Article Written by Bryce Thompson
Spring is historically the best time to sell a home, and that means now is the best time to prepare it for sale. According to the National Association of Realtors, “Sales activity between February and March increases by 34%, while prices rise by 3%. Better to hit the ground running when the time comes, rather than stressing out wondering why you didn’t set yourself up for a smoother experience.
Take advantage of mild weather days by tending to outdoor chores, and focus on indoor projects during colder temperatures. This will save you time and trouble later and may help you feel more emotionally ready to move when the time comes.
Weeding and yard care
Weeding, aerating, and fertilizing will set your lawn up for a quicker recovery from winter than if you ignore your turf until showtime. Rake up dead leaves, pine needles, pine cones, twigs, acorns, and other debris so your grass can breathe freely. Spread fertilizer and, if need be, grass seed before the first freeze.
Get rid of the weeds and clear out the overgrown flower beds. This will help discourage rodents, snakes, and poisonous spiders from setting up camp around the perimeter of your place, or finding their way indoors and multiplying. Calling in a pro to take preventive measures and rid your place of any existing unwanted guests is a good investment for a spring payoff.
Exterior paint in need of refreshing may be easier to schedule now than in the spring when everyone else will be booking. Even if you just have a touch-up on the front door and trim, fresh paint will brighten up the curb appeal considerably.
Gutters and roof repair
Cleaning and repairing gutters and shingles now will help you avoid any costly trouble when you sell your house in the spring. Roof leaks in the winter can stain the inside walls and ceilings. Have the roof inspected and take care of any minor repairs now to avoid this becoming a point of contention with a buyer later. Your diligence will be a selling point and assure buyers the property has been well maintained.
Driveways, walkways, patios, and porches should all be in good shape without major cracks or tilts that could be tripping hazards. Fix any issues now to prevent them from becoming worse over the winter.
Decluttering could take considerable time, so don’t put this off. Start packing up items you want to keep but don’t need for daily living, like decor, summer clothes, and keepsakes. Now is a great time to clear out the garage, cabinets, and closets and sell or donate items you no longer use.
The walls may need a touch-up or a full re-do in some rooms. Take a close look at floorboards and the bottoms of the doors where scuffs tend to appear.
Appliances and fixtures that will stay with the home may need some cleaning or repair. If you’ve been tolerating slow drains, temperamental toilets or leaky faucets, tend to those items now. You don’t want to provide buyers with negotiating points that could knock down the selling price.
Prepare for pictures
Most people begin their search for a new home online, especially during a pandemic. It’s crucial to have good quality photos of the exterior and every room in the house. Videos and virtual tours that beautifully showcase your place will give you an advantage over competing listings.
Bringing in an experienced real estate photographer who knows how to properly light and frame attractive visuals could be the difference between a high and low demand for showings. Don’t wait until the busy time when it will be tougher to schedule a shoot. Plan ahead and spare yourself the rush, so those visuals are ready the moment your place goes on the market.
If the goal is to sell quickly and at the asking price, start preparing now.
Bryce Thompson is a home stager and freelance writer who specializes in inexpensive ways to improve curb appeal.