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Don’t let the dreary cold weather fool you, spring is just around the corner. It doesn’t matter if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, springtime is when most buyers are out looking to purchase a new home. So if you’re planning to put your house on the market- now is the time to start getting ready.
Here’s a guide to help you make the most out of your home’s debut to market.
While light cleaning will be required prior to showings, take advantage of the time you have now to have your home thoroughly deep cleaned. Wash all curtains or drapes, dust the blinds, and remove spider or cobwebs hanging in the corners up high on the walls. Clean baseboards, remove the lime build up on drains, in sinks, and on shower heads. It’s hard to put your finger on the details, but when you walk into a clean house you know it right away. Another often overlooked item – wash the windows, both inside and out. Sparkle and shine will sell a home. Sunlight through clean windows can create just the right setting, like having a great filter on a social media picture.
IF YOU KNOW IT’S BROKEN, FIX IT
No home is perfect, not even new construction. Home repairs can accumulate over time, and while it’s not fun to spend money on your soon to be “old house” it can save you money on negotiations later on. Getting an inspection done prior to selling is not usually necessary, you can be proactive now just by taking care of any know issues. Look at it from the prospective of a buyer, with multiple homes on the market to choose from- would you want to choose a home with a long list of repairs? In many cases, this can overwhelm a buyer, even if they are relatively small repairs. For top dollar, a buyer will expect a well-maintained home.
TAKE A LOOK AT THE WALLS
Are there any walls painted colors that could be qualified by the phrase, “you either love it or hate it”? If this is the case you might want to consider choosing a more neutral palette. A new coat of paint can go a long way to make a home feel fresh and new. Baseboards should also be thoroughly cleaned and repainted if necessary. Changing the ceiling color from a bright white to a creamier tone can also help bring the room together creating a warmer ambiance.
DEPERSONALIZE YOUR SPACE
Think of this as creating a blank canvas for a buyer to envision themselves living there. When a buyer comes through they typically won’t have a chance to spend a whole lot of time thinking about what they would do to make this their home. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for them by removing as many personal items as you can so that it’s not distracting for them. When they walk out you want them to remember the attributes of the home itself, not your ‘stuff’ as you’ll be taking that with you. Consider renting a storage unit to clear out any clutter, spacious rooms are a top feature homebuyers are looking for.
CHOOSE [THE RIGHT] LIGHT
Add light bulbs to your shopping list so you can change any light bulbs that are out. Place tasteful lamps throughout the home for an added touch brightening any dark spaces. Make sure to have them on for showings as well. Choose soft colored balanced lighting that will create a calm and warm atmosphere. Some light bulbs can be too bright and distracting. Also, think about how a room will appear in pictures. Most real estate photographers do not bring studio light gear with them when the shoot the listing pictures, they work with the lights already in the home. While this can be adjusted in editing, you want to help make sure there isn’t anything missed.
We all know first impressions matter. Many buyers will drive by a home prior to making an appointment to see it. They might see it as they’re checking your neighborhood, or they might have made a list and decided to drive as they cut down their list of homes they want to see. Having a well-kept yard can be the deciding factor on making the cut. Main items here would be trimming bushes and trees, having a clear pathway to the front door, use dark mulch in flower beds, clearing out weeds and overgrowth. And, because spring is quickly approaching, you will have a great selection to choose from to add pretty colorful flowers to your flower beds. Keep in mind as the grass begins to grow quickly again in the spring and summer months and it will require more frequent mowing. Power washing the sidewalk and driveway is also a good idea.
Here’s an important tip for Sienna Plantation residents, some may not be aware that the Sienna HOA requires an inspection prior to closing. A complete list of items can be found on siennanet.com under the Realtor tab, Certificate of Compliance Checklist. Make sure to discuss this with your agent. If you are not currently working with an agent, please don’t hesitate to contact me to find out more about what this could mean for a seller or buyer in Sienna Plantation.
- Updates are good, just make sure you are in line with the market. HGTV has a way of making home improvement look overly glamorous and easy. The truth is, while we all love beautiful top-of-the-line features, over-improvement can be costly and eat away at your equity. Before you begin a remodeling project, look at what is currently for sale in your neighborhood. How does your home compare? If the housing trends in your neighborhood are selling without it, you might want to make smaller improvements instead. Consulting with an experienced agent can help you determine which updates will help sell your home quickly.
Getting ready to list your home can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Make a checklist, it will help you keep track of your progress and break it down into more manageable pieces. Download a free printable checklist HERE.
Consider doing a walkthrough with someone who can provide objective feedback, it will help bring clarity to what needs to get done.
If you would like a customized game plan to get you ready and listed to sell quickly, contact me today to set up a complimentary consultation.
A native Houstonian, I was raised in Meyerland and have deep roots in the city’s east side where my grandmother lived. Now a self-proclaimed suburban “convert”, there’s no place I would rather be than here in the ‘burbs with my family. After nearly ten years of working in the accounting field, I decided to return to my entrepreneurial roots and start my own business in real estate with Keller Williams Realty.