Home inventory is on the down trend as we head into the holidays. Fewer people are putting their homes on the market opting for Christmas lights and quiet family dinners. Demand is also starting to decline which is typical this time of year. Even with the drop in demand we are still seeing higher sales than in previous years dating back all the way to 2012. This holiday season we will have more sales in December-February than in previous years. This is because demand has been elevated by reduced low interest rates which have increased affordability. Homes are not depreciating as values continue to rise and buyers try to capture the market where they can. They don't want to wait and if they do they may miss the magic window.
So, you’re considering taking advantage of this HOT Seller’s market but you’re not exactly sure where to start with capitalizing on your investment.
Whether you plan to sell in the near term or in the next few years it’s a good time to start thinking about where you should spend time and money improving your home. Here are some areas you should consider:
1. Exterior paint - the first impression is everything. If the house paint is dull or chipping and showing signs of drywall damage, this is something you should tend to. Sometimes a power wash is enough if the home has been painted in the last 5 years. Don’t forget the patio cover and the front door! A pop of color will help the front door stand out. New updated numbers and light fixtures will also turn a dated home into a standout.
2. Landscape - mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and plant flowers. Again, the first impression as a buyer pulls up will oftentimes make them fall in love with the property before they even step foot inside.
3. Windows - professionally wash the windows and inspect them for any fogging or issues that may be covered by a warranty.
3. Declutter & depersonalize - start to treat your home like you are preparing to move and pack up all of those precious mementos and photos. I know they mean a lot to you but the buyer will want to picture their own belongings in the home, not be distracted by your style and passions. It is best to remove oversized furniture and replace outdated bedding and pillows. Not sure what styles to switch to, check out your nearest Homegoods for current decor for a good price.
4. Organize your closets - yes, sorry to tell you, but people will open those closet doors. It’s a good time to get rid of anything you don’t use and make the space look bigger by utilizing closet organizers and bins.
5. Clean ‘till it shines like the top of the Chrysler building! I know your home is lived in so it has some scuffs and dirt marks - every home does. This is the time to bring in a professional who can deep clean dirty cabinets, baseboards, ceiling fans, air vents and registers, etc. Think of all of those places you never look - yes, buyers will be looking there.
6. Interior paint - if the dirt doesn’t come off you may need to put a fresh coat of paint on those cabinets. A light, neutral white or grey is best. It’s also a good time to tone down any colors in the rest of the home that may have been a favorite electric blue for your 13 year old, but won’t necessarily work for the buyer’s twin daughters. You get where I’m going. Neutral is best.
7. Eliminate bad odors - this may mean asking your friend to house your family pet for a few weeks while you are showing your home. You may not smell anything, but buyers will. If they don’t like dogs and you have one they can smell, they will not like your home and plugins are not always enough to mask the smell. Painting and floor cleaning will help with this!
8. Staging - if you have furniture that is basic and can be positioned for a smooth flow in the home, great. If you have very customized pieces it may be a distraction. If you have already moved and plan to sell the home unfurnished I highly recommend staging. Not only will it make your photos 100% better, the reaction from a visit from a potential buyer will be much more positive. Homes that are staged sell faster and for more money. I can show you examples if you don’t believe me.
Check these items for functionality & safety:
*Major Appliances - Refrigerator, Oven, Washer/Dryer
*Cracks or walls or floors bulging for potential leaks
*Electrical outlets & GFIs
10. Roof Certification - have a roofer come out and look for any potential leaks or repair needs. Roofers will usually charge around $300-500 and will provide a roof certification for up to 5 years. This is especially important if you have solar panels as most people will want to see that the panel installation did not affect the integrity of the roof.
It definitely does take a little work and a little money to ensure your home is prepared for sale. The clients who are most willing to take these steps are typically the most pleased with the results of the sale and get the most money for their home. It also makes negotiations a lot easier when there are few flaws to nit pick on the home. When a home is in good condition and well priced it will sell quickly with little hassle.
For more information or for a free home consultation, contact me. I’d love to help you get your home in tip top shape so you can enjoy the results.