Prep Now, Sell Later: Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for the Summer Market

In the depths of winter, the warmth of summer can seem lightyears away. You may be starting to think about getting your home on the market when the summer rolls around, but that idea gets pushed back till the next week, and the next week, and so on. Suddenly its the middle of summer, and your agent has a list of things that need to be done to get your house ready to sell. How can homeowners get ahead now, and make their home sale as easy as list and wait for offers to roll in?

Check out the tips below you can use now to get your home ready to stand out on the busy summer housing market.

1. Deep Clean. Even though your home is lived in, you want to allow the buyer to get the “new to you” feeling when they walk in your home. Setting the tone starts will a deep clean of the things that can go undone in the hustle of life. Take a moment to walk through your home and pick out the items that start to show that wear and tear after your years of living in the home. Look beyond the crumbs on the counter or everyday dusting. What do your windows look like, inside and out? How about the doors and baseboards? Are there some scuff marks on the walls that could be cleaned up? Spend extra time in the kitchen and bathroom getting into those small spaces that are easy to ignore. Getting these items cleaned up now make it easier to prepare for open houses or showings later in the year.

2. Fix superficial damage. A lived in home is bound to have a scratch or dent here or there. Kids and pets can do a number on a home, and these are the types of things you don’t want to keep a buyer from making an offer. Broken door handle, water ice maker not working, or a shower head needing to be replaced or small enough fixes that you want to take care before negotiations begin. Sellers can fall into the trap of thinking that small fixes aren’t that big of a deal for buyers to handle. However, take a moment to consider why you don’t wan to fix the issues, because no matter how small those fixes are inconvenient. You want to buyers to be thinking about how perfect the home is, not all the fixes they will need to make once they move in.

3. Slowly replace dated décor. Completely restaging a home isn’t necessary to get a home sold, but taking out a few dated pieces can make a huge impact in the feel of a home. If you know you will be replacing your dated lamps for your new place, consider buying them now and having them as part of the décor in the home you are trying to sell to allow them to wow your potential buyers. Some other examples of simple switches are bedding, throw pillows, or bedside table lamps. Bonus points if you paint some of the bolder paint choices in your home with crowd pleasing neutrals.

4. Take care of appliance/utility maintenance now. Every home has routine maintenance done that can pop up, things like changing air filters or HVAC maintenance. The worst time for these items to come up is when you are in the process of selling. To avoid this, try and get those maintenance items done now. This means one less appointment you need to schedule during the flurry of selling your home. If the maintenance absolutely needs to be done during a certain month, see if you can get your appointment on the calendar with the technician required. This way you can get your preferred date and time before their calendar fills up.

5. Tackle clutter. Finally, don’t wait until you move out to tackle clutter. Spring cleaning doesn’t need to wait till spring. Do a run through of your home and seriously consider if these items will be heading with you to your new home. Getting rid of some clutter now will open up your home and give buyers the impression that there is plenty of space of keep the home looking tidy. Even if you are outgrowing your home, you want the buyers to see it as spacious.

The biggest thing you want to work on during these months of prep is to bring your home back to the condition it was in before you purchased it. Remember the feeling you had when you walked in for the first time, fell in love, and knew it was home. Taking these steps now get you ahead of the game later.

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