When we think of the holidays, we often think of shopping, cooking, decorating and spending time with friends and family. We don’t want to think about moving, but sometimes selling your home during the holidays is the right time for you to sell. If that’s the case, make it easy on yourself by following these seven tips.
- Focus on curb appeal. There are fewer homes on the market this time of year, making a tight market even tighter. That’s no excuse to skimp on the curb appeal though. In fact, tasteful holiday decorating can make the exterior of your home very inviting. Don’t go overboard though – a natural wreath, simple holiday lighting and a well-groomed lawn will get the attention of potential buyers.
- Choose an experienced Realtor who knows your market. Ask for referrals from friends, and check out real estate websites like Zillow for reviews and testimonials.
- High quality photos and staging will showcase your home’s best features. A good Realtor will have a top notch photographer on speed dial, and will know what staging is appropriate for the time of year.
- A cozy atmosphere will make potential buyers feel welcome. This includes everything from curb appeal to the staging of your home’s interior. Choose a warm color palette, depersonalize your home, clear the clutter and choose soft lighting. Inviting smells like a fresh baked pie, scented candles or holiday greenery can also help create an inviting experience for potential buyers.
- Clear your calendar. The holidays are a busy time for all of us, but make sure your home is available and accessible as often as possible to accommodate the schedules of prospects who want to tour your home on their own schedules.
- Keep it clean and clutter-free. It can be hard to keep your home clean and clutter-free while you are preparing to move and to host holiday gatherings, but this is essential to help buyers imagine themselves in your home. A dirty or messy home will distract from your home’s best features, and may even send your buyers scrambling to find a well-maintained home instead.
- Price your home to sell. With the right Realtor, you’ll be able to choose the right price point to your home attractive to possible buyers. She’ll know what comparable homes have sold for, what your home is worth and what you are hoping to get out of it.
For more tips for selling your home during the holidays, call Team Marti at 206-391-0388 or 253-859-8500. We’d love to help!
Happy Holidays and Happy Selling!
We’ve said it a thousand times, but it still remains true – curb appeal is everything. It’s what draws a potential homebuyer to want to see the inside of your home. Here are 5 simple, affordable upgrades you can make to your home now to improve its curb appeal this fall:
- Landscaping: Add fresh mulch to the base of your treas and other plans, and add seasonal plants like mums to your flower beds for a colorful fall look. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, but you still want seasonal decor for your home, add a fall-themed wreath or to your front door or potted mums to your porch.
- Upgrade outdoor accessories: Replace those faded house numbers, paint your mailbox or get a new front door. These small, but affordable changes can give your house a fresh, well-maintained look that will entice homebuyers to want to see more.
- Keep your lawn groomed. Yes, it is fall and it can be hard to keep up with the falling leaves, but it is important to keep your lawn groomed, especially if you are trying to sell your home. Keep your lawn freshly mowed, the weeds under control, trees and shrubs trimmed and the leaves raked.
- Pressure wash the exterior of your home, your porch and patio or deck. Particularly in the Pacific Northwest where moss can accumulate, it is important to pressure wash your home and outdoor living areas. This also makes your home look cared for.
- Add or upgrade your outdoor lighting. As our days get shorter, outdoor lighting can create an easy-on-the-eyes aesthetic while also providing an important function – a well lit path to your door. Consider decorative lights along sidewalks, flood lights near entrances and new porch lights.
Thinking about selling your home this summer? We’ve got 10 tips to help you improve your home’s curb appeal to draw in potential buyers, and 10 tips to make your house feel like home to lucky homebuyers. Have questions about selling? Let us know. Team Marti is here to help!
When you’re selling your home, you want to make a good first impression, so curb appeal is important. This is particularly true when you’re marketing your home online. According to HGTV, 88% of home searches begin online, so make sure your home is inviting.
Here are 9 ways to freshen your home’s curb appeal this spring:
- Take photos of your home and then look at them as if you were a prospective homebuyer. Do you see anything out of place (maybe kids’ toys in the garden or Fido’s bone on the front lawn) or that wouldn’t appeal to you as a potential buyer? Remove any unwanted items.
- Make obvious repairs or replacements. Are the house numbers faded or missing? Could your front door or mailbox use a fresh coat a paint? Is a shingle missing? Is one of your shutters crooked?
- Spruce up a paint job, siding, deck, driveway and sidewalk with a good pressure washing. It is an easy, affordable way to freshen your home’s exterior for springtime.
- Add some color with seasonal flowers in the garden, or add a colorful container garden to your front porch or patio. Clusters of three pots of different sizes and styles can also add a welcome pop of color.
- Evaluate your window treatments from the outside, including curtains, blinds and shutters. Do any of them need replacing? For example, if you have pets, the ends of blinds can sometimes get bent or broken, and those will be obvious from the outside. Changing out the blinds is an easy and affordable fix.
- Groom your lawn. This is true before and after your Realtor® takes photos. Groom your lawn. Keep your lawn freshly mowed, the edges trimmed, beauty bark freshened annually, and your trees and bushes pruned.
- Upgrade your lighting. Whether you are switching out a light fixture on your porch, adding landscape lights to a garden pathway or installing outdoor spotlights to your backyard, new lighting is a cost-friendly way to add ambience to your home’s exterior.
- Create an inviting entrance with a cozy front porch. In addition to the tips above, consider adding a seasonal wreath to your front door, attractive seating (maybe even a porch swing!), a new rug and a fresh coat of paint.
- Maximize outdoor living space, whether it is a side deck or a backyard patio. This might include lighting, landscaping, outdoor furniture, outdoor cooking spaces, play areas for the kids, butterfly garden, or even a backyard sanctuary.
If you’re considering listing your home this spring, and want suggestions for how to improve your home’s curb appeal, Team Marti can help. Contact us today.
Sources: HGTV and Forbes
People say that spring is the best time to sell your home, but Realtor.com says that 50% of homes are sold during the summer! June, in particular, tends to be the best time to sell your home. In fact, according to Trulia, June is 29% busier than any other month when it comes to real estate.
Home asking prices tend to peak at the beginning of the season, and in our current market, demand exceeds supply so quality homes are the first to go. Summer is also a good time for families with school-aged, so children can adapt to their new environment before the school year begins in late summer/early fall.
Ready to sell? Here are some ways to prepare your home for sale:
- Do necessary and obvious repairs, inside and out, including repairing leaking gutters, fixing chipped paint, cleaning floors, replacing broken tile, and repairing loose deck boards and cracks in the driveway.
- Declutter and depersonalize. Prospective homebuyers find it easier to imagine themselves in your home if it has a neutral feel of it, so put away the kids’ sports photos, collections and crafts. This is also a good time to declutter. It will help you get organized for the move, and it will make your home more appealing to home buyers.
- Focus on curb appeal. Realtors® talk about this a lot, but you want your home to look its best for seller photos, buyer drive-bys and open houses. This means maintaining a well-manicured lawn with seasonal flowers, a tidy front porch and a clean and cozy entry way.
- Stage your home for sale. In the Pacific Northwest, outdoor living in the summertime is a great way to extend the living space of your home. Hire a professional stager (your Realtor® can recommend someone) to stage the interior and exterior of your home. For example, stage the BBQ area with a nice set of tools and other BBQ accessories, keep your patio furniture clean and organize it in a cozy seating arrangement, and consider upgrading your outdoor décor.
- Keep it cool. When your Realtor® hosts an open house, make sure the air temperature in your home is comfortable. If it is hot out, turn on central air, if you have it. If you don’t have air conditioning, turn on your ceiling fans and open the windows to let in the fresh air. A pitcher of lemonade and freshly-baked cookies can’t hurt either!
If you’re ready to sell your home this summer, call a trusted, local Realtor for more tips on preparing your home for sale.
It may still be spring, but we are experiencing some lovely summer weather. This is the perfect time to make sure your landscaping is up to par, so your lawn and gardens look beautiful year-round. This is particularly important if you are considering selling your home this year. Here are some summer yard maintenance and landscaping tips to get and keep your yard in tip top shape:
- Trim away dead or hanging branches. This improves the appearance and overall health of your trees, as well as preventing safety hazards from falling limbs.
- Check bushes, shrubs, vines and other large plants for overgrowth, particularly those that are close to your house. Untrimmed bushes look uncared for and they can interfere with your central air conditioning unit and trap moisture which can attract pests like termites and mosquitoes. Untrimmed bushes near windows also make good hiding places for burglars too!
- Make sure your lawn, trees and plants get sufficient water, but don’t overdo it. See the DIY Network’s “how to” guide for how often to water and how to do so properly.
- Reduce summer cooling costs and boost your home’s curb appeal with attractive landscaping. Mature shade trees like maple trees and oak trees can help cool your home, while darker stone can absorb heat better than light stone which reflects the sun.
- Add seasonal flowers and shrubs so that you have something in bloom most of the year. One of the great things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that our weather is mild enough to encourage year-round growth. Take advantage by planting bulbs in the fall for spring flowers, and plant annuals or perennials in the spring for year-round color.
- Keep your yard neat with regular lawn mowing and sidewalk trimming. In the summertime, you can get away with a slightly lower mower height (3 inches) to keep your lawn mowing to a minimum. Also, use an edging tool to stay on top of weeds and keep your lawn – and sidewalks – looking trim.
- Weed early and often. One disadvantage to a long growing season is that weeds can easily get out of control. To get rid of weeds without hurting your back, try using a weeding tool that pulls weeds out at the root!
While summer landscaping and maintenance can take work, it is a wonderful way to take advantage of the warmer weather and to invest in your home. Need some inspiration? Look online at lawn and garden sites or check out Pinterest for ideas for landscaping, gardening, container gardens, outdoor living and more. Good luck and enjoy your beautiful yard this summer!
According to Realtor.com, staged homes sell 88% faster, and for 20% more, compared to homes where sellers left their belongings in place. Thinking about selling your home this spring? Follow these tips to stage your home professionally. It’s easier – and less expensive – than you think!
- Clear out the clutter! No one likes a messy or disorganized home, especially someone trying to envision themselves in your space. Put away knickknacks, personal photos, stacks of mail and magazines.Have more furniture than you need? Move it to another room or store it out of the way in an attic, garage or storage facilities. In other words, if it doesn’t need to be there, toss it, donate it or store it.
- Rearrange furniture and home décor. Give your home a fresh, new look without spending a dime by pulling furniture away from the walls, moving rugs and wall hangings around, and reimagining your home’s look with small adjustments here and there. Hanging curtain rods higher can give the illusion of higher ceilings.
- Depersonalize your home. Sure, having your family photos and past awards and recognitions on display makes your family feel warm and fuzzy, but it’s hard for some buyers to picture living in a home they can’t see themselves in. Tuck the photos and acknowledgments away.
- Go neutral. Paint the walls a neutral color so buyers won’t have to immediately paint their new home. Using neutral when decorating can make spaces appear bigger. Save your favorite bold colors for accent pieces (e.g., lamps, pillows, wall hangings, rugs) that will go with you when you move.
- Revive your home’s curb appeal. If your home has dead flowers, dirty windows, chipped paint, or the landscaping needs some TLC, make time to give it a fresh appearance before showing your home. Power wash the outside of your home, add a fresh coat of paint to your mailbox and front door, and replace dead plants from last season with fresh flowers and greenery to make your home inviting from the street.
No time to stage your home? No problem. Ask your Realtor® to recommend someone. She may have staging experience or work with someone who’s a pro! Good luck and have fun.
[Thanks to HGTV and Realtor.com for the inspiration for this post!]
Spring and summer tend to be the hottest times to buy and sell homes. Selling homes can be tricky when there are so many on the market. Here are 5 ways to make your home stand out in the spring selling season.
- Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal. Buyers can decide what they think of a home in 60 seconds by just looking at the home’s exterior. Make sure you have your lawn trimmed, paint fixed, and the outside of your home is simple, neat and clean. Add a pop of color by planting spring blooms near the entrance. Tulips and daffodils are lovely this time of year!While landscaping is important, don’t overwhelm a potential buyer by making them think of all the work they’re going to have to do to maintain your lovely landscaping. For more tips on curb appeal, read our previous post.
- Spring cleaning. While we all want a clean, organized home, it’s particularly critical when you’re trying to sell a home. The messier a home is, the less you’re going to impress buyers. Rent a carpet cleaner for the weekend, wax your hardwood floors, clean your windows, and wipe down your walls with soap and water or a mild cleanser.
- Get a home inspection before the buyers do. Zillow notes how important it is to know about your home’s condition before you try to sell it. It’s easier to know about problems and address them beforehand, so you can adjust your home’s price accordingly, or ideally, fix them before you put your home on the market. You don’t want buyers to find something wrong with the house before the deal is sealed.
- Price it right. Land Title Guarantee Company tells us how important it is to look for pricing around your area, and see if you’re pricing accordingly. Find out what upgrades or features are being added to homes around you, and see if you want to upgrade something before you try to sell. An experienced Realtor® will help too by providing you with nearby “comps” to help you price your home right.
- Know the benefits of selling during the peak season. Realtor.com says that sellers will benefit the most from demand, and there are often more buyers between April and June than any other season. This will help benefit you, due to bidding wars, and potentially higher prices. You may also benefit from a quicker closing during the springtime.
Curb appeal is essential when you are trying to sell your home. Here are some easy tips and tricks for boosting your home’s curb appeal, while keeping your home cozy and inviting this fall.
- Look at your exterior paint. Is it a neutral color? Are there fewer than three colors on the outside of the house? Make sure you keep your house a neutral color, and keep the amount of colors to a minimum to keep the focus on your house. Maybe think about changing your accent color if you don’t want to paint the entire house. Is the paint aging well, or is it flaky and in need of repainting? Talk to your Realtor® to see if repainting will raise the value of your home enough to pay for the cost of painting.
- Keep the lawn free of debris. With fall, all the leaves are coming down, and when people see leaves all over the lawn, it makes them wonder how much work the lawn really is. Rake leaves and dispose of them if you can.
- Clean up the exterior of the house. Once the leaves are off the trees, you’ll see more of your house from the street. Pressure wash the exterior to make it extra clean, and apply a fresh coat of paint to any chipping or fading areas. Clean out the gutters as well! Gutters are important to letting buyers know you care about the upkeep of your home. It will also help protect your home from water damage.
- Add exterior lighting. Days are becoming shorter, and it becomes more and more critical to light up the exterior of your house. This will not only provide a safe path to your door, but make buyers feel like there’s an extra layer of security in a well-lit area.
- Create an inviting entrance. With the right fall accents and lighting, your front porch and entryway will welcome potential buyers. Be subtle though. If your home is for sale, this may not be the time to show your Halloween spirit and love of zombies and witches.
Use these tips and tricks to get more “window shoppers” to schedule a tour of your home. For more ideas on curb appeal, talk to your Realtor who has the expertise and experience for marketing your home. Good luck!
Buying a new home can be an exciting process, but first you have to sell your current home. Here are seven selling mistakes you can avoid to expedite the process, adapted from the National Association of Realtors®.
- Ignoring sales prep. If you are eager to move, you may skip the steps needed to properly prepare your home for sale. We urge you not to do this. Instead, take the extra time to add an extra coat of paint, make minor repairs, and do a deep cleaning of your home. No time? Ask your Realtor® for referrals for local painters, handy men, and professional cleaning services.
- Failure to disclose necessary information. It is prudent to be forthcoming about your home’s trouble spots, even if they’re hidden from view and might not be identified during an inspection. Be sure to mention leaks, needed repairs and replacements, flooding issues, and any other problems that could make negotiating more difficult and to avoid a potential lawsuit down the road. Think about the things that would be important to you as a buyer to put yourself in a prospective buyer’s shoes.
- Pricing your home too high. Even in a seller’s market, it is important to sell your home at a fair price. Otherwise, it may be overlooked by potential buyers and remain on the market too long, which creates its own set of problems. Work with your Realtor® to identify nearby, comparable properties and unique selling features, and set a reasonable price for your home.
- Not working with a Realtor®. Experienced Realtors® who are affiliated with the National Association of Realtors® have additional skills and training and make a promise to uphold the industry’s highest ethical standards. Sure, you can sell your home on your own, or work with your cousin Bob, who just got his real estate agent’s license, but choosing a qualified, experienced Realtor® will streamline the process for you and help you get the best price for your home.
- Ignoring curb appeal. Just like ignoring sales prep, failing to boost your home’s curb appeal can be costly. Visit our recent blog post for ideas on how to improve your home’s curb appeal quickly and easily.
- Not depersonalizing your home. Another important part of selling your home is depersonalizing it, so that potential buyers can imagine themselves in your home. If you fail to do so, you could lose a potential sale. Here are some tips on how to maintain your home’s attractiveness while making it a little less “you.”
- Being unprepared for next steps. There are so many complexities in the sale of a home that it is important to understand them and what each step entails, as well as who is responsible for what. Working with a qualified Realtor® can help you understand the steps and prepare for contingencies during the process.
Have questions? Want more information about any of these topics? Contact your local Realtor® or visit the National Association of Realtors® online.