“Is it best to list For Sale By Owner in Spring?”
Everyone has an opinion of the perfect time to list a home for sale. But statistically, Spring seems to be the most popular time. Regardless of whether it’s a seller’s or a buyer’s market, inventory almost always rises in the spring. Why? Because a larger number of buyer’s are actively searching for a new home during the months of April, May and June. This doesn’t mean homes won’t sell in Summer, Fall or Winter. They most definitely will.
Here are 9 great tips to beautify your home for this Spring market:
1/ First Impressions – Pulling into your driveway will tell potential home buyers what they are about to see when they walk inside. You need to make the driveway and lawn clean and free from winter shovels, remove leftover salt and sand, ditch the Christmas gear, wash garage door, front door and windows and replace the old winter welcome mat with a new one.
2/ Add Some Color – A few fresh spring plant in new containers are very warm and make buyer’s think “pride of ownership”.
3/ Lawn Care – Front yard, side yard or back yard…..clean up the leaves from last fall and give the lawn a good raking. It will promote growth too. If you have bare patches, it’s a good idea to put down some dressing and seed to show you really are on top of things.
4/ Fresh Paint – Any outdoor trim that is peeling should be addressed. Studies indicate buyer’s want a well maintained and tidy home over a project. Interior trim and walls needing attention should be touched up too.
5/ Interior Spaces – Starting at your front entrance, walk through your home with what I call “buyer’s eyes”. I’ve seen buyer’s faces and can tell whether they just fell in love or saw a boogie man. The will look up and down, across floors, then back again. This is the largest of the list. You have 15 seconds to impress them. Paint any trim that is weathered, clear any cobwebs (yes, it happens) scrub floors, steam carpets, change burned out light bulbs, remove extra shoes, organize closets, de-clutter the kids rooms, organize the garage, move unused items to the basement and keep that area tidy. Get into those bathroom and scrub, scrub, scrub. Replace caulking in tubs and showers and shower curtains if needed. Same applies to the kitchen. Go through your cupboards and remove items to make them look neat and spacious. Exhausting, isn’t it? You can always hire professional cleaners to help. Many have pre-sale home rates.
6/ Clean Surfaces – All flooring, carpets, curtains and blinds and windows should be given great attention to detail also. I put decks and patios in this column too.
7/ Lighting – Lighting is more than just changing bulbs. It’s a good idea to make sure all fixtures actually work. If they need replacing, you will get your money back if you choose modern fixtures. Don’t be stingy and get a used garage sale item from 3 decades ago……retro isn’t that cool. You can often find deals at the box stores in Spring. Light bulbs are essential. I absolutely applaud anyone who has changed to the energy saving bulbs as they do work. But for the time your house is on the market I ALWAYS suggest they be replaced with brighter units. The low wattage units have a dingy glow to them. It’s Spring, we want BRIGHT! We know you cleaned the windows – now open them and let some fresh air in.
8/ Pets – You may have them and absolutely adore them. It doesn’t mean buyer’s want to be greeted by them at the door. Nor do they want to smell them. This one is a BIG NO NO. Kitty litter boxes MUST be cleaned daily and placed out of site. Dog’s make a mess of the yard and their places MUST be tidied too. Pet bowls should also be kept away, if possible.
9/ Smells – That locked up – no fresh air for 4 months smell doesn’t work. Let the house breath if it’s a nice day out. This is a really good opportunity to change your furnace filter too. Add some fresh cut flowers for a natural smell. Buyer’s LOVE this. Try not to use powerful chemical cleaners. You can get away with a plug in type of freshener but don’t over do it where one room smells like the tropics and another ocean breezes. Buyer’s might think you’re masking something. I repeat….fresh flowers.
These are the tips I pass on to all of my clients. Do the extra bit of work to achieve top dollar.
Happy Spring – (soon) 🙂
The BestFlatFee.ca Team