So you’re planning to sell your home this year, but your waiting for the ground to defrost before planting the ‘For Sale’ sign. Don’t sit idly by watching the snow melt, use the winter down time to get your home market ready for spring! April through June is the housing market’s busy season, with over one-third of homes listing in the spring. What this means for you is stiff competition for qualified buyers. Follow these steps to make sure your house stands out above the rest:
1. De-clutter and De-personalize
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff you have on display in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Now is the time to de-clutter! Remove about a third of your stuff – put what you want to keep into storage, and sell or donate the rest.
2. Maximize the Space
Now that you’ve packed away the knick-knacks, lets rearrange your furniture to best showcase the floor plan. Reference decorating cheat sheets for inspiration. You may also consider hiring a home stager for a consultation. They will provide you with guidance to help highlight your home’s full potential. To make a room appear larger, they may advise swapping out your current sectional for a smaller sofa, or painting the room a lighter color.
3. Close Any Open Permits
If you have had any professional work done on your home, from adding a new bathroom to replacing a water heater, your municipality may have required that you obtain a permit. Make sure that any permits you have or had are closed and all necessary inspections are complete. These are items that will inevitably come up in a home or certificate of occupancy inspection, and can hold up your closing. It is best to get ahead of this before you put your home on the market.
4. Complete Your To-Do List
It is time to finally address your ever growing to-do list of household repairs. Figure out how you want to prioritize your list. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC repairs may cost more and are not visible initially to buyers, but will show themselves in your home inspection. More buyer-facing repairs replacing old bathroom caulking go a long way in the presentation of your property.
5. Update Your Kitchen
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace counter-tops, but consider that buyers may knock $10,000 off their offer if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style.
I hope these tips are helpful in getting your home ready to sell. Feel free to reach out to me directly for advice on preparing your house for the spring sales market.
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