Once the New Year has come and gone the pace of activity quickly starts to pick up in the real estate market. The number of both buyers and sellers increases significantly and continues to rise as spring approaches. If you are thinking of selling your home you will want to start necessary preparations now so that your home will be ready to list in January. Being prepared will help you get the jump on other prospective sellers and increases the odds that your home will sell quickly and with minimal hassle. A little more work and planning now can save you time and money in the future.

To get the best possible price for your home you want to present it in the most favorable way. Photos that are taken in the spring and summer will show buyers what your home looks like at other seasons of the year when it may appear more lush and inviting. It is also important to maintain the curb appeal of your home even in the dead of winter. Dead brush, tree leaves, and broken limbs should be cleared away. You may want to step up the overall yard maintenance and if the weather is not too harsh consider planting some colorful, cold tolerant, flowers or plants.

You will also want to be proactive regarding the interior maintenance of your home. Make sure to have your heating system inspected and if needed, repaired. A showing on a cold day without proper heat is not going to encourage prospective buyers!  You may also want to have your duct work cleaned if this hasn’t been done in the last couple of years. Lighting is another important area to consider. Days in winter are short, the sun sets early and it will be hard to sell buyers on a home that is dark and gloomy. You may want to add additional floor lamps and landscape lighting to keep things bright and cheery.

Although buyers who are coming out to look at homes in January tend to be more motivated there are also fewer of them, therefore you shouldn’t expect the same number of showings that you would have in May or June. You will need to calibrate your expectations according to the season. On a related note, you may want to market your home more widely than you would at a peak time of the year. Reaching out to relocation specialists or major employers in the area may give you more prospects. You will also want to be flexible with proposed closing dates so that you can move things along as quickly, or slowly, as the buyer desires. The smaller pool of prospects also means that you may not get multiple offers at or above the asking price. That doesn’t mean you should settle for selling your home for less than it is worth but it may not sell for quite as high a price as it would in late spring or summer. Nevertheless, don’t let yourself be stampeded into accepting a lowball offer, stick with a price you and your realtor are comfortable with.

You should also keep any seasonal décor subtle and low key. If you are planning to list in January make sure you take down all your Christmas decorations and put up more neutral winter-themed décor. Overtly religious-themed decorations should also be avoided and ever thing kept as tasteful as possible. You will want to highlight the seasonal pluses of your home, have a nice fire going in the fireplace, for example, to make it feel warm and cozy. Show off your finished basement as a great play area for the kids on a cold winter’s day.

If you are going to sell a vacant home make sure that it is staged appropriately and is properly winterized to prevent any problems. You will want to work with your realtor to make sure the thermostat is turned up appropriately ahead of showings and that the environment inside is as pleasant as possible. Make sure you have all gutters cleaned and repaired and that you have contracted with someone to do regular maintenance on both the exterior and interior of your home. These steps will help you avoid costly damage like burst pipes and will also make it more likely your home will sell quickly.

Call on The Sonenshine Team to assist you with your home sell today. http://sonenshineteam.com/2477 W Madison_low_sonenshine-27

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