We’re still a few steps away from the busy spring home-buying and home-selling season, even if it already feels like winter’s over (or never arrived). That said, if you’re thinking about putting your Nashville home on the market, you’re running short on time to get things ready to list.
Now’s as good a time as any to start getting things in place, so you can take advantage of the season when buyers really get in gear, tax returns in hand, ready to hand over trust money toward their dream home.
The good thing, too: As trees start to bud, daffodils start to poke out of the dirt and spring sunlight lights up Music City, homes tend to show their best — so long as the owners have done a few key things to prep.
Ready to start that prep? Here’s what we’d recommend:
Talk to a Realtor
Obviously, we’re biased here, but even if this wasn’t our profession, having bought and sold multiple homes ourselves, we know the value of pro advice and guidance, and outside eyes to help you get perspective on your home’s strengths and shortcomings. An experienced, licensed Realtor can help you get a clear sense of what the current real estate market in your neighborhood looks like, how your home fits into it, and what you can do to get the highest return. A Realtor will pinpoint your home’s potential issues, and give you advice on how to make the best first impression — like staging suggestions and other simple upgrade recommendations. They’ll also guide you toward the best marketing approach, helping you hit the MLS with a listing that highlights your home’s best attributes, with clear, effective photos and copy. We’d of course love to be those Realtors. Let us know if ACRE can help you with your listing.
Start cleaning, decluttering and depersonalizing
Once your home hits the market, it’ll feel like you’re cleaning all the time. It’s an unfortunate part of putting your best foot forward during the process. But ideally, you’ll have serious spring cleaning done before you even list. This is the time to dig into all the things you skip over on a normal week, like hitting the windows (inside and out) and deep-cleaning all the appliances. If you have pets, in particular, put extra mind toward carpets and drapes, to make sure the place looks (and smells) fresh. Before the first showings, you’ll want the place to be as clean as it’s ever been, top to bottom. If you’re tight on time, it can be worth hiring a professional cleaner to really make things shine and let you focus on maintaining.
Now’s a good time to pare down, too, and pack up the things that make your spaces look busy and personalized. Photos should go, knick-knacks and the like should be minimized, and overall clutter should get stored away (if possible, in a storage space, so you’re not decluttering the living room just to pack the closets and attic). You don’t want your home to look empty, just, to a certain extent, minimal — less clutter makes rooms look bigger, less personalization lets buyers imagine themselves in the space. The extra bonus to this: Getting started early on packing makes your actual moving week a little easier.
Make the small repairs or upgrades you’ve been putting off
A weird thing happens with potential buyers: Something that, in their own home, might not give them much pause, feels like a scary red flag in a house they’re touring. Think small cracks or burnt-out pot lights. It’s usually a case of feeling like small cases of deferred maintenance indicate that larger issues are waiting to be found, too. So make a list of all those little things you put on the back burner — the loose fence picket, the broken door knob, the cracking caulk on the tub — and start tackling those items. If you can, get some fresh paint in key spaces, like the living areas and kitchen. If you have any highly personalized color choices, taking the time to go a little more neutral is helpful too. Light, bright tones make things feel clean and open, and buyers tend to love that.
Give your landscaping some attention
We all know the importance of curb appeal. And if your landscaping is lacking, buyers are walking through the door already disappointed. (And that’s if they’re even drawn in enough to request a showing or come to the open house.) There’s a lot you can do that’s not massively expensive or time-consuming. Freshen the mulch in all your beds, power-wash walkways or patios, clean your siding if necessary, maybe plant some colorful flowers to give things a pop, and put some potted plants by the front door. You don’t have to go crazy, but you want to put off the start of a buyers’ mental list of projects they have to do. Calling in a landscaper to do a solid cleanup — trimming bushes, clearing up debris, edging — tends to be well worth the investment too.
Schedule your simple service calls
This is probably already part of your annual routine, but it’s a good idea to schedule your regular system maintenance appointments ahead of listing. Get your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up, if necessary, get your vents (including dryer) cleaned. If you neglected your chimney sweeping appointment because of the mild winter, definitely catch up with that. When a great offer comes in, you want the home inspection to go well, and being on top of this kind of system maintenance helps.
Hope these thoughts are helpful. Have any more questions or concerns about putting your Nashville-area home on the market this spring? We’re always happy to chat. Call or email ACRE, and let us know what you need.
An easy way to get started with the selling process: Fill out the form on our website, and tell us about your home. We’ll take a look, and get right back to you.