It feels strange to write about the spring when we are finally experiencing cooler temperatures and the leaves are leaping off the trees at a very rapid rate. Still, I’ve been looking forward to writing this post ever since I started this series, because as almost every real estate professional will tell you: spring is the season for buying and selling homes! There’s no real mystery here… home buyers are pretty primal. J They emerge from their self-imposed winters rest (having recovered from the financial bloodletting of the holiday season and armed with fat tax refunds) and are ready to start fresh, embrace change and welcome a new lease on life… that hopefully includes a new home, too!
Of course, there is one big challenge to listing your home in the spring. You’ll have more competition than in any other season. Many sellers spend the late fall and early winter preparing their homes for sale with the intention of listing in late March or early April. Realtors are getting their marketing materials in order, planning open houses and polishing their yard signs. In order to make your home stand out amongst the masses, follow these tips for a successful home sale in spring.
Good weather puts everyone in a good mood. Without having to trudge through mounds of snow or baking under summer’s hot sun, potential buyers are likely to linger outside your home. During spring, optimistic sellers should take their home’s curb appeal to new levels. Make sure your lawns are meticulously groomed and flower beds are planted with bright, new plantings. Gorgeous pots of daffodils on either side of your front door provide a pop of color and brilliance to your home’s façade.
Make sure your home’s physical exterior is in great condition, too. Have a roofing professional come out and inspect for loose shingles that need to be replaced or gutters that might need to be repaired. Homes with vinyl siding should be cleaned. Brick, stone and stucco homes can also be power washed. Additionally, sidewalks and driveways should be inspected: repair cracks and consider a protective sealant which provides a nice shine and tells eager buyers that excessive care has been taken with their (potentially) new home. Last but not least, wash windows (inside and out) so they sparkle and allow natural light to flood your home’s interior.
Speaking of natural light… let it work its magic by ensuring that blinds and curtains are open during showings. Consider replacing heavy window coverings with light, airy curtains. Supersize your normal spring cleaning and make sure your home’s interior is spotless. Depersonalize your home by storing family photos and souvenirs, polish hardwood floors, have carpets professionally cleaned. If you don’t completely repaint main rooms in clean, neutral tones, at least retouch baseboards and all white woodwork that is chipped or smudged.
Bottom line: spring is a fabulous time to list your home and attract buyers who want to be settled before the start of a new school year, but because this season is so attractive to sellers, you need to go the extra mile to ensure a quick and satisfactory sale. Ask your Realtor to pay you a winter time visit and help develop a checklist specific to you home. Then spend December, January and February tackling those home improvements and deep cleaning tasks slowly and surely. When warm weather rolls around, plant that “For Sale” sign in your lush, green grass and wait for the offers to start rolling in!