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Prepping for the Selling Season

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Hibernation isn’t just for the bears. The winter months shut down nature, shorten the days, and keep most of us indoors. It’s a time of rest and relationships, slowing the energy and bringing focus inward. It gives us, the flowers, and the trees time to regenerate, nourish, and prepare for the fresh brilliance of a brand new year.

Good-bye football, hello sunshine and daffodils

One could almost set their clock by the day after Super Bowl Sunday. We are all itching for the beauty that has begun to bloom. We’ve been ready for a fresh new start, and now it’s time to jump in. Everything looks beautiful in the spring, including your home. Spring cleaning is a natural occurrence, our stamina is revived, our focused is forward. It’s a new year, new goals, and new energy to propel it all forward.

The numbers are telling. From 2015 through 2018, the peak month for average views per listing on Realtor.com was April. In 2019 the market heated up earlier, but 2020 appears to be right on track with an active buying market that is heating up quickly. Here are some tips to getting your home on the market this spring:

Call your Real Estate Agent

Before you start remodeling your bathroom, painting, your home, or planning your calendar, call your Real Estate Agent. Your agent can likely offer great insight to timing, strategy, and preparation. Depending on the current market, your ideas as a homeowner might not be the best way to recoup value or add value to your property.

Create a checklist

Being organize is crucial during the process of selling your home. A checklist will help quantify the task ahead, identify where help is needed, delegate, and put tasks in the right order to gain the most efficiency.

Identify repairs

Little defects can have a big effect on how a buyer perceives your property. Normal wear is much more acceptable to buyers than a noisy exhaust fan or a drawer that drops out of alignment when it’s opened. Check cabinets, electrical switches, appliances, lighting, tile grout, or evidence of moisture intrusion. These are generally fairly easy fixes, that should cost you a buyer’s attention.

Dial in your landscaping

First impressions are so important. Tidy and healthy looking landscaping set the stage for a healthy, happy environment that prospective buyers want to call home. Dead plants, cobwebs, trash, broken pots and planters are a real negative to the average buyer. Feng-shui calls this “chi”. It’s the feeling and energy that is present in the space. The entrance of the home is particularly important to eastern and western cultures alike. Create a pristine entry. Make sure windows are clean. Consider a freshly painted entry door.

Declutter

Most Sellers are pretty aware that their personal treasures might not appeal to everyone. Few Sellers really understand that knick-knacks, décor items, personal photos, etc. are a considerable distraction to the average buyer. It is very difficult for a buyer to see themselves in a home that demonstrates personal effects and experiences. Family photos, awards, and diplomas should be removed. The same goes for souvenirs, kitchen appliances, shoe racks, wall décor and magazine stands. Clean out closets, cupboards, shelves, and garages. Every storage area should look organized, and should fit spaciously within that area.

Identify storage

If you can’t get rid of it, find somewhere else to store it. There are a number of wonderful organizations in the Bay Area that will take donations, or haul away items that lived their life.
Carl Higgins, on her wonderful podcast, You Own It, features a master space clearing specialists, Isabella Guajardo. Listen to Carla’s show for some excellent tips, and see the resources* below for a place to take your stuff.

Consider some value additions

Paint and lighting are almost always an inexpensive addition to gain considerable value in selling your home. Remember, get your Real Estate professional’s input first, and consider some simple upgrades to bring your home current in design, fresh and new in finish. What adds value in remodel? Kitchens and baths are usually good bets. The costs can be considerably less than expected, and the pay-off is generally at least three times the investment.

Bottom line, start with the support and knowledge of your Real Estate Professional. The hardest part is making the commitment, and diving in. Once you’ve taken the plunge, it’s just one step at a time, with a plethora of helping hands, creativity, and inspiration.

Resources*:

http://www.prisonlit.org/

https://www.cityteam.org/oakland/

http://creativereuse.org/

http://bellaorganizing.com/

https://www.1800gotjunk.com/us_en

http://www.secondhomealameda.com/

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