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Springtime is often the best time to sell a house. The real estate market sees a rise in inventory and more buyers search for a new home. To stand out from the competition, here are six tips to prepare your house for sale in the spring.
Spruce Up the Front Yard
When buyers pull up to your house, the outside is their first impression of the property. You want that impression to be good, so take the time to landscape. Prune the bushes, weed the garden, rake leaves, lay fresh mulch, and mow the grass. Also, add a pop of color with bright perennials.
Transform the Front Door
The front door is an extension of the landscape. Make it clean, elegant, and inviting. Paint the door, replace faded door numbers, and power wash the front stoop. If it rains, put out an umbrella stand so buyers keep umbrellas outside, and not drip on your floors. Finally, put out the “Welcome” mat.
Perform Seasonal Maintenance
Buyers want to see a well-kept house. If they see overgrowth, stains and dust, the notion to buy will deter them. For this reason, real estate agents rank these five items as must-fixes in the spring:
- Clean rain gutters
- Test the HVAC unit and change filters
- Inspect the roof
- Clean siding
- Power wash driveway and walking paths
Additional items to consider include washing the windows and wiping down all shelves and cabinets. You might also polish hardwood floors and add fresh coats of paint to the walls and outside of the house.
Buyers want to envision themselves in your house, but junked-up spaces prevent this. Remove the leaning tower of moving boxes. Throw out unopened mail and scattered papers. Put away toiletries, medicine, and other personal items. Go through every room with a donation box and fill it with excess clothing and knick-knacks. This not only frees up spaces, but also makes moving easy with less stuff to pack.
Note: your house must stay clean for every showing. Make sure new clutter does not accumulate, and every space stays immaculate. If you are busy, you can hire professional cleaning services.
The only thing worse than touring a messy home is smelling it. Funky odors deter everyone. Rather than go overboard with scented sprays, take the time to deep clean. Steam carpets and draperies, furniture too. Scrub counters, clean dishes, and remove laundry piles.
The toughest odors to eliminate include pets and cigarette smoke. As you clean, open windows and turn on fans to increase airflow. Add a few drops of essential oils, like lemon or orange, to a mister and spray each room. Till you sell, concentrate smoking habits outside. Stow litter boxes outside, or ask a friend or family member to keep your pet for a while.
Over 95% of buyers search for their next home online. In case your house does not sell right away, but remains listed through the summer to the end of the year, take photos. Photograph the lovely interior, but more importantly the exterior and landscaping. Your yard looks its best in the spring, and you want online shoppers to see this.
Rather Than Do All This Work, Sell to an Investor
If you want to forgo these efforts and sell your house as-is, consider selling it to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house, regardless of how it looks or smells. They do not care about clutter or messes. You can enjoy a quick closing and spend the spring moving into your new home.