6 easy ways to help sell your home fast this spring

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Ask a Lender
April 4, 2018

Key Points

6 tips for selling your home

  1. Declutter — but don’t depersonalize
  2. Craft a marketing plan
  3. Inspect before you list
  4. Hold a virtual open house
  5. Consider curb appeal
  6. Apply contemporary colors

When the weather starts warming, the sun shines longer and people emerge from their wintry hibernations, that means it’s finally springtime — and Spring is a great time to put your home up for sale.

“Springtime is when people are starting to think about moving,” said Angel Piontek, associate broker and vice president of marketing for Coldwell Banker Elite. That means more people are shopping for homes, resulting in a buyer pool that tends to be largest starting in April and ending around July, according to Piontek. After August, the number of buyers drops, so if you’re hoping for a fast sale on your home, listing it in spring or summer is your best bet.

Because there are more buyers in the warmer months, however, more people list their homes. That means you’ll have increased competition, and it will be important to give yourself a competitive edge. Here are six ways to make your home stand out from the crowd through easy home improvements that will increase the odds of making a sale.

1. Declutter — but don’t depersonalize

Make sure your home is clean and clutter-free. But don’t conflate decluttering a home with depersonalizing it, according to Piontek. Real estate agents often tell home sellers to take personal photos off the walls, for example, but Piontek said leaving them up could actually be to your advantage.

“I think you can keep your personal pictures,” she said. “It kind of humanizes the process a bit. If the buyer is seeing you as a human being, it may make the negotiations a little easier.”

2. Craft a marketing plan

If you’re working with a real estate professional to sell your home, make sure he or she has a marketing plan in place, Piontek advised. Professional photos are a key selling point, but the marketing plan should go beyond photos, she said.

“You need an agent that knows the area and knows the buyer profile of people who are moving into that area, because we have all this data available to us as agents now,” she said. “If you know who your target buyer is, then you can create a marketing plan based on that persona.”

3. Inspect before you list

Homebuyers have the right to have a property inspected, and often request repairs be made as a condition of the sale. The problem is that by the time that report comes in, home sellers may only have a couple weeks to make major repairs.

Jeff Miller, cofounder of AE Home Group in Baltimore, said getting an inspection done before even listing the property can spare you major stress, and save you money to boot.

“When you have a laundry list of items that need to be repaired, it can become stressful and oftentimes you’re calling in emergencies: ‘Hey plumber, I need you to come out to fix this dripping pipe, and we only have three days,’” he said. “It can become even more expensive when these companies have to charge an emergency, expedited fee in order to get out to your home.”

Having an inspection done before you list the property gives you time to get multiple bids and find a contractor offering a competitive price, he noted. And because you have plenty of time to make the repairs, you won’t have to pay extra fees to expedite the work.

4. Hold a virtual open house

Open houses are a common tool to help sell homes, but Evan Roberts, founder of real estate company Dependable Homebuyers, pointed out that most people have everything they need to host a virtual open house: A camera phone and Facebook Live.

Virtual open houses conducted with Facebook Live are commonly used by real estate agents, but there’s no reason someone couldn’t do the same thing themselves, Roberts said.

“I think doing a virtual open house — taking people through your home, letting them know that you would like to sell it and kind of what you’re thinking about listing it for (and) showing off some of the positives to the property — can be a good opportunity,” Roberts said. “You may get … (some interest) before it even hits the market and be able to secure a deal that way.”

5. Consider curb appeal

Buyers often drive by homes they’re considering purchasing, and if the exterior leaves them wanting, it’s unlikely they’ll ever set foot inside, notes Candy Miles-Crocker, founder of Real-Life Real Estate Training.

“Buyers really want something that’s turnkey right now,” she said. “Buyers don’t want to put a lot of work into anything. The first sign of work puts them off.”

She also advised people to take the time to tidy the yard, rake leaves, and repair cracked walkways or rusted railings, as well as applying fresh paint to the front door, shutters or other exterior features. Although it can be a fair amount of work, the appearance of the building’s exterior can make or break a sale, Miles-Crocker said.

“Just make sure everything looks appealing and makes someone say, ‘I’d like to live there,’” she said.

6. Apply contemporary colors

One of the great things about owning a home is that you can customize it however you want. But although you may not have minded a navy-blue or burgundy bedroom, those colors may not be as appealing to potential homebuyers.

“Those colors not only make a room look dark, but also make it look small,” notes Miles-Crocker. She advises painting rooms in more contemporary colors. You can’t go wrong painting a room gray with white trim, she said.

“It looks fresh, it looks contemporary (and) it looks like the buyer can just move their furniture in and not have to worry about covering a navy blue or hot pink room,” she said.

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