Thinking of selling this Spring ? -- NOW is the time to start the PREPARATION !

By
Real Estate Agent with Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited

Spring is Coming ! ... Are you Ready ?!?!

If you are planning to put your home up for sale this upcoming Spring, don't be surprised if it creeps up on you, and that you find Spring is here before you know it !!

It is already more than a week into February and the Groundhog has already seen his shadow - but these next six weeks will probably fly by, and you may find yourself faced with the less desirable scenario of being forced to RUSH your home onto the market, so that you don't miss the Spring Buying Season - the season which historically sees the most buyers out there looking for homes out of all times of the year.

Selling in this current market can be stressful enough, but adding a last-minute-preparation-panic to the mix, will almost certainly make it that much more difficult for you and your family to deal with.

So to help you prepare your home - and yourself ! - for the Spring Season, keep the following points in mind, and they should give you the best chance for success with selling your home over the next months.


1) Start Now ! -- The more time you have to implement some of the following items, the more likely you can fit it all in along with your current daily schedule.


2) Get A "Home Sale" Notebook. You can pick them up for a dollar or two from Staples, CVS or similar Home Sale Notebookstores, and make it RED, or another color that stands out - this way it will be hopefully be easier to spot when you need it ! The purpose of the "Home Sale" Notebook, is so that you always have a central place to refer to as your home sale progresses. When you have questions that you want to ask your Realtor, write them in the notebook so you dont forget them, when you have things to add to your "To-Do" list, add them to your notebook so you can always refer to it and stay on track. You will collect various papers along the way too, tuck these in the back of the notebook, again, this way you keep all thing related to your "Home Sale" in one central place.  


Everyone Helps !

 

3) Have a Family Meeting ! Selling your home will affect everyone under your roof in different ways. It is important that you are all together for support and assistance. There will certainly be packing, moving, & cleaning, & possibly painting and other tasks, so rally the troops and make sure everyone is on the same page. (Pizza or chinese food are often good incentives for jobs well done !!) ... and if there are children in the family, they may need a one on one chat in private just to check-in and make sure they are doing OK - moving house, possibly away from their friends, their school, and their comfortable neighborhood, can often be particularly scary for kids - and a friendly check in from time to time from mom or dad, letting them know it's all going to be OK, can often ease that anxiety.

 

 
4) Choose a Realtor NOW ! -- Don't wait until the week that you want to list your home. Here's why. Typically your local, knowledgeable Realtor can help you with your preparation, and make sure you are focusing your energy on the most beneficial tasks to get your home in ship-shape for listing ! There are sometimes decisions that homeowners make, which actually hurt the desirability of their home to most potential buyers - so set up your Realtor interviews now, find out how they plan to market your home, and once you select a Realtor, schedule a time to sit down with them as soon as possible to go over a PRE-LISTING Gameplan !

 
5) Take a Deep Breath ! -- You are just taking the first steps, but starting out on the right foot can often lead to a smoother, less stressful journey though your real estate transaction. 


6) Do a 'Home Walkthrough' - with your Home Sale Notebook ! -- Go room by room, and jot down things that you feel need to be done before you can list your home. These things may include removing and storing excess clutter or un-needed furniture, fixing or replacing broken blinds, light switches, closet doors, noting rooms or furniture that need to be painted, jot down which rooms may have carpets that need cleaning, or even replacing. Hardwood floors are a desired floor covering for many buyers right now, so it is important that even if you have carpets, that you know whether there is hardwood underneath the carpet or not. Note your findings down in your notebook and go over them with your chosen Realtor at your PRE-LISTING Gameplan meeting !

7) Do a Repair Cost Analysis-- This is often overlooked by sellers. But all the items that you note down from your walkthough, (or that are recommended by your Realtor) have a cost associated with them. Sometimes a lot of repairs or improvements can be done relatively inexpensively, but if you wanted to give your kitchen a 'boost' by installing a new granite countertop for example before putting it on the market, then you will need to know exactly how much that estimate will be, so you can confirm that it is within your budget to install. Keep track of all your desired improvements and their costs.


Friendly Tub !

8) Plastic Tubs are your FRIENDS! -- These 18 gallon containers that you can pick up from Target, Wal-Mart or similar stores, can make your life a whole lot easier - and if you check the Sunday Newspaper supplements, you can often find them on sale for just $3.99 or $4.99.  Now cardboard boxes can be OK, but the plastic tubs are extremely durable, they stack well, and the most important thing, is that if for some reason the boxes are stored in a basement or place that may get a water leak of any description, the plastic tubs will almost certainly protect all your belongings inside - in that situation, a cardboard box will simply soak up the water and your belongings may be ruined.... this I can attest to from personal experience many years ago ! Now, I use plastic tubs without question

 

9) Consider PODS or a Storage Unit -- Many sellers that understand the need to remove a lot of items or furniture from their home to give the best 'first impression' to anyone who walks through the front door, choose to store the excess items in a storage unit, or in PODS (Portable On Demand Storage).
Everyone Lends A Hand !

 

10) Divide and Conquer ! -- It's much more difficult to do all the preparation on your own, so take that list of To-Do items and see who in your family, or which friends can help you. Again, it's often good to have an offering of lunch or dinner at the ready ! - especially for the extra time consuming chores like room painting or packing a mountain of boxes !

 

11) Confirm and keep track of your next home. -- Whatever your plans are for your next home, whether you have already secured a home to move into, or if you have to coincide the sale of your current home, with a purchase of a new home, make sure you stay in tune with the availability and timing.

12) PRICE IT RIGHT ! -- When all your improvements are completed, and you are ready to list your home, sit down with your Realtor again and spend a significant amount of time digesting the market analysis your agent will provide. It is the single most important factor right now in positioning your home to sell as fast as possible. If you price it incorrectly, it can be a lost cause from the start. Determine the market value, and if you have the ability to list it a small cut below that price, you will draw the most attention possible right out of the gates !

13) Remind yourself that selling your home is a good thing ! -- It may be easier to say this to yourself now, but it's important to remind yourself of this periodically, even if the road becomes challenging at times. A way to keep focused and positive is to choose the right Realtor. They will be by your side from start to finish, so it is critical that you choose the best fit for your family and your intentions.    

                               It's a Good Thing !

 

These thirteen tips will get you started on the right foot, and will help you organize your weeks leading up to putting your home on the market !

Contrary to many media reports out there, homes are selling right now !!!

 ... just make sure you do everything in your capabilities to make sure your home is one of them !

And remember your Realtor is there by your side, every step of the way !

Good Luck !

 

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Re-Blogged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Angela Reeves 02/09/2009 06:28 PM
  2. Donald Bradbury 02/09/2009 08:52 PM
  3. Pat Tasker 02/09/2009 09:28 PM
  4. Roland Woodworth 02/09/2009 11:21 PM
  5. Kerry Lucasse 02/10/2009 10:18 AM
  6. Sonja Adams 02/10/2009 11:25 AM
  7. Sharon Sapp 03/04/2009 08:29 PM
  8. Kristen Wahl 03/08/2009 09:43 PM
  9. DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones 04/04/2009 07:52 PM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
New Jersey Bergen County
Groups:
ActiveRain Carnival of Consumer Content
Bergen County Sellers
Dedicated Bloggers
We Love North Jersey
Tags:
carnival of consumer content
spring home selling
preparing your home to sell
spring selling checklist

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Ambassador
664,722
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Craig - Thanks brutha ! I know yours appreciate you too !!! Cheers !

Hi Marian ! - Thanks so much :o) ... It has got great feedback so far

Mar 03, 2009 08:44 PM #102
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jewell Staley, Grande Properties LLC

Hi Sheldon,

Thank you for putting together such a great list.  I loved it.  So helpful for sellers.  Don't forget the power of home staging in preparing a home before listing.  I've seen my clients get full-price offers in just two days in this market, because of the power of home staging.

 

 

Mar 04, 2009 07:40 PM #103
Rainmaker
86,736
Tamara Dorris
Davis & Davis - Carmichael, CA

Hi Sheldon,

 

This is great! You've given me some ideas for my next consumer video, so I'll be sure to send you a link. Your ideas are excellent and very timely.


Thanks a bunch,

TD

Mar 04, 2009 07:57 PM #104
Rainer
4,682
Scott Harrison
Sea Shore Realty - Virginia Beach, VA

Sheldon,  Pretty informative post.  The Red Notebook idea is pretty cool idea.  The walking room by room is an excellent idea.  There is so much to write, so the notebook really captures those notes in one central place.  Thanks, Scott

Mar 04, 2009 09:47 PM #105
Ambassador
664,722
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Jewell ! Oh yes I am all for recommending Staging too ! That comes in the "Gameplan Meeting" with their Realtor :o) ..Thanks for stopping by !

Tamara ! Absolutely, please do send me the link for your next video !! Hope some of this helps !

Scott ! Thanks so much ! Glad this had some value ! Cheers !

Mar 04, 2009 09:59 PM #106
Rainer
19,192
Suzanne Gallegos
Equity Real Estate - Advantage - Salt Lake City, UT
Realtor - Salt Lake City, Utah Homes

Hi Sheldon-I may just print this and pass it on to my sellers:)

Mar 04, 2009 10:04 PM #107
Rainer
1,572
Robert Boross
Heritage House Sotheby's International Realty - Red Bank, NJ

I agree, I will surely email this link on to my sellers...eyeopening advice!

Mar 04, 2009 10:09 PM #108
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Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Hi Suzanne ! -- You are very welcome to ! Anything that may help more homes get sold is A-OK with me ! Glad you liked it :o)

Robert - you too !! Feel free and thanks so much for the comment !

Mar 04, 2009 10:47 PM #109
Rainmaker
300,632
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Preparaton takes time and I think sellers often fail to realize just how much time - I'm always saying do the things you want to update the home while you can still enjoy it and when it comes time to sell, you'll not only have enjoyed it but won't need to do it - scratch it from the list - and there is ALWAYS a list when selling! Great list here Sheldon!

Mar 05, 2009 09:13 AM #110
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Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Thanks Karen ! Starting to prep early can avoid that stressful procrastination that many encounter at the last minute ! Nice to see you stop by :o)

Mar 05, 2009 09:16 AM #111
Rainer
11,602
Barbara Dougher
Coldwell Banker United East Texas Division - Tyler, TX
Realtor - 2008 Rookie of the Year

this is a great article!  I love all the ideas.  Before I became a Realtor I almost followed this to a Tee...and guess what ...my house sold for full price in a down market in 10 days! 

Mar 05, 2009 12:51 PM #112
Anonymous
Anonymous
Denise

Great info - I wish buying and selling homes was more thoroughly thought out by my clients. I have been on 3 listing calls in the past week where the were "ready for the sign" but needed 6 weeks worth of preparation!

Mar 05, 2009 01:07 PM #113
Rainer
40,643
Kathy Booth, Setting the Stage
Setting the Stage - Newmarket, ON
Home Staging and ReDesign Professional

Great post.  Don't forget the benefits of home staging which  not only helps to make the rooms in the home visually appealing to potential buyers but also helps to ease the stress the sellers are experiencing with the selling process.

Mar 05, 2009 02:57 PM #114
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Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Barbara ! Thats great ! I guess I must have some valuable points here ! Thanks for the proof in the pud'n ! ... sold in 10 days is Fabulous !

Denise ! Yup I know what you mean ! I try to grab the sellers and sit down long before they want to put it on the market. The trick is finding them when they are at that discussion and planning stage !

Hi Kathy ! Too funny ! DId you get a memo from Jewell in Comment #103 ! Thats great ! You both are on the same page :o) And yes I agree with you both entirely :o)

Mar 05, 2009 03:25 PM #115
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Great post, Sheldon!  I just forwarded the link to a client!

Mar 07, 2009 11:32 PM #117
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Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Hi Trish ! Hope it helps :o)

Mar 08, 2009 12:52 PM #118
Rainmaker
25,617
Andy Capelluto
International School of Staging - Seattle, WA

Amazing blog and valuable advice.  Today's agents must be prepared to guide their sellers through the process of preparing the house for sale.  Every home, no matter what the price point needs to be 'staged' to some degree.  Who better than the agent to offer this as part of their service.  Let's be real, in todays economy few sellers have the additional budget to call in a 'professional' stager....

Mar 10, 2009 04:47 PM #119
Rainmaker
153,762
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The Northern VA Real Estate Lady

Sheldon, I have never reblogged and I am about to break my rule after reading such an awesome, terrific, fabulously well written post.  This is to awesome.  I wish you much success in 09.

Apr 04, 2009 07:58 PM #120
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Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Hi Andy ! - I love the use of a stager, they certainly know better than most sellers how to make their listing 'shine' ! Cheers !

Hi Dee Dee ! Well thanks so much ! - I got some great feedback from this post that people got some good value from it, so I am very happy to hear that :o)
Cheers Dee Dee all the best for this Spring !!!

Apr 04, 2009 08:22 PM #121
Anonymous
Anonymous
Moveable Cubicle

Thanks for such an great article Sheldon.It was great to know about the points for selling this spring.I think that this article will be benefited to most of the people who are planning to sell their house.

Thanks,

Moveable Cubicle,

http://www.moveablecubicle.com/

Jul 13, 2009 03:25 PM #122
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