When is the best time to sell your home?
In general, the month of May is considered to be the best time to sell a house. Homes tend to sell faster and for more money in the spring, so aiming for a spring listing is always a good idea.
Before you list your home, make sure it’s ready to show. Read on for tips on how to present your home at it’s best. These items can make a major difference when it comes to your sale price and time on the market.
Paint is probably the most inexpensive home improvement there is, if you do the painting yourself. It’s also one of the most effective. Painting tops the list of recommendations real estate agents make to sellers before they list.
A fresh coat of paint can make a home feel new. Paint can help small rooms appear larger and highlight architectural details, such as crown molding and trim. Adding a fresh coat of paint to your home will also help cover the wall’s imperfections and convey a blank slate to potential buyers.
Start by repainting any bright, bold colors with neutral colors. Bright colors on your walls may express your personality, but they can be a major turnoff for buyers. Bold colors can distract from a room’s assets, and discourage buyers who don’t want to paint before moving in.
Experts recommend warm neutral colors, such as beige, tan, gold, gray, and “greige,” a blend of gray and beige. Because these welcoming shades go with anything, they can help buyers to picture their belongings in your home.
If rooms are small, off-whites, light grays, light beiges and greiges will make them appear bigger and brighter. Ask your real estate agent for help choosing the right shades for your particular circumstances.
After painting, it’s time to accessorize. Adding a vibrant throw or accent pillows to the couch will jazz up a muted living room, as will a healthy plant or a bright vase on your mantel.
Paint where it needs it most
While the first impression of your property’s exterior is crucial, a potential buyer’s first impression upon entering the house is equally key. The foyer/entryway sets the tone for the house and often highlights a home’s best features from its vantage point. A clean, fresh entrance is essential, so be sure to pay special attention to painting your entrance.
Buyers are particular about the kitchen and the bathrooms, as well. If you don’t have time to paint your entire home, focus on these vital areas, as well as the entrance. That means repainting or touching up the kitchen cabinets as well as painting the walls in the kitchen and every bathroom. In addition, touch up molding, stairwells and baseboards throughout your home.
DIY painting tips
Prep the rooms by first cleaning all dust and dirt from the walls, then repairing any damage or holes. Apply painter’s tape to trim, and cover furniture and floors with a drop cloth. While painting isn’t difficult, it can be time-consuming. On average, it takes 5 to 7 hours to paint a room, according to Property Club. Hiring a professional painter runs from $380 to $790 per room, not including ceilings, trim or paint costs, while doing the project yourself can cost between $200 and $300 per room, according to HomeAdvisor.com.
Space and light
Space and light are two of the most important things to show your home well. Maximize space by decluttering and scaling back on your furniture, and take some easy steps to ensure your spaces have plenty of light.
It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. Pack up your personal decorations. See How to Prepare your House for Spring Sale Season for more detail on decluttering. But, no need to overdo it. When preparing your home for showings, many stagers suggest you don’t leave spaces like fireplace mantels, coffee and end tables completely bare. Try arranging three items of varying heights on each surface, for example: a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table.
Paring down furniture
When a room is packed with furniture, it looks smaller, which will make buyers think your home is less valuable than it is. Make sure buyers appreciate the size of each room by removing one or two pieces of furniture. If you have an eat-in dining area, using a small table and chair set makes the area seem bigger.
Keep furniture away from the walls. Furniture pushed against the walls makes rooms look smaller. Confusing furniture placement is also a turnoff for buyers, so try to define a focal point in each room to arrange furniture around, and make sure it’s easy to walk around and between rooms without stumbling over furniture.
Ensure rooms are filled with as much light as possible. When showing your house to potential buyers, all light fixtures and lamps must be turned on, so stock up on light bulbs. High-wattage bulbs in your light fixtures will also brighten up rooms and basements. Throw your curtains or blinds wide open to maximize natural light during the day.
A few more quick tips
We’ll talk more about showings in an upcoming post about staging your home, but here are a few quick tips:
- Hire a professional photographer. You’ve spent time and money to stage your home, so make sure the photos will show it to best advantage.
- Beef up your curb appeal. See What To Do Before Putting Your House on the Market for tips.
- Don’t worry about doing major renovations. Most buyers prefer to do their own renovations, and most major renovations don’t pay off.
- Remove all visible (and smell-able!) signs of your pet. Not everyone is okay with animals, and some people are allergic. You don’t need to conceal the fact that you have a pet, but keep your pet away during showings.
- Head out of the house during showings. Leave it to your REALTOR® to show your home. It just gets awkward when the homeowner is there during a showing, and future buyers may not connect with the house with you in it.