By Anessa V. Cohen

Houses take on personalities. This is not something that one might think about on a regular basis. But it holds true. In a series of houses on a typical block, each of the houses looks different, even if the original models were uniform when constructed.

It may be the color of the house that is different from the one next to it; perhaps shutters were put on one and not the other; that one has different style of front door or windows; one owner added a porch and the other extensive landscaping. Each house has its own look and personality!

A house usually takes on aspects of the homeowner’s personality, as the homeowner adds different touches to make the home comfortable based on his or her tastes. This is wonderful when the homeowner is in residence. But when the homeowner decides to sell his or her home, how does the homeowner prepare the house to realize the best price possible?

Usually the first step a homeowner might take when ready to put his or her house on the market is to contact a real-estate broker for an idea of what the house is worth in the present real-estate market. This is definitely important, but now that you have a professional coming into the house to give you a market analysis of what your house may be worth in the marketplace, take advantage of the real-estate broker’s expertise to learn which simple steps you can take to make your house an even better sale prospect.

Sometimes the decorating or style decisions of homeowners to suit their lifestyle might not be suitable to prospective buyers’ personalities. I am not suggesting major renovations, nor am I talking about redoing a house in an expensive bout of “staging.”

“Staging” became popular in recent years years, with TV shows and magazines showing neutral looks that lessen the homeowner’s “stamp” on the house and instead make it look more like a generic, tasteful hotel room or suite. Staging is great, but it can cost a pretty penny. It’s not always worthwhile, especially for a house that will not realize a great return on the monies invested in the staging process. I am suggesting something less invasive.

Sometimes just simplifying a look can go a long way towards adding value to a home sale. This could be as simple as cleaning out a room full of tchotchkes and pictures; pack up the majority of items and store them to make the room look larger and spacious. Some people feel suffocated if a room is too crowded, and the simple act of taking things out to make the room seem more open can achieve a lot for no money and just a little effort.

Rearranging furniture in a room can also create a larger, more open space, enhancing the look and feel of the house. This does not mean that everyone must consider rearranging their houses to suit someone else’s expectations, but it should give a homeowner food for thought on ways to enhance the anticipated sale-price possibilities without accruing needless expenses.

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Home Loans) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to



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