If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market this spring, the time to start preparing is now! With persistent cold and blustery weather, it may feel like the spring selling season is in the distant future, but if you begin taking actions now, you can avoid the pressures of last minute preparations. Remember, you’ll be faced with much stiffer competition because the housing market gets flooded with new listings every spring. So, if want your property to stand apart from the competition, it’s going to take extra effort on your behalf. If you want your house to be in good shape when the weather starts to warm up, here are 5 tips to follow.
1. Find a Good Real Estate Agent Right Now
Having an experienced agent represent you is critically important; especially with the online shift that is occurring in the real estate industry. Marketing a home has become sophisticated and it requires a skilled, professional marketing strategy. A good real estate agent can identify the notable features of your home which will help you maximize the way you showcase those features. Find someone you can trust; ask friends, colleagues, or relatives for a referral. Be sure to interview a minimum of three real estate professionals before making your choice.
2. Inspect Interior Systems
When was the last time you had your heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system inspected? Many times cold winter months reveal problems with air circulation in the form of an extra cold room. That same room will most likely be problematically warm during the upcoming hot summer months. Change your air filters and check your air conditioner now. If it needs to be serviced, repairs are usually cheaper before the repairmen receive a rush of spring service calls. Test your home security system, smoke detectors, fire alarm, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that each is working properly. Many home owners overlook these items so this is the perfect opportunity to make sure they work. Inspect your plumbing for leaks, make sure your windows don’t have broken seals, re-caulk the showers/sinks, check for any signs of insects or rodents, and then fix any problems that you find.
3. Home Improvement Projects
If you have started any home improvement projects this winter, it’s time to complete your work. If your agent suggested that you repaint walls to a more neutral color, or that you re-carpet floors, it is best to do those things now. If you have any other “fix up” projects in mind as you prepare to sell your home, work swiftly to finish the job(s) quickly. You’ll find a buyer for your home much faster, and the entire process will be much easier if all projects are fully completed before you list your home.
4. Interior Cleaning
After a long winter your windows need a deep cleaning – both inside and out. You’ll be amazed at how much light is being filtered out by your dirty windows. Plus, you’ll be shocked at how well you’ll be able to see out the windows once they are clean. But don’t stop at the windows, remove the built up dust on your ceiling fans, and clean out your fireplace. Wipe down your cabinets and touch up any scuff marks on your walls. Clean your baseboards, wash your curtains, dust your blinds, and organize your closets.
5. Do Your Homework When Pricing
Almost all home sellers enter into the selling process with a number in mind – a bottom line price they must obtain when selling their home in order to “break even” at the bank. And while there is nothing wrong with knowing your “break even” point, it may or may not be relevant when pricing your home. Before you put your home on the market it is imperative that you and your agent do extensive market research to determine the true value of your home. Nobody wants to lose money when selling their home, but the hard truth is that your home is only worth what the market says it is worth; NOT what your “break even” price dictates. Despite this inconvenient truth, the reality is that if you disregard what the market says about your home’s value, you will likely have a difficult time selling. So do your homework, talk with your agent, and think very carefully before you settle on your asking price.