Our Newsletter: April, 2015
Five Ways to Prep Your Home for the Spring Selling Season
By Richard Patrick of LazrWeb Services | April 12th, 2015
It has already started, "For Sale" signs are cropping up everywhere. An slowly improving labor market in the US is expected to stimulate improved home sales in 2015. Do not wait to sell your home you have been considering doing so. Lower interest rates, financing incentives and tight inventory will make for an exciting Real Estate environment.
The National Association of Realtors is forecasting a significant increase in existing home sales in 2015 to the tune of 5.25 million, a substantial increase from 4.93 million sales last year in 2014. The average national median existing-home price was $208,500 in 2014, a 5.8 percent increase from 2013. Forecasts currently set that median home price to rise again in 2015 to around $218,300.
The total number of homes for sale, or housing inventory, remains similar to last year, giving the sellers an edge.
There are many things you can do so your home stands out among the other listings. Renovations and remodeling are expensive, but they give the greatest return. So what can a homeowner do on a modest budget?
To get started, think about three things: cleaning, removing clutter and basic neutral colors.
We list five great ideas that you can do to get an advantage on the competition this year:
Completely 'spring-clean' your home.
Plan and take the time to do a thorough cleaning within your home. Clean the windows in and out, the sills and insides of the window channels. Consider a fresh coat of paint if they are wood. Clean the grout in all existing ceramic tile in the home. Consider if your carpets need cleaning or replacing. New carpeting is a huge turn on selling point.
Clean and disinfect every surface possible in your home, not only will it be bright and shiny, but your home will also smell clean, another big selling turn-on. Change your furnace air filter, and clean any returns that you may have in the home.
Spring cleaning also involves your landscaping around your yard. Clean out dead branches and rake out sticks and leaves in the beds. Putting new mulch is a low cost way to give a buyer a good feeling that your home is well taken care of, another big motivating factor in the psychology of selling your home.
If you use a landscaping service, try and get them to come out and do a thorough cleaning and mulching. Both you and your prospective buyers will be glad you did, not to mention your real estate agent.
Go to your local home store gardening center and find a few plants that are not expensive and plant them. Nothing like fresh plantings to stir the soul.
It will get more people inside your home and it gives people the impression that you care about the house.
Walk out to the street and take a good look at your house. Notice anything obvious? Faded paint on your entrance door? That is a very easy and cheap fix, ask the guys and or gals in your local paint stores for color suggestions and paint your entrance door!
Have faded shutters too? Might be easier to replace them than paint them, either option is a smart thing to do. Does your mailbox look good, and work right? Maybe make a small bed of flowers around the mailbox post.
DO NOT FORGET the backyard. Buyers always take a good hard look at the back yard and will notice the condition of any amenities or lack thereof that exist there. Deck need a power washing? Maybe re-paint or re-stain the deck? Any backyard junk or clutter? Then throw it out or remove it. New trash cans also go a long way here.
Clean up the clutter.
If your selling you home, you're also serious about moving. Provision a local storage locker and put some of the stuff that you have to keep in that locker. Put any extra furniture and other clutter including collectible plates, knick-knacks, personal family pictures and such in storage. Start packing and moving stuff to your storage now. Now that spring has sprung, pack up and store the winter cloths so there is more room in your closets.
Use neutral colors.
If you're going to add a coat of fresh paint, stay with neutral colors. A good tip is to make sure your curtains and bedspread coordinate with those new colors. The same goes for the throw pillows on your couch. Purchase inexpensive items to pull together the color scheme to create an engaging look.
Don't forget a home inspection.
Most of the time, the home buyers have a home inspector in before completing the purchase of a home. It is best to have your own home inspector in to find out beforehand which issues their inspector will find which can save you time and money having to negotiate issues that need to be fixed or addressed prior to closing.
It is best to be practical and proactive. If it needs to be cleaned or painted, do it. If there are minor issues like a leaky tub faucet or missing grout or sealer around the tub, that could cause water damage have it re-done. If you know that electrical junction box that your brother in law helped you install that isn't up to code, have it fixed before their home inspector finds it.
Home sales are going bad because of issues found in a home inspection, and you have to start all over again. Buyers are looking for what is wrong with your home, don't give them any more reasons to move along and find another home that had less issues.
Keep the home price reasonable.
Take some time to check the real estate listing for other homes in your area to get a good idea of what your home is worth. Your realtor can also provide "comps" or information about homes that sold recently in your area, and then set your price accordingly. The price of your home must be comparable to other homes in your area.
There are some good on-line resources to find what homes are selling for in your area like Trulia.com and Zillow.com.
It is a fact that homes sell faster and generally for more money if they are priced competitively. A higher priced home will sit on the market longer, making it harder to sell. If you have to reduce the price, it gives the appearance that there is something wrong with your home, don't give buyers that impression.
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