Get Your Atlanta House Ready for the Spring Real Estate Market

Spring Real Estate Market

Spring real estate marketYou’ve made the decision to move during the spring real estate market.  Congratulations!  You have overcome one of the biggest obstacles to making that a reality.  Whether moving for reasons that are emotionally joyous or emotionally painful, there are things you need to do to get ready for the market.  Listing a home for sale in the Atlanta market requires doing some “home work”.

1. Pack up all the leftover holiday stuff and store it away.

2. De-clutter your home.  Less is definitley more as you prepare your home for visitors.  If you have way too much stuff consider donations to Goodwill.  If you have the means, consider renting a storage unit and packing away extra stuff.  If you can’t do either, choose a corner of the house, garage etc. and store away your stuff in boxes.  Make it look like you really want to move.

3. Find out how much you owe on your mortgage.  You probably get a monthly or annual statement that has this info on it.

4. Call your local Realtor.  I am not talking about your cousin’s haridresser’s friend who has a real estate license.  Call a professional Realtor who has had success selling homes in the present market.  Ask how many transactions the agent closed in 2011.  Ask how many were in your neighborhood.  Call me if you need a referral.  

5. Meet with the Realtor to discuss the potential sales price of your home.  You will receive information from recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.  This is often referred to as a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis) by the real estate community.

Spring real estate market6. While meeting with the Realtor, ask them to review your home to analyze what work needs to be done to get it ready to go on the market.

7. Take a look at he Realtors marketing plan while they are meeting with you.

8. Take action on the items identified by the Realtor.  The usual suspects include

a. Cutting back shrubbery so the house has better curb appeal

b. Painting the front door.

c. Interior paint.  This might be just a couple of rooms or it could be the whole house.  Also, this could include removing out-dated wall paper.

d. Replace worn carpet.

e. Refinish worn hardwood floors.

f. Replace a couple of strategic light fixtures.

g. Replace kitchen countertop.

If you need help with these items, most Realtors have budget priced handy men and contractors that can get the job done for a surprisingly low cost.  My contractor gives you a set price up front.

8. If you find out you need to sell your home for less than you currently owe on your mortgage, you will need to call your lender and start the short sale process.  It is hard to pick up the phone but once you get through it is just an order taking process.  You will be given a list of documents to round up and turn in the to lender.  The list probably includes pay stubbs, bank statements, tax returns etc.  Once you list your home with a Realtor, the bank then does most of the communication with your real estate agent.

9. Final cleaning.  Use a professional cleaner if you don’t want to do it yourself.  Cost will be around $150.

10. List your home for sale.