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Listing Your Home in 2019? Do These 5 Things NOW for Your Best Price

It’s only October so why should you start thinking about the spring market of 2019? Because if you’re considering selling your home in 2019, it’s time to get ready for the selling season. Milwaukee’s spring housing market begins January 1, generally the coldest, dreariest month of the year. And the earlier you list, the more successful you’ll be at getting your asking price quickly. So, getting ready now is imperative!

What is the first thing a homeowner should do to prepare? Here is our detailed list to help you get in the best shape to attain the highest sale price for your home in the new year.

1. Take exterior photos NOW! I cannot emphasize this enough. Taking photos with green grass, beautifully colored leaves and seasonal plantings will make your exterior photos stand out amid the numerous photos of homes covered in snow on every residential real estate site. Those beautiful green photos will attract more buyers and show your home’s beauty and yard size in its best light. So, take both your aerial videos and exterior photos now.

2. Develop your list of improvements. This takes longer than you think. To earn top-dollar for your home, buyers want to know everything you have done to improve the home since you’ve owned the property, right down to the latest interior room you have painted. Ensure the list is thorough and include the date the improvement was completed. Provide lien waivers and receipts for every major repair you have completed, including windows, gutters, chimney, drain tile work, plumbing, electricity, roofing, etc. and attach this to the list of improvements. You may have to contact the company who did the work to get a receipt so start this now. I frequently ask my sellers to create a whole house book which includes the detailed list of improvements along with before and after photos, if they have them.

3. Approximately 20% of all accepted offers fall apart due to inspection issues! Schedule your home for a pre-market whole house inspection. Take the next couple of months to make the suggested repairs so when your buyer performs their home inspection things go smoothly and you don’t encounter inspection surprises you did not anticipate. An ounce of prevention goes a long way toward a smooth transaction. Schedule HVAC servicing and cleaning. This topic is always raised during the home inspection, and if you do it now, you will have the paperwork to provide to the buyer which documents that this task has been recently completed.

4. Complete all handyman items, install new carpeting and touch-up interior paint. Your house must look fresh and be ready to go. Call the handyman now. Contractors are hard to get and even harder to book once the holidays are upon us. Call them today to schedule your projects before the beginning of the year. Paint all the white woodwork dings. If you have carpet, choose new carpeting for the bedrooms and family room spaces. The carpet must be fresh and free from stains, so save the carpet installation for the last home improvement you complete—one week prior to going live on the market on January 3, 2019.

5. If you are selling a vacant home this spring (January 1), winterize your property.

Cold weather can damage a vacant home that is not properly heated and winterized. We suggest every seller winterize vacant homes in the cold-weather months. Winterizing includes water cut-off outside the house, excluding properties where water is required for heat, and emptying all containers, bowls and traps. Internal heat should be maintained between 55 and 65 for any vacant home.

I hope this checklist helps you prepare for what should be another great selling season! If you need help, I consult with sellers on a regular basis and would be happy to provide contractors, painters and carpet installers for your home preparation. You can reach me directly at 414-870-7175.

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us today about buying or selling your home.

Call Suzanne Powers