With spring being the busiest time for Sonoma real estate, homeowners planning to put their homes on the Sonoma Valley real estate market shouldn’t wait for flowers to bloom before getting ready to sell. Having a few weeks to prepare can make for a much smoother and faster transaction. The spring real estate market is often very fast paced and it’s important that you understand what to expect. Please review our ‘Ultimate Guide To Selling Your Sonoma Home in Spring 2017’ to discover exactly what needs to be done in preparation for a wildly successful sale.
ITS ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW | Carol Sebastiani and Associates will consult with you to create a game plan that will lead to a highly successful sale. I will guide you through the process and answer any questions ensuring a seamless experience. I have been a top Sonoma Valley agent for over 10 years and I consistently rank in the top 1% of real estate agents in both Napa and Sonoma counties.
LESS IS MORE | Sort through belongings, room by room, and determine what you want to keep, what to donate and what to sell. Boxing up items will make your space look more spacious when it’s time to show your home. You can also get an idea of whether you need to rent a storage facility while your home is on the market
Many homeowners who begin planning for their move will elect to purchase a storage facility or unit. Since there are many different types of storage options it’s important to know how to choose a storage facility or unit beforehand.
A BLANK SLATE | If you visit model homes or open houses, you’ll notice the absence of magazine stacks, children’s artwork and family photos covering the fridge, or a porcelain doll collection. While everyone has clutter, buyers want to see the ideal version of your house. Once your home is on the market you’ll need to keep it as neat as possible by reducing the number of items you have on in plain view. Tuck away countertop appliances and family photos, laundry baskets, cat and dog toys, etc. Packing away mementos and items you don’t need will make a significant difference in helping potential buyers envision this as their next home.
BEAUTIFYING | Almost every home can use some improvements and when listing your Sonoma home for sale, you do not have to make every improvement you can think of, but you can make minor repairs and improvements that will make your home look modern and clean to buyers.
Aside from major home repairs, there are several projects that you can do around your house that are low-cost, high-ROI when it comes time to put your home on the market.
INTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS | Below are some of the most important interior tasks to complete when preparing a home for sale.
- Clean windows
- Clean light bulbs and replace, if necessary
- Wash and polish flooring
- Vacuum and steam clean any carpeting
- Dust all surfaces
- Organize all closets and storage areas
- Repaint/Neutralize rooms, if necessary
- Deep clean appliances
- Get air flowing and clean out the air ducts
EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS | As we all know, curb appeal of a home usually makes a significant impact on whether or not a buyer elects to view a home. Below are some of the most important exterior tasks to complete when preparing a home for the spring real estate market:
- Reseal driveway
- Freshly mulch flower beds and gardens
- Trim shrubs and bushes
- Plant bright flowers and plants
- Clean windows
- Paint faded or peeling paint, if applicable
- Wash siding, if applicable
- Clean and inspect gutters and downspouts
- Inspect roof
- Inspect chimney
- Service your HVAC systems (furnace & central air conditioning)
- Evaluate the efficiency of your home
- Inspect the plumbing
REGARDING PAINT | Putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls and trim will always make a big difference. Especially when it’s a gorgeous neutral and on-trend shade. Many designers are experimenting with colors other than the typical shades of white. Darker shades can add depth and interest to a room, while still remaining neutral. Using a darker shade to provide a contrast with trim and molding can really highlight these architectural details. Paint companies Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore have both recently announced their 2017 Color of the Year: Sherwin-Williams has picked Poised Taupe for 2017. Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for the company, described it like this: “It’s like gray and brown had a baby.” Meanwhile, Benjamin Moore selected: Shadow, a purplish hue…”sophisticated, provocative and poetic, it can bring energy to a space or harmony and a moment of respite” in the words of the company’s creative director, Ellen O’Neill. Some great places for these darker colors are bathrooms and soaring ceilings. These rich colors add dimension and make a home feel cozier. Some additional gorgeous 2017 Spring trends are Carrara marble, White Oak flooring, fresh cut flowers or foliage, and supple textures, to name a few.
TIMING | The spring market, anytime after February 1st and before June 1st, is the undisputed season for home selling. Not only are flowers in bloom and the sky blue for some great marketing photos, but also people are eager to get the process started so they can be moved in and settled before fall. Spring is considered a generally favorable time for both buyers and sellers as the weather improves allowing homes to show well and more frequently, along with an uptick in inventory for buyers to browse. To the contrary of what many sellers believe, timing the spring real estate market is very important. Listing a home for sale too early or too late can cost a seller thousands of dollars. Carol Sebastiani and Associates will discuss with you about the current market conditions in order to determine exactly when to list your home for sale.
Carol Sebastiani and Associates will analyze statistics from previous years to see when the best time to list a home for sale in a particular neighborhood. While it’s no guarantee that the current year will be the same as previous, by analyzing trends within a particular area from previous years, I can increase the chances that we time listing the home for sale correctly.
Listing before the spring market kicks into high gear has some real benefits, including exposing your home to motivated buyers before the competition floods the market and If you spend the winter months preparing for spring, you’ll find yourself ready to move fast when buyers come out of hibernation.
Spring 2017 is the best time to be selling a home in Sonoma Valley, for multiple reasons;
- Supply of ready, willing, and able buyers is the highest in the spring
- Buyers typically get their tax returns during the spring which can be put towards the purchase of a home
- More daylight and sunshine means homes will typically show better
- Our especially gorgeous landscaping and curb appeal during the spring is better than the fall or winter months
- Overall, prices across California are expected to remain fairly stable over the next year or so
- Long-term forecasts call for gradual appreciation over the coming years, so buying a home in the state is still considered a good investment
Whether you’re buying or selling, the spring real estate market can be a hectic and fast-paced season. The National Association of Realtors recently conducted a new consumer survey that predicts home values will continue to rise over the course of 2017. After an impressive year for the housing market in 2016, 62% of current homeowners believe it’s a good time to sell. And because The state’s job market has improved steadily since the recession, now is still a very good time to buy.
PRICING | Deciding what price to list your home at takes more than just knowing what you would like to get for your home; you need to have a clear understanding of what other homes like yours have sold for. Carol Sebastiani & Associates will be able to do the research on comparable homes in the area and help you price your home to sell highest and fastest. I will provide you with a great marketing plan and my deep Sonoma Valley real estate market knowledge is extremely important. Another extremely important part of the game plan that needs to be determined when preparing to sell a home during the spring real estate market is the price a home will be listed for. Carol Sebastiani and Associates will consult with you to help determine the price your home should be listed at, in order to initiate a timely and sale.
PREPARING FOR SHOWINGS | It’s very important that when selling a home, whether it’s during the spring or not, that a seller understands how to prepare a home for the real estate market. Having a checklist for what to do when you get a showing notification is very helpful. Go through the house and tidy up, put away dishes, vacuum, hide personal items and set out fresh cut flowers. A first impression goes a very long way. If you happen to have kids or pets, the importance of understanding expectations becomes even more crucial. When it comes to having pets and your home on the market, the best option is to always remove them from the home when a showing occurs, and try to keep the home clear of pet hair and any litter boxes put away. If the pets are not friendly and worried they might be aggressive then they should be kept in a kennel during showings. You don’t want to have an accident and be liable. If you have a room dedicated to child toys in your house, stage it to show how great it is.
WHAT’S NEXT | Should you buy your new home before selling your current one? If you plan to buy another home, an important decision to make is whether to sell your home first or make an offer on a new home before putting yours on the market. Another important tip on how to prepare for the spring real estate market is to begin planning for your move. One of the worst mistakes that a homeowner can make is to wait to begin planning for their move, which can create confusion and delay the closing process. I can help you evaluate how fast homes are selling in Sonoma County and help you estimate how long it will take you to find a home. This decision also depends on your financing, so you may want to consult with a lender to see how you can finance the transition from one home to another if you choose not to sell your home first. Since the Sonoma Valley spring real estate market is so fast paced, it’s feasible you may receive an offer within the first 24 hours and these are questions that must be answered before listing your home for sale.
IN ‘CLOSING’ | If you’ve decided who to sell your home during the spring real estate market, I highly advise these steps for an enjoyable and successful experience. With the help of Carol Sebastiani & Associates, and by following the proper tips on how to prepare for the spring real estate market, it can be a very streamlined process. I look forward to helping you sell your next Sonoma home!