Even as the snow is flying and we bundle up in our winter gear, it’s time to start turning our attention to spring! Believe it or not, spring is one of the hottest real estate markets of the year. If you are planning on listing your home in the next few months, preparing your home during the winter will ensure you are ready to move fast for those eager, spring buyers!
Here are a few steps you can take now so you will be able to knock out the competition when your house goes on the market.
1. Start packing. It has to get done anyway so why not start now!
- Boxing up unused items for storage or donation will clear up huge amounts of clutter that builds up in every day life.
- Getting things packed away not only relieves stress for you in the future but makes your home feel larger to potential buyers. If a buyer comes into a cluttered home, it will feel smaller and they will assume that their belongings will not be able fit in the space.
- Remember to clean out the basement, attic and garage as well!
2. Clear away the clutter and do a good spring cleaning!
- Think of your home as a show home where everything is clean and has a well thought out place. There are no stacks of magazines or bills on the table, no kids' toys in the corner and no grocery lists stuck to the fridge.
- Look at your home through the eyes of the buyer. Focus on the areas that they will be most interested in: the living room, dining area, kitchen and bathrooms.
- When preparing home for showing, try to depersonalize your space. Buyers find it difficult to envision living in your home if they see lots of family pictures or eccentric art on the walls.
- Give your home a good clean:
- - clean the windows
- - replace lightbulbs
- - vacuum/ steam clean the rugs
- - Dust everything
- - clean blinds, curtains and floorboards
- - Deep clean appliances
3. Improve your home
- Don’t go crazy and do major, expensive renovations. Rather, focus on the minor repairs and improvements that will make your home look fresh to buyers - maybe the grout in the tiles is looking a little old or the kitchen and bathroom need the caulking replaced.
- Upgrade light fixtures, switch plates and door knobs.
- Touch up the banged up walls with some filling and fresh paint.
- Curb appeal goes a long way as well. Buyers will be less excited about your immaculate home if they have to walk through a scruffy yard to get to it.
- Simple things like cleaning the exterior of your home and fixing chipped the paint, finishing the edging of your garden beds and sweeping away the mess that winter left on your driveway and sidewalk will spruce up the outside of your home. As the weather warms up, get some bright flowers outside to add some life to your home.
4. Interview potential Realtors(R)
- This will affect how quickly your home sells and the profit you will make. Realtors have resources, marketing strategies and a client base they will utilize in the listing and sale of your home. As Spring is such a busy time of year in real estate, you want to make sure that you have found someone that you trust before they get too overloaded to take on your sale. Get recommendations from friends and research your area. Make sure the Realtor you select has a detailed market analysis and an understanding of your neighbourhood.
5. Get your financing in place
- You are going to be selling your home and hopefully buying another to move into! It’s a good idea to get your financing in place for the new purchase. Your Realtor will have mortgage brokers that he/she works with and can recommend to you. Knowing your options financially will help you have an idea of what price you can accept for the home you are selling.