The redbuds popping up on trees are always a harbinger: We’re entering peak season for buying and selling homes in Nashville.
If you’re considering selling this year, there’s a lot you can (and should) do to prep, inside and out, from a thorough spring cleaning to staging some key spaces.
With spring, though, we tend to find the biggest, most consistent needs outside. Fall and winter weather can do a number on your home’s curb appeal, so listing a home in the spring usually means washing away the cold-weather damage and dinginess.
Need a little direction on where to start? Below, some key exterior things that we think are worth taking care of in the spring, before you list a Nashville home for sale.
Clean gutters and downspouts
Especially in our most leafy neighborhoods, gutters in Nashville can really get blasted with dead leaves and other dirty stuff through the fall. It then gets the whole winter to morph into something akin to nutrient-rich soil, in a terrible place. Seeing spring seedlings sprout up from your gutters is unsightly, for starters, but it’s not just aesthetics here — your gutters are key to keeping moisture away from your foundation. A good, thorough gutter and downspouts cleaning is an important part of spring for homeowners, whether you’re selling your home or not.
Clean up landscaping
This is probably going to be a particularly big one this year — it feels like a lot of Nashville homeowners lost plants and shrubs over the fall and winter with our weird (even for us) weather. Landscaping cleanup is going to play a key role in amplifying your curb appeal, so you’ll really want to go all the way: trees and shrubs pruned (and if necessary, replaced), beds weeded and mulched, extra care on edging, maybe adding a few colorful annuals to give your beds an extra pop. If your lawn’s looking a little sad, early spring is a perfect time for overseeding — your buyers may not see the full result of that effort while they’re househunting, but they’ll see that attention’s been paid to bringing the lawn back to its glory, and that’ll underline how the home was loved and cared for, inside and out. And that’s a message you really want to get across, since it tends to bring the best offers.
Wash those windows
This is primarily for aesthetics, yes, but it’s something most of us forget about or put off for months, if not years. And once you take the time to clean the outside of your windows, you’ll be amazed by the difference it makes, especially after all the yuck fall and winter brings. Buyers notice when your place looks sparkly clean as soon as they walk up, and this is a comparatively easy way to set that stage.
Power wash and repair concrete
For those of us who get obsessed with curb appeal, there are few things more satisfying than a power-washed concrete walkway or patio — the transformation is so pronounced and distinct, and the time it takes, with a good power washer, is so minimal. The aesthetics are definitely important here; your clean, clear walkway makes for a nice invitation for buyers. But your concrete can also use some more practical spring attention. Winter’s freeze/thaw patterns tend to bring on and expand cracks, so you’ll almost certainly see more and bigger imperfections after you clean off all the gunk. It isn’t terribly hard to make repairs, and it’ll both look better and stop the problems from getting worse. Small cracks (under a quarter inch or so) can be sorted out with premixed concrete filler that you can find at any hardware store. For bigger ones, you might want to call a pro, but it’s still a doable DIY. Try this post for a little direction on sorting out larger concrete cracks.
Wash and stain/seal decks, porches and fences
After winter/fall, your wooden deck/porch will almost certainly need a good freshening (a spray-off deck wash can usually do the trick if you do it annually, but stubborn staining might require a gentle power washing). Whether you need to stain and seal all your outdoor wood will depend on the kind of stain or sealant you used, and how long it’s been since you last did it. But if you’re planning on listing your home, you might want to push it up. If rain isn’t beading up and the color doesn’t look so fresh any more, it’s a worthwhile investment that’ll make your outdoor space a lot more appealing. If you’re short on time or funds and one has to get the cut, nixing fences is better than decks and porches — buyers really closely eyeball those outdoor entertainment areas, and seeing deferred maintenance tends to get their wheels turning, imaginging other hidden problems.
Schedule annual HVAC service
This is part of any homeowner’s necessary annual maintenance, but it’s particularly important to get done before you list your home. When you get an offer, a home inspector will be coming in to check the home top to bottom, with a particular eye on how the major systems are functioning. You want your HVAC to be in top shape, clean and humming along for the inspection, and not sluggish with debris that’s built up on the outside of your split system over the winter. It’s a fast and easy, but really important process to take care of.
If your exterior paint is in good shape, that’s a big win — it’s a significant job, getting a home’s whole exterior repainted. But if it’s been five years or so since your last exterior painting excursion, it’s probably time, and it makes a big difference when selling your home. If that’s not an expense/job you’re in a position to take on, one way to freshen things on a smaller budget: Tackle the trim. You might be surprised by how much cleaner the home looks, even with just the trim touched up.
If you’re not sure what’s needed or necessary before listing your Nashville home, specifically, we’d be more than happy to go over it with you — reach ACRE here, and tell us about your plans, and we’ll help you get your home listed and sold.