It’s the end of January, which means that if you’ve been thinking about putting your house on the market this year, now is the time to start planning. That’s because, in more areas, spring is the single busiest season for home sales, and likely your best bet for getting top dollar and a quick sale. So how can you prepare your home for sale this spring? Here are a few things you can start doing now.
- Conduct market research. First and foremost, take a look at the housing market in your area. Websites liked Curbed.com and Zillow offer heat maps, trend recaps, and pricing indexes that can give you an idea of what homes are selling for in your city and neighborhood. It’s also a good idea to check real-estate listings and records. Sites like Redfin, Realtor.com, or again, Zillow will all show you what’s currently for sale, and what homes have sold for in the last few months or years.
- Make a to-do list. While you’re doing your market research, pay attention to the photos of other homes that are for sale or have recently sold. Do most of the houses offer upgrades or updates that your home doesn’t have? Think about making a few of them to give your home a competitive edge. Simple things like new paint, new tile in the entryway, or a new bathroom vanity can make a difference to potential buyers.
- Consider curb appeal. The outside of your home is just as important as the inside; possibly even moreso, because the exterior is most often the first photo attached to a real estate listing, as well as the first impression potential buyers will get when they arrive at your home. It’s still a little early for planting flowers and pruning shrubs, but you can tackle other elements like painting or replacing the front door, fixing a broken stair or retaining wall, or purchasing new sconces or lighting.
- Sorting through the clutter. One piece of advice almost any real estate agent will give you: Get rid of clutter. Whether its an overgrown collection of sports memorabilia, overstuffed closets, or furniture that’s simply too large for your space, crowded rooms and closets look smaller and make a home feel stuffy and chaotic. That doesn’t mean you have to toss your favorite things, though. Renting a storage unit for a few months is a good way to make space in your home without parting with your stuff.
Good luck with your move!