Sell Your Home This Spring With These Seven Tips

Spring has sprung in beautiful Seattle, and if you’re looking to sell your home, there may be no better time to do so. Think about it, what a lovely time to showcase your home and really put its best foot forward, so to speak? Here are some tips to get your home looking picture perfect for a Springtime sale.

  1. Spring Cleaning
    Nothing says Spring more than a good old fashioned Spring cleaning, and that may be just what your home needs (probably, even if you’re not going to sell it) to get it in tip top shape. Go through those boxes of STILL unpacked home goods, linens and clothes that have sat in a closet or attic since move-in day and get rid of whatever you don’t need or use anymore (trust me, charitable organizations are just as grateful for the donation this time of year as they are in winter).  Get the windows washed, floors scrubbed and everything looking clean and clutter-free. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of a much easier move after you sell, if there’s less stuff to pack!
  2. Get Your Garden On
    Spring is an excellent time to make your yard look its absolute best. Slip on some gardener’s gloves and pull a few weeds, plant new flowers, prune trees and bushes and make sure any leftover leaves from winter are raked up and the grass is mowed. Potential buyers are definitely going to check out your yard, and just like a delicious meal, presentation is everything. Do your best to seed patchy grass, lay down beauty bark or simply add rock edging to flower beds. Adding more colorful flowers can make a big difference in how appealing your home looks too. It’s the little touches that can make a big difference.

  3. Create A Patio Worth ‘Sitting A Spell’ On
    Once the yard is looking good, it’s time to turn your attention to any outdoor living space your home offers. Simple improvements like clean, well-kept patio furniture with bright and colorful pillows and a few nicely potted plants can create a lovely and inviting outdoor space as well as help to evoke images of enjoying the Summertime there, in a home-buyer’s mind. That’s the kind of image that may just get you an offer. Also, it’s a good idea to stage the patio area with a pitcher and glasses of a refreshing beverage on the patio table when showing the home, especially on a nice sunny day.
  4. De-Gunk the Driveway
    A very simple yet often overlooked way to add extra curb appeal and freshen your homes appearance is with a good power wash to the driveway and any sidewalks outside. Moss, oil stains and other undesirable things can collect on paved surfaces outside of your home and make it look neglected or just plain grungy. A nice power wash should do the trick and rid those surfaces of any ‘blemishes’, instantly boosting the overall ‘put-together’ look of your home.
  5. Let There Be Light
    We are blessed this time of year with much more abundant sunlight than just about any other time of year (save for summer, of course). Why not take advantage of it by opening your house up to more light? Weather permitting, open windows and patio doors to let in plenty of light, fresh air, and maybe even the oh-so-Springy scent of freshly cut grass and flowers.  Use light the way ladies use lipstick for a night out, as an easy finishing touch that adds immense appeal, quickly and easily.
  6. Make Sure Things Are Up to Snuff
    Hiring an inspector to give your place the old once over is usually a good idea, no matter how well maintained it may be. If you have even a tiny inclination that something may need to be fixed before it hits the market, you should have a pro take a peek. Plus, getting things fixed and in great condition can significantly drive up the selling price of your home, which is generally a good thing. Your realtor (or a potential realtor) should be able to help you find a professional in your area to conduct an inspection.

7. All The Home’s A Stage
Staging can play a BIG part in attracting a buyer. Just as garden improvements and      landscaping are hugely important for the outside of your home, staging is key for the inside of your home. Regardless of whether you’re currently living in the home, or moved into your new abode, you want to create a space that’s warm, inviting and, well, homey. People need to be able to picture themselves living their daily lives there, so making it feel like home is important. Add a vase of fresh flowers to the dining table, a basket of fresh apples to the kitchen counter, have art on the walls (but not too much, and try to minimize the presence of personal or family photos) and fun throw pillows/blankets on the couches. You can even add the scent of fresh laundry or freshly baked cookies (a scented candle should do the trick) to get an extra edge, as our sense of smell is most directly tied to memory and scents like that can ‘take you home’ in an instant.

With these tips, the task of readying your home for sale should be a little bit easier. Remember to take it easy though. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew and do it all in one weekend. Home buying and selling can take time, and you should take the time needed to get all your ducks in a row before you put that sign out in the yard. Preparing your home for the market can be a breeze if you just take it one step at a time to get your home looking it’s best, and, with any luck, it will be someone else’s home in no time!

Five Tricks to Boost Your Home Value

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De-Clutter

Dump the junk, pack up the knick-knacks, and depersonalize the house as much as possible. Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to envision themselves in the home. Buyers want to know what their seeing is what they are getting – they will do their job (a.k.a. snooping around) to make sure the image is consistent with what’s hiding behind those closet doors.

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Makeover the Kitchen

Viewed by many as the heart of the house, the kitchen is the top rated room to have in pristine condition.  Make any minor repairs that aid with the function of the kitchen such as leaky faucets, loose light fixtures or missing counter top tiles. Also, painting can go a long way in terms of spiffing things up. Lastly, finishing touches such as new cabinet hardware, curtains and lighting fixtures can really pull a room together.

 

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Turn the Bathroom into a Spa

Give the bathrooms a spa treatment with candles, some greenery and fresh towels fastened with bows. Replace any dated mirrors and light fixtures to really brighten the space up. Be mindful of any unpleasant smells and consider placing a diffuser or scented wall plug to keep the room smelling fresh. 

 

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Paint, Paint, Paint

As mentioned above, painting a few the well-used rooms (read kitchen, bathrooms, and kids playroom) in your home can have a major pay off. Just a few rooms lapped in a fresh coat of paint can help cut costs for a potential buyer and help close a sale.  Make sure to paint the rooms in neutral tones, being white, beige, and grey to allow the eye to appreciate the layout of the home and not any assaulting wall colors.

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Exterior Touches

Appearance isn’t everything, but sadly in real estate, this sentiment doesn’t apply. Mow the lawn, yank the weeds, and add some bright flowers. It’s important to work on that curb appeal to gain as many oohs and aahh’s as possible. Any cracked side boarding or paint needs to be repaired.

Tips For Getting Multiple Offers On Your Home

In regions with booming real estate markets, sellers may think getting multiple offers on their home is inevitable, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances. The three must-haves for attracting multiple offers, according to Zillow, are location, price and presentation.

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You’ve heard it time and again: location, location, location. Buyers often consider location before other factors such as price, number of bedrooms or home size, so a well-located home is a huge advantage. Homes on busy streets, near freeway on/off ramps, or in less-than-stellar school districts may not attract as much interest. Work with a real estate agent to price your home very carefully if it’s not in a prime location.

That brings us to the next factor: price. Zillow reports that homes priced 10 percent over their market value will not get noticed, so it’s important to be smart and realistic with your listing price. While you won’t truly know the market value of your home until a buyer closes on the sale, real estate agents can help you establish a value range based on factors such as whether you are in a buyers’ or sellers’ market, location, and how well your home shows. If you price your home at the lower end of that range, you can be pretty confident you’ll generate lots of interest.

While you can’t change your home’s location and prices can fluctuate based on any number of factors, presentation of your home is something you have more control over. In today’s online-focused market, photos are key, so make sure you put your home’s best foot forward before you have it photographed. Buyers want to make an emotional connection with a home, so removing your personal items, making cosmetic upgrades (if you can afford it), and staging will make a good first impression online and drive buyers to look at the home in person.

These factors, supplemented by the expertise of a local real estate agent who knows the other homes in the area and can help you make yours stand out, will give you an increased chance of getting what all sellers want – multiple offers. If you are interested in selling or buying a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Seattle Is 5th Best Home Sellers’ Market in U.S.

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If you’re thinking of selling your home in the Seattle area, here’s some good news for you – according to Zillow our market is the 5th best in the nation for home sellers, only trailing San Jose, Calif.; San Francisco; San Antonio, Tex.; and Los Angeles. Zillow reports that home values in Seattle have increased 10 percent in the past year.

Due to a relatively strong job market in the west, which has led to a high demand for housing with a limited supply, the home sellers’ market in the west is outperforming the market in the eastern U.S. Home buyers, on the other hand, will find the strongest buyers’ market in Cleveland, Ohio.

For more information about Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Staging Your Home for a Winter Sale

winterSpring is a popular time for home sales and easier to make the home appear more desirable when flowers are blooming and the weather is brighter and warmer. Below are a few tips to help make your home more desirable during the winter months.

Be sure to keep walkways to your home safe and clear. Shovel away any snow and put a little sand down if it seems icy so no one falls. Be sure to sweep away loose leaves. If it is rainy and wet, put down a mat for dirty shoes and a place to put wet umbrellas.

Open all blinds and pull back all drapes, except those that would show an undesirable view, to let light in. Make your home as bright as possible especially if there aren’t many windows letting in natural light. Turn on all lights in the house including those in closets and pantries.

Keep your home warm and cozy. You want to make potential buyers stick around and really think about living there. Turn the thermostat up a couple degrees above normal. The house will stay warmer and by doing so, the furnace will not kick on while people are tour your home. You don’t want them to hear your noisy furnace. Keep a small fire going in the fireplace for warmth and to make the home feel more comfortable.

Have framed photos of your yard and flower garden in full bloom set out to show what it will look like in the Spring and Summer.

Many people are allergic to candles and scented sprays. To make your home smell good without it smelling like you are trying to mask an odor, bake cookies or a pie before an open house or simmer a cinnamon stick in a pot of water for a few minutes. Your house will have a more comforting and welcoming smell which many people are familiar with and like.

Following these simple tips can help you create a more appealing image of your home in a more dreary and gloomy time of year.