Each year, spring brings a new real estate market and an influx of homes new to the market. If you are aiming to beat the rush and minimize competition, now is the time to sell your home. Winter buyers may be fewer, but they are often more serious and more likely to make a purchase. If other circumstances force you to sell in the spring, make your home stand out in comparison to gain top dollar.
Whether joining the real estate market now, or in the spring, chances are your home needs some sprucing up. When buyers walk through a home, they first focus on the way sellers lives in their home vs the home structure itself. The seller’s belongings quickly define the size and function of a space, and lack of cleanliness and overlooked repairs may indicate larger home problems. On the flip side, a well organized, depersonalized and clean home helps buyers imagine living in the home. Bingo! Once buyers are mentally moving in their own furniture, you are one step away from making a sale.
Go through your home with a fine toothed comb with this list in mind:
- Make note of maintenance projects you have grown accustomed to living with. Squeaky doors, chipped paint, leaking faucets – fix them.
- Go through your home with a critical eye. Clutter must go. Clutter makes spaces look smaller and distracts buyers from seeing what is actually for sale – the home. Horizontal surfaces should be clear, closets and cabinets organized, magazines and newspapers out of sight, etc. A good general rule is: If you have not used it in the past year, donate it or get rid of it.
- Depersonalize to boost a buyer’s imagination. Anything that is personal to you needs to be packed away: family photos, collections, etc. Give buyers a blank slate in which to imagine their own family photos, belongings, etc.
- When in doubt, go neutral. If painting and other redecorating tasks are in your future, choose neutral colors to appeal to the largest group of buyers as possible.
- Use the white glove clean test. Yes, clean. Now that your home has been repaired, decluttered, depersonalized and neutralized, it is time to clean as if a prestigious guest were to arrive. Clean dirty windows, wipe away fingerprints on fixtures and appliances, dust the baseboards and door frames, steam the carpets and polish hardwood floors.
- Pay attention to details. Use your furniture to highlight the best features of each room, fill vases with fresh flowers and eliminate odors (no evidence of pets!).
Now that you have spent hours improving your home, you will want to find the right broker to market your home and show off your efforts. Look for a broker who knows your neighborhood, is enthusiastic about your home and will help you set the right price to attract the most qualified buyers.