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Now's the time to prepare your home to sell this spring

Posted December 5, 2016

Winter is an essential time to begin preparing your home for sale in the spring when the real estate industry is booming.

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

Though the home buying market cools down during the winter season, this is an essential time to begin preparing your property for sale in the spring when the real estate industry is booming.

Over the fall and winter months, there are several areas of your home both inside and out where you'll want to begin focusing your efforts for the selling process.

Prepping the Exterior

It's often said that homebuyers make their decision on whether to purchase within 30 seconds of viewing a property, and it's essential to have the exterior of your house in great shape before putting it on the market.

Sellers can raise the so-called "curb appeal" of their home by concentrating on two key areas.

The first is outer landscaping and lawn maintenance, which can include decorative flower gardens and plants, or simply the upkeep of the actual grass and soil of the lawn itself. The second is the hardscapes and detailing of the home, which consists of particulars like cleaning gutters or having the exterior of the home painted or re-sided.

Improving the outer property of the home can take time, and it's important to start working on these projects as early as possible. Investing in the exterior of your home not only makes a powerful first impression on homebuyers but also directly increases the value and leverage your home has on the market. Be sure to think of home renovations as an investment that will pay you back in the long run after the sale.

Planning for Interior Staging

Decluttering your home is the first step in preparing your home for staging in the spring season. Clearing open spaces, storage areas, and walkways will make the home seem larger and allow potential buyers to visualize their future home.

"The better your house shows to homebuyers, the sooner it will sell," said Kimberly Conroy, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston real estate agent and relocation specialist. "You want to present a clean, clutter-free home that feels comfortable and spacious. Starting the staging process now will allow you to get ahead of the game and ensure you'll be ready to list your home by the end of February which historically is the beginning of our spring housing market."

Sellers will always want to remove personal items from their home as much as possible, like family photos, children’s toys or other intimate objects that can distract from the selling process.

Professional Services

It may be beneficial for homeowners to hire professionals to perform many of the tasks above, depending on the level of disrepair of the home. This can be more expensive upfront than do-it-yourself projects but may pay off long term on the housing market.

A home inspection is often an integral part of selling a home as well. Depending on the region, the seller or buyer may pay for the home inspection, however, getting your home inspected before the spring can allow you more time to fix potential issues and make your home more competitive come buying season.

"Readying your home to sell can be a big undertaking, but it becomes much more manageable when you start tackling the work in advance," Conroy added. "If you are unsure of where to begin, you can always engage a real estate agent to tour your home to point out the items that will need to be addressed before you put it on the market."

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

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