While many sellers sell their homes in the Spring many others opt for the Fall season. If you happen to be one of those sellers, don’t wait until the fall to get your house ready. Take advantage of the summer and plan ahead. Today I discussed this very topic with Dick Uliano on the air at WTOP. You can listen to the interview by clicking on the WTOP logo to the left.
Use the extra time to your advantage. For starters, CLEAN UP and CLEAR OUT. Inevitably we all have “things” in our home that we stopped using for one reason or another and just never got around to throwing these things away or giving them to someone who might find them useful. So use the time to go through the house and 1. Throw things away – for large items you can call for bulk trash pickup (a free service in DC) 2. Donate things – some organizations will come to your home and haul things away. The nice thing with this approach is that you are helping someone out AND you get a tax deduction. So get rid of what you don’t plan on taking with you to your next home and anything else you can “pre-pack”. So the spring wardrobe that you will not be needing or anything else that you won’t need and is cluttering the home…pack up and store away.
You may want to have your home inspected and use the time to make those fixes that buyers will probably be requesting you fix as part of their home inspection requests. Many sellers aren’t aware of what does or does not need fixing and this is a great way to find out. Chances are if you have time on your side you’ll be able to get it fixed for much less than a prospective buyer will think it will cost.
We all have things in our home that we know need attention but we’ve put off becuase we just got used to them. For example, that water stain in the ceiling from when one of the kids overflowed the bathtub 8 years ago. Now would be the perfect time to get that painted over correctly. Buyers will immediately notice it and figure there is a chronic water issue which will give them cause for major concern unnecessarily. With getting on contractors schedule being so difficult these days in a timely manner having the balance of the summer to get them to come in and complete their work will not only save you money but also a lot of angst from trying to rush it all in at the end.
Use the extra time to plan out how you are going to arrange the furniture and stage with your agent. You may have things you can put in storage or have the time to find friends you can borrow pieces from to stage rooms you are light on by way of furniture. Just the other week I put a new listing on that had a room that was completely empty. We borrowed a bed and dresser from a friend and now it looks like the bedroom it was meant to be.
Lastly, the summer would be the time to interview potential listing agents. This way you have time to make a decision and they have time to prepare their marketing plan for your property. So grab a nice cold lemonade, a pad of paper and pen and start planning your move now!