Five Steps for Preparing Your Central New Jersey Home for Sale

Five Steps for Preparing Your Central New Jersey Home for Sale

Montclair, which translates from the French mont clair, means "bright" or "clear" mountain. Featuring a desirable residential experience complemented by many nearby parks and green spaces, the region lives up to its namesake.

This central New Jersey town also boasts an impressive cinematic history, as it is the birthplace of Herman Hupfeld. The man is known for composing As Time Goes By – made famous by the iconic classic film Casablanca – which was voted the No. 2 American Film Institute’s (AFI’s) 100 Years…100 Songs special. Montclair real estate includes Hupfeld’s home in Upper Montclair, which he built from royalties from the song and where he lived out his life. Montclair was also the setting for many storylines in the award-winning HBO series The Sopranos. Many local businesses, streets, and notable locations were also featured in the show and remain highlights in the area.

With roughly 38,000 residents spread across 6.25 square miles of land, the township offers a traditional Northeast residential experience. Summers are warm and balmy with temperatures in the 80s, while the cooler months feature crisp, cold weather and sometimes snow for magnificent winter scenes.

Montclair has plenty of recreational opportunities among its eighteen public tennis courts, four skating rinks – two indoor and two outdoor – and three public swimming pools for residents to cool off during the summer months.

The median list price of Montclair homes is currently $549,000, and the area is experiencing a seller’s market because there are currently more buyers than available properties.

Prepare your Central New Jersey home for sale

1. Optimize Your Home's Curb Appeal

First impressions matter. Although we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, this philosophy does not apply to real estate. Your home’s curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers see of your property, even if they’ve seen your listing online, and it’s the first indication of what they can expect and impacts their decision to tour or not. Clean, aesthetically pleasing exteriors signal the home is just as well maintained on the inside, and this is what you should strive for before you sell.

Be sure the exterior of your house – whether it’s wood, stucco, tile, vinyl, or plaster – is power washed by a professional. Secondly, repair any cracked driveways and broken curbs and make sure your house number is easy to see. If your lawn is uneven, replace it with no-mow options or other ground covers such as ivy or ice plants which take little maintenance. Tidying the outside of your Montclair real estate will reflect the care you take of your home overall.

2. Complete Necessary Maintenance 

Is your mailbox off-kilter? Are your window shutters askew? Is the fence or wall crooked or broken in spots? Regardless of your home’s worth, these flaws will stick out in listing photos and a home tour. Additionally, potential buyers might seem as if they're fine with a property that’s less than perfect, but you can be certain they'll offer you less for your home to compensate for the needed repairs.

Consider painting an old front door with a vibrant color like glossy lipstick red or deep cerulean blue. Be sure to repair and clean the decks, steps, and lighting – both inside and out. If you have a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, they need to drain properly and be lined with clean finishes. Go through your exterior walls and check the insulation and waterproofing, double-check the garage door mechanisms and finishes, confirm the central heating and cooling works properly, and make sure all security features are functioning correctly.

3. Repair Anything Broken

There’s an old adage that advises, “You’ve got to spend money to make money,” and this holds true for pretty much everything in life. A clean home is needed to entice buyers, but that’s only part of the equation. If areas around and in your home are broken, you might be completely unaware of it until a housing inspector shows up after you've received an offer, and said assessment could end up costing you money if your home requires repairs. You can either make them yourself before you list your home for sale or take your chances with a post-offer inspector's assessment.

Do you have operational carbon monoxide and smoke detectors? Are your basement and attic finished to code? Do you have permits for any home additions? Does your roof need replacement or repair? Are your curbs broken? Don’t rely on guessing to answer these questions. Hire a housing inspector to investigate your home and identify any weaknesses which need fixing. If you don’t, a potential buyer will use the flaws to force you into lowering your asking price, usually at a higher cost than you would have paid to fix broken components before you listed your home.

4. Pay Attention to the Bathrooms

Bathrooms and kitchens in Montclair homes are the two areas buyers focus on the most when they make their final decision. These rooms are also historically the most expensive to remodel because of their particular electrical and plumbing requirements. However, you can still make minor changes to showcase the space. If your bathroom is windowless, add a window or a skylight that will enhance the space without enlarging the footprint. Upgrade sinks and hardware with modern, above-counter bowls and sleek hardware. Consider replacing an old-school shower-tub configuration with a floor-to-ceiling tiled shower with a teakwood bench for two as this matches current design trends.

5. Replace Old Plants

New Jersey is known as The Garden State, so why not take advantage of all the amazing greenery, flora, and fauna at your fingertips? Here are just a few choices to spruce up your landscaping. Azaleas grow three to four feet wide with flowers ranging from white to pink.

Boxwood plants make excellent hedges. Spirea – known as the "bridal wreath" – can reach six feet in height and are ideal for shrub borders, hedges, and ground cover. Their flower clusters come in white, pink, purple, and yellow, all of which will bring a welcome splash of color to your yard. Laurels are versatile shrubs that thrive in shade or sun and are evergreen. These produce small white flowers in springtime and are frequently used as border plants for privacy as they grow to an impressive height of ten to twelve feet.

Ready to List Your Montclair Home for Sale?

If you want to learn more about steps to prepare your central New Jersey home for the market or about Montclair real estate, contact The McGurl Team for expert guidance.

Work With Us

The McGurl Team at Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty provides the advantage buyers and sellers need in a competitive market. Contact us today to start your property journey.

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