Selling a house in the spring
People tend to shop for homes as the weather gets warmer. With tax refunds in their pockets, nicer weather for moving in the forecast, and summer break from the kids’ school coming up, it’s easy to see why spring is typically the most popular time to buy and sell.
According to Zillow.com
Best month to sell: May
Best day of the week to list: Saturday
Why? Nationally, homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two weeks faster than average, and for $2,500 more, compared to average points in the year
Selling your home isn’t something you do in a rush. It calls for planning and preparation. But if you’re like most homeowners, you probably aren’t sure where to start. Try following these steps:
1: Pick a date
I know Zillow says the best date is in May. But you can’t always conform to someone else’s plan. Pick the date that makes sense for you.
2: Research your local market (see my blog – “Optimize the Value of Your Home”)
3: Get your house ready
Finish minor improvements and make necessary repairs. In today’s market, most home buyers are looking for “move-in” ready homes that don’t have long DIY project lists. First impressions are important. Making your home stand out from all the rest of the homes on the market will help you sell your home.
4: Hire an agent
Find someone you feel comfortable and confident with. Make sure they are knowledgeable about your neighborhood. Have they done their homework and have an idea what your home is worth and other homes on the market comparable to yours? If so, you can sign a listing agreement and start working out a marketing plan immediately. Your agent might want to discuss any additional fixes or repair work that will pay off for you.
5: Start moving out – really
If you can, rent a storage pod or unit and start packing up a little at a time. Not only will this help you with the eventual move, but a home that isn’t overloaded with furniture and personal items, just shows better. If you’ve been using rooms for storage, it’s time to move the storage offsite. Pack up as many personal items as you can. Those wedding pictures on the wall may look great but potential buyers will want to envision their own wedding pictures up there, not yours.
Talk with your neighbors about your plans. Not only is it nice to give them a heads up that you’re leaving, but they can help market the property. They may have friends looking for a house who already love your neighborhood.
6: Get great photos taken
Once you’ve got the house looking its best, it is time for pictures. Your agent should recommend a real estate photographer to do it. On photo day, no clutter should be visible. Shades should be open to let in as much natural light as possible. These are your home’s glamour shots. You need to appeal to potential buyers on-line so they can’t wait to walk through your property in person.
Your agent should also create an engaging, accurate and upbeat description of your home. What made you fall in love with your home when you bought it? Let you agent know so that they can convey that appeal to a potential buyer.
7: On Listing Day
Have your agent make sure they get your home listed on the major online sites; including Zillow, Realtor, MLS, Trulia, etc. Review the agent’s posting. Make sure it is accurate. After all we’re only human and you do know your property better than anyone else. Your agent will also post outside signs and possible direction signs if your property is hard to find.
8: Live in a perpetual state of clean
(see my blog – “Selling Your Home If You Have Kids” or blog – “Selling You Home If You Have Pets” for tips on quick and easy staying clean hacks
No matter how many ways you say you need a few hours notice before a buyer’s agent brings potential buyers, someone will call on the way to your home or even from your driveway. Be ready to clear out fast, leaving a sparkling home. Every bed must be made every morning. Even if you don’t have a showing scheduled, you have to assume a buyer will come by every time you leave the house. (Of course the surest way to get a buyer to come by is to leave a few dirty dishes in the sink.)
9: Watch the offers roll in
Your agent should give you feedback after every showing. If you aren’t getting a lot of showings and it’s a hot market, an early price adjustment may be in order. Remember, in any market, the sooner you sell, the higher the price you’re likely to get. So in these early days, you want to be responsive to what the market has to say.
For a Free No-Obligation Consultation, contact me at 540-537-2332 or email me at JmazeHomes4You@gmail.com.