We have had one of the most challenging winters ever on record in the Westchester and Fairfield County areas. And now that snow has cleared, the temperature rising – it is time to hustle if you are considering putting your home on the market over the next Spring and Summer months. Along with tulips and daffodils, “FOR SALE” signs will be popping up across neighborhood lawns. This is a time when the market is most competitive and favorable to sellers as there is the most activity from buyers. Here are a few simple tips to help you prepare your home and help you stand out among the competition:
1) Declutter, Organize, and Clean
- Start with decluttering. You know that closet or storage space that you have been throwing things into for the past “I don’t know how many years”? Decluttering means purging the non-essential things in your house and sorting through the build up of many years. It takes time, but is very, very rewarding.
- Continue with organization. Now that you have decluttered, you can even start the packing process by putting non-essential items you are keeping into boxes. It’s time to get out the packing boxes. “If you are serious about moving, start packing now. Think about getting a small storage locker. Lighten up the house. If the living room has too much furniture, it doesn’t look usable.” Consider packing away your winter clothes, so the closets appear more spacious – people want to go into a property and see that there is ample room for their belongings.
- Finally, get in there with the heavy cleaning. It will be much easier after you have decluttered and organized. Get in now and do the really heavy work you have been avoiding: shower scum, grout, baseboards, curtains, windows…once all those bigger items are cleaned, the routine cleaning you will have to do during the spring season (as you have rotations of open houses and showings) won’t seem so overwhelming.
2) Consider a Pre-List Inspection
The home inspection can be one of the most common reasons that the sales process can get hindered. The buyer’s offer will often be contingent upon the results of the home inspection, and buyers are understandably very picky. If you wait until you have a buyer and find out you have unknown issues with your house, you may come off as looking like you were trying to pull a fast one on them and the deal may fall through! Get ahead of the game and fix things that may come up in an inspection. Nip any potential problems – from outdated electrical wiring to pest infestations. Make sure to service your air conditioner and have your water heater and furnace serviced if needed. A pre-list inspection can be a great way for you to prepare early for any issues that arise and not encounter any unwanted surprises.
3) Make Small Home Improvements – Inside & Out!
Barring any large renovations that need to take place, there are many small improvements that can be made to a home that can really help the look, feel, and function of the property. Anticipate what buyers will look for and be ready for their arrival. Here are a few suggestions that may be a good fit for your home:
- Put a fresh coat of paint on interior and exterior walls or trimming
- Update light fixtures/old fans
- Replace bathroom caulk and grout
- Replace light switches/switch plates
- Buy new shower curtain and matching bathroom set
- Replace faucets and shower-heads
- Replace blinds, drapes, or any outdated/worn window dressings
- Update appliances
- Spruce up your landscaping, which includes flower beds and bushes in addition to trimming trees –
- Power-wash house, decks, sidewalk and fencing
- Clean the roof and gutters
4) Contact RRA and Learn About Your Local Real Estate Market
Finally, talk to an agent or broker at Richardson Realty Associates about what the local real estate market trends are in your town. The spring market is generally the best time to sell, but we talk with you about the specifics of your neighborhood and discuss the pricing of other homes and/or recent sales, the recent features or upgrades that are being showcased in these homes. All in an effort to see how your home compares, and help you plan what your next moves are.