Early summer may be traditionally the most active month for home sales, but it’s early spring when buyers emerge from winter hibernation to begin looking for a new home.
With tax refunds in hand and warmer temperatures outside, buyers begin looking for homes in the spring with an eye to moving in the summer. In fact, homebuyers have been unusually active throughout this winter as the housing market continues to bounce back.
If you want to be the hottest house on your block before winter fully leaves, your home and yard will need some spring cleaning. Though it may seem easy, sprucing up your home takes more than a freshly mowed lawn and some new curtains. Here are a few important things Rosemarie Pirio with New American Funding, a direct mortgage lender 19 U.S. states, says you should consider doing before placing your house on the market this spring.
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Curb appeal is one of the most important home exterior issues for most buyers. You only get one chance at a first impression, so you have to make your home stand out from the moment a potential buyer enters the driveway. Even if you can’t afford to repaint your home and add extensive landscaping, you can maximize what you do have. After winter, this starts with cleaning and tending to your lawn.
Start by removing any broken limbs and debris from winter storms, and then prune back damaged tree branches and shrubs. Lay down fresh mulch around trees and your perennial flowers, and make sure to pressure-wash your driveway and walkways. A lot of dirt and grime can accumulate over the winter, so a deep clean will go a long way. Finally, consider adding some plants or accessories to your entry area that will welcome buyers.
Let Some Light In
Next, it’s important to make the inside of your home look its best. In addition to a thorough cleaning of your floors, shelves and bathrooms, your windows are important. Exchange winter curtains for light, bright-colored drapes, but don’t stop with just the window dressing. Deep-cleaning windows and screens to allow the maximum light into your home is crucial, especially after a dreary winter.
Make Small Improvements
There are a number of easy upgrades you can make to your home without a big budget. Repainting any rooms that have peculiar colors is a great start, but you can also cheaply improve light fixtures, fans, faucets and other small hardware that will greatly improve the look of your home.
Get Rid of Odors
Your home probably didn’t get a lot of fresh air during winter, which makes it easy for a number of unpleasant odors to permeate the house. Whether these smells are from dampness under sinks or a build-up of sweaty hockey gear, spring is the time to air out your house. You may get away with covering up odors with candles or air fresheners for an initial walkthrough, but it’s better to treat the source of odors. Steam clean your carpets and run a dehumidifier in areas that accumulate moisture.
Get a Professional Inspection
This may seem like an inconvenient expense, but you can be sure any serious buyer will have an inspection done before they purchase your home. Doing your own inspection will avoid surprises during a sale that can seriously affect your asking price, and it can also help you catch any problems like water damage or a pest infestation that you may have missed during the winter.