As we reported in previous blogs, inventory has been historically low, but signs of spring activity are beginning to give frustrated buyers hope! The low inventory has been driving up demand and setting the real estate market up for a very busy spring. Don’t be fooled into thinking the winter lull will last forever and that inventory will stay low forever. Take advantage of this seller’s market and list now!
Here are 6 tips for getting your home ready for the late winter and early spring market in just 30 days:
1. Paint Rooms
This is one of the more efficient and least expensive 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 like new. Wake up drab rooms with a splash of color. Or use more neutral colors for a safer, more current and updated look. Painting rooms also helps to maximize space and make them appear larger and is one of the biggest returns on your investment of any home improvement project.
2. Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is as important as ever, even with the snow. While in the springtime, your home may feature freshly-trimmed bushes, clear walkways, fresh mulch, and well-kept lawns, having a clean snow removal job can present a positive picture to a buyer as well. Get rid of dead leaves, branches, and weeds which may be showing through the snow, or on walkways you’ve cleared. 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 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 number 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 your home to 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.