North Shore Views
If you are thinking of putting your house on the market next spring, don’t wait until then to start getting it ready to list. Traditionally, Super Bowl Sunday marks the beginning of the spring selling season in real estate, which means you’ve only got about three months to get your house in shape. Start now so that you can take advantage of the surge in buyer interest come next February.
Here are five things you can do right now to get ahead of the curve and ensure your home is ready to hit the MLS next spring:
1. Cut the clutter:
If you’re like most people, you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. Moving provides a great incentive to finally get rid of the junk you’ve been hoarding. Starting now will give you ample time to take that trip down memory lane as you go through old papers, letters, photographs and other mementos. If you set aside a couple hours to do this each weekend, by February you will have weeded out a lot and moving will be much less stressful.
2. Improve curb appeal:
Your yard will still be frozen on Super Bowl Sunday, so it makes sense to get some of those outdoor chores done now, while it’s still relatively mild out. Clean up the yard, edge the beds, fertilize the lawn and plant clusters of bulbs for a show of color in the spring. Make sure your front entry is as inviting as possible. Give the door and door frame a new coat of paint, polish the door knocker and make sure the house numbers, mailbox and porch lights are in a consistent style. In addition to making the house more attractive to future home buyers, you’ll also impress your holiday guests.
3. Paint the interior:
Nothing will give you more bang for the home improvement buck than a fresh coat of paint. Keep your potential buyer in mind and go for a neutral palette. Using the same color family in adjoining rooms will improve the flow of the house and tie everything together. And remember, neutral does not necessarily mean white or beige. In fact, white can be quite stark and cold, while beige can be boring and blah. Go for warmer tones in the main living areas to make the rooms more inviting.
4. Donate to a good cause:
This is the time to edit your wardrobe. Take everything out of the closet and force yourself to let go of those 80’s outfits and anything else you haven’t worn in a year. Be ruthless about what you get rid of. You will thank yourself when it comes time to move. This is also a great time to collect all the winter coats, boots and gloves your family has outgrown and donate them to the needy. Several organizations do winter coat drives for the homeless this time of year and would be thrilled to have your cast-offs.
5. Make a list of needed repairs:
Go through your house, inside and out, and look at it objectively, as a buyer would. Write down everything that needs fixing. These are things you simply must take care of before listing your house. Otherwise, buyers will see small problems and wonder what bigger problems await them. Call a handyman and get those repairs done of by the end of January.
There will be lots more to do when your listing date gets closer, but taking care of these things now should make the whole process less stressful.