5 tips to help sell that listing this spring
Turns out that spring “silly season” – the one that makes teachers cringe and teenagers everywhere go a little bonkers – is a very real phenomenon. Animals sense it. Retailers see it. And as real estate agents, you almost definitely notice an uptick in calls and, hopefully, an increase in closings.
It makes sense. If someone is going to be motivated to sell a home, it’s probably after a long winter of being cooped up, when the property looks its best and change is in the air. But just because spring and early summer are traditionally the busiest times for home sales, it doesn’t mean it’s a slam dunk. Far from it. And with a busier market comes more competition and more need for expert guidance from an agent. That’s where you come in.
Here are some tips you can keep in your toolkit to help your clients get ready for market:
1. Triage the needs
Let’s say you get a call from a seller in March, and the owners would really like to be out of the home by Memorial Day. That’s doable, but it doesn’t leave a lot of time for improvements. It’s time to take care of obvious needs. That means paring back the foliage and garden on the property, depersonalizing the house (to a degree), making any obvious fixes, cleaning out closets, and freshening up vital rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. And by “freshening up” we mean paint and possibly a new countertop, not a full overhaul. US News & World Report has a more detailed list on these quick fixes to help have your clients out by summer.
2. Sparkle, baby
The Balance provides one of our favorite lines we’ve read this week: Sparkle is free, and sparkle sells homes. Ergo, wash the windows. Clean the mirrors. Change the lightbulbs, mop the floors and Clorox-wipe the heck out of the kitchens and bathrooms. It can make a huge difference, and at worst it’s therapeutic for your seller.
3. Colors of the season
The same article from “The Balance” that gave us our sparkle-quote goes in-depth on the best colors to use, both inside and out. Did you know yellow stimulates buying urges? Now you do. Plant yellow tulips and daffodils in the front yard to trigger those instincts early and increase curb appeal. Inside accessories like pillows and linens should be in pleasing spring colors like yellow, lavender and pinks. Further massage the senses with fresh-cut flowers (your client’s or a favorite neighbor’s… but ask, first) in strategic rooms to make it smell fresh. Peonies (washed and in a long, upright vase) are a good bet. Read the full The Balance article here.
4. Prepare for weather
As most of us outside the southern California market know, spring is the most unpredictable season for weather. Rain is common and snow isn’t unheard of, and in between you can get some of the most gorgeous weather of the year. Plan for everything. Provide an umbrella stand, coat rack and a place for potential buyers to wipe their shoes. Long plastic runners are tempting, but are a little unsightly; we still suggest buying a couple for insanely muddy days or open houses or agent tours, when they would be most necessary. MOST importantly, make sure all roof and window or door leaks are taken care of. Rain and snow can expose a multitude of upkeep sins.
5. Show buyers the love
We have to give credit to Space Simply for this idea, but as long as love is in the air, why not write potential buyers a love letter? A hand-written note, from your clients, about how much they’ve loved their home and how much they want it to go to the right buyer can absolutely hook the right suitor. It shouldn’t be too over the top, but a little sentiment – and proof that a home has been well-loved and, presumably, cared for – can go a long way.
The same article has some practical advice, as well: Don’t overprice your listing. Competition ramps up and you don’t want to be eliminated from a buyer’s list simply because you’re $20,000 higher than a similar house in your neighborhood. Urge your clients to be sensible, especially if they’re itching to move.