Every local market has its own buying and selling cycle, but conventional wisdom tells us that real estate generally hits an upswing in the spring. As the market suddenly gets more competitive, buyers and sellers are more likely to feel the pressure. So here are some quick tips for taking the headache out of spring real estate.
Do a little research before you get started and don’t be afraid to talk to local sellers. Drop by a neighborhood open house and assess the situation as if you were thinking about making an offer. Then strike up a conversation with the sellers and see what you can learn about their experience (e.g., what they’ve learned about their market, what kind of buyers they’re attracting, who has helped them along the way, etc.). You’d be surprised how much you can learn from just talking to people.
The region makes a difference. The weather, district school schedules and summer breaks can all influence the habits of home buyers and also account for longer or shorter selling seasons. No matter where you live, timing is everything. If you list too early, you might not have many interested parties, but if you list too late you could miss the prime buying period. As a homeowner you can’t be expected to know everything about the market, which is why I suggest that you work with a knowledgeable, local agent. In fact, I believe in it so strongly that I’ve recently launched the McGillivray Mark Trusted Agent Program so you can find and connect with some of the top agents in your area.
If you’ve decided on a timeline for listing your home, make sure you address the little things sooner rather than later. Spot the missing shingles before potential buyers do. Fix the leaky faucet or chipped paint and don’t forget to inspect your foundation. If you do the work first, not only will you sleep more soundly, but you’ll give prospective buyers one less thing to pick apart. And on that note, I also suggest getting your property inspected beforehand and share the report with potential home buyers. At the very least, it gives you some time to fix necessary issues, puts people at ease and helps you feel more secure about your asking price.
No matter the season, don’t underestimate the power of curb appeal. It all circles back to this simple, often overlooked advice: think like the buyer. I’ve heard time and again about potential home buyers who won’t even step inside to look at the home because the exterior is unattractive. So clean up the clutter on the lawn and plant some fresh flowers. If the front door feels drab, give it an update by adding new overhead light fixtures, updated house numbers, or a fresh coat of paint. Hide or camouflage electric boxes and AC units. Be as objective as possible, and use that eye to make your home better.
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