The holidays are here, and it's time to enjoy family, friends, and festivities. However, if you’re planning to sell your house in 2020, you’ve got to make time and start planning now.
Most real estate professionals agree that March-April in New England are ideal months to list a house. Zillow reports that homes can sell 15% faster in the Spring market and sale prices can average 2% more. Subsequently, listing your home in the busy South Shore real estate market in March might give you an early-lead advantage.
But where do you start? First, decide when you want to put your house on the market. Then, count backwards. For example, if you’re thinking March and it’s now early December, you have 12 or so weeks. However, when you consider the busy holiday season, there's even less time to plan and prepare your home for sale.
As a start, make sure your home is in tip-top condition. Prospective buyers see everything. As you walk through each room, see your house as they would see it. In fact, stop thinking about your house as your home. Instead, think of it as your biggest asset. Seek advice from a real estate agent who will look at your home with a professional set of eyes, know how to market your home, and make sure it is as ready to go on the market.
Here’s a checklist of items to consider as you go through each room.
Carefully inspect the walls and trim. You’ll most likely notice marks, scratches, and imperfections from normal wear and tear. If cleaning doesn’t get rid of these blemishes, then paint. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way to making your home look like it’s been updated. Walls are more vibrant, trim looks new. In the long run, buyers will appreciate that this is one job they don’t have to tackle. Just remember, when you paint, keep colors neutral. No one wants bold walls. If they do, let them buy your home and choose to paint it themselves.
Take down and box up personal belongings. If needed, put furniture, collectables, and knick-knacks in storage. Remove items from your kitchen and bathroom counters, laundry room shelves and tabletops. Organize your closets. Take down personal pictures and artwork. Think “blank canvas.” That’s what the buyers want to see when they tour your home.
Clean, clean, then clean again. Dust, polish appliances and faucets, clean everywhere. Pay particular attention to smells. Think light and bright. Let the sun shine. Wash the windows and remove the screens. If you have heavy drapes, replace them with simple blinds or consider no window treatments.
4. Curb appeal
Sometimes overlooked, how your house appears from the street is critical. This first impression is what buyers will use to decide whether they want to take the next step to come inside. Even if the inside is gorgeous, you’ve already lost value if the exterior needs work. Repair and repaint any rotting wood. Inspect the window sills, siding, decks and porches. Sometimes all it takes is a good powerwash to get the house back in shape.
5. Hire a Real Estate Agent
It’s never too early to hire an agent to help you through the process. Start by finding the best professional in your area who will represent you throughout the process. A local real estate professional will price your home competitively, give you advice on how to make sure your home is ready to sell, and achieve the best possible outcome.
Now that you know what you need to do, make a plan. Use your realtor to help you outline a course of action.
Selling your home in the South Shore real estate market will go smoothly if you take the necessary steps before your home goes on the market. For additional information, download this helpful guide with tips and checklists you can use to help prepare your home for sale. Click on the link below to get started.