The Definitive Guide to Buying Your First Home

Barbara Corcoran: To sell your home as fast as possible, focus on these 3 things

Barbara Corcoran: Want your home to sell ASAP? Here's the secret

If you want to sell your home faster, you need to be smart about where you invest your time and resources. Not every room or feature is equally important, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran tells CNBC Make It.

"Realize that the buyer walks in and judges that house within 30 seconds," she says. So focus on the areas that prospective buyers will see immediately.

To make a great first impression and help your home sell faster, invest in three specific areas that the buyer will notice right away.

1. The exterior

The first thing a buyer is going to see is the front of your house, including features like your front door, mailbox, lawn and driveway.

To make sure your buyer gets a good first impression, "you want to spruce up the front entrance to your house, repaint the door, make sure the bushes look good, make sure the garden looks in order and power-wash the sidewalk and the driveway," says Corcoran.

Real estate expert Sean Conlon agrees that your home's street presence, or "curb appeal," is crucial. "Your lawn should look beautiful," he tells Make It. "Your shrubs should be nice and colorful and well taken care of. ... Your shutters and windows should look nice. When people pull up, they should go, 'I could picture myself pulling up in the evening and this being my home.'"

Curb appeal is the reason Conlon says it's even OK to spend five figures on a custom door: "When you are renovating a house you want to find ways to make it stand out from all the other homes on the market and what better way than having the most beautiful entrance on the block? Buyers lap that stuff up."

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2. The living room

Focusing on the living room is critical because "people will judge the entire size of the house based on the living room," says Corcoran.

To make the living room seem more spacious, buy a bigger rug, she says: "Buyers will judge the size of a room based on the size of the rug."

Besides investing in a rug, "make sure your lighting is updated and make sure you have slipcovers that look fresh."

Realize that the buyer walks in and judges that house within 30 seconds.
Barbara Corcoran

3. The kitchen

Finally, "you want to make sure you make the key improvements in your kitchen," Corcoran says, which means resurfacing your cabinets or re-painting the walls if necessary.

Sidney Torres, real estate expert and host of CNBC's "The Deed," agrees that you should pay close attention to the kitchen. One of his favorite, affordable features to add to this specific room is under-cabinet lighting, which can significantly boost the value of your home.

"It's not expensive to do, but it's nice," he tells Make It. "It washes down the back-splash." Plus, under-cabinet lighting adds depth to your kitchen: "It gives the ceiling height and makes it feel higher than what it really is."

Lastly, Corcoran says, don't underestimate the value of a new and tidy refrigerator. "If you watch a buyer walk into any kitchen, the first thing they do is open the refrigerator," she says, and "when a buyer sees a shiny, new refrigerator, they assume the whole kitchen is in better order."

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Barbara Corcoran: This is when and how to buy your first home