3 Ways to Prepare Your House for a Spring Sale

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Post from MilitaryByOwner

Planning months ahead is a standard military family procedure, especially for a PCS and selling your home. So it’s no wonder you’re already thinking about how to prepare your house for a spring sale.

Buyer demand is unrelenting, interest rates remain affordable and the housing inventory is far below average. Experts predict the robust seller’s market will continue well in 2022, which is great news for anyone thinking of selling. To sum up, if you’re hoping to sell your house this spring, you’re already ahead of the game. But to win big, you’ll need to learn how to get your house ready.

1. Decide How to Sell Your House

It’s good to have choices, but you’ll have to decide the best way to sell your house according to your budget, timeline and stress level.

Hire a real-estate agent.

By far the most common option, a real-estate agent (search for a military spouse or veteran agent) works hard to get you the best price for your house with the least inconvenience to you.

They know the local markets inside and out and have the exact information needed to entice buyers. They’ll help you get the house ready from the moment you sign with them until closing day. Don’t be surprised if you keep your relationship with your agent years after the sale; many military members do.

Your agent works on commission. The fees are negotiable, but it typically sits at 6% of the home purchase price. For example, If your home sells for $500,000, a 6% commission is $30,000, but this is usually split between the listing agent and buyers agent.

Plan a For Sale by Owner.

Military homeowners with home selling experience often consider a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) to save substantial commission fees. With the continued sellers market poised to stay strong, a FSBO is an attractive choice because homes fly off the market in just days instead of weeks and often well over asking price.

As a FSBO seller, you’ll handle every detail of the sale. You’ll crunch numbers and research comparables, create a marketing plan, prep the house, schedule viewings, manage potential buyers’ communication, direct all of the legal processes and manage paperwork. Start here with your FSBO journey.

Sell with an iBuyer.

Some home sellers with a stressful property love the idea of working with an iBuyer. This type of company uses local real-estate data to estimate your home’s value and instantly makes you an offer. The concept is catching momentum because of reduced commission fees (about 3%, not split), short timelines and efficient processes. Basically, it’s a one-and-done process.

You could potentially close in 14 days. iBuyers offer attractive solutions to a specific set of sellers who need a fast, easy way to walk away from their house. But you’ll have to balance these convenient pros with the cons of possibly losing thousands on the sale and in equity.

2. Make a Plan to Prep the House.

After deciding how you’ll sell the house, it’s time for sweat equity and elbow grease.

Your agent will calculate the return on investment for big-ticket improvements like hardwood floors or a bathroom remodel, but you might not need to make the investment. They’ll also specifically direct smaller projects to capture local buyers’ attention.

You probably already have some ideas in mind if you’re selling FSBO, because they’re tried and true, like improving the landscaping. iBuying mainly eliminates the need for prep work.

Remember, most buyers want move-in-ready homes and tons of curb appeal. If you have the budget, consider hiring a professional home stager or implementing your real-estate agent’s advice about staging your home.

Regardless of how you sell your house, these projects help sell your home faster and for more money.

Inside

  • Deep-clean the house top to bottom. Hire a cleaning crew if you’re short on time.
  • Freshen the paint with neutral colors.
  • Shampoo the rugs and carpet to reduce odors.
  • Purge clutter and reserve temporary storage if you need it.
  • Remove personal items and some furniture to show off extra space.
  • Clean all windows for more natural light and take down window coverings that make the room dark.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.

Outside

  • Power-wash the house’s exterior: siding, walkway and driveway.
  • Add fresh mulch to flower beds.
  • Clean up yard debris.
  • Buy new plants and greenery for the front porch.
  • Update your mailbox and address numbers.
  • Update your front door if needed.

3. Create a Marketing Plan.

Nearly 100% of home buyers start their home search online (with their phones and desktops) and return to the ad over and over again to inspect picture details.

If you’re going alone on the home sale, you’ll need some help creating your listing, learning to take the best photographs and marketing your home on social media. Or if you’re working with an agent, they’ll help you with all marketing products.

Write a listing

A listing is your chance to announce the amenities and features of your home. Using descriptive words like “starter home” or “updated kitchen” draws buyers in the front door. Your listing also should include information about the neighborhood, the local area (dining and shopping) and any convenience factors, like “a 10-minute drive to base.”

Also, add these quick facts:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Square footage
  • Stand-out features like a pool
  • Preferred contact information

Take plenty of pictures

After you’ve cleaned the house and lightly staged the rooms, it’s time to take photos. Pictures are so important; think about hiring a professional photographer to showcase the home. If not, take advantage of natural light (never take pictures at night), use landscape orientation and showcase a couple of angles for each room.

Get the word out

Your agent certainly will get the ball rolling and post the listing to the big online advertisers and multiple listing services, but you can beef up your strategy by sharing your listing throughout your personal networks. Take advantage of your built-in military community and share in groups when allowed.

FSBO sellers: you’ll have to work a little harder to get the word out, but the standard social media outlets and online real estate advertisers remain the same. Think about paying a fee to list your home on a flat fee MLS for a more extensive reach.

Getting ready for a spring sale is time-consuming, so go ahead and get started with the purge process. You’ll be happy you did as spring draws nearer. Home sellers are poised to have another tremendous selling season but prepping your property the right way could make the deal more lucrative and the days spent on the market even shorter.

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