If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, the winter months are a great time to get your house ready to go on the market. While everyone else is in hibernation, you can be prepared to move quickly once Spring begins to bloom. The real estate market will warm up right along with the season, so how can you make sure your home captures the attention of potential buyers?
Choose the right real estate agent and asking price. If you don’t have a reliable agent in mind already, ask around for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to interview them for the job of representing you and your home. Experience and success is important, but make sure it’s a good fit. Has he or she sold similar homes? Are they especially familiar with your neighborhood and market area? The right agent will have the knowledge to help decide when to time your listing and price it realistically. You should feel comfortable with a real estate agent who will guide you through the process of selling your home.
Start packing. Even if you don’t have a new home to move to or even know when that will be, it’s not too early to begin organizing your belongings. Sort through your closets and storage spaces to throw things out, give things away, or sell what you can. Box up what you don’t need day-to-day to keep things neat when prospective buyers come to see your home.
Clean up the clutter. We understand clutter is nearly impossible to avoid, especially in busy homes with young children. While some sellers consider staging their homes, we suggest that decluttering the rooms for showings can be sufficient. The goal is to allow potential buyers to imagine their own families in your home without being distracted by what makes it personal to you. Get rid of knick knacks, piles of mail, and toys that look disorganized. A clean refrigerator door is better than one covered with magnets and children’s schoolwork. Straighten up bookshelves and other surfaces.
Make small improvements. Now is not the time to spend a lot of money on major renovations or updates, but anything you can do to give rooms a fresh look or make minor repairs will help make your home more marketable. New paint — but don’t make the colors too wild! — and cleaning up the trim around doors and windows can make a big difference. Replace old switch plates, door knobs, vent covers, and anything else that’s tough to make clean. Fix the torn screen that’s been bothering you since last fall, and replace old lightbulbs.
In the bathrooms and kitchen, shiny new faucets and new grout or caulking can be an affordable way to freshen up old appearances.
Curb appeal still counts. Even if there’s still snow on the ground and it’s too early to plant flowers, do what you can outside to influence the first impression of your home. That means sprucing up the front door and making sure the siding is clean. Check the gutters and downspouts for any issues. When the ground thaws and the first buds appear, you’ll be ready to rake, put down fresh mulch, and trim the shrubs.
Preparing ahead of time will give you an advantage when houses go on the market later. And while prospective buyers are touring your home, why don’t you see what’s out there for you to move right into? We’ve got move-in ready homes available now in Southern NH. Contact us for a tour and conversation!