April showers bring May flowers, but March prep work brings springtime home sales. Though it may seem too cold to be thinking about the spring real estate market, taking steps to prepare your home now will help you avoid the stress of a last minute rush to get ready. If you want to be in good shape when the weather starts to warm up, use these top 10 tips to prepare your home for sale in the spring.
1. Clean & Declutter
Make your move easier by beginning the packing process now. Clear out all clutter and remove items you don’t regularly use. Donate items that haven’t been used in the last twelve months, throw away items that are broken or damaged, shred and dispose of paperwork that is no longer needed, and move bulky pieces of furniture, holiday decor, out of season clothing and any other items you don’t need into a storage facility.
When you clean, pay attention to small details. Wash windows, dust blinds, launder curtains, dust baseboards, clean appliances, and straighten up the contents of your closets. Apartment Therapy has some great plans for getting your home clean and keeping it that way in less than an hour a day.
2. Do a Thorough Inspection
This step will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises during the sale process. Inspect your walls and floors for water damage, check for plumbing leaks, make sure your windows don’t have broken seals, check for any signs of insects or rodents and fix any problems that you find.
3. Eliminate Odors
Don’t mask household odors with air fresheners, which can be overwhelming and cause allergies in many people. Instead, follow our tips for neutralizing household odors, and don’t forget to have a friend stop by for a sniff test.
While you might love your chartreuse walls, there’s a good chance that most buyers won’t. In order to make your home appeal to the largest possible audience, paint your walls in neutral colors in a flat or eggshell finish. Don’t forget to repair any nail holes or other damage before painting, and be sure to touch up ceilings and trim as needed.
5. Finish Projects & Repairs
Now is the time to complete any home improvement projects you have under way and make any and all necessary repairs to your home. You’ll find a buyer more quickly and the sale process will be much smoother if everything that needs to be done is taken care of before you list your property. If you have additional home improvement projects planned, make sure they can all be completed fully in a short amount of time.
6. Clean or Replace Flooring
Carpets should be shampooed and treated for stains. Tile and hardwood should be thoroughly swept and mopped to a shine. Any flooring that is stained, damaged or worn beyond repair should be removed and replaced. Hardwood floors that are scratched or have lost their sheen should be refinished.
7. Freshen up Fixtures & Hardware
Light fixtures, bathroom mirrors, faucets, shower heads and cabinet hardware can all be replaced for very little money and make a huge difference in terms of visual appeal.
8. Create a Welcoming Entrance
Your front door is the first thing potential buyers will see when they visit your home, so remember to make it inviting. Paint the door if needed, replace any damaged hardware, keep decorations minimal and declutter the entrance area.
An important part of showing your home, staging can be done yourself or by professionals. Place furniture to maximize the feelings of space and light in your home, with an eye to how rooms flow into each other. If your decor isn’t cutting it, you can move your belongings into storage and rent furniture and artwork from a home staging service on a monthly basis.
10. Get Your RealPrice
Find out how much you should list your home for by filling out our RealPrice profile. We’ll look at your property, comparable sales and market conditions and help you determine how much you can expect to sell for in today’s market. Uploading photos and filling out as much information as possible will help us provide you with the most accurate price for your home.
*image via tejvanphotos