Common wisdom says to list your home for sale in the spring. And while we know that’s not always the best strategy (winter buyers can be especially motivated!), you may be hanging on for warmer weather.
Even if it’s cold outside and you can’t exactly plant flowers to get that great curb appeal, there are still plenty of small items you can take care of now to make the selling process smooth sailing in the spring.
Probably not what you expected, right? But heading out the door and to the store can help make your home sale process easier down the road. Stock up on these home selling essentials:
- Light bulbs – You’ll want to turn the lights on every time you show the home, so stock up.
- Cleaning supplies – For the inevitable deep cleaning.
- Bins and boxes – To make de-cluttering easy.
- Paint supplies – For when you’ve identified the perfect neutral hue for your home.
Fix But Don’t Fret
While you definitely shouldn’t overdo it on major renovations prior to selling a home, making minor fixes around the house will help ease buyers’ minds once you’re on the market.
Look for anything stained, missing, or broken – then clean it, replace it, or fix it. Those “little things” you’ve been living with for the past several years? It’s time to take care of them!
Pack It Up
You may not be moving yet, but decluttering is an essential step to selling your home. Think “half the stuff” – from your closets to your kitchen cabinets, pack, store, or donate half of what’s in there.
Prospective buyers will want to see that there’s ample storage – not all the cool and creative tricks you’ve come up with to convince yourself that there’s actually room for another novelty coffee mug or kitchen gadget.
Paint It Greige
No, you don’t have to repaint your whole home top to bottom. But if you’ve chosen trendier or more eclectic paint colors, it can pay – quite literally – to repaint in a more neutral color (such as “greige,” that not-quite-gray, not-quite-beige tone).
While you’re at it, consider the ceiling and trim. If they’re chipped or scuffed beyond cleaning, give them a fresh new coat of paint. Doors and baseboards can get especially worn as time goes by, so take a critical eye to your home’s paint job.
Clean and Stage Your Home
You probably don’t want to go through the full-on staging process until your home is on the market, but you can deep clean now. Wintertime is perfect for tidying up spaces you don’t often think about, like hall closets and cabinets in less-used bathrooms.
If there are rooms you don’t use often, such as guest rooms or home gyms, go ahead and deep clean now. It’ll save you time down the road and let you focus on other spaces that may need more frequent cleaning, like the kitchen.
While you’re at it, take the time to “stage” rooms in your home. You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional, but with a good eye and a strong back, you can find a configuration for your home’s furnishings that makes the space look larger and more polished. (You may even wonder why you had all the furniture against the walls to begin with!)
Find the Real Estate Agent of Your Dreams
If you’re in no hurry to sell, you can take the time to find the agent that’s perfect for you. Schedule time to chat with a few real estate agents and discuss their plans for selling your home.
Ask about things like exclusive seller programs to determine which agent will work best for selling your home.
Not sure where to even begin? Our website’s Agent Search lets you search by location and specialty!
Peruse Your Paperwork
If you’ve been in your home for a while, you may need to spend some time looking for important documentation about your home, such as your mortgage paperwork and insurance information.
Since you’re hunting down paperwork anyway, keep tabs on your utility bills for the next few months – prospective buyers will want to know what their utility costs might be.
While selling your home may just net you some serious cash, depending on how much equity you have, you will likely have to pay for a few items. Look into what sorts of closing costs you may have to pay.
Your real estate agent will be invaluable here – they should be your local expert, offering insight into fees and taxes that may be your responsibility.
Spy On Your Neighbors
Homes that have sold recently in your neighborhood (your “comps,” or comparable home sales) can be a good indicator of how to price your home.
While it’s probably too early to talk pricing strategy, having an understanding of the overall value of homes in your neighborhood will help once you’re ready to talk price with your real estate agent.
Make Plans for Dogs and Kids
Gone are the days when you can simply plan an open house and expect that to be the only time you need to move the pets and kids out for the day. Nowadays, buyers expect to be able to see homes with little to no notice.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, make preparations now for what you’ll do with Fido and Little Timmy before a buyer is banging down your door.
Do It Now!
While you may want to spend the next few months dreaming about your new home, you’ll be better off when it’s time to sell if you put in a little work now. (Want to daydream about that new home anyway? Explore our Homes of Distinction!)