For many people, the thought of placing their home on the market is a daunting task. Keeping the kids from destroying your staged home, allowing strangers to walk through your home on the daily, and putting your pups through the stress of constant cars coming and going can seem like a nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be.
If you want to or need to move to a new place, listing your home may be something you can’t avoid so you want to list at the best possible time. When putting your home on the market, statistics show spring is the time to do it. That means the time to prep is now! Interior, exterior – all of the above. Here are a few easy steps to take to make your place look its very best when you list your home this spring.
Spruce Up Your Front Lawn
Curb appeal is one of the most – if not the most – important aspects of listing a home. Whether potential buyers see your home doing a drive-by or while scrolling online, 99% of the time the front of your home’s exterior is going to be their first impression…and you know how many chances you get to make a first impression? Right. One!
This is more than just redoing flower beds and mowing the grass. This means power-washing the house, cleaning out gutters, and repairing anything that may be out-of-date or broken. After this, comes the usual upkeep.
Although it may be difficult to have a beautiful flower bed on your front lawn in the middle of February, there are steps you can take to ensure things will look beautiful by the time Spring hits. New mulch is a great way to add instant curb appeal. If your current lawn is a little drab, grab a few cartons of bright, inexpensive flowers to plant as soon as the last freeze is over. This is an easy and affordable way to instantly add some “newness” to your home.
Add a Welcoming Touch
The front door is also very important! Be sure to get rid of any spider webs and clean any windows on your door and in your entry. Adding a simple wreath can also make your home seem more welcoming to potential buyers.
Although it may not be the most practical for your particular living situation, a small bench or dresser in the entryway is a nice way to add some character to an entry. But you don’t have to go out and buy one. Since this is only temporary, consider asking a friend or family member if they have something you can borrow short-term.
Declutter & Depersonalize
While it may not be the first impression, the interior of the home is super important as well. Often times, we get so comfortable in our homes – and we have adjusted our home to what is most practical and what works the best for us and our family – that we don’t realize how much we have accumulated over time. Since you will be moving anyways, prior to listing your home, it is a great idea to start decluttering.
Go through you and your family’s belongings and get rid of things you don’t want to take to your new home. Box up things you will be taking along, but that you won’t need between the current time and when you move to your new place. Continue this practice into your closets. Buyers are going to be looking at every inch of your home. Clearing out your closets will make them appear bigger, which is always a huge plus!
During this time you may also want to consider removing anything personal from your walls, including family photos and last name plaques. When a buyer walks into your home, you want them to feel like this is their space. Seeing your 20×30 annual family photo hanging proudly on the mantle may look nice, but the buyers want to picture themselves in the space…and you staring directly back at them may make that a tad difficult.
A full home renovation isn’t always necessary in order to get top dollar for your home. But minor adjustments and upgrades are always welcome! Updating any outdate fixtures with inexpensive, minimalistic ones can make a huge difference in a room. And don’t forget about light bulbs! Replace any burnt-out bulbs with new ones and make sure they are all the same type and light color.
Kitchens will usually make or break a sale. They are a staple in every home and you want yours to look it’s very best. While we don’t recommend going all fixer-upper before listing, take a good look at what you are working with. Could the cabinets be painted? How do the knobs and pulls look? Are any of your appliances super out-dated? Take time to weigh your options on a few upgrades. You may save money now, but as a buyer, would you knock $10,000 off your offer because of old, outdated counter tops?
A fresh coat of paint can also go a long way. Neutral paint colors are an excellent way to brighten and even depersonalize a room. And don’t forget trim and baseboards! It’s shocking to see how white trim can turn even the slightest shade of yellow over the years. If you don’t plan on painting trim, be sure to dust it! This brings us to our next point…
A deep clean is something that will definitely be worth your wild prior to listing your home. Buyers notice every little thing when it comes to looking at homes and you don’t want to be labeled as “the dirty house”. If you don’t have the time or you simply don’t want to, hiring a one-time house cleaner is a great investment.
This is something you will want to do after you box up things you won’t be leaving out and before listing photos are taken. Consider having your house cleaned monthly until your home is off the market. A fresh home always makes a wonderful impression.
Put Up Your Pups
We all love our furry friends, but that doesn’t mean buyers will. Having animals in the home can be a big turn-off to people so boarding or having your pets relocated for a short time isn’t such a bad idea. If this isn’t practical, maybe someone can come walk your dog while the house is being shown.
At the very least, you’ll want your animals either kenneled or in the back yard during showings. And always ensure that the buyer’s agent is aware animals are at your house so they can take the appropriate steps to make sure they stay safe during a showing!
List Your Home this Spring
Listing your home can be a daunting process. Life on it’s own is hectic and the added stress of putting your home on the market, while possibly searching for a new place all at the same time can feel very overwhelming!
This is exactly why you want to find a real estate agent you can trust. Agents are more than just transaction coordinators, they can also hold the title of design consultants, pet wranglers , and even therapists. Give our agents a call. We have a solid team of experienced agents who can help make this season go by as smoothly as possible, all while helping keep your spirits high!
Give us a call today to get a home valuation and talk to one of our specialists about potential upgrades to your home to give you top dollar.