I know it doesn’t look like it outside, and I’ve even heard more reports of snow around the outskirts of Seattle today, but its March, which means we’re almost into Spring in north Seattle. It also means that many of you are planning on putting your homes on the market soon, because spring is the most common time to list and sell your home. Here’s 5 things you should be doing this month to get ready to list:
1. Spruce up the outside. It’s hard on a day like today, but get ready later this month to plant some color and show off your house at its best. Clean up the “dead stuff” that should have been cleaned up over winter, but that you put off because of the weather. And remember that your front porch makes the best first impression, so give it a coat of paint/stain.
2. Get a pre-inspection. There are lots of companies that do this, and it helps avoid a big deal-breaker after someone makes an offer on your home. In a pre-inspection, the inspector will let you know of any issues that are likely to come up when the buyer does their inspection – that way there are no surprises. And doing it now gives you plenty of time to make corrections before a big worry scares your buyer off.
3. Start saving energy. Buyers these days are looking for the most energy-efficient homes they can afford, because every penny counts. If you haven’t already done it for yourself, replace light bulbs with energy-efficient ones, and take a look at other ways you could save money on utilities – your new buyer will love to hear about all the money they’ll save.
4. Make a list. Take the time to walk through every room of your home and write down what makes it special and what unique features it has. If you’re selling by owner, it’s time to start making your flyer. If you’re using a real estate broker, give them the list and point out what you think are the best-selling features of the home.
5. Research your broker. Unless your brother is a real estate broker, or your mom, or your closest friend, you probably are going to go on a friend’s recommendation to find the right person to list your home. But take the time this month to interview two, three or even four brokers – you want to find someone who best matches your own personality and offers what you need. Ask them what they specialize in and what makes them different – and don’t just choose the one who says they can sell your home for the highest price. Double-check their work and find out for yourself what your home is really worth.