As we prep for warmer months ahead, the Real Estate With Heart team sat down to pull together a list of their “must do” items to get your home ready for the change in season and to list!
Q: What do you do to prepare your house for spring?
Amanda: I do a thorough cleaning top to bottom. The best part is opening the doors and windows to let in some fresh air! I also plant new flowers in our window boxes, the pop of color is a great way to get in to the feeling that spring has arrived.
Brea: Take this time to de-clutter! An annual de-cluttering is a great way to stay ahead of the curve if and when you ever decide to sell. If you have Central Air, changing your filters and getting your HVAC serviced are great ways to get ready for the hotter months ahead!
- Deep cleaning! I have four furry kids that make a huge mess over the winter months.
- I have a green thumb, so I bring all my pots up from the basement and get them ready for spring flowers on my porch.
- Spring cleanup in the yard so it’s ready for BBQ’s and playing some fun yard games.
Eliza: Plant window boxes! It lifts my spirits and brings me joy every time I walk up to my house.
Galit: Clean top to bottom and declutter. Really think about what you use and need and get rid of the rest. Decluttering is more liberating than most people realize!
Sarah: I get the outside ready by turning on the water for the hoses and emptying out my planters to replace the soil for the season.
Thai: I replace my HVAC filters, replace/clean-out appliance filters and the batteries in smoke detectors. I also prepare my house plants to be repotted or do a soil refresh to be put outside for the growing season. It’s also nice to clean your cabinets, windows and light switches, and baseboards to give your home a fresh face for the change in temperatures!
Q: What are your top tips for someone considering putting their house on the market this spring?
Amanda: Fresh paint is the best way to give the home a new, refreshed, clean look. Once it’s been painted and decluttered, it goes a long way. Cleaning up outdoor spaces is another tip, a gross patio area is a turn off.
Brea: Bring in a professional to come up with your game plan. A realtor can help you decide what repairs to make, what to skip, and what cosmetic changes will be most appealing to the broadest audience.
- Discuss any home improvement projects that need to be done prior to listing to make your home show and sale ready.
- Declutter and depersonalizeIt’s a great time to purge! You will need to pack up the house anyway, so it’s a good way to get started.
- Give back to the community you’ve lived in. Donate items you won’t be bringing with you.
- Have your home professionally cleaned right before listing.
Eliza: Call me! The market is robust and it’s a great time to list. Sometimes clients think they need to prepare the house before we meet. It’s better to MEET first so I can give my opinion on what projects, repairs or updates are worthwhile and will have the best return.
Galit: A fresh coat of paint always goes a long way to rejuvenate and neutralize a space. Other small, inexpensive changes that can make a big impact are updating light fixtures, changing out mirrors in bathrooms and changing out hardware in kitchens.
Sarah: Declutter! Make sure to clean the windows – shiny clear windows gleam in photos and in person. Touching up the paint is always helpful as well.
Thai: I recommend decluttering all rooms, surfaces and closets. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves in the space and picture their belongings in the rooms & closets.
Q: What is something you think sellers often overlook when they prepare to list their house?
Amanda: Outdoor space maintenance tends to be the most overlooked, it’s usually a fairly simple clean up that can really give the home an extra boost. When the outdoor space is full of dead leaves and branches, or a fence in disrepair, it can be a turnoff. Flowers and plants can really add something positive as well.
Brea: Most people are only focused on the move itself, and forget the preparation required to get their home show-ready. It’s not always a fun process, but if your goal is achieving the highest return, then a little pain up front goes a long way in the end. Starting the process earlier (~6+ weeks out from listing) can be paramount in a successful transaction. I often start meeting with sellers even months before they are ready to actually list so we can develop a really strong plan.
- Curb Appeal. Only one chance for a first impression, so make the outside shine! That includes the back yard and patio areas too.
- Servicing all the major mechanicals. Making sure these items are all in working order is a good tip and should be part of a homeowners yearly maintenance list.
- When a basement is unfinished it’s important to make sure it is dry and clean.
Eliza: The simplicity of value in a deep clean and current maintenance. Get your HVAC serviced and plant your window boxes!
Galit: When you live in a space, it’s hard to see it objectively. Try to remove yourself and see the house from the buyer’s perspective. Listen to your agent’s suggestions – we know what appeals to buyers.
Sarah: To the extent you are able to put extra or overly worn furniture in storage, it will help free up space and freshen up the aesthetic.
Thai: Sellers often overlook checking that all their windows are working properly and there’s no water intrusion around the frames. It’s also nice to clean your light switches and paint any rooms that have not been painted in the last 3-5 years.