Many of us are still deeply ensconced in winter, up to our eyeballs in snow, dodging icy rain, or just fighting temperatures that are far colder than usual. Likely, most people aren’t yet thinking about spring yet – except perhaps dreaming of warmth and sun – even though it’s technically only about six weeks away as far as the calendar is concerned.
However, those who are considering putting their home on the market soon are probably thinking ahead towards March and April, knowing that the spring season is often an excellent time to find an interested buyer. Spring brings not only renewal to the earth but also a renewed invigoration to most humans, who are eager to welcome the trees and flowers, the start of baseball season, and a time of year when burdens seem lighter and one’s step is a bit bouncier.
That’s what makes spring such a good time for home sales. It’s almost like a new year…with both sellers and buyers making resolutions to get moving now that the winter doldrums have passed. That means anyone considering listing their home in the spring should be thinking ahead NOW to get a jumpstart on the busy season.
If that’s you, here are a few things to think about as you ponder what to do next to have your home ready for listing by the time spring rolls around.
Inspect and make repairs
If you know – or even think – there are some more-than-minor problems that need addressing before you list, now is a great time to bring in a home inspector and figure out precisely what those issues might be.
Once you have an idea of what needs to be done, look for a contractor to fix the problems. Winter is a great time to hire a contractor because they tend to be less busy so that they can tend to your issues more quickly, and you may even get a better price simply because they don’t have lots of jobs lined up and waiting for them.
Now is also a great time to think about changing colors on your walls or even going to all neutral colors to give your home a fresh, clean look. A snowy weekend is an ideal time to jump into such a project because, after all, who wants to be outside?
Think ahead about in which direction you wish to go and buy all the supplies you need so that you’re ready to start as soon as you can carve out some free time. Do little bits at a time instead of trying to do all the rooms at once, simply to avoid burnout and to assure that the job gets done well.
Similar to contractors, if you want to hire a painter instead of doing it yourself, you may get better pricing at this time of the year.
Conquer DIY repairs
It’s likely that you might be able to find a sizeable list of repairs that you and your spouse/family can do on your own. You know, that “Honey Do” list of things you’ve been putting off for a while? That little crack in the corner, the caulking in the bathroom, that broken shade, the bulb that needs replacing in your outside security lights. Anything that you can do on your own, you should do NOW, before you even invite a realtor to your home to list it.
Think about landscaping
While you may not be able to plant yet, you can undoubtedly start gearing your brain towards what you need to do to spruce up your landscaping. Make a plan now and then get ready to enlist some help if you’re not particularly talented in that arena.
What you CAN do, even if the weather is still chilly, is clean up flower beds, trim hedges, replace bricks and pavers where applicable, make sure sprinklers are working, and consider taking out trees that may be a problem.
Also, look at structures like decks and patios and determine what will need to be done as soon as you’re able. Painting, re-staining, and other structural work can be completed soon.
Since there are days when you’d likely rather spend time inside, especially if you’re in a cold climate, this is the perfect time to declutter. And you can take your time doing it!
Don’t try to do everything in one day or even one weekend. Choose one room at a time and spread the job over several weeks. By the time spring comes, the clutter will be gone!
Be among the first!
After you’ve tackled the physical stuff, it’s time to talk to an agent about listing your house. You don’t have to wait until the weather is warm to meet with a real estate professional. Schedule an appointment within the next six weeks or so for your listing to be one of the first on the market this spring season.