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Why and how to list your house by March

Sage advice from real estate expert Kathleen Falco

Created date

February 20th, 2017
Franklin Lakes, N.J., RE/MAX agent Kathleen Falco has helped several individuals and families sell their houses and move to Cedar Crest.

Franklin Lakes, N.J., RE/MAX agent Kathleen Falco has helped several individuals and families sell their houses and move to Cedar Crest.

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

Kathleen Falco, real estate agent with The Falco Group RE/MAX Accomplished Realty, in Franklin Lakes, N.J., says it’s best to list in February if you want to sell quickly and for the best price. Here, she offers four 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: List your house by the end of this month. The inventory of homes for sale is low early in the first quarter. Last year, for example, we sold a home in February after an open house that started at 1 p.m. The snow started to fall at 2 p.m., but the buyers still came. We had four offers and 28 buyers at the open house. The sellers got over asking price. 

Your agent can check the inventory in your town and price range and help you stage the house so it’s show-ready. That information is more important than the weather. 

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

A: By listing your house earlier, you can take advantage of a longer selling season, higher list price, and less competition.

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

A: We start meeting with sellers in late fall to get their home ready for the spring market. But don’t worry if you’re just getting started at the beginning of February. A good agent can help you identify ways to make your house show at its best. Sometimes it just needs decluttering, painting, or staging. Your agent can also recommend professionals to help you accomplish those items. 

You’ll also want to do some research with your agent to decide on the appropriate list price. Again, a good agent will handle this legwork for you, but you’ll want to take his or her suggestions into consideration as you set your list price together. 

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: The most important pieces of information are the latest sales in your town or within a radius of your home, as well as comparable home style, square footage, and condition. You want to be the best option in your price point among other homes on the market at the time you list your house. 

Your own personal moving consultant at Cedar Crest

Kathleen Falco is one of several real estate agents preferred by Cedar Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J. Cedar Crest Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor works with each individual and family as they prepare to move by providing complimentary coordination of all realty needs, such as downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional and moving company.

In the early stages of a move, Connor schedules a home visit to assess lifestyle and space needs. “We look at floor plan options and see what works best for you,” she says.

Additionally, Connor takes detailed notes and measures furniture pieces the individual or couple expresses they want to bring with them to their new home. She then creates a furniture plan as well as an action plan.

“I make a list of things they need help selling, donating, and discarding. Then we discuss how to accomplish that and which vendors I trust, including my vetted, top-producing real estate agents,” Connor says.

“By exploring your options and choosing your floor plan preferences, you’ll be ready to reserve when the right apartment becomes available,” she adds. “With waning inventory, this is not only an important step to getting the apartment home you want, but it also helps decrease the stress of moving.”