The new year is here and before you know it spring will be here as well. Spring is the most popular time to list your home for sale and if you are planning to put your home on the market this spring, now is the time to prepare.

Your home’s first 10 days on the market is the most likely time for it to sale but this won’t happen if you are still getting your home show ready and aren’t priced appropriately for the current market. During the first few days your home is on the market, it will get a lot of exposure as the listing syndicates from our local MLS system to a myriad of sites to give your home optimum exposure.

When it begins to hit all of these websites, people all over the world will be looking at the photos online. These online viewings of your home are the first showings you will have. From these pictures, people will decide if they like your home enough to come view it in person. If the online photos of your home don’t look great, people may decide they don’t want to come see your home. A picture really is worth a thousand words and your photos need to say that your home is updated, well taken care of and waiting for a new owner.

One thing that is important as you are preparing your home to go on the market is that it look inviting to people. There is a lot that goes into making your home look inviting but a good place to start is with your curb appeal. Make sure your home exterior looks nice by touching up paint if needed, cleaning out your gutters and making sure your roof looks its best. If you have stained or missing shingles, go ahead and correct this issue. It’s also a good time to freshen mulch or update flower beds with seasonally appropriate flowers and trim your bushes and trees. If you have leaves and other debris left over from the colder months, clean this up. Potted plants at the front door and a new welcome mat or wreath are also nice touches that can make a difference very easily. 
Now that your home’s exterior looks its best, turn your attention to the inside. Start with a deep cleaning so that your entire home is spotless. When people look at your home, if it isn’t clean they may assume that you don’t take care of it either. A neat and clean home will show much better than a dirty and messy home. Don’t stop with just a surface cleaning. Organize closets and cabinets and don’t skip the garage. If your home looks cramped, a buyer may feel it will be too small for them. 
Now is the time for you to address any maintenance issues that you might have been putting off too. Touch up the paint on your walls and trim where needed, have your carpets cleaned and do a thorough walk through of your home to look for any other outstanding issues. It also might be a good idea to have a trusted friend walk through your home to look for things that need to be corrected. When you see something every day, it can be easy to overlook it and a fresh set of eyes might be able to see things that you can’t. As much as possible, correct all potential problems so you don’t have to explain them later. A buyer will scrutinize every single detail of your home to make sure it meets their needs. Putting off something simple may cause them to move onto the next home. 
While you are cleaning your home and making repairs, another item you should go ahead and address is the decluttering of your home. It is essential that buyers be able to picture themselves in your home when they are looking at it. If your home is packed full of furniture and personal possessions it is very hard for people to imagine themselves in your space. If you are still living in the home, you can’t give them a completely clean slate, but you can neutralize it as much as possible. Your home will also photograph better with less in the pictures to distract people. 
If this all seems overwhelming to you, call me to schedule a time for me to visit your home and we can make a list of things for you to work on together. While your neighbors down the street are still thinking about listing their home, your home will be ready to list and sold before they get started. We will also look at recent comparable sales for your property, so you can price it correctly from day one. Homes that are overpriced to start with and reduced later sell for less and take longer to sell than homes that are priced correctly to start with. 
You never get a second chance to make a first impression so having your home look its best from day one and pricing it appropriately for the market is critical. For additional ideas or specific suggestions on preparing your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property

Teresa Dennison
Certified Negotiation Expert(CNE®)
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.
Annapolis Fine Homes Office
2 Francis Street | Annapolis, MD 21401
Cell: 443.223.1364
Office: 410.263.3400
eFax: 1.866.214.8475