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Get ahead of the spring rush

Why and how to list your house by mid-March

Created date

February 20th, 2017
Lantern Hill Personal Moving Consultant Jennifer Kohan, who is also a local real estate agent, says it’s best to have your house on the market by the end of March—and she’s here to help you do it.

Lantern Hill Personal Moving Consultant Jennifer Kohan, who is also a local real estate agent, says it’s best to have your house on the market by the end of March—and she’s here to help you do it.

Although people often think of April through June as the “spring market,” the truth is that buyers come out as early as January and February. As time goes on and the weather gets nicer, the market gets more saturated. 

Jennifer Kohan, personal moving consultant at Lantern Hill, the Erickson Living community in New Providence, N.J., says it’s best to list by mid- to late-March if you want to sell quickly and for the best price. Here, she offers six suggestions for getting ahead of the spring rush.

Q: When should you aim to have your house on the market so you’re in prime position for the spring market?

A: We are located in a bedroom community of New York City, where many buyers moving into our area work in financial services and receive their annual bonuses in January. Traditionally, this is when families begin to look for their home when moving from New York, Hoboken, and Jersey City. Buyers are also extremely savvy and prefer to start early to avoid the multiple-bid competition from other buyers that you can sometimes see in the traditional buying months of April through June.

Q: What are the benefits of aiming to have your house on the market earlier?

A: While the spring market starts early here, sellers who list their house by mid- to late-March have less competition from other comparable houses that list in mid- to late-spring.

Q: Could you suggest a few ways people can prepare their house for market now so they stay ahead a of saturated market in March, April, and May? 

A: Use cold weather days to declutter and pack things away. Utilize home-improvement vendors to paint, refinish hardwood floors, and take care of minor handyman work in the house during the winter months when their schedules are lighter and it’s easier to book their services. 

Q: What services do you provide to make this process easier?

A: I have a tremendous resource in providing people to help homeowners get their homes ready to be shown. Lantern Hill’s pre-listing home inspection is something that should be done now to identify major issues in the home. This allows time to address those big-ticket items before the house goes on the market and minimizes deals falling through later. 

Q: What are the most important things to keep in mind when deciding on a list price so that you avoid having your house on the market for an extended period of time, while still selling for a fair price? 

A: Houses in our area of New Jersey that sit on the market and don’t sell are in that situation because they are not priced properly. You want to use an experienced real estate agent to be sure you are pricing to the market and not to your opinion of what you think the house might be worth. A good agent takes into account recent, up-to-the minute real estate information in your area when setting the most appropriate list price. 

Q: What are the steps for someone who would like to move to Lantern Hill this year and is just getting started?  

A: Be prepared. Start with the decluttering process while considering working with a senior move manager. They can help with the sorting and donating of items no longer needed. Meet with me to determine what furniture will likely come to your new home at Lantern Hill, and most definitely consider having a pre-listing home inspection now so you have time to address any issues before the house goes on the market.