It’s officially real estate’s hottest season, a.k.a, one of the most popular times of year to list, buy and sell homes. If you’re in the beginning stages of getting ready to list your home, our certified staging experts have some tried-and-true tips for helping you take smart and thoughtful steps to sell it faster.
Price your home right.
Choose a real estate agent you trust and take their advice. Ask friends, family, or your move manager for a referral. The first 30 days on the market are the most crucial for getting the best price, and while you may have a figure in mind, an experienced realtor can help you make sure that figure is actually in the right ballpark. Through a process called comparative market analysis, they’ll give you an accurate idea of what similar homes in the neighborhood have sold for in the last 6 months or so, so you can have an evidence-based guide for pricing your home.
Know when to sell.
Timing can make a big difference, so if you’re somewhat flexible on your dates, talk to your trusted real estate agent about the best time of the year to sell in your area. While spring is typically the “hottest” time of the year, it also means there’s more competition out there. There are pros and cons to every season, and your realtor may have a specific recommendation for you. The bottom line is, if your home “shows” well–that is, if it’s staged and priced correctly, it’ll sell anytime of year.
Get a pre-inspection done before you list it.
More than ever, buyers want to buy homes they can just move into–without worrying about the roof caving in or the A/C going out in a matter of months. A pre-inspection can help you catch and address red flags before sellers do. If you do need to make repairs, getting a pre-inspection ahead of time gives you the flexibility to find a reliable contractor and get a few quotes, versus rushing to get it done in time to meet your buyer’s demands. Your real estate agent should be able to connect you to an inspector near you.
Make small aesthetic upgrades.
You don’t need to spend thousands on a kitchen renovation, but small upgrades can make a big difference. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware on cabinets, and replacing outdated light fixtures can go a long way. Our guide Fixing to Sell has more specific details for what to tackle, and what to skip.
Perfect the art of curb appeal.
Many buyers decide whether or not they’ll put in an offer within the first 8 seconds. That’s why curb appeal and your front entrance matter so much. A freshly painted front door and a clearly marked house number can make the difference between an offer and a pass.For a complete guide to creating curb appeal, read 10 Tips for Creating Curb Appeal.
Let light in.
Make your home light and airy by opening every blind, removing heavy curtains, and checking all the light bulbs. If your home feels dark, consider a fresh coat of lighter paint.
Clean out your closets–and junk drawers.
That’s right! Before showing your home, go through every closet and remove about half of what’s in there. You want buyers to feel like they have all the space in the world for their own items. And if you think they’re not opening cabinets and drawers, think again! A well-organized appearance behind the scenes can go a long way toward shaping the way potential buyers envision their future life in your home.
Stage to sell.
If you’ve ever been to a model home or browsed Pinterest, you understand the power of staging. Set your dining room table, strategically place a few vases of fresh flowers, and remove any personal family pictures, so the buyers can see themselves owning the home. For more detailed tips on creating a scene buyer can’t resist, check out our blog post, Staging to Sell.
While staging homes for sale day in and day out, our accredited staging pros practice and preach this general rule of thumb: Count every item in each room, including furniture, books, vases, cards, etc. Then eliminate 50% of them. That’s right — 50%. It may sound excessive, but you’ll be amazed at what a difference clearing off a few countertops will make. For our complete guide to decluttering your home before listing it, read this blog post.
Be prepared for showings.
Once your home hits the market, you should always be prepared for a showing. Act as though at any moment, a potential buyer might walk in the door. That means picking up as you go, sweeping daily, picking up after every single meal and having a plan in place for any pets.