Spring is in the air and with it we have the arrival of America’s pastime (and my passion): baseball. We also hit the Spring season of the real estate market where home owners everywhere start to think about selling their home. Right now, you are looking at sky high sales prices with the average across the DFW area at $297,165 (see picture below for how this compares to the last two years). Every area is seeing all time highs at the moment, but location will dictate your own sales price more than anything else.
What do you need to do before selling your home? We would like to answer that question by honoring our national pastime with Spring Training for Selling Your Home. With this post, we will tell you about nine things (Nine is a baseball number with nine innings played by nine players on the field) that you can do before selling your home. We hope by going through this Spring Training for Selling Your Home you will feel more confident going into the real estate selling season and be able to sell your home the quickest at the highest possible price.
Once you are done with the spring training, be sure to reach out to us for more direction on how to get your home on the market. Just contact us and we will get back to you immediately.
Here are the nine things you can do this Spring before selling your home.
- Determine the value of your home – One of the first tasks is to determine the value of your home. You want to do this to see if you will if you will profit enough from its sell to make the sale worthwhile. You can start by going to my home valuation tool, where I will get you a quick automated analysis of comparable properties near you home that have been sold or active on the market. This Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) helps to determine value by examining what other buyers have been spending on homes like your own home. I follow up the quick CMA with a more in-depth CMA that will include a range for a possible sales price. This sales price range will only be based on the data. Before I can give you a solid recommendation, I would need to see your property to get an idea of its current condition and scout out the neighborhood as well. Once I have all the data points, I can give you a specific range to consider. Please remember that nothing kills a home selling more quickly than overpricing your home. If the quick CMA gives you a price too low for you, then you might want to reconsider selling at this time.
- Get your house inspected – The second task for the Spring Training for selling your house is get your home inspected. An inspector will look over a property closely for any issues with it. They check out everything from the ceiling to the basement. Why would you do this as a seller? Isn’t this what the buyer does during the option period? It is correct that most buyers will hire an inspector to check out a home before purchasing it. However, sellers can also hire an inspector to tell them what repairs need to be made to the home so you can get ahead of the buyers when it comes to repairs. If you fix the issue before the buyer even has a chance to discover it, you are ahead of the game. The realtor will also be able to take any repairs you make as result of the inspection in their consideration of your sales price.
- Paint the walls and clean the floors – Our next step is the first mention of doing any kind of work on your property. We realize that many sellers don’t have thousands of dollars available to do expensive upgrades or repairs. I always tell sellers that if you can’t make expensive repairs to your house, you should at least clean the floors and do a fresh paint job. Buyers notice ugly paint and floors quicker than anything else. Buyers will also notice when it looks really good. I had an instructor in real estate school tell our class that “if you paint the walls, clean the floors and price the house correctly, you will sell your house.” I have found these words to be spot on in my real estate career.
- Get your curb appeal up to speed – The next exercise in Spring Training for selling your home is getting your curb appeal to look its best. As with everything else in life, first impressions make a huge difference when selling your house. If your curb appeal is ugly, buyers will go into the house with negative thoughts about the property before even seeing the inside. You need to be sure to get your buyers in the right frame of mind. You want to make sure that all landscaping is neat and as colorful as possible. Lawns should be mowed and trimmed. Doors and windows should be cleaned. If the exterior paint looks faded, now is the right time to freshen it up. You want to make sure all wood trimmings are in good shape and driveways clear of any debris. Trees should be trimmed as well and not hanging out over the house. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on the curb appeal, you should at least pay someone to mow the lawn and clean the front of the home.
- Update the kitchen – Spring training for selling your home continues with updating your kitchen. It is true what they say about homes. Kitchens and bathrooms sell them. If you kitchen is out dated, you should work on getting it upgraded. If you don’t have enough money to do a full upgrade, you can refresh the cabinet paint or at least clean them. For a little under a $100, you can buy a counter top paint kit that adds new life to old counter tops. You can repair the kitchen floors if you have some of the flooring available (look in your attic or basement or garage for leftovers). You want to make sure our kitchens are not full of clutter. You want people to be able to see the kitchen for all its worth versus the various kitchen gadgets and cooking utensils. Finally, you need to be sure the kitchen smells great. The whole cookie smell thing really does work!
- Update the bathrooms – Spring training continues by moving onto the bathrooms. As with the kitchen, if your budget allows you should upgrade what you can in all of them. Uniformity means a lot to buyers so be sure to stay consistent in material and color throughout the house. You want buyers liking the bathrooms, not wondering why one is black while the other one is white. Toilets are generally inexpensive fixes so if you have any loose ones, you can spend a few hundred dollars to replace them. You would be surprised how a clean toilet makes a bathroom that much better. Shower curtains should be simple and not outlandish. Once again, you want buyers to like your bathrooms, not discuss your decorating choices. Finally, it almost goes without saying, but make sure your bathrooms are clean and smell really good. Smelly bathrooms drive buyers away quicker than anything else.
- Clutter cleanup – Spring training for selling your house is also spring cleaning for your house. You have lived in your home for awhile now and you have collected a lot of precious memories there including collecting a bunch of stuff. Buyers don’t want to see this stuff. You need to go room to room and clear out all the clutter from everywhere. If you can afford it, get a storage unit. If you can’t afford that, put it all in your garage. You could also sell (garage sale/ebay) or donate it to a charity. Clutter distracts buyers from seeing your wonderful house so it is a boring chore, but it is one that you have to do. Just remember, “if in doubt, throw it out.” If you want to keep something for sentimental reasons, take a picture of it and put it in a scrap book. You just need the memories attached to the item versus the item itself. Clutter is bad for selling your home and must go!
- Give your home a deep clean – The Spring cleaning continues with the next step. You need to get your home looking as good as it did when it was first built. If you are not good at this, hire someone to do it for you. It can be under $200 to get a home a deep cleaning. You want to baseline this clean and keep it at this level throughout the selling process. You need to be sure to clean all the nooks and crannies of the house including floorboards and crown molding. Spider webs need to come down from corners and the floor underneath toilets need to be scrubbed. You also need to make it smell clean so buy something that will emit a nice aroma. Guyers will not see beyond a dirty house to evaluate the house for itself.
- Stage your house – Spring Training for selling your house ends with one final step. You need to stage your home for buyers. If your budget allows, you can hire a professional stager to come out to your property and set it up for you. Most sellers, however, prefer to do it themselves. Each room needs a function so be sure to have furniture in each room addressing that function. Be sure to arrange the furniture to showcase the space in the room. You don’t want the room to be dominated by furniture too big. Kitchens should have knick-knacks(cookbooks, artistic dishes,etc) on the counter tops to make it look like a kitchen (no small appliances out). Bathrooms should be have a neat appearance with hand towels and toilet paper in the holder. You also want to take down any personal photos or mementos off the walls, unless the pieces are artistic and add to the overall look. You need to be sure all your valuables and sensitive information is kept hidden and locked away (some buyers just want a chance to get your stuff). Finally, you need to set the mood with proper lightning, music and odors. Buyers need to be awed when they come into your house and not have to work at seeing the home as their own.
We hope this Spring Training for Selling Your House will get you set up for the selling season. Be sure to fill out the form below to get additional help on selling your home.
One final thing…Go Rangers!!!