The Do’s and Don’t of Selling Your Home in the Spring.
Homebuyers who are waiting for summer to start shopping may end up walking through the dregs of what most buyers didn’t like. The time to start looking is now!
Many buyers start to come out of the woodwork for the spring market. There certainly can be a lot of buyer activity. Nicer weather, the dream of owning a home and getting out after a long winter can certainly drive buyer traffic to your home.
Early spring can pose a quandary for those on the other side of the equation – home sellers. If you’re ready to relocate, it makes sense to get a jump on trying to move your home. On the other hand, the potential exists for getting lost amid countless other proactive sellers.
Then there’s the weather. Some homes show better in the winter months, some have exquisite yards that show best in the bloom of summer. Right now we have the window of opportunity for a forgiveness of what the yard looks like from the buyers.
There are pro’s and con’s to each side, but there are tangible benefits to listing your home early.
A Seller’s Market
Although conditions vary from one community to another, it’s generally a seller’s market at this time of year. Housing inventory remains low, and buyers are eager for a head start on the new inventory. Mortgage rates are still low, and buyers want to secure a property before an increase takes place.
Those who put their homes on the market as soon after winter as possible can help themselves take advantage of the favorable market conditions. Buyers tend to be more serious in spring than those looking at other times of the year.
One wild card to listing a home for sale well in advance of summer is unpredictable weather. Late April or early May can be spectacular weather-wise, while a spring snowstorm or two is not uncommon in Edmonton.
Sellers can leverage an early listing with a little creativity, making their home inviting no matter the weather.
Making your home a relaxing refuge from the unpredictable spring weather will immediately establish positive feelings with potential buyers. A neat, warmly lit space with some soft furnishings will be instantly appealing against the backdrop of unexpected spring downpours outside.
Under any circumstance, pay close attention to the weather forecast and plan accordingly. If you’re thinking about hosting an open house, be sure to target a weekend with a sunny, pleasant forecast. Not only will your home show better, there will be two to three times as many people house shopping on a sunny day.
If the weather seems bound to be uncooperative, consider hiring a photographer to take pictures of the house during peak curb appeal periods. That way, the only view shoppers have of the property won’t be constrained by unpredictable weather.
But if your home’s curb appeal really shines when the grass is green and flower beds are in bloom, you may choose to wait a little longer in the season to list your home.
Under any Circumstance
There are mainstay strategies that help move houses, no matter the weather or time of year. Start by clearing out any junk or needless items.
An uncluttered space looks bigger, but be sure to keep a few happy memories around – vacation photo’s, for example – to foster positive feelings in the buyers.
Investigate and address any needed repairs that may stand out in a buyer’s eyes. That can range from modest “nuisance” fix-ups to more substantial upgrades such as a patching a leaky roof that will only scare many homebuyers.
Think about any prominent colors in the home whose appeal might be a hit or miss proposition. If there’s loud wallpaper in the family room or bathrooms with Brady Bunch-like paint, consider repainting more neutral colors. Everything from a fresh coat of paint to new flooring to updated faucets or countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms can go a long way.
Lastly, don’t assume that pre-sale fix ups need be extensive or unduly costly. You can get a decent return on your investment by doing some simple updates that will impress buyers. No matter what time of the spring market, if your home shows well, it will sell.