According to Zillow, there’s no better time to sell your home than spring; homes listed between mid-March and mid-April sell about 15% faster than any other time of year. To attract buyers, you’ll want the house to be seen in the best possible light. So, if you’ve been toying with putting your home on the market or it’s been languishing without an offer, we’ve got 10 tips to help you get that SOLD sign.
1. Create a Budget
Homeowners are often surprised to discover the out-of-pocket expenses involved in selling their home. If you’re thinking of putting up a “For Sale” sign in your yard, it’s a good idea to make a budget now to determine how you’ll cover the costs of getting it sold. Budgeting guru Dave Ramsey has a sample budget on his site that can help you anticipate expenses from the beginning of the sales process through closing.
2. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
A good real estate agent can be your partner through the complicated process of selling your home. They will market it appropriately, negotiate the best price on your behalf, and facilitate the more challenging parts of the sale to ensure things go smoothly. Do your research and ask friends, family or your lender for recommendations of agents in your area.
3. Spruce up Your Curb Appeal
The first, in-person impression any buyer will have of your home is from the curb, so start there. Hire a professional to power wash your house and driveway – or rent a machine to do it yourself. Add a sealant to the drive after it’s cleaned and dried to keep it looking refreshed and new. Are your shutters or mailbox looking a little tired? Cleaning and a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.
4. Prepare Your Yard
How does your lawn look after the cold, wintry months? If there are any brown patches, invest in some seed or sod to begin filling the areas that are thinning or need to be cut away. Don’t forget to pull weeds and trim bushes. If you’ve got bare spots or shabby-looking areas, try adding mulch or pine straw to fill in throughout the garden. Springtime is a season for renewal, so why not hit the garden store to choose some bright, beautiful flowers? Word is, yellow flowers help sell homes.
5. Spring Clean Everything
Your home needs to sparkle and shine to dazzle prospective buyers. They may not love that Little Mermaid bathroom, but they will certainly notice if it isn’t spic and span under the sink or in the tub area. Take some time to deep clean the bathrooms and kitchen, clean out the clutter from drawers, and add new shelf liner in the closets. Don’t forget to dust the blades of your ceiling fan and wipe down your appliances. Consider getting the whole house professionally cleaned, including the carpets. It’s always easier to maintain than it is to start from scratch.
6. Declutter and De-personalize
Clearing out some clutter may help buyers imagine themselves making your home their own – and make less for you to pack when your home sells. Removing refrigerator magnets, kid’s drawings and knickknacks can go a long way in helping to sell your home. Consider removing a piece (or two) of furniture from each room to open it up and show off its spaciousness. De-personalizing may also mean packing up family photos and choosing more generic artwork for the walls.
7. Freshen Up Paint and Hardware
If your walls look dingy or dated, a fresh coat of neutral paint can make a room feel renewed and cheerful. Plus, a light-colored interior reflects more light and can bring a feeling of brightness on a gloomy day. If painting isn’t an option, give your walls a good dusting, clean all baseboards and knock down any cobwebs lingering in the corners. Are your drawer pulls and knobs showing their daily wear and tear? It’s easy to update them with a trip to the home store and a screwdriver. If buying a new front door is in the budget, splurge on that. If not, consider adding a new door handle, hardware, and lock as well as updated porch lights.
8. Focus on the Kitchen and Bath
You don’t need to do a complete overhaul. In fact, statistics show that spending money on a bathroom renovation isn’t the best investment to sell your home. As anyone who’s ever watched HGTV’s House Hunters, you know buyers can be swayed by ample storage, updated fixtures, and great light. So, spend some time clearing out the hall closet of old coats (donate them!) and linen closet to add in pretty storage boxes. Pick out a beautiful new faucet for the kitchen sink and re-grout and caulk the shower, tub and sink. Make sure the bulbs you’re choosing for overhead light fixtures cast an attractive glow not a blinding, clinical light.
9. Create a Welcoming Porch or Patio
As the end of winter and prelude to summer, spring is all about getting outside and enjoying outdoor spaces. Think backyard cookouts and watching rain storms from the front porch. Part of selling your home in the spring is reminding potential buyers that it’s the perfect place to enjoy these activities – or lounging by the pool or playing on the tree swing. Take some time to sweep off the deck, uncover your grill, and tidy up the table and chairs on your patio.
10 Snap Some Photos
Consider adding an album or digital slideshow of photos of your home in different seasons of the year: highlight the backyard patio in summer, the changing leaves in fall, and lights on the house during the holidays. These images can help prospective buyers imagine themselves in the home year-round.
Bonus: Start shopping around for your new home. Now that your current home is ready to sell, it’s time to start thinking about where you and your family will be moving. One of the best parts of moving is picking out your new dream home.
No matter what kind of new home you choose, BrandMortage is here to help you finance your dream. We offer an extensive menu of loans to fit your needs. We’d be happy to speak with you and introduce you to one of our mortgage bankers today. Please call Capital City Home Loans at (855) 845-2433 or apply online for a mortgage with us here.