I am excited about selling Windsor real estate in 2013. For the first time in several years we are seeing optimism in the market. Consumer confidence, price appreciation and multiple offers are just some of the buzzwords we are hearing and witnessing. Obviously, there are still some challenges with foreclosures, but overall, we believe there is a positive momentum that will carry us over any bumps in the road in the upcoming year.
We are seeing an improved unemployment rate, increase in holiday spending and an overall better outlook on our financial future. This rolls over to the real estate market. Buyers are feeling confident in their purchase and many sellers are no longer watching their property sit on the market when it is priced right. Today, consumers believe that the worst in the real estate news is behind us. Other good news:
- Buyers are looking and buying larger homes.
- Multiple offers are no longer rare, especially when a home is priced right.
- Inventory Down
In 2013 we expect to see real estate shifting more towards a seller’s market. Prices are rising and those buyers who want to move up in home size are out looking. In fact, if the real estate forecast remains true, it may be these buyers that drive the market. For sellers looking to downsize and sell their larger homes, this is excellent news. For the past five years buyers stayed away from bigger homes, but now, they are back and eagerly looking.
My advice to anyone waiting to spring to sell their home is to think about putting your home on the market sooner. As I have mentioned, most sellers don’t put their homes for sale during the first few months of the year so inventory is small. But interest rates are low, so buyers are looking now and these are serious buyers. Therefore you are at a huge advantage to get a head start on your competition. If you house is ready to sell, then move ahead.
However, don’t rush to sell if your home is not ready. It’s never a good idea to put a house on the market if it doesn’t look good. Buyers may be serious, but they also know what they want, and most don’t want a home that has not been prepared to sell. At the very least:
Have curb appeal. This is crucial to a good first impression. Make sure it is clean as any sloppy exterior will make buyers think the inside of your home isn’t so great either. Clean the gutters, power wash if necessary, maintain your landscaping and create a welcoming front door.
Make repairs: If you have broken windows, a leaky faucet or a room that needs painting, do it now.
Remove clutter: This isn’t as easy as you think, but you need to look at your home as someone else’s when you prepare it for sale. Buyers want to envision their belongings in your home. Clean it up and move your belongings to storage, donate or sell if needed. Remove any extra furniture or personal items so that buyers see a home they can move into.
Organize your closets: Once again, they key rule is to create a closet that gives an appearance that you have plenty of storage space. I have known clients to remove and only leave one-third of their belongings in the closet. So if you need to do this, store clothes you are not wearing this winter, elsewhere. Remember to clean out kitchen cabinets and pantries as well. Yes, buyers do look.
Make your house spic and span: From ceiling fans to floors, make everything in between clean and shiny. It must sparkle.
Eliminate bad odors: Make sure you hide the kitty litter and spray an air neutralizer throughout your home. It’s always a good idea to have fresh flowers or perhaps bake a batch of fresh cookies. Don’t cook anything that has a strong odor the night before a showing. So forget fish, garlic and anything like that.
So as you can see, if your house is not ready to sell, then start preparing if you want to put it on the market soon. It’s usually not something that can happen overnight, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming either. Most sellers can’t believe how much better they feel when they eliminate stuff they no longer use. It really is a fresh start and a great opportunity to start the New Year off right.
For buyers, be prepared in 2013 not to sit too long before making an offer on a home that you love. In the past five years, many buyers had time to look around before making a decision. But today, we are finding that homes priced correctly are going quickly. We expect to see more of that in 2013, especially when the busy season starts.
So yes, 2013 is full of optimism that we haven’t seen in many years. This is good news for both buyers and sellers. As home prices increases, interest rates still low and buyers looking at all price points, we are looking forward to a better year.