Tribune Print Share Text

Get ready for the spring selling season

Tips and tools from one of the area’s top professionals

Created date

February 25th, 2014
Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor
Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor

You may not think it’s spring, but according to the real estate market, the spring selling season is already approaching high gear. If you want to sell your house this year, here are several tips from Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor to help you get your house ship-shape for the spring selling season. 

Connor works with individuals and couples moving to Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J., to help them find trusted real estate agents and moving professionals, prepare their house for the market, and plan moving into their new apartment home at Cedar Crest. 

Tribune: When does the spring real estate season kick into high gear?

Connor: The spring real estate market truly begins the second week of January. Though homeowners are often surprised to learn this, the reason is that buyers want to be moved in by spring! By March 1, the spring season is in high gear with high inventory.

Tribune: If you want to sell your house, when should you start preparing so your house is on the market at the right time? 

Connor: Give yourself one to two months to prepare.  If you’re planning to list in May, for example, start preparing now, in March. Organize and declutter. Use unseasonably warmer days in winter to attack the garage. On coldest days, concentrate on the interior rooms that need attention. Early March is a great time to donate clothing items too.  Drop-off locations are everywhere these days—even in shopping centers—so you can go from your warm car to a drop box.

Tribune: What are some big-ticket items you should consider revamping when prepping your house for the market (for example, replacing carpet or revealing wood floors, updating appliances, fixing the roof)? 

Connor: If your carpet is in good shape, a good cleaning will suffice (your preferred real estate agent should write in the listing notes, things like what rooms have wood floors).  If you have wood floors under old, worn-looking carpet, it’s a great idea to pull up the carpeting and reveal the hard wood. Roofs are one of the best investments, because an old roof that needs replacing may fail in the home inspection. Sellers have a better chance of getting close to their asking price with a newer roof.

Tribune: What are some smaller, less expensive repairs or updates that make a big difference (staging, decluttering, painting neutral colors, etc.)? 

Connor: Remove counter-top appliances to create larger kitchen counter space, create larger rooms with neutral soft paint colors—never stark white, but sand or linen tones look great—and declutter, declutter, declutter! Pack away collectibles, and store them neatly in a basement or garage. Use the staging rule of thumb: never more than three items grouped together on a tabletop, shelf, or wall. Remove most family photos, especially if they line the stairway wall leading up to bedrooms. A couple of family photos around is fine.

Tribune: Let’s not forget about curb appeal. What are some of the major items outside you should consider when prepping your house for the market (refreshening landscaping/flowers, replacing light fixtures, painting the front door)? 

Connor: The front entrance is key, as prospective buyers often have an emotional reaction to a house when they pull up in a car. Refresh mulch after winter weather, consider replacing the front door hardware if it’s worn looking, and paint the front door so it pops against the exterior home color. New light bulbs are a good idea for when you need the front lights on. Flowers are always a big attraction when spring is in bloom. Choose flowers that have an early bloom and last into summer season.

Tribune: Is there anything else you think is vitally important when preparing your house for the spring selling season? 

Connor: Have photos from all seasons on your kitchen counter for prospective buyers to see.  If they are coming during winter or early spring when nothing is in bloom, they will get excited to see what they have to look forward to in spring, summer, and fall.

Tribune: What are some resources available to Cedar Crest priority list members to help them accomplish these tasks? 

Connor: My services as a personal moving consultant are complimentary to our priority list members. I conduct a home visit, where I can preview your home and give you immediate tips on getting it ready to list. I will advise you on staging, decluttering, and refreshing your house to show its absolute best. I will explain our Erickson Realty and Moving Services and Move On Us program, both available to priority list members. 

It’s like having your own personal concierge service at your fingertips!