Spring is here. How do I know? The rain, for one thing. Baseball on the radio, for another. And of course, listing frenzy. After the winter we’ve had, more than one friend has said, “That’s it! I’m done. Never shoveling again!” If you’re planning to list your home, and you spent your snow days decluttering, good work! Now you can move on to the great outdoors. Here are six get-ready items to put on the calendar for April and May.
1. Attend to your yard
Cleaning up your yard will welcome potential buyers. Trim up bushes and trees, spread some grass seed on thin areas, and add fresh mulch where needed. Give foundation and window box plantings some love. Tidy up walkways and fill cracks. Curb appeal is real and can add as much as 5 percent your home’s value.
2. Hit the deck (or patio)
Decks are popular, for good reason, and we can’t wait to get out there and grill, right? Think of your deck as an outdoor room. Start with a pressure wash and repair or replace any bad boards, then stain and reseal as needed. String lights and a colorful umbrella will take it to the next level.
3. Wash the windows
As someone who constantly battles dog-nose-smudged windows, I can’t stress this enough. You won’t believe how much more light comes into your home when the windows are clean. If you’re lucky enough to have newer tilt-in windows, it’s easy enough to do your own. Otherwise it’s well worth hiring the job out.
4. Spruce up your entry
If your entry is shabby or off-putting, everything inside the door will come down a notch as well. Scrub the walls, wash the windows, and clean light fixtures. A fresh coat of paint on the door, railings and steps or porch floor will speak volumes. An attractive mailbox is a nice touch. And make sure the doorbell works, if you have one.
5. Speaking of paint…
Of all the home improvements on the planet, paint is the biggest bang for the buck, hands down. Buyers can forgive outdated decor if your space looks fresh, clean and serene. Choose neutrals, and if in doubt, pay for an hour of a stager’s time for a color consult.
6. Remove personal items
Have you ever heard someone walk into a model home or vacation rental and say, “I could totally live here!” A big part of the reason is that it’s a blank slate, unencumbered by their (or anyone’s) stuff. That’s the effect you want to create. Make it easy for buyers to imagine themselves living in your home by minimizing clutter and stowing personal photos, decor and kids’/pet toys.