7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Spring Market

by Chuck Roper 8. February 2018 03:25

Spring is right around the corner, and if you’re planning on putting your house on the market this season, it’s certainly not too early to be giving some thought to preparing your home for buyers. Spring is the optimum time to sell your home. Regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, there is almost always a rise in demand during the months of April, May and June. Of course, increased demand also means increased competition, so chances are you’ll need to do some sprucing up to stay in the running. Read on for seven helpful tips on how to prepare your home for a spring showing.    

1. Stage Your Home

“Home staging” refers to arranging furniture so as to maximize feelings of space and light with an aesthetic eye as to how each room should flow into another. Yes, this means stowing away your pile of magazines or unpaid bills in the hopes of presenting a fantasy version of your home for buyers. If your personal decor isn’t cutting it, you can transfer your belongings into storage and rent furniture and artwork from a home staging company on a monthly basis.

2. Wash Windows & Mirrors

When cleaning your home, remember the phrase “sparkle sells.” A potential buyer may not realize why your home seems so inviting, but if your windows are spotless inside and out and your mirrors clearly reflect the sun, they’ll want to stay all afternoon! So let in the spring sunshine with the help of a bottle of Windex to impress home buyers.

3. Eliminate Odors

As much as we may not like to admit it, we all have unpleasant odors that plague our home from time to time, and nothing will make a potential buyer want to walk out the door than a bad smell in the kitchen, bathroom or living room. However, don’t take the easy way out and simply mask odors with air fresheners, which can be overwhelming and cause allergies. Rather include fresh flowers throughout your home, spice up the kitchen with the scent of boiled cinnamon, or freshen up the bathroom with some eucalyptus.

4. Paint Your Walls

While you may be in love with your seafoam green walls in the kitchen and bathroom, chances are it may be too specific for today’s buyer. The truth is that most buyers prefer to see a blank canvas where they can inject their own personality. Why not select a neutral base color and extend it to all rooms on the same floor? You are making your home appeal to the largest possible audience.

5. Clean or Replace Flooring

Damage to floors and carpeting over the years is unavoidable, and those stains, scratches and cracks will be apparent to potential buyers. Prevent this by cleaning or replacing flooring throughout your home. Carpets should be shampooed and treated for stains, while hardwoods should be swept and mopped until sparkling clean. Any flooring permanently stained or damaged should be replaced, or at the very least refinished.

6. Yardwork

Prepping your home for buyers means cleaning both inside and out. Rake up dead leaves and other debris in your yard, and don’t let overground vegetation block windows or a pathway to the entrance. Trimming bushes and trees will allow more sunlight to shine into your home, and artfully cut lawns will tell buyers to pay attention to small details inside. Remember, the exterior of your home is the first impression buyers will have.

7. Snacks and Drinks

Touring homes all day makes buyers hungry. What better way to make a positive impression than by providing snacks and drinks for guests? Set out crackers and cheese or a plate of your homemade cookies, then place a couple dozen water bottles in the sink filled with ice. Giving refreshments for guests will allow them to spend more time in your kitchen, and marvel at how beautiful it is!

Selling your home can be a stressful process for buyers and sellers alike. Deep cleaning your home will inevitably force you to adapt your aesthetic preferences to sell to a wider audience and sacrifice personal touches you’ve included over the years, but it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Follow the above tips to get your home looking amazing for spring showings and watch your listing sell quickly and at a great price!

Need help with listing your home for sale? Contact Janet McAfee Real Estate today for over three decades of buying and selling experience!

 

 

Take the stress out of your home inspection.

by Chuck Roper 22. January 2018 07:21

 

Selling your home can be stressful.  And, no time during the selling process is more stressful than the inspection period.  Sellers wait on the side line while the buyer’s inspector goes through their home with a fine tooth comb.  Afterward, a repair list is submitted with all the items which the seller had no knowledge even existed.  Here are a few things from a Realtor’s point of view to help reduce inspection anxiety.

1.       Consider a pre-listing inspection.  There’s no rule that says a seller cannot hire his/her own inspector before the home is listed.  The seller can learn about hidden defects beforehand and either repair them or disclose them upfront to the buyer.

2.       Do a thorough cleaning.  A gleaming house sends a message that the home is lovingly cared for.  There is less reason to suspect deferred maintenance or problems caused by neglect.

3.       Check the windows.  Inspectors are trained to make sure windows and doors are fully operable.  Check to make sure windows open and close properly and that there are no cracks, broken sashes or broken window seals.

4.       Do the outlets work?  Inspectors will test electrical outlets, GCFI’s and the electrical panel, most of which are outside my scope of knowledge.  What I can do is to find out if the outlets are working and replace ones that don’t.

5.       Complete items on your repair list.  Do you have a “honey-do” list?  Do light bulbs need replacing or drains need declogging?  In the long run, it saves time, money and anxiety to make those minor repairs before listing the home. 

6.       Get current with your seasonal maintenance.   If you have missed a few seasonal maintenance checks, now is a good time to schedule your HVAC, lawn irrigation or other regular checkups.   While you’re at it, change the battery in your smoke detectors and replace your air filters.

7.       Clear away piles of stuff.  The inspector needs clear access to HVAC systems, plumbing stacks and basement walls/foundation.   Clear away anything that would prevent the inspector from being able to access the attic or reach mechanical systems or inspect the foundation. 

Do you have other suggestions for reducing home inspection anxiety?  I’d love to hear them.

 

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