If you’re thinking of listing your home after the holidays so you can ring in the New Year in your current home, that’s completely understandable.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be productive and start preparing your home so you’ll be all set to put out that “For Sale” sign when you’re ready.
I always tell potential sellers to use their time wisely and to get ahead of the curve. It’s important take advantage of any pockets of time over the weeks ahead to prep your home and your family.
Remember that you have control over what you can do to have a distinct advantage to attract buyers who will want your home. And don’t forget, you can also use this time to plan and prepare to buy and move into your next home too!
Let’s go over some important steps that you can be taking now or well before you plan to list. That way you can ensure a smoother process when you’re ready to sell.
Get in touch with me to come up with a plan. It’s never too early to contact me since I’m here to provide any guidance and strategies for getting your home sold in the timeframe that works for you, whether that’s months from now or even next year.
Keep your stress levels down with some self-care and doable preparation. Once we have a workable plan, you should feel less stress, but the entire process can be overwhelming for families to sell and buy. Don’t overdo it as you map out the weeks or months ahead, and we’ll come up with a schedule that works for you and your family. You want to stay calm and be confident, especially if you will be looking for a new home too.
Start today in getting your home in tip-top shape. Tackle any projects that could make your home look its best when you do list. Use the winter time to be productive and work toward your goal of selling your home at a later date. These efforts will be well worth it when buyers step onto your property and walk through your front door.
Stay on budget or know your potential return on investment. You may have to spend money to earn money but not all home improvements are worth it. So be careful and don’t overdo it. I can help you on this since I know what is worth it for your particular neighborhood or your potential buyers.
Set specific goals and map out a timetable with deadlines. Schedule certain times each week or month to work on prepping your home with specific tasks or DIY projects (i.e., tackle basement, paint bedroom, etc.). Your timetable will depend on when you want to list it and how much will need to get done. Now is the time to get bids from outside contractors on any projects and to also get a sense of the timeframe for completion.
Prepare your property and fix what’s broken. Make a list of all the nagging items that bother you and fix them. Looking at your home with fresh and unbiased eyes right now can help. You’ll see where it needs a fresh coat of paint or discover that loose step you’ve lived with way too long. I can give you guidance on which areas you should spend money on if you’re uncertain.
Clear away clutter. You don’t want your home to look cramped and clogged with too many personal items. Buyers like to see more of a clean slate. Start today with paring down your belongings – sell on Facebook Marketplace, donate, recycle or trash. For those items you want to keep, consider boxing them up and finding a place or purchasing a storage unit to store them, including any furniture, until your home is sold.
Make your home shine — clean like you never did before! As you get closer to listing your home, tackle those necessary cleaning jobs or find a professional service. Focus on areas of your home that could use a good scrubbing. You could focus on windows one week, then polishing wood floors or cleaning rugs another week. Turn to YouTube for any guidance in cleaning or prep if you’re not sure. Here’s your chance to get ahead, so your home will really shine when you want to list it.
Make it as move-in ready as possible. Today’s buyers are not crazy about doing repairs and replacements. They do not want an immediate to-do list. We can discuss whether you should leave something “as is” or replace it. An older roof, stained carpet, or a warped fence can bring down the price or your home. Determine what is best for your sale financially, and then determine if professionals are available to work on any of these projects.
Appeal to a buyer’s emotions. Not only do you need to appeal to a buyer’s mind and wallet, but you also need to make their heart skip a beat. How do you do that? The answer depends on your particular home and your most likely buyer. You want buyers to envision themselves living in your home so think about how your rooms are used and how they can be set up to create these positive emotions.
Curb appeal and the “wow” factor can sway buyers. It’s like a beauty contest when buyers drive up. As you get closer to listing, schedule some landscaping work to make your yard look its best. This spruce-up is even important for online photos.
Become More Tech-Savvy
Today’s buyers are better prepared than ever to deal with virtual anything when it comes to house hunting. And so should you!
Understand how promoting your home with technology works. Now more than ever, homes will be promoted more virtually as needed. The good news is that buyers are more accepting of this process – even virtual showings. They’re already tapped into technology and do their own electronic searches, receive seller disclosure forms, order home inspections, etc.
Online photos can sell your home. Buyers spend lots of time viewing online listings and its photos to get an idea on what homes they want to visit. So now more than ever your photos need to have “curb appeal” in every single shot! Schedule pictures when your yard looks its best no matter the time of year and keep them on file. But, remember, this takes pre-planning! My photographers have the correct lens to make sure you home looks large and bright.
Understand the Market
Even though selling a home is emotional, remember that there are so many factors that go into making it to settlement day.
Go with the flow of the market. Knowing how the real estate market works throughout the year will keep your expectations realistic and also help you understand why different marketing approaches will need to be used depending on the time of year.
Focus on the “business” of selling. You love your home and feel a surge of protectiveness to it at times. However, it’s more important than ever to think of selling your home as a “business transaction.” It can be hard to do, but try to distance yourself and view it as a financial opportunity for the next phase of your life. You need to stay focused on getting your home sold, so you can buy your next one.
Study sold prices, not just the asking prices in your particular neighborhood. The true market is based on what buyers are willing to pay when you list your home. Basically, buyers will only pay what they deem your house is worth in current market conditions. Remember that the market evolves and we’ll adapt and make sure to price your home accordingly.
Be willing to price your home competitively from the get-go. Once you decide to list your home, take advantage of the first two weeks of showings that bring the most traffic to your home. Even if you mistakenly price your home slightly low, you’ll get multiple offers. You can’t go wrong … unless you price your home too high and it sits, and sits, and sits.
Remember that all real estate is local. The particular street or block you live on can be a strong influence on how it appeals to buyers and how to price your home, especially in the year ahead. I’ll keep abreast on your particular neighborhood, of what is selling and what isn’t, and even who is buying and why. That’s why you should reach out to me sooner than later, so we can make smart and strategic decisions together.
Let’s Come Up with a Plan
As you can see, selling your home is a “project” that takes work and planning. But it can be done and it will be so worth it once you’re in your new home. I am here to help you so you can start planning today for your future move … whatever your timeframe!
And, if as you are prepping your home to be ready to sell in the spring, call me if you have any questions about a project you should take on or should skip. Plus, I have some great contractors ( my husband included) who can help you with any projects that require more professional work.
Even if you are months or even a year away from selling, prepping your home can start right now. Reach out anytime by emailing me email@example.com and we can talk through what projects you need to plan out and what you can skip so your home looks as good as possible when it comes time to sell, but without going overboard.
I'm Kara and I love educating first time home buyers and helping sellers looking to "move up" to their forever home.
Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
1000 Franklin Village Dr. Suite 102
Franklin, MA 02038
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