Although I've always been a proponent of listing your home any time of year because the fall and winter have their perks as far as not having as much competition of homes on the market as you see in the spring and summer. But, because families like to move over the summer months between school years, the spring is still the most popular time for putting your home on the market. It's not too soon to start planning and getting your home ready for the spring market. The ideal time to hit the market is end of February or the 1st week of March. If you check out the MLS on March 1st, you will see a LOT of homes come on the market that day.
So, what can you start doing to prepare for listing? Here's a list of some things you can do:
- Get your home inspected. Many people have mixed feelings about having their home inspected prior to selling it. It can be a good way to have your home checked out prior to a buyer's inspection. Getting your home inspected prior to the spring selling season can give you more time to make repairs. Additionally, you might find it easier to find a contractor since many are looking for work during the less busy winter months.
- Give your home a once-over. Take a look at your home with a critical eye and eliminate any issues a home inspector may discover. Make sure all items are up to code, seal any cracks, fix a leaky roof, etc.
- Landscape. It may be a while before the trees fill out and your grass turns green again, but you don’t have to put your landscaping plans on hold. Winter is a great time to spruce up landscaping by trimming hedges and cleaning up flowerbeds or putting in pavers, patios, etc. that are projects that are too hot to do in the spring summer months in Texas.
- Declutter. Cold winter days are perfect for taking on indoor projects, such as cleaning closets. Decluttering can make a house look more spacious and its good to remember as you get new items and gifts for Christmas to move things out. This time of year is a good time to make donations of clothes, toys, blankets, etc.
- Change paint colors. Certain paint colors may not appeal to a wide range of buyers. As Realtors, we often make suggestions on paint colors. Contrary to what you may be hearing, not everyone likes gray. It's definitely a popular color right now, but any neutral fresh paint is going to brighten a home.
- Consider financial obstacles. Think about how much money you’ll need to make off the sale to ensure financial stability and you can speak with a lender to get pre-approved so you will know what to expect when you're ready to purchase another home.
- Be an early bird. To increase your chances of getting your home sold first, be the first to the market before it is flooded with competition. Every year, I have a few clients who aren't ready to go on the market in early spring and many times they wait too long and miss the peak listing time. You have to consider that once a home goes under contract, it will usually take 30-45 days to close. This is why it's important to think about when you'd like to move and give yourself about a 90 day window of time to list and sell.
We are always available to answer questions or consult with you as to what you can be doing prior to listing your home. We are happy to make suggestions and we can also provide lists of contractors such as painters, carpet installers, landscapers, general contractors, a handyman, etc. We have contractors we use and trust and they will be fair and honest with you.