Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: March 7, 2018 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Spring is allegedly right around the corner, which typically means more homes will be hitting the market.

How should your clients update their homes before listing?

“Since we are talking spring, I would focus primarily on the exterior,” said PAR President Todd Umbenhauer. “Exterior lighting fixtures are often overlooked in home maintenance. As a result, many of them have been in place for 30 years or more. Updating to current fixtures will make a difference in curb appeal. While you are at it, consult a lighting design expert about adding lighting to landscape beds and walkways. This can dramatically improve how a house presents and makes for very interesting photographs that are taken in the evening.”

“Just as nothing gives a greater return on investment than fresh paint on the interior, but please – not white on white,” he said, adding that fresh mulch in defined landscape beds really spruces up exterior appearance. “Trim back overgrown trees and shrubs, replace cracked window glass and power wash walks and porches. And if you are selling, please understand your locks should operate effortlessly. Nothing takes the excitement out of a house tour more than the Realtor® struggling for five minutes to open the door while the clients impatiently wait in 30-degree weather,” he added.

PAR President-elect Bill McFalls agreed with the landscaping, noting “fresh mulch, bulb flowers and a freshly painted entryway” are key. He also suggested a “good house cleaning” and recommended opening the windows as the weather warms. “That fresh air smell is intoxicating while touring a home,” said McFalls.

“My best advice is to de-junk as much as possible, along with yard cleanup to give the best curb appeal,” said PAR Treasurer Chris Raad. “Try to focus on any deferred maintenance prior to listing, as many buyers are concerned over issues that will need immediate attention.”

“List sooner than later, as more homes will continue to come on the market throughout the busy summer season,” Raad added. “Striking first may get you sold first.”

And while PAR First Vice President Bill Festa said he doesn’t see much staging his market, it makes a difference. “When it is done, it really gives the buyers I’m showing the right feel for the home they are seeing. Much better than just a vacant home,” he said.