Selling Your Home in the Spring
Spring is the optimum time to sell a home. Regardless of whether it's a buyer's market or a seller's market, inventory almost always rises in the spring. Why, you ask? The majority of FSBO buyers begin actively searching for a new home during the months of April, May and June.
Here are 14 things you can do to improve the odds that your home will stand out among the sea of new listings flooding the springtime real estate market:
1. Wash windows inside and out and polish all mirrors:
Sparkle is free, and sparkle sells homes. A potential buyer may not realize why your home seems so inviting but will feel drawn to it if the windows are spotless and your mirrors reflect sunlight. A clean home seems to speak volumes.
2. Rake the yard / trim back bushes:
Clean out dead leaves and debris in your lawn and make sure all paths, walkways, and driveways are clear of vegetation and debris. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun shine inside and show off the exterior of your home.
3. Mow diagonally and edge lawn along driveway / sidewalks:
Cleverly manicured lawns that are edged tell buyers you pay attention to small details. By diagonally mowing lawns it will make your yard appear larger.
4. Transplant tulips and daffodils or buy flowers in containers:
After a long winter, everybody is anxious to see the first signs of spring. The main color that tends to stimulate the buying urges is yellow. Cash in on this tidbit by placing yellow tulips or daffodils either in containers or flower boxes near the entrances of your home. Flowers especially the first ones of spring tend to make one happy.
5. Clean drapes, curtains and blinds and open every window:
Make sure all window coverings whether they are drapes, curtains, or blinds are clean. Be sure to press drapes and curtains. Toss blinds into a soapy bathtub for a quick wash. Be sure to remove all dust and spider webs. Crisp linens and a springtime breeze through the windows invite the season inside.
6. Set out fresh-smelling flowers:
Natural scents are more appealing than artificial and trigger fewer allergies among those susceptible. Fresh flowers with some clever home staging will bring color and fragrance indoors.
7. Polish floors:
Your hardwood floors should be refinished, if necessary and polished with a high gloss finish. Make your ceramic and linoleum floors twinkle and shine. Make sure to bleach dull grout and thoroughly clean all area rugs.
8. Utilize towels, throws, pillows in light colors:
Even if it means replacing items, towels, linens, throws and sofa pillows are inexpensive accents you can buy. In soft spring colors, (yellows, pinks, pale blues, and lavenders) they will light up a room. Layer towels on bathroom towel racks and place rolled washcloths on the counters in a fashionable pyramid.
9. Outside mat and inside umbrella stand:
No matter where you live, spring weather is often unpredictable. If it's raining, give buyers a place to stash umbrellas and wipe their feet before entering your home and make them feel welcome.
10. Buy brightly coloured helium balloons:
Balloons build excitement and will get your home noticed by home shoppers. Most stores sell balloons for about a dollar each. So make sure to pick up a couple dozen brightly coloured ones to tie to your open house signs. Curiosity about why there are so many balloons floating about will also help to draw perspective clients to your open house.
11. Set out four-color flyers & financing options:
Don't skimp on your marketing materials. You want homebuyers to select your flyer among the dozens they pick up. Color sells better than black and white. Show homebuyers how easily they can afford to buy your home by giving them two or three financing options. The first thing on buyer's mind when considering a home purchase is the monthly mortgage payment. Don't make them guess; let them know in advance. The easier you make it for the buyer, the better.
12. Use a color photo for display advertising:
When you are deciding which option to choose for your ad, whether it is online or in a newspaper, always go with the ad with color. Remember the adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. Try and pick a picture in a seasonal setting that flaunts your home.
13. Mail four-color postcards:
Contact the local post office and ask them for a free direct-mail list of your area and surrounding neighbourhoods. Print four-color oversized postcards and include a UV coating to give the marketing oomph. Use first-class postage and send them to anyone and everyone. The more people who see your home the better chance you have for a sale.
14. Provide beverages and a treat:
Put a couple dozen bottles of water in a sink of ice for buyers. You can also tape labels to the bottles, printed from your computer, with your phone number, a photograph and address of your home. Also set out individually wrapped treats in brightly coloured cellophane tied with a ribbon. This small touch will go a long way with buyers.
Top 6 reasons to sell your home during the winter months:
- Fewer homes are for sale, which means there is less competition out there.
- The buyer who is looking in the winter is very serious about buying.
- By marketing your home early you may be able to get a higher price for your home because there is usually a smaller inventory of homes for buyers to view.
- Prospects are highly motivated.
- Advertising tends to be more, as agents tend to have fewer inventories to market in the winter months.
- By selling in the winter you will be able to buy in the spring when the inventory is higher.