You hear it all the time in the real estate business – timing is everything. For instance, if you are planning a spring home sale in the Iowa City area next year, and you think you have plenty of time to get everything ready, think again. Because of the fierce competition in this area, it’s critical to have it ready to put on the market by the 15th of February.
Especially in the Iowa City real estate market, spring is a hot time for home sales due to our relatively young demographic and the University town ambiance. So once you slog through the holidays, you only have six short weeks to accomplish a lot. We’ve gathered our top five tips for getting your home ready to go on the market this spring.
1. De-personalize – This step can be difficult, especially for people who have spent years decorating and putting their own special stamp on their homes. As much as you love your home, you need to start imagining the view through the eyes of a visitor. Potential buyers will never know if THEY could love your home if the décor overwhelms the basic charm and architectural features of the home.
2. De-clutter – Get out those boxes and start packing now. No matter how large your home is, clutter makes it look smaller. In the kitchen, clear your countertops of appliances and utensils. Clean out your closets and give them an organizational makeover. Get your garage in order and tidy up the kid’s playroom. Small details can make a big difference.
3. Update Kitchen, Bathroom and Paint – Quick fixes can really pay off at sale time, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. After you’ve finished de-personalizing and de-cluttering, repair any minor damage and make repairs. In the bathroom, replace discolored grout and chipped tiles. Update your towel sets with crisp, simple fabrics. Finally, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any room, particularly if the current colors schemes are dated or worse, if they run to the “unique”. Buyers will have a hard time seeing themselves living in a room straight out of the 80s or one that screams, “teenage emo meets Sylvia Plath.”
4. Home Staging – Appearance is just as important as timing when it comes to selling your home. Staging is the art of decorating a house to sell quickly and for the best possible prices. It can include anything from advice on de-cluttering and improving the flow of the home to replacing all of the home’s furnishings, bringing in furniture, accessories and art. Ask your real estate agent if they include home staging as part of their services. If not, you may want to hire a professional home staging company to help.
5. Curb Appeal – It’s tough to sell your home if you can’t even get people in the door. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so pay close attention to the exterior of your home all the time, not just on Open House days. Clean up the yard, brighten up the landscaping, keep your fences in good shape, and if you still have snow on the ground, keep your snow removal stellar.
Check out these additional tips for showing your home for more specific information about preparing your home to sell this spring.
If you are buying or selling a home in the Iowa City/Coralville area or surrounding communities, let the real estate agents at The Johnson Team help. We’d love to hear from you.