search the mls for homes in New Jersey
sign up for a free home evaluation
sign up for market updates


Easy Home Improvement Projects

First of all, a truly easy home improvement project is one that starts and finishes while you’re out running errands, seeing a blockbuster film or spending an afternoon at the spa. That means hiring a professional and letting them do the job for you. But for those of you who are willing to take on some ‘sweat equity’ projects to make your house look more attractive to potential buyers, here are a few simple projects that will pay off in the long run.


  1. Patch bare spots in the yard by laying down fresh grass. For a quick fix use sod and remember, ‘green side up’. Water frequently for the first 2 weeks.
  2. Trim back any trees or shrubs that block the view from windows, overhang the walkway or cover architectural details that could be a selling point.
  3. Touch up the paint in areas that buyers will notice: front steps, railings, and doors. These ‘hot spots’ make a big impact. Your local paint supply store will gladly advise you on the right materials to use.
  4. Replace your existing mailbox or paint the old one if it looks like it has seen better days.
  5. Make sure the home address is clearly visible from the street. Hang your house number near or above your front door.
  6. Remove yard waste. This doesn’t require you to spend any money but can make a big difference in the impression it leaves with buyers.
  7. Add potted plants to the walk way and porch or place around the yard for a quick, shovel-less landscaping improvement.


  1. Remove, replace or cover bare spots on wood floors or carpeting in high traffic areas.
  2. Replace burnt out light bulbs, increase the wattage or add extra lamps in darker rooms.
  3. Launder curtains or replace with new, brighter window treatments.
  4. Wash the windows that you can reach and consider hiring a team for the upper floors.
  5. Remove broken or torn furniture from view. Buyers aren’t getting your furniture but they are visualizing their possessions as they look at yours and it’s best to give them a pretty picture.
  6. Check all sinks and faucets and fix any leaks.
  7. Change the shower head for a higher volume spray (prospective buyers ALWAYS test water pressure in showers!).
  8. Dust, sweep, and mop – home buyers are pickier about your home than their own.
  9. Clear out your pantry and cover the shelves with bright (white) liners.
  10. Change your shower curtains and add new toilet seats in bright, neutral and clean colors.
  11. Touch up woodwork paint in high traffic areas.
  12. Replace old light switch panels.
  13. Check under sinks for signs of leaks or water damage and remove excess cleaning supplies.

Other Areas

  • Keep the garage as clean and clutter free as possible.
  • Empty the basement and cellar – donate, trash or sell as much as possible.

Declutter: Tips to help you sell your home . . .

Few people like to think or even admit that their home might be cluttered. Most believe their home is appropriately filled with memorabilia, art and collectibles.. BUT, in the current real estate market, removing excess personal effects can go a long way in shortening the time a property remains on the market.

Prospective buyers want to imagine their own belongings in your home, not yours. If their view is obscured by your personal effects, they won’t be able to see past them. Similarly, an empty house can seem sterile and too sparse, leaving buyers cool and detached from your lovely home. Achieving the right balance is not difficult. The following tips can make a big difference. And, I am always available to my clients to advise them on what to pare down or add to their space.

Declutter Fast

If you know people are on the way to see the house do a ‘quick sweep’ in which you remove items from table tops, bureaus and counters. Adding a simple vase with fresh flowers can be a warming touch. Don’t go overboard, though, a 3 foot arrangement that nearly touches the chandelier can make the room smaller.

Keep the functional furniture and store the rest
  • A living room needs a couch, end tables, coffee table and one or two comfy chairs, depending on its size.
  • A dining room table only needs chairs for the family who eats dinner every night. Extra chairs go to storage.
  • Bedrooms should include a bed, dresser and nightstands only. Get rid of the TV if you have one and consolidate items if you have two dressers or a wardrobe closet. If your bed is too bulky put it in storage and keep the mattress and frame only.
  • Move furniture away from the walls. A couch that is 3-6 inches away from the wall gives the illusion of more room and a nice ‘flow’ to the space.
  • Closets should contain only seasonal clothes; store the rest. Let buyers see how much room there will be for all of their clothes when they move in.

Contain knick knacks and curios

The Rule of 10:

  • Take an empty box into each room of the house. Remove 10 items from the shelves, bookcases, desks, bureaus and other nooks and crannies. Store the items.
  • Wait a few days until you get used to the rooms with their lighter feel and repeat the process.
  • Repeat as often as necessary to give your home a lighter and more edited feel. Remember not to overdo it so that your space doesn’t end up looking empty.


  • Ask your realtor to walk through your house with you and be open to honest feedback on how much ‘stuff’ you’re displaying.
  • Hire a professional organizer to come in and help you sort, pack and improve the space you live in.
  • Hold a yard sale and use the money for something special, like a weekend getaway or a night out.


Here are some sites I like for tips on how to keep your treasures organized:

Sacred Spaces Home Organizer

Feng Shui Tips for the Home

Peter Walsh from Oprah

Real Simple Magazine Home & Organizing Tips

Martha Stewart Homekeeping Solutions

Ranked Top 1% of all New Jersey Realtors*
Ranked #8 out of over 16,000 agents in Garden State MLS for 2016

New Jersey Realtors(R) Circle of Excellence 2007-2016-Platinum Award past 4 years highest level awarded*

Real Trends “America’s Best Real Estate Agent” Award by Zillow and Trulia for 2014 - 2016*

*per GSMLS 2016​ ​
"Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated"