Winter is just about over and most people I know are looking forward to the color and warmer temperatures of spring. It’s also about the time of year that people start thinking about putting their homes on the market. Typically, our peak season runs from Memorial Day through Thanksgiving. So, for anyone thinking about selling a home this year, now is the time to get serious about it. There are things that you can be doing now to maximize your chances of selling so when the season starts, you’ll be at the head of the class.
So where do you start?
What needs repair? Fix anything that drips, squeaks, or doesn’t work the way it should. It could be something simple like tightening up a loose door knob, repairing some screening, or figuring out why that one door always sticks. Other things like electrical and plumbing may require a professional. If you don’t think you can be objective enough, ask a friend to go around your home with you to help you see things as a potential buyer would. Take a walk around the outside of your home as well to see what may have been damaged during the winter months. Look for things like damaged siding, cracks in the driveway, loose or missing shingles on the roof, and peeling paint.
Are all systems a go? Make certain that your HVAC system has been serviced and in good working order. Check your water heater to make sure there are no leaks. Replace all filters.
Freshen up a bit. In most areas it may be too cold to paint outside, but if the inside of your home needs freshening up, this is a good time of year to do it. If you decide you want to repaint, keep it neutral. You may be mad for magenta, but your potential buyer probably isn’t. Clean your carpets and give your hardwood floors some love. Don’t forget the outside of your home. When temperatures are right, take a hard look at your decks and see if they could use a fresh stain or a coat of paint. Give your front door some extra attention too. A great many of us enter our homes through our garage and rarely do we enter through the front door so it’s an area that be easily overlooked. If it’s been a while, give it a fresh coat of paint or stain. Consider adding a seasonal wreath or fun door knocker for some interest. Replace that worn out door mat while you’re at it. Then when all those gorgeous spring flowers start showing up in your favorite garden center, create a pot or two to put by your freshly painted front door.
One thing I can’t say enough about is how important it is to have clean windows. I know. Cleaning windows isn’t my favorite thing to do either. But trust me when I tell you that cleaning your windows will make an enormous difference. While you’re at it, be sure to get rid of cob webs, dead bugs, leaves or anything else that has found a home on your sills, and don’t forget the screens. If you can’t reach your windows or simply don’t have the time, hire someone to do it for you. It will be money well spent.
Clear out the clutter. Face it, most of us just have too much stuff. As winter winds down, take stock of your closets and storage areas. Consider donating or disposing of anything you no longer need or haven’t used in the last year. Clutter is something that can stop a buyer in their tracks because they struggle to see the unique character of your home when there is “stuff” everywhere. Clutter is also a signal that there may not be sufficient storage….something most buyers covet.
Consider a pre-emptive approach. In North Carolina, once you enter into a contract with a buyer, they are given a period of time to do their “due diligence”. This is when they perform any and all inspections on your home. If there are lots of things that need repair it’s likely they will come back and ask you to make those repairs or provide them with a credit. One approach that some sellers take is to have a home inspection done prior to putting their home on the market so that any issues can be identified and taken care of ahead of time. The cost is typically $350-$500 or more depending on the size of your home. A licensed home inspector will identify issues with plumbing, electrical, HVAC, water leaks, termite damage, faulty construction and a whole lot more.
For more helpful tips on getting your home ready to sell this year, call the Clay Team at Looking Glass Realty in beautiful Brevard, North Carolina. Visit us online at BrevardNCProperty.com, or give us a call at 828-551-6290 or 828-551-6291.