer. If the images presented do not show your home at its best, buyers may pass right by your listing. Also consider online video and virtual tours as an option for higher value homes.


Keep your home clean and organized. Home buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in a residence they tour, so keep everything tidy. Set the scene for them: Put nice magazines and candles on your coffee table, bring out the nice china for the dining room table, and ensure you’re home is dust- and clutter-free. Seeing a messy living space is a turnoff for many prospective buyers, so stay on top of keeping your home in tip-top shape while showing it off.

If you feel your home lacks the requisite pizazz to impress buyers, ask your realtor about working with a staging pro, who can either give you tips on how to dress up your residence or actually do it for you. Either option will likely run you a few hundred dollars, but if their advice helps you sell your home quicker, you’ll be glad you made the minor investment.


Highlighting the best qualities of your location can help you convince possible home buyers that your community, and even your particular neighborhood, is one in which they should lay their foundation. All it takes to persuade potential buyers is a carefully thought-out pitch using powerful language.

The Power of Persuasion

When it comes to marketing your location, you can never be too specific. Honing in on the nitty-gritty details of your neighborhood and community — like noting how many grocery stores are located in the town and relaying the best places to get a burger — helps home buyers visualize themselves living in the residence and surrounding area. Your agent can write plenty of marketing copy to promote your community, but if you know of any good selling points, let them know so they can spotlight them accordingly.


Conducting all of these tasks and working with various professionals, including your agent, is all a part of the home selling process, but at the end of the day, the best way to help sell your home is to be proactive. If your agent wants to show your home early in the morning to a possible buyer, let them come over to give them a tour. If you think a more neutral living room wall color would be more appealing to buyers, set time aside to re-coat them. In other words, be ready at all times to help your agent market your residence and, in turn, close a deal on your terms.