Help Clients Prep Their Home for a Spring Sale
Winter is a notoriously slow season for real estate. Cold weather keeps people indoors, holiday plans take priority and curb appeal just isn’t the same. While it might be tempting to follow suit, this actually provides an excellent opportunity for real estate professionals to get an edge on the competition. Try these steps to stay proactive and help your clients prepare for a spring sale.
7 Steps to Take for a Successful Spring Sale
As soon as the first flower blooms in spring, you can count on the real estate market kicking into high gear. Share this list with clients to help them put their best foot forward and attract prospective buyers willing to pay a premium.
There’s something about being stuck indoors that makes you acutely aware of the clutter in your home. Take advantage of this heightened awareness and start the purge long before others begin their spring cleaning. The winter window allows you to move at your own pace. You can carefully evaluate which items will or won't make the upcoming move with you. Better yet, there are many non-profit organizations that will gladly accept your donations and even come pick them up.
Well-loved homes that have been lived in for years are bound to have a few rough edges that require touching up. With cold weather keeping you inside, you can really focus on the small details. This includes everything from replacing dated light switch covers to touching up scratches on wood surfaces. Additionally, a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint is a great way to breathe new life into a room. For older homes with deteriorating paint, it can be worth getting a lead-based paint inspection. It ensures you can work safely and gives buyers peace of mind.
Start Planning Staging
There’s a fine balance between keeping your home comfortable to live in and having it showing-ready. During winter months you can start planning how you want to present the home to potential buyers. You want the buyer to imagine themselves in the home, so depersonalize as much as possible. Make a list of personal effects that need to be removed such as toothbrushes and razors from bathrooms, or seldom-used appliances cluttering the kitchen counter. If you’re considering skipping this step, keep in mind the National Association of Realtors found 82% of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
Address Simple Repairs
You know your home better than anyone else, and that means you likely understand every small detail that’s not working correctly. Whether that’s a perpetually backed-up drain or dead electrical outlets, it’s best to address everything you can prior to the home inspection. All of these little fixes add up, giving the buyer one less thing to worry about when it comes to the overall condition of the home.
Get a Deep Clean
There’s no reason to wait until spring for a deep clean. When winter weather keeps you indoors, it becomes easy to identify areas in your home that have been neglected. This means finally getting to the grout in the shower or scrubbing the fridge and oven. While these might seem insignificant in the long run, small clean-ups help you stand out from the competition. Plus, once the job is done right it’s much easier to maintain until you receive the offer you’ve been waiting for.
Brighten it Up
When coming out of the long, dark months of winter, buyers crave the natural light they’ve been missing. In fact, lighting is one of the biggest differentiators when it comes to a buyer’s perception of a home. In the months leading up to your listing, look for additional ways to brighten things up. This could be as simple as a few well-placed lamps or swapping out dated fixtures. Also consider replacing dark, heavy curtains with lighter options that bring more light into the room.
Planting fresh flowers might be off the table during winter, but you can still get a head start on landscape planning. Identify trees and shrubs that could use a trim, or garden beds that require a fresh layer of mulch. You can also start mapping out where to insert eye-catching pops of color that add instant curb appeal. A well-manicured yard helps attract buyers before they ever walk through the front door.
Why Get a Pre-Listing Inspection?
One way to really help a home stand out from the rest of the market is to get a pre-listing inspection. Though inspections are often considered the buyer’s responsibility, this proactive step provides peace of mind to all parties. Some of the many benefits of a pre-listing inspection include:
- Limit surprises. When the buyer performs a home inspection, they’re under no obligation to share findings with the seller. With a pre-listing inspection you can understand the condition of your home inside and out, preventing any unexpected findings when closing is on the horizon.
- Complete repairs. If your pre-inspection listing turns up any issues, you have the opportunity to complete the repairs before your home hits the market. This allows you to complete them on your own timeframe and save money by finding contractors with the best price.
- Increase confidence. A pre-listing inspection sends a strong signal that your home has nothing to hide. Beyond increasing confidence in buyers and their agents, you can also ensure your property is priced appropriately relative to others available on the market.
- Negotiation leverage. As a seller you can leverage the findings of a pre-listing inspection to bring in the best price. It makes it more difficult for buyers to request concessions, and limits the back-and-forth should the buyer choose to have an additional inspection.
Connect With AmeriSpec
AmeriSpec serves as a trusted partner for countless real estate professionals across North America. Our highly trained technicians perform some of the most thorough home inspections in the industry, covering more than 400 different points of the home. Plus, the AmeriSpec Report breaks down all of the findings into an easy-to-understand reference you can use to get the most out of negotiations. If your client is looking for home inspection or pre-listing inspection services they can trust, count on AmeriSpec every time.