Countdown to a Spring Listing

Spring is only a few weeks away, which means two things:

  1. It will hopefully stop snowing soon.
  2. A lot of people are going to start putting their homes on the market.

If you’re in that group, there are a few things that you should be doing now to ensure that you’re ready to list when spring (finally) comes.

Get a jump on spring cleaning. In the winter, we tend to get a little lax with our cleaning routines. Dedicate a weekend to deep cleaning all of the winter dust and grime off of everything. Wipe, wash, scrub, scrape, and do whatever else you need to do to leave your home sparkling. If you have pets or are a smoker, you might also want to consider having the carpets professionally cleaned. (Just because you can’t smell the odor doesn’t mean it’s not there…)

– Give your walls a new look. You’d be amazed at how big a difference a coat of paint makes. Choose a neutral color, and paint and/or touch up any scuffed areas on your walls.

– Downsize. Want to know one of the biggest turn offs for buyers? Clutter. Clutter makes homes look junky and it doesn’t allow buyers to see the full potential of the space. Go through your belongings and if you find anything that hasn’t been used lately and probably won’t be used anytime soon, either throw it in the trash, donate it, or put it in storage where it’s out of the way.

– Decide what you want to keep. If you have any curtains or lighting fixtures that you know you want to keep, buy a new one and replace it now. If you leave a cherished chandelier up and you forget to let your agent know that you plan on keeping it, then it will belong to the buyers after the contract is signed. Make your arrangements before you list.

– Give your home a spring tune up. By performing seasonal maintenance on your home, you’re helping to make sure that everything stays in good condition for a long time. Oil squeaky hinges, replace filters, caulk and seal cracks, fix leaky faucets, unclog drains, replace dead light bulbs, and complete any other minor repairs that you’ve been putting off. Here’s a great list of spring tune up items that you can start tackling.

– Make a plan for the outside work you’re going to do when it’s warm enough. That includes repainting any cracked areas, replacing dead plants with living ones, fixing any torn screens, etc. Curb appeal really matters and can greatly affect the sale price of a home.

– Gather your important documents and records. When you sell, it’s helpful to have any handbooks or warranty information on appliances for future buyers. They’ll also need records of any major work done on the home, so start looking for those documents and keeping them in one place now.

– Analyze your home, and see if you can find any ways to improve it. Walk through the house and pretend that you’re a potential buyer with zero connection to it. If that’s too difficult, find a friend who will be honest (no feelings should be hurt!), and ask them what they think when they walk through your home. What can be improved? What would make it more appealing to a buyer?

If you’re planning on listing in the spring, you need to spend these next few weeks trying to make your home look its best. You’ll be selling with a lot of competition, and you don’t want to have a potential buyer choose a different home because of a superficial thing that you could have taken care of. Make it shine, and wait for the offers to roll in. Good luck!

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