Dreaming of one last Christmas in that house that is just getting too small, before listing this spring? We think that’s a great idea! Spring is a great time to list a home BUT since you have a few months, and we all know house projects take MUCH longer than planned, make the most of your time indoors this winter!
We have 6 easy tips to help you use these next few months to be ready to list in early spring and get a jump on the competition!
1. Pre-Winter Yard Work
These 70 degree weekends are a homeowners dream! Time to get out and get those gutters cleaned out, leaves racked, gardens weeded, ect. Walk around your house and try to see it through the eyes of a potential buyer. Does something need tightened or replaced? Any plants need to be pulled up or stumps removed? Any paint touch ups? Lawn care treatments to schedule? All these things are great to get a head start on and check off your list! When that first snow falls, you’ll know your yard and exterior are ready for winter and especially ready for an early spring listing!
2. Declutter, Organize, Throw Out
While we are all cooped up this winter, use that time to deep clean and declutter. Houses show much better when simplified, so declutter those kitchen countertops and mantles. Walls that are covered in picture frames, consider leaving a few and putting the others in storage, ready to be moved when the time comes. Organize closets and cupboards, go through clothes, toys, storage rooms and totes and try to figure out how long it’s been since you have seen, worn or used the item. Bag up the things you never use and donate them to a local organization. This can take awhile but take it one room at a time! Winter is long folks, you have time! When you’ve finished cleaning you’ll know your home is ready to show AND that you won’t be moving a bunch of stuff with you that you didn’t want anyway.
3. Start Packing!
I know it sound crazy BUT packing stinks. Don’t leave it all till the last minute. If you have rooms that aren’t being used, pack it! Have a basement full of stuff, start packing! If you have a storage room, start getting everything in totes, so when the time comes you can throw everything in your moving truck and go! This will give you some peace of mind when you list and start looking for a new place.
4. Hire a Handyman
While you are doing all this yard work and decluttering, keep a list going of all the things in the house that need to be fixed. We don’t realize how many things we live with that are not working properly. Make a list of cabinets that need to be fixed, drawers that need tightened, paint that needs touched up, light switches that don’t work or bulbs that need to be replaced. Depending on how many things need done, or the extent of work, you may need to hire a handyman. OR you may just want to take a weekend and work through your list yourself. Small things add up but can make all the difference when fixed and spruced up!
Paint can sometimes make or break a sale. If your home has loud colors or different colors in every room (or both!), consider painting those rooms in a neutral color. Depending on the buyer, they may be able to see past the colors and see the features of the home BUT some buyers can’t see the house being theirs with colors that may not be their taste. The buyer may also not want the work of painting a whole house if one of their requirements is a completely move in ready home. Grab a brush and get that house sold as fast as possible!
6.Get Paperwork Ready
Buying a house requires a lot of paperwork. From getting a pre approval letter to tax returns, from finding your abstract to having your current mortgage information on hand, make sure you give yourself time to get all the necessary documents together. Don’t forget that abstract either! Abstracts can be kept by the owner or at a local law office. Make sure you know where yours is! You can’t sell your home without it and if you can’t find it, it could cost you upwards of $1,000 to get it replaced. Take a few months and look around while cleaning- abstracts sometimes pop up in the craziest places!
If you have any more questions on what it takes to sell your home, feel free to contact us! We’d love to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have! Call Colin at 515-339-0018.