If you’re thinking of selling your home this spring, don’t wait: this is the best time of year to sell.
Inventory levels are very low, which is pushing average selling prices way up. As we reported last week, March month to date pending home sales are up 29% compared to pending sales the same period last March. This proves that buyers are not only out there but are making moves.
Afraid you can’t get your house ready in time for the busiest home buying season? Don’t think you need to do a complete kitchen or bathroom remodel before putting your home on the market. Buyers want to take advantage of the low interest rates and spring market now before they go back up. But there are a few things that you can do to get your home ready to sell.
Here are 6 tips for getting your home ready for the spring market in just 30 days:
1. Paint Rooms
This is one of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to spruce up the rooms in your home. Getting a fresh coat of paint on walls will instantly brighten them up and make the home look fresh and new. Wake up drab rooms with a splash of color. Or use more neutral colors for a current, updated look. Painting rooms also helps maximize space and makes them appear larger. Painting has one of the biggest returns on your investment of any home improvement project, and can be done in a couple of weekends.
2. Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is as important as ever, especially after the long winter. With the snow melting, this time of year buyers want to see homes with freshly trimmed bushes, clear walkways, fresh mulch, and well kept lawns. Get rid of dead leaves, branches, and weeds. Put out new plants or consider adding a few flowering potted plants near the entryway. Use a pressure washer to remove leaf stains from patios and walkways. When buyers pull up and see a well-kept yard, it means the home is well kept on the inside as well.
3. Make Small Fixes
As buyers tour your home, if they spot a broken railing or leaky faucet, it gives the impression that everything in the house hasn’t been cared for. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to repair any small projects you’ve been putting off. Replace missing tiles, fix torn screens, touch up holes or cracks in walls. Replace cracked windowpanes and moldings. Making repairs like these won’t cost a lot of money yet they will have a huge impact on a buyer’s impression of your home.
4. Brighten Up!
A low-cost but effective way of showcasing your home is making it appear brighter. Buyers prefer bright cheerful homes to those that appear dark and cramped. Keep drapes and shades open to allow more natural light into the home. Awnings on decks should be retracted. Replacing low wattage light bulbs with brighter ones and actually changing some fixtures out completely will open and brighten up a room instantly. You would be amazed how adding a lamp to a dark corner can open up and add space to the entire room.
The less stuff you have the larger your home will appear. Since getting buyers into the home is half the battle, make sure they don’t lose interest because your house is brimming over with stuff that could easily be placed in a closet or drawer. De-cluttering doesn’t mean getting rid of everything, but it definitely means organizing and removing most of your stuff. Most rooms have too many pieces of furniture. Remove at least one piece to thin the room out and move furniture away from walls. Buyers should be able to freely move around the rooms, not bump into end tables and ottomans. Reduce the amount of books in shelves, and remove vases, statues, or clocks from tables. Don’t forget to de-personalize as well. Buyers like to envision themselves living in the home. This means taking down family photos and removing notes and postcards from the refrigerator.
6. Clean Like You’ve Never Cleaned Before
Cleaning the house before it goes on the market is one of the most essential tasks you can do. We recommend you dedicate more than one afternoon to getting the home sparkle. Set aside a few days to clean rooms from top to bottom. The kitchen and bathrooms need to be immaculate. When was the last time you cleaned the windows in your house? Get the Windex out! This is a simple inexpensive way to bring more light into rooms and make even older windows look new again. Wash curtain sheers. Shampoo rugs. Make the beds. Dust shelves. Counters, sinks, tubs, and appliances should sparkle. Clean all switch plates. A bright, spotless house will make your home much more appealing to buyers.