Preparing your home for a successful spring market entry takes time, energy, and expertise. And with the early spring market starting in January, fall is a great time to start implementing your home prep and staging plan. Let’s take a look at our top 5 tips for prepping your home for the spring market, in the fall.
1. Leverage Your Timing
Regardless of mortgage rates, unemployment, and other cyclical economic factors, the spring real estate market is always the best time to sell in Minnesota. Sales activity rises slowly from January, accelerates in April, and peaks in June (see pending sales table above), as buyers complete their New Year’s Resolution of finding a new home. This means that sellers should be working on home prep and staging in the fall, with their home show-ready by early spring to take advantage of the seasonal bump in buyer demand.
2. Capture Curb Appeal
First impressions are everything and you only get one chance. Even before buyers walk through your front door, they have judged your house from the curb, or from the photos online. At the end of summer — and into fall — is when your lawn and gardens will be looking the best. Take this time to add plants, trim edges, and enhance your front curb appeal as the leave begin to turn. Then capture your fall urb appeal in exterior-only photos, including drone videos and stills. That way, regardless of when the spring weather actually arrives, you will have a beautiful “green” photo package to use.
3. Organize Your Interiors
The fall is a great time to get organized! And the first step in properly staging your home is to begin to clean and declutter your home and prepare for your eventual move. Clean your windows, both in and out. Give away furniture and items you no longer want or need. Remove 33%-50% of the furnishings in each room and allow your spaces to “breathe. ” And consolidate boxes and other items that will eventually end up on a truck to your basement storage rooms or garage. Then in early spring, you can finalize your staging and art pieces and be ready to shoot interior photography and shown your room.
4. Start Your Search
Depending on your situation, you may be buying before you sell your home. Because inventory won’t rise until early January, it’s good to set up a home search and start looking in the fall. You can monitor multiple markets easily with an MLS-based search, and be notified every 24 hours as the inventory changes. If a new home comes on the market, you will know first and can preview it that day to see if it fits your profile. Likewise, if a home you’ve been watching is reduced in price, you’ll be notified immediately and can reconsider the home at the new price. Contact us to set this up, it’s a great tool!
5. Finish Your Updates
The highest return on investment for home improvements leading up to a sale is always the small, obvious cosmetics. This includes fixing wall defects and doors dings, painting rooms in fresh, neutral colors (we love Sherwin Williams Alabaster!), cleaning and replacing worn-out carpets in rooms and on stairs, deep cleaning bathroom grout and shower doors, and fixing any doors, windows, and cabinetry that are not operational. We have a list of our trusted contractors to assist with these services and can make the process seamless and affordable.
As the old saying goes, “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” We know that with just a little bit of planning and some good advice, your entry into the spring market can be successful, and will allow you to make more money on the sale of your home to bring to the new residence!