Real estate dynamo Barbara Corcoran has taken on a challenge from "Good Morning America" viewers: Sell a family home in seven days or less.
We've been taking your questions, and on Day 3 of the challenge, Corcoran answered selected questions below.
Keep watching to see whether the house is sold.
Q: Thank you so much for your great suggestion on selling real estate. Here is my problem. The house I'm trying to sell sits on a busy road and the front yard [has] a big sinkhole. We have put so much money in the home already. What should we do next? -- Liza LaBollita, Kennesaw, Ga.
A: It's worth spending the money on two items that would cure the the sinkhole/busy road problem:
a. Get a good local gardener to solve the sinkhole.
b. Spend a few bucks on a white picket fence for the front yard, or a different type of fence that suits your house style. People do not naturally look past fences.
Q: How do I make my house stand out when I have tried everything and there are close to 200 other houses in my community selling? What would be the best advice without spending a lot of money redoing everything? -- David Lewis, S. Euclid, Ohio
A: The most important thing to do is to price your home about 10 percent less than the other 200 houses that are for sale. That will solve most of the problem. The best improvements you can make is to simply get rid of the clutter, get rid of the drapes, clean the windows, scrub the floors, and put a soft white coat of paint on any walls or woodwork that does not look fresh.
Q: I am concerned about my neighbor's homes. Especially the one that lives directly across the street, the shrubs are overgrown, trees not pruned, and weeds growing out of the sidewalk and curb. I am afraid that when a potential buyer looks out the window all they will see is this. Do you have any suggestions? -- Krista, Holland, Pa.
A: Make your messy neighbor your friend. Become a good Samaritan and suggest that you fix up his front yard for him, no charge. You'll get the time and money spent back in spades.
Q: When painting the interior of a house to prepare for selling, the norm use to be to paint everything white, but all of the staging shows on TV are now showing color, saying white is too blah. How do you determine the best color to paint a room for selling? -- Yvonne Raly, Tucker, Ga.
A: Bright colors are in style but white sells houses. The single best white to use is Benjamin Moore's antique white or something similar to it. The reason why white works the best is it is neutral, and it makes the most out of the natural light. Light makes people buy!
Q: Is it a good idea to have your Realtor hold a open house? Also, what personal items should you remove ? Thanks, I am hoping to sell! -- Liz, Stephens City, Va.
A: Open houses work because they are convenient to the buyer. It's even better to suggest to your Realtor that they arrange a community open house for all of the houses in the neighborhood on one day. Just remember, to look at the competition yourself and make sure your price is attractive enough to make the other houses look less attractive.
Q: Great segment for today's market! Is it better to show a new apartment empty, or to furnish it before showing it? Many thanks. -- Aisy Dantes, New York, N.Y.
A: Sparse furnishings in neutral colors make rooms look bigger. Empty rooms always look smaller. If you don't have the right furniture, you might think of renting furniture for a couple of months. The most successful home stagers do it and you'll always make double the money back.
Q: We have removed many pictures from the walls in order to make them look larger. We have plaster walls that tend to chip easily when you remove nails, so should we try and remove the nails or leave them in place and let the next homeowner take care of it? Thank you for your informative series. -- Scott Lyle, Greensboro, N.C.
A: Get rid of the nails! No one wants to move in and spend their first weekend pulling out your old picture nails. Don't forget to spackle.