If you weren’t ready to list your house during the spring or over the summer – you still have time to capitalize on what’s been a robust real estate market. After all, recent numbers indicate that September home sales in Massachusetts reached an eight-year high. If you’re thinking now is the time to sell your home – get to it. The holidays will soon be upon us, and balancing showings, open houses and family gatherings can be chaotic. The good news is, potential home buyers out there now are serious. There’s still a dearth of inventory – so your home should get a lot of viewings from buyers who are ready to act. Before the for-sale sign goes up, you should take a few steps to prepare your home for a fall sale.
All text by Debi Benoit, principal at Benoit Mizner Simon & Co.
This is probably one of the most important steps to take. Call your landscaper ASAP and get on the list. Autumn is beautiful, but buyers won’t get to the front door if they can’t look past a messy, overgrown yard with piles of leaves and pine needles everywhere. Put out the mums and pumpkins and take in the summer plantings, too.
Even though we’ve been enjoying an Indian summer of sorts, we’re in true fall mode – so make sure the patio furniture comes in, the kids’ toys are stowed away, and, if you have a pool – be sure to get it closed as soon as possible. Showing that you care for your home in all seasons will make a great first impression on potential buyers.
Before it gets too cold to do any outdoor work, check the trim on your home. Do you notice any flaking paint or rotted pieces that need replacing? Now is the time to get that work done. The same goes for windows. If you need new ones hung, do it before the weather turns and those cold drafts can be felt. Clean your gutters of leaves, too.
Make the closet switch now from summer to fall, so that everything is neat and clean and in its proper place before your first showing. Clean out the kids’ rooms, spend some time reorganizing the home office, and be sure to tidy up the garage. Buyers will pay attention to all of those fine details.
Before you take the plunge, be sure to consult an experienced real estate broker. He or she will know what didn’t sell over the summer, what you are competing with in the marketplace, and what the “comps’’ – or homes of comparative value – are going for in and around your neighborhood. Settle on an asking price that’s fair and reflects market value. Your realtor will be able to advise you on next steps to take, how to promote your home through the proper channels, and help you take advantage of what appears will be a busy fall real estate season.