Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Into Your Successful Sale!

For quick house selling success, most people realize that there are several key steps to follow.

You are one of the savvy sellers and you have gone over your checklist again and again, and made all the necessary preparations to open your house to the public and sell your house fast.

Haven’t you?

If you haven't done this, you may still have time!

Just make sure you have:

þ Had your house inspected
þ Worked on your curb appeal
þ Evaluated potential problems or turn-offs in your interior
þ Decluttered
þ Cleaned
þ Made sure all your documents are in order

If you need more info about any of these, take a quick look at a post I shared a while ago on preparing your house for a spring sale in What To Get Done BEFORE Putting Your House On The Market

If you are golden, then read on!

The Spring Real Estate Market

Now that spring has officially arrived, let’s take a quick look at why the spring market is so important.

The weather has improved

While it is possible to sell a house at any time of the year, spring weather is an important factor.  During the winter, it may be impossible or inconvenient to house shop in many regions of the country. Bad weather may make travel difficult or hazardous, and may discourage house shopping.

In addition, getting the true sense of a house, yard or neighborhood may be challenging when it is under several feet of snow.

Neighbors may not be outside their homes as much as they would be in the other seasons. It is important to meet as many future neighbors as possible before making an offer, so buyers may prefer to do this when more people are outside.

Evaluating a yard or landscaping may be very difficult. If the roof is covered with snow, a buyer could not easily make a first evaluation of its condition. They may have to resort to a complete shoveling before an inspection – and that is a financial commitment!

No one wants to move during a snow storm, or in the blistering heat of late summer. Conversely, a spring purchase gives time to plan a move for late spring or early summer when the chances for good weather are much better.

This also coincides with another important factor:

The end of the school year 

If a family needs to move out of a school’s district, it might be preferable to move when school is out for the summer. In this way their children’s studies and exams are not disrupted.

This timing would also give children a chance to get familiar with their new environment and make friends before the stress of having to go to a new and unfamiliar school and continue their studies in the fall.

Interest rates will rise

This year there will be additional incentive to buy early. After many years, reports indicate that interest rates on mortgages are going to go up. When rates rise, homeowners can devote less of their income to paying down the mortgage, as the interest on the loan becomes a bigger part of the monthly expense. Effectively, they will have to buy "less house" to compensate for higher interest when rates go up. It is to the advantage of anyone planning to buy a house to do it sooner rather than later to get the best rate possible.

Study Finds Sweet Spot For Sales

Spring sales are so important that Zillow actually conducted a study on when the ``sweet spot`` for the most advantageous housing sales occur in different areas of the country. The northern mid-west is not represented in this image, but one can expect that the weather conditions might put the area in a similar time frame to the north east, like Boston.

March Madness to the Masters: The Best Time to Sell a House ~ Zillow

The range is fairly consistent, with the colder northeast – represented by the city of Boston - coming in a little later.

Due to these factors, a house may attract a premium price if it is for sale during this magic time period because it is the ideal time for most buyers. On the other hand, many of your neighbors may be thinking along the same lines and you may have more competition to sell your house fast in the spring.

So what can you do to gain an edge over your neighbor?

Make your house as inviting as possible!

Curb appeal

Even if you did perform maintenance on your house’s exterior, make sure that everything is in order. Check your roof, foundation and drive to ensure that a spring thaw didn’t cause any new cracks, heaves or other issues.  If you painted, look again to see that no issues developed and that you didn’t miss anything – especially if you rearranged your plantings.

Hopefully you attended to your yard early on this spring and healthy plants have had time to take hold. If you have any plant that is damaged from winter weather or under performing for any reason, make it a priority to rectify the situation. Be sure to attend to your lawn. Seed any bare spots and deter any weeds now. You don’t want any buyer to think they are buying “work”!

Celebrate the arrival of spring and summer living by getting rid of any remnants of winter. Store shovels, storm windows and anything else you may have needed during the winter. If you have a temporary car shelter that is still up -- and you know who you are! ;) pack it up – even if you are intending to include it with your sale (take pictures to show what you are offering potential buyers!) 

Outdoor lifestyle

While it might still be too chilly to use them in your area, arrange patio sets and any other outdoor furniture to create inviting outdoor spaces. Make sure BBQs, fireplaces and fire pits are clean. Clean and place garden planters with fresh plants. Set up any out door lighting, such as solar lanterns, to enhance the appeal of your garden for evening visits. If you have any decorations that you usually set out, be very critical and think before you do it. While you may LOVE garden gnomes, some people many not appreciate them and children may even be frightened! You don't want to turn off or frighten your buyers!

Clean, clean, clean!

Once you are finished outside, give your houses interior another critical inspection. With more daylight and different angles to sunlight, make sure that you didn’t miss cleaning any part of your house. It is very important to buyers that your house is clean and fresh, so don't disappoint!

Declutter and refresh your design

If you have any decorations or décor that is a reminder of winter, it's time to pack it or get rid of it! Keep your house as uncluttered as possible for that clean fresh spring look. Display some healthy flowering plants by the windows or put fresh cut flowers in as many rooms as possible. For goodness sake, don’t skimp and try to fool anyone with artificial flowers! Buyers will wonder what other corners you are trying to cut!

Everything should help your buyer see all the positive aspects and potential for growth in your house.

It is important to suggest to your buyers that if they live there, that they will have these things, too!

With a bit of effort, your house will shine above all others in your neighborhood.

So what do you do if you didn’t plan to sell your house this spring?

If you suddenly need to sell your house, it is still possible! While this is the most active selling time, people do need to find houses throughout the year. Relocation, marriage, retirement and other life events happen throughout the year. Follow the same steps and be patient. A buyer will eventually come along. 

Just remember, if you don’t have the time or money to renovate to put your house on the conventional market and wait, or you need to sell your house fast, none of this work is necessary!

You can always sell your house as it is.

Next week we will take a look at the dangers of living at home for seniors.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can
Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

Write to Turn My House To Sold

Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory

Zillow via AOL Real Estate March Madness to the Masters: The Best Time to Sell a House