Sell Your Home this Spring

If you want to sell your home this spring, prepare for pent-up buyer demand.

Spring might be an even livelier home-selling season this year because homebuyers want to act before interest rates or home prices rise.

Even so, buyers insist on good deals. Even in seller's markets, where the supply of homes for sale can't meet demand from buyers, the overpriced homes are at a disadvantage. We then see competing offers for some homes, but houses with too-high asking prices "aren't selling at all."

Three main things sell a home in any season: location, condition and price. If one of those three isn't good, your home may not sell, but you can always compensate for a less-than-perfect location with a better price.

Here are five tips to sell your home this spring.

A buyer will decide within 60 seconds of seeing a home whether they want to consider buying it. People know immediately something will fly, so you need to make sure you don't turn them off before they get in the door.

We reccomend trimming trees and bushes so buyers can see the house, and pressure-washing the driveway, front walk, house and patio. As well as cleaning and painting the front door because buyers must linger at the door while they wait for the agent to open the lockbox.

Add colorful flowers to help sell your home this spring and clean the windows so they sparkle inside and out. We suggest putting down mulch at least a few days before an open house so the smell fades before prospective buyers arrive.

Sellers need to go through all of their furniture and closets with a discerning eye to eliminate clutter and then go back again. If you have 17 sweaters, you need to pare it down to two, so your closets look bigger. Pack up anything you want to keep, and put it off-site in a pod or a storage unit because you want your home to look like it always has plenty of space in all the closets.

 Be mindful of your senses, especially sight and smell.

If you have dark corners in the house, get rid of clutter in those areas, paint them a light color and reflect the color with lighting, if you have a pet, clean the carpets and open the windows to air out the house. Clean or get rid of your drapes if they carry a odor. If you know a home inspector is going to find something wrong with your house, go ahead and fix it first.

If you haven't maintained your home, you may want to hire your own home inspector before your home goes on the market so that you can make appropriate repairs before you try to sell it - most home inspectors offer a listing inspection for a lesser price than a full home inspection.

It usually costs less to fix things before a home inspection, So bring in an electrician to make sure the electrical panel has been updated and, if needed, a plumber before your house goes on the market.

Most sellers know if something is broken. It makes more sense to do the repairs ahead of time rather than wait for a buyer to request it. Buyers may end up asking you to spend $300 on what should cost $100 just to make sure it's done right.

Even though prices are rising in some areas, sellers need to be reasonable and compare their homes to similar properties that have recently sold.

Buyers today are savvy shoppers; if you price too low, they'll think something is wrong with your home. If you price it too high and have to lower your price, it will hurt you more than if you price it right the first time. Overpriced homes that stay on the market for 90 to 120 days are extremely difficult to sell.

The other danger of overpricing is that appraisers are cautious and may not value your home as high as the sales price even if you find a buyer willing to pay that much.

The majority of buyers start their home search online. To sell a home this spring, hire a Realtor who will make sure that professional photos, a virtual tour and a vibrant description are widely available on multiple websites. More buyers are using mobile phones and tablets to search for homes, so marketing materials should be easy to navigate from those devices, too.


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