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Commentary : Tips for selling your house

This winter has been particularly rough, too cold, too much snow, too much unpredictability. Sellers are having difficulty readying their homes for the market and have experienced delays getting their home on the market. Everyone is eager for spring, especially Realtors® and their Buyers, as inventory is low and homes are selling before they even hit the market through “word of mouth” and networking with other agents.  With January sales indicating a hot spring season, it’s important for sellers to prepare for improved weather and an improved real estate market.
 With most buyers starting their home search on the internet, first impressions are critical. Curb appeal is even more important now than in the past, because today’s buyers will click to the next home fast. You would be surprised at how fresh a home looks after a power wash and cleaning your windows, inside and out! Over seed this spring so you can be sure the lawn looks lush, full and green. Keep shrubs trimmed, freshen mulch and pull weeds. And, I hope this week’s weather will continue and you can start to think about planting pansies.
Sellers should also look to neutralize their home before taking photos or listing. The easiest step is to remove family photographs and personal art. 
When a buyer sees clutter, it can impact their view of the property. Sellers should pack up the tchotchkes and knick knacks, clean out closets and pack off-season clothes. To really depersonalize your home, you should also consider painting your home more neutral colors, you will find light gray and beige are popular in new construction today. A simple deep clean can go a long way, clean baseboards and blinds and be sure to remove cobwebs. Be sure to hire a carpet cleaner to freshen you carpets. The better a home shows, the more money in your pocket.
You don’t want to start a major renovation right before you sell, but you can tackle some minor repairs and improvements that will appeal to buyers. 
Consider replacing the caulk and grout in your bathroom, caulk any cracked trim work, update light fixtures and other hardware for a clean appearance. These are simple weekend projects that can quickly modernize a dated home.
A Realtor® can help you decide what updating needs to be done and what projects to undertake. They can help you determine what improvements will make your home stand-out in your neighborhood. Most importantly, they will help determine the best strategic price.  Ask friends and neighbors for a referral and be sure to interview several agents to see who has the right experience and the knowledge to guide you on the journey.
Spring is always a busy time for real estate. There is plenty you can do to set yourself apart from the pack. Consult a Realtor® to help you prepare for a quick sale and an acceptable return. With the market recovering, I hope you’ll be a part of what could be a record setting season!
Lisa Culp Taylor is the current WCAR Board President.

Posted on: 2/27/2014


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