Make the best impression: Declutter, put on a fresh coat of paint, and fix the little stuff.
With interest rates having recently dropped, this fall may be the time to consider buying or selling a home, according to many realtors.
“You have a lot of buyers who suddenly have more buying power and are therefore back in play,” said Mark Zoeller of Zoeller Realty Group, Keller Williams Coastal Realty.
Historically, fall is a good time for buyers, as Zoeller said many people start to focus on home searches again after summer vacation is over.
“Buyers want to get into homes before the snow starts so they can be settled for the holidays,” he added.
Looking at market specifics right now, Zoeller acknowledged that current trends, however, slightly favor sellers.
“Inventory has increased, but is still relatively low, which means there are more buyers competing to purchase the same homes,” he said. “This has been shifting for the last year or so, and we would expect that the shift will continue towards becoming a market more favorable to buyers.”
As for what folks can do to spruce up their house with the intent to sell, Michelle LaCroix, director of operations at Zoeller Realty Group, made several suggestions.
“Decluttering is easy, but often overlooked,” she said. “You are going to be moving anyway, so now is a great time to pack a few boxes.”
The takeaway here, she noted, is to focus on really personal items like a lot of family photos, knick-knacks and collectible type items. She said taking away some of these items will make it easier for a buyer to picture themselves in your home.
“Keep as much as possible off of your counters and floors, too, so use baskets to store things that might normally be on the floor, such as toys for kids or pets,” she said. “You also want to put away small appliances that aren’t often used that you keep on your counter.”
By decluttering, Zoeller added that you make your house appear larger. He said a deep cleaning could not hurt either.
“You can typically rent a carpet cleaner inexpensively and you will be surprised what a difference it can make,” he explained.
On the outside, Zoeller said it is important to keep the lawn neatly trimmed and any flower beds maintained.
“This is your home’s first chance to make a good impression,” he said.
Of course, not every home improvement idea will be possible for homeowners. He suggested that any electrical or plumbing improvements be left to a licensed professional.
“Oftentimes, buyers will want to see receipts from work done and some will feel uncomfortable with projects like that being taken on by the homeowner,” said Zoeller.
Even simpler projects might still be best left to professionals.
“Anyone can throw paint on a wall, but can you make it look good?” he rhetorically noted.
In looking ahead, Zoeller said he sees first-time home buyers remaining as big players in the market with homes priced at an entry level in their respective markets in very high demand. Single-family homes are still the most popular type of property, although he sees an emerging trend.
“We are starting to see an increase in demand for homes that would accommodate non-traditional living situations, such as an aging parent or adult child living at home,” he said.
To learn more about the market, visit zoellerrealtygroup.com, or contact your local realtor.