Edina, Minn. – Dec. 20, 2011 – Spring may seem far away, but for homeowners who are considering putting their home on the market, it's not too early to start thinking spring, say Edina Realty experts. In fact, getting a home ready to go on the market takes a lot of time – time to go through and get rid of clutter and do the basic updates that homebuyers expect to find in a home these days.
"A home that's clean, uncluttered and up-to-date will stand out from the competition in the spring market," said Bob Peltier, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services. "Remember: you only get one chance to make a first impression, so you should make any improvements and update your home before buyers start looking at your property," he said. "Otherwise, you run the risk of having to repeatedly reduce the price to find out what the market is willing to pay for it."
The spring market is important because that's when most real estate transactions take place. While the housing markets in greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin continue on a slow, steady road to recovery, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington market ranked the top healthiest market in the nation, based on housing projections from Moody's Economy.com. In fact, the Twin Cities market is technically in a balanced market with 5.7 months of inventory due to the fact that the housing inventory has been steadily declining.
What does that mean for home sellers? Spring will be a great time to sell a home, according to Peltier. "Right now, we actually need more sellers to get into the game," Peltier said, citing increase in closed home sales and decrease in housing inventory. "The inventory of desirable homes in good neighborhoods that are well priced is in high demand among buyers," he said.
Peltier said while it's a smart idea to put a home up for sale in the spring, it's a lot easier said than done. Often, homes need to be updated with new paint, appliances, light fixtures or flooring. Remodeling key areas such as kitchens and bathrooms can also have a big impact on attracting buyers, but these improvements take time, money and planning.
Edina Realty offers four key tips for homeowners who are considering putting their home on the market this spring:
1) Plan: Go through every room in your home and make a list of what needs to be done, from the bigger projects, to painting and other updates. Sometimes it's difficult to gain perspective when you've been living with the same home décor for many years. Invite a professional or even a friend whose taste you admire to come in and give you their honest opinion before you come up with your final to-do list. Write it down: that's now your plan.
2) Purge: Throw away, donate, or sell items that are not used or needed in every room in your house. Take a day for each room, and before the holidays are over, you can purge your entire home. The holidays are a good time to purge, because many of us take extra time off, and new gifts often require us to free up additional space. Plus, you can get your children involved in the project of deciding what goes and what stays – perhaps because it's got sentimental value. Collect items in your garage or basement and you can either sell them in a garage sale, or better, yet: get into the holiday spirit and donate them to your local area shelter, church or charity. Remember to get the receipt for your tax write-off.
3) Primp: Now go through your list of to-dos and start working the plan. First, separate the list into those tasks that you can do yourself and those that will require the help of a professional. Get at least three bids on those bigger jobs. Websites such as Angie's List and ServiceMagic are great for getting multiple bids on your home projects. Then get to work on those little projects you can do yourself. You might even hire kids who are home for the holidays to help you with some of those chores, from painting to organizing memorabilia and family collections.
4) Peruse: Finally, peruse other real estate listings in your neighborhood to get a sense of your "competition." A good place to do that is on Edina Realty's website, the leading real estate website in the area. You can even find what homes have sold for in your neighborhood during the past two years.
For more information on the housing market, to view homes for sale and property listings, or to find a Realtor® who specializes in your community, visit http://www.edinarealty.com or m.edinarealty.com from your mobile device. You can also download free apps from your iPhone or Android phone.
Edina Realty, a subsidiary of HomeServices of America, is one of the nation's largest real estate companies with approximately 60 real estate offices throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin and 2,100 REALTORS®. Edina Realty's family of companies includes Edina Realty, Edina Realty Title and Edina Realty Mortgage. Edina Realty handled nearly 25,000 transactions and $5.3 billion in sales volume in 2010. For more information, visit www.edinarealty.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter: facebook.com/EdinaRealty and Twitter/Edina_Realty.