There are many great reasons to sell your home in the spring. The biggest of these is the weather - not only are more people out and looking for homes, but homes look a lot better too.
So, spring tends to be the time when we see a lot more homes on the market, and a lot more people buying them. What's the downside?
Competition. You're going to have to work a bit harder to make your home stand out from the rest. To help you along, here's a list of 4 areas where you can focus to ensure that your home sells in a timely manner, and at a price that's good for you.
Let's get started.
1) Right Time, Right Price
When people are ready to buy something, usually the final decision comes down to that "something" appearing at the right time and price-point. So, if you're intending (or hoping) to sell your home in the spring, putting up for sale it at the right time and place (price-wise) is really important.
To get the timing right, start early. It's usually best to have your home listed a month before you want to sell, and getting your home ready to list requires preparation a month before that.
So here's what you should you be doing 2 months out (or more):
Contacting a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent
Planning home renovations and updates
Doing market research
The last of those is crucial for pricing your home correctly. But how do you determine what a "correct" price is?
Start by researching other recently sold homes. Not homes on the market - what do they know, they haven't even been sold yet! The ones that have just been sold will tell you what people are willing to spend. That's the information you need, in conjunction with home-type, area, and even seasonal price changes (remember - you've started early!). Again, an experienced real estate agent is invaluable.
The first few weeks are crucial. Many serious buyers are already looking by the time you list, so they'll see your listing first and they'll have a better sense on how your home stacks up against the competition.
2) Clean House
You probably already know this part, but it bears repeating: Clean your property, inside and out.
Keep in mind that you may have become blind to some deep dirt, or even smells in your home. A fresh set of eyes (or nostrils) will be useful in pinpointing problem areas that might influence buyers.
And don't forget the outside! Clear away the winter drab - old branches, undesirable plants and so on. Check for peeled paint or loose shingles and get them fixed.
Don't underestimate the kind of magic you can perform with a power washer. Hire (or borrow) one to get your exterior wood and stone surfaces shining.
Another important part of the cleaning process is de-cluttering. You're planning on moving anyway, so why not start the process early? Start with the small, personal things (this will become relevant when you're preparing for showings - see below). Stash the extra stuff with friends, family, or in an out-of-the-way corner.
3) Renovate, Repair, Update
Continuous with improving the general look of your home, a few simple fixes, repairs, renovations, or updates, can be an incredibly cost-effective way to boost your home's appeal. Consider getting a home inspection to discover any hidden issues, and to give you information on where you should focus your time and money.
Usually, you're going to be focused on the kitchen and the bathroom, and a fresh coat of paint will be your most cost-effective option. Save time and get it done right by hiring professionals. It'll cost you, but you'll definitely make it back.
Remember - keep things relatively minor if at all possible. Large jobs are risky, so keep it simple.
4) Going Public
People are unlikely to buy your home without actually coming and looking it over. So it's in your best interest to make this process as easy and inviting as possible. Hopefully you've already done all the cleaning and renovating, so your home is ready to make a prime first impression. Now you should be taking steps to ensure that positive start is maintained.
For home showings, make sure to do the following...
Be elsewhere. No one wants to look through an occupied home
Take your pets with you
Post signs. Your agent will help with this, but you want your place to be easy to find
Stage your home for maximum impact. As mentioned, remove clutter or personal items. Accent with complimentary towels, throws, pillows etc.
Flowers. Transplant some outside or install pre-made flower pots. Cut flowers indoors will add to the fresh, spring feel
Put out some snacks and refreshments for potential buyers
Be mindful of where guests can leave their shoes, coats, personal items, or umbrellas
So... what are you waiting for?
Of course, the best time to sell your house is whenever is suitable to your bigger life plans. But the next best time is definitely spring...
If you think there's a possibility you might be selling your Santa Cruz home soon, then don't wait. Contact us and we'll be able to help you through the entire process with our specialized knowledge and expertise.