March 20, 2024

Loan Officer, Mortgage Insurance, Origination, Sales Tools, Homebuyer Education

Preparing to Buy or Sell a Home in the Spring

Spring Homebuying and Selling Article Header

 

For most of the country, spring is the busiest season in real estate. Warming temperatures, blue skies, and blooming flowers help bring out a property’s best features, and eager homebuyers are more likely to tour homes and make an offer before school and family obligations at the end of the year.

The buyer’s and seller’s checklists below can help you prepare for the spring market.

Why Getting Your Home Market Ready For Spring Matters

Spring is traditionally the busiest season in real estate, so if you’re thinking of listing your home on the market, now may be a great time to do it. But you’re likely not the only homeowner taking advantage of this season. How well you prepare your home for the market may help increase your chances of a successful spring sale.

Here are several reasons spring may be a great time to sell your home:

  • Buyers are searching: Many buyers are looking to move before or during summer, especially families with children.
  • The weather is ideal: Potential buyers may be more willing to attend open houses and showings in warmer weather.
  • Curb appeal: When the sun is out, and the flowers bloom, you can show off your home’s beautiful landscaping and exterior features.
  • It’s an excellent time to make home improvements: It’s much easier to make repairs in the spring when the weather is a little more cooperative.

Seller's Checklist for Spring Header

Selling a home sometimes involves more than just placing a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn. The seller’s checklist can help you prepare your home for the spring real estate market.

Work with a trusted real estate agent: An experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent can help you market your property and negotiate on your behalf to help you get top dollar for your home.

Create a sale plan: Create a plan and have everything in place before listing your home. This can include:

  • Knowing where you plan to move after selling your home
  • Having an idea of when you need the property sold and the transaction closed by
  • A comparative market analysis (CMA) performed by your real estate agent to help you determine your home’s listing price
  • All necessary paperwork completed with your real estate agent in advance

Get to work on spring cleaning: According to the National Association of Realtors, 96% of agents recommend decluttering the home[1]  Decluttering and deep cleaning your home can help attract buyers and potentially lead to higher offers. Consider adding these tasks to your spring cleaning checklist:

  • Declutter countertops, surfaces, and closets
  • Deep clean every room of the house
  • Wash windows
  • Polish hardwood floors
  • Steam and shampoo the carpet
  • Get rid of unpleasant smells

Focus on curb appeal: Blooming flowers and natural sunlight can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. Take a look around your property immediately in front of your home. Clean up dead leaves, weeds, and other debris, plant bright flowers, lay down fresh mulch, and make sure your front door is pristine.

Make necessary repairs:  Another item to add to your checklist is spring maintenance and other critical fixes. Consider cleaning out the gutters, changing the filter on your HVAC system, cleaning the exterior siding, checking your roof for winter damage, and power washing the driveway. Focus on fixing things that could impact your home’s sale price.

Prepare for showing:  After you clean and take care of necessary maintenance and repairs, it’s time to prepare your home for showing. Here’s what real estate agents typically recommend to prepare for spring showings:

  • Depersonalize your home by removing family photos and other personal keepsakes
  • Lock up your valuables
  • Take out the trash
  • Open up the windows to allow light and fresh air into your home
  • Relocate pets and their items, such as litter boxes and dog toys
  • Add fresh flowers
  • Keep it clean

Want to know how to help borrowers in a purchase market? Check out our upcoming webinar to learn strategies on how to be more competitive, engage with real estate agents, and potentially close more loans in a purchase market, check out our upcoming webinar on May 2nd. Register here. 

 

Preparing to Buy in the Current Market

Across the country, affordability is one of the biggest challenges for homebuyers. Higher mortgage rates, elevated home prices, and limited housing inventory have made it more difficult to afford a home. Getting your financials in order is more important now than ever, and buyers should figure out how much house they can afford, shop for mortgage rates, and set realistic goals. House hunting could also take longer than planned, and don’t be surprised if the seller is prepared to negotiate.

Buyer's Checklist for Spring Header

Competing with other buyers in the busy spring market can leave many stressed and overwhelmed. But it shouldn’t stop you from finding your dream home. Here are several tips to help you navigate the spring market.

Prepare your finances:  Get a copy of your credit report and make a list of your monthly income and expenses, including debt. By knowing where you stand financially, you can take the necessary steps to improve your credit score, pay down debt, and save more for your down payment and closing costs.

Get pre-qualified:  Consider getting pre-qualified for a mortgage before putting down an offer on a home. A mortgage pre-qualification may help you narrow your home search by giving you a specific estimate of what you can borrow from a lender. It also helps put you in a better position and lets sellers know you’re a serious buyer.

Prioritize your needs:  Make a list of your wants and needs in a home. Create a checklist to use when looking at properties while keeping your budget in mind. This can help create a more efficient home shopping experience. If a property doesn’t have your must-have features, you’ll be able to cross it off your list and move on to the next one.

Partner with a trusted real estate agent: Experienced real estate agents can be a great resource throughout every stage of the buying process. Agents often have early access to listings, stand in your corner during negotiations, and are knowledgeable in their local market.

 

 


 

[1] 2023 Profile of Home Staging (National Association of Realtors, March 2023)

© 2024 Radian Group Inc. All Rights Reserved. 550 East Swedesford Road, Suite 350, Wayne, PA 19087. Radian Group Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates make no express or implied warranty respecting the information presented and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Redistribution or reproduction of all or part of the contents without Radian’s prior written consent is expressly prohibited.

 

 

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