As the weather warms up, the real estate market tends to heat up as well. The inventory of homes for sale almost always rises in the spring due to the number of buyers actively searching. Many home buyers look for a new home during April, May, and June so that they can be settled by fall.
While the hardest things about preparing to sell your home can be making the decision to do so, there are a few more things you will need to do as you begin preparing to sell your home:
- Find an agent. Your agent should be knowledgeable about the market, know the listings on the MLS in your area, as well as what is coming soon, and be familiar with recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. From pricing the home to suggesting minor updates and fixes around the house to get it ready for selling, your agent should be able to guide you through the process all the way to closing. Be sure to ask who they partner with for closing and title services, and check them out as well.
- Gather information, paperwork, and documents. Don’t let the home selling process turn into a paper chase. It’s important that you not only prepare your home for sale but that you, as a seller, are prepared for potential questions that may arise. Have all of the necessary documentation that your listing agent, attorney or potential buyers may request. Some of these documents may include copies of the original paperwork from when the home was purchased, utility company contact information, and details of home improvements.
- Prepare to make a good first impression. Once you’re committed to selling your home, you have to begin preparing your home for sale. Your realtor will assist you in spotting the areas of your home that need to be attended to prior to moving forward. Expect him or her to be able to point out items such as painting, cleaning, and/or de-cluttering during a walk-through of your home. Many times these are low-cost repairs that can have a high impact on potential home buyers. In life and in real estate, first impressions are often lasting impressions.
- Stage the home, inside and out. You may want to consider hiring a professional stager who can help you to arrange furniture in a way that will maximize the home’s layout, and add decor that will be appealing to a broad audience. And don’t forget the curb appeal. The landscaping should be neat, and outdoor furniture or accent pieces arranged in a way that helps the potential buyer envision relaxing on the patio, or sitting on the front porch with a morning cup of coffee.
- It’s time to show off your home. Once your home is actively listed for sale, you will have showings and open houses for potential buyers. Now is the time for maintaining your home and last minute touch-ups – after all, requests for showings notoriously pop up when you least expect them. Grab the whole family and get to it – dust, mop and sweep; remove the clutter from the counters; make beds and tidy up the toys; empty the garbage; flip on the lights to create the desired atmosphere, and be sure your home smells fresh and homey.