What to do NOW to Prepare Your Home for a Sale LATER
Spring is on the horizon which means you're about to see a lot more For Sale signs popping up.
Spring is, historically, the most prolific selling season for homeowners, and homes tend to sell even quicker than normal once the temp heats back up and the flowers are out. Maybe you've been thinking of downsizing or maybe you've decided it's time to capitalize on Charlotte's historically low inventory, but if you're going to sell, you need to prepare now.
Want to put your house on the market in a few weeks or months? Here's what you should be doing to get ready.
Start Interviewing Realtors
No, seriously. Even if you won't be ready to list your house for half a year, choosing the right seller's agent is the single most important decision you'll make throughout the process. Now's the time to start asking friends and family for recommendations, then setting up meet-and-greets with the Realtors who strike your interest. Check out their websites, look at some of their current marketing, and take note of how well they treat you now. If you can't get a Realtor to call you back or set up plans before they get the listing, you might be even MORE disappointed once you're on the market! Here's a good list of things to look for when choosing a seller's agent.
Get an Inspection
Getting your home pre-inspected is a smart move if you hope to have a seamless sale (and who doesn't?) Hiring an inspector to show you what buyers will see is invaluable; it's better to know now if your roof is leaking than to be hit with a $5,000 reduction ask once you've got a buyer on the line. Your Realtor can help you determine which items on the repair list are must-dos and which are just nice-to-dos. Better to hit the market with your house in tip-top shape than to give buyers things to pick at.
Go Ahead and De-Clutter
You're going to have to do it anyway when you move! Why not take the initiative to clean out your house - your closets, the kitchen cabinets, the garage - and get rid of or donate what you don't want. Not only will you make it easier to perform necessary repairs or to stage your property properly, you'll make the house look more spacious by moving out stuff. You always want your home to be as de-personalized as possible. This provides you the added benefit of having less to pack, too, once you eventually schedule your move!
Prepare to Hit the Market Hard
In this market, the first few weeks are critical to getting your home sold, and maybe even inciting a bidding war! There's a lot of planning that should take place before you go live on the MLS. Work with your Realtor to come up with the absolute best price for your home; too much and your home will linger on the market, too little and buyers will wonder what's wrong with it (and you'll lose out on money!) Discuss a comprehensive marketing plan for your house: Professional photos, a digital video, social media posts, and open houses if they're something you want. Those first few weeks your house is on the market should run like a well-oiled machine.
So, how early should you start preparing if you're thinking of selling your house this year? We suggest starting the thought process around 4-6 months before you actually want to hit the market, but as little is two months is enough to really set your home heads above the rest. The most important thing is to give yourself time to make smart, informed decisions about the professionals you work with and the way you want your house to be marketed.