How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell by Summer

4.13.2022 | Category: Homebuying

Summer is one of the most common times of year for homes to hit the market. Families looking to move school-aged children to new districts choose summer to limit disruptions, and empty nesters wait until kids are off to college to downsize or move closer to adult children. Snowbirds looking for warmer climates also tend to avoid buying and selling in colder months to escape storms and inclement weather.

If you’re one of the millions of homeowners thinking about listing this summer, you will most likely have stiff competition. To ensure your house is ready to sell by summer, consider these tips to prepare your home for a quick sell.

Hire a real estate agent

A real estate agent is going to help you prioritize what projects need the most attention before you sell. The right listing agent will also help you create a marketing plan and research properties for sale in your area to help you know what buyers are looking for in a home. They will also likely have a network of real estate professionals, such as contractors, painters and landscapers, to help you with major repairs or improvements.

A reputable real estate agent will know your area well and come with recommendations from neighbors or past clients. Be sure to call a few agents and ask questions about how they plan to help you sell your property, how they typically negotiate with buyers and what percentage they require to sell your home.

Clean, organize and clear 

The next step in getting any house ready for sale is to deep clean and declutter. Start to pack away any excess items you won’t need until after a move like seasonal clothing or holiday decor. Donate toys and pack away nick-nacks that can make your home feel crowded and messy. If your budget allows, consider renting a storage space for items you would normally keep in your garage to make your home feel spacious and inviting.

Once your home is more organized, deep clean spaces like baseboards and crown molding. Wipe down your ceiling fans, shutters, blinds and window treatments. Be sure to scrub bathroom and kitchen fixtures so your entire house sparkles!

Consider which repairs need to be done

A home that’s move-in ready will often yield more offers at or over your asking price than a property in need of major work. However, not all repairs are required to sell, and some won’t add value to your home. Work with your listing agent to determine which repairs should be done ahead of your listing and which might be negotiable once you review offers.

In today’s competitive market, you might find that painting and carpet cleaning, once must-do pre-sell maintenance, isn’t as desirable for homebuyers looking to replace carpet or choose their own color pallet. However, buyers across the board will expect major features to be in working order such as water heaters, showers, toilets and garage doors.

Give your outdoor features some detailed attention

Your home's front exterior is the first impression your prospective home buyers will get. Take time to clear away any weeds, clean gutters, trim trees, and prune bushes. You want to give the impression that your landscape isn't difficult to maintain, while creating a welcoming environment.

In the backyard, inspect walls and fencing for missing panels, chipped paint or needed repairs. If you have a pool, be sure the filter is working and it's clean of any leaves, debris or toys before buyers visit your home. Pressure wash your sidewalks, outdoor walls or any paths on your property to help your home feel fresh and well maintained.

Eliminate noticeable odors

You might be nose blind to pet smells in your house, but home buyers without furry friends will certainly notice. Regularly change litter boxes and diligently spot clean any soiled carpet before listing your home. Be sure to wash pet beds, couch covers and blankets to keep odors at bay.

Before listing your property or hosting an open house, come up with a plan for your pets. Consider asking a friend or family member to pet sit during showings. Or take the time during appointments to take your dogs for a walk. If that's not possible, be sure to let your listing agent know ahead of time for the safety of prospective home buyers as well as your pets.

Another smell to be watchful for are musty smells. That can make buyers think of mold or mildew, or odors from your sink or garbage disposal that may indicate plumbing problems.

Replace broken or dated fixtures

Prospective home buyers will likely switch on lights, turn on faucets, and open all doors while they're touring your house. If they find one broken switch or loose knob, that might raise a red flag that there’s more maintenance needed in the home and you may not get the offer you're looking for.

Carefully go through your house to check light switches and covers, doorknobs, frames, window locks and shutter panes. Replacing these fixtures doesn't cost a lot of money or require a contractor, but can be a valuable investment to help you get top dollar for your home listing.

Enhance your lighting

Another key feature home buyers will be looking for is how much natural light enters your home. A well lit home can make a space feel more spacious while creating a welcoming environment. It can also help you yield higher offers.

Replace light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs that brighten a room. Consider upgrading to recessed lighting in rooms like the kitchen and family room for a selling feature most buyers appreciate. You may also want to show off any smart home features that are on timers for security purposes as well.

Make your next move

Once you feel you've given your home the TLC it needs to be ready to sell, work with your listing agent to have a plan for your next move. You'll need to hire a professional photographer to boost online views and attract showings. You may also want to write up a nice description of your home and your neighborhood’s best features.

Remember to have a plan to allow your agent to book private showings. Talk about how much advance notice you might need before your agent is showing your home, and make a plan so you’re not present during a showing. You should also consider where you store valuables like jewelry, confidential documents and prescriptions.

Be sure you’re in a position to accept offers quickly and know where you're moving next. Talk through the possibility of contingencies and renting back the property with your agent so prospective home buyers have an idea of when they can realistically move in.

Once you're ready to sell your home, you'll want to get your finances in order for your next move. Work with a reputable lender to ensure the process is smooth and you're well taken care of. Contact a Mutual of Omaha Mortgage licensed professional today to learn how we can help you be ready to sell and buy your home by summer.

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