5 tips to get your home ready NOW for the spring real estate market

By Michelle Tjomsland

February 2nd, 2015

I know it’s the middle of winter and we are about to hit another deep freeze, but before you know it spring will be here! Historically, in our real estate market spring yields the highest prices for those selling their home, but it also brings the most competition. That means preparing your house is even more important so you can beat out your competition. That preparing can start now while you’re shut in your house during this cold so you are ready to go when the market is best.

spring house


1. Contact your agent to let him/her know your plans. Your real estate agent can be a wealth of information for you if you know you’ll be listing your home. They can recommend contractors for work you may need done and they can give you more tips that are specific to your home and neighborhood. They can also give you a snapshot on what the market looks like right now so you know what to expect for a sale price.

2. Consider a Pre-List Inspection. One of the biggest reasons a homebuyer may back out is due to findings on their inspection. Sometimes it’s a bunch of small things, but to a first time homebuyer that may seem overwhelming. By paying for an inspection now, $300-$400, you could have a list of all the small things that may come up and get those fixed before you even put your home on the market. It’s a lot easier to know the extra expenses you’ll have now verses after you’ve already settled on a price. If you don’t want to pay for that inspection, you could also contact your agent of choice and they most likely will have a list of common fixes to address before listing.

3. Know your plan. In the Hastings, MN area there is so little inventory right now that houses are selling quickly! If you get an offer the first week after you list what are you going to do? Are you buying another home? Do you have the option to move in with family? Can you rent if need be? Can you buy non-contingent? It’s a good idea to meet with your lender before you list your home so you can get pre-approved to purchase your next home. This will allow you to put an immediate offer on any home you find. You also may be lucky enough to get approved to buy a home non-contingent, meaning you can buy before selling. This would allow you the luxury of settling into your new home gradually verses in a day.

4. Declutter. It’s too soon to clean those outside windows but you can start now with your closets and storage rooms! It may sound silly, but you could actually start packing up some of those items you know you won’t need before moving. The less cluttered your storage areas are, the more storage it looks like you have! If you don’t think it will be worth moving, get rid of it now. As far as closets, I tell all my buyers to look in all the closets because they come with the house. This includes clothes closets, linen closets and pantries. You don’t want to have them busting at the seams (although you may be and that’s why you are moving!) because then buyers may feel their stuff won’t fit either. Pack up or get rid of anything that isn’t necessary. Not only will this be an advantage for your house looking better when you put it on the market, but you’ll also be one step ahead when you have to pack it all up to move anyways.

5. Spring Cleaning-You will want your house picked up and clean for all your showings, but as you get closer to listing there are some extra areas you’ll want to clean to make sure it shows well. Here’s a list of a few items, talk with your agent about a more comprehensive list.
• Dust baseboard trim & ceiling fans
• Wipe clean all light switches
• Clean appliances inside and out
• Clean the outside of all your cabinets
• Dust your blinds
• Wash your windows
• Paint touchups?

Just because our spring market doesn’t really begin until mid March, doesn’t mean you have to wait to prepare your home. Be proactive and follow the tips above to get ready. You’ll be glad you did when your home sells quickly and for a high price!

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