Updated: Feb 4
Snow is on the ground and there are still plenty of Christmas decorations up...is it possible that we are already in the spring real estate market?
Read on to find out the timing of the spring market, a mistake many home sellers make, the effect of Covid on the market, 3 things you can start doing today to get your house market ready and an invisible house guest that panics most buyers.
This charming, snow-covered University Park Cape-Cod style house will be for sale soon because our clients want to get a jump on the spring market!
When is the Spring Market?
Though warmer weather may seem far off, most real estate markets will start to see a increase in the number of homes for sale as well as number of homes being sold after February 1st.
The local inventory of homes tends to hit annual lows in December and January. Buyers are eager to secure their new home before they have to compete with the mass of other hungry buyers.
Making an offer on a home in early spring allows for many families to close towards the end of the school year and spend the summer getting settled before the following school year begins.
The energy of the Spring market generally tapers off in May when the school year draws to a close and people start traveling for vacations and long weekends.
A Mistake Many Home Sellers Make
It is a mistake to think that the middle of March is the beginning of real estate "spring"!
Many buyers wait until March to start making repairs and freshening up their houses. Since this can take weeks or even months, they start edging closer and closer to the end of May when the spring market subsides.
Timing the spring real estate market just right is critical and missing two or three weeks of the prime spring market because they weren’t prepared can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars.
Typically, the spring market produces the highest sales prices of the year because there is low inventory, which means less competition and high demand for homes. When demand is high and supply is low, prices rise.
Has Covid changed things?
The shelter at home orders of 2020 came right in the middle of March. For nearly 6 weeks, the market was almost frozen. By the end of April, people began to feel more comfortable putting their houses on the market as guidelines from local officials established recommended safety measures such as limiting the number of people in the house at a time and requiring face masks.
It is hard to know exactly what to expect, but most people are hopeful that we won't face the same constraints and confusion as we did last year.
3 Things you can start today to get your house market ready.
Many people move because they feel too over-crowded in their current homes. Now is a good time to determine which items you want to bring with you to your new home. Think about donating or giving away those things that have served their purpose in your life.
Pro-tip! I think that it is more empowering to start in the room that needs the least amount of work first. Grab a roll of blue painter's tape and a black sharpie. Assess the things in the room and write keep, donate, give-away or sell on the tape as you as go along.
2. Document past repairs and renovations
Buyers LOVE to know what a great deal they are getting. The more detail you can provide about renovations, repairs and routine maintenance you have done to your home the better. When I list a house I leave stacks of brochures, floor plans and lists of repairs/renovations for prospective buyers. Guess what I always run out of first? Yes, the list of repairs.
Pro-tip! Walk through each room with a notebook and look around. Your memory will quickly be jogged about everything you have done in a room. Updated the Verizon router box? Add that to the list. New ceiling fixture in the Dining Room? Add it. Start with a simple list like that and then go back to add details like when it was installed and the specifications of what was installed.
3. Get your schedule in order
With a calendar in front front of you, begin to map out your target dates. One of the most important dates is your photo shoot date which will happen shortly before your house goes on the market. In the current market, most houses are staying on the market for about 10 days at the most. Generally, settlement takes place 30-45 days from the date of contract. You will need to plan on moving about two months after the day your house goes on the market.
It is also essential to determine the order in which you will be selling your house and either buying or renting your new home. If you are able to carry two mortgages for a while, it may be more convenient to find your new home before you sell you current house. If you need to sell your current house before buying or renting your new home, you may need to consider a temporary living situation while you wait to locate a new home.
What invisible house guest am I talking about?
If something smells bad, it is the FIRST thing that home buyers will notice. It often affects their opinion of the house so negatively that they don't even want to explore the rest of the house.
Pets, cooking and how frequently you open the windows can affect the overall "smell profile" of your home. Sometimes you just need a second opinion about how your house smells so ask a friend or your realtor. This can be a sensitive experience so try not to take it too personally.
Really try to get to the root of where an odor may be coming from. Masking it with strong deodorizers usually backfires by adding another strong scent, that may or may not be to the buyer's liking, to the problem.
If you do decide to add fragrance, natural lavender or sandalwood tend to be universally enjoyed.
Click here for your own copy of the Home Sale Pre-market Checklist.
I created this helpful resource to help you prepare your house for the market. It contains helpful reminders about:
windows, doors and wood trim
Ready to sell?
Contact me today at email@example.com or 240-413-4141 to talk about your plans for today and your plans for the future. We can discuss your current home value and the value of homes in your immediate vicinity. That kind of information can really increase your confidence as you make your decisions.
Who am I and how can I help you?
I'm Tamara Beauchard - realtor, architect and right-fit specialist
As a top-performing realtor with Re/Max Professionals, I handled nearly $12 million in real estate transactions this past year. I stay on top of the market to ensure that you are confident about the price and the process from our first meeting to the settlement table. You have an architect on your side! My experience in the design and construction industry means that we can talk about renovations and improvements that will both beautify your home and improve it's resale value.
I'm a right-fit specialist who provides consulting services for people who are not ready to buy or sell right now, but need advice on where to start with renovating or downsizing.