With Christmas and New Year's just around the corner, the last thing you may be thinking about is your upcoming spring home sale. And, yet, now is the time to keep those real estate plans top of mind.
Yes, the holiday season will be filled with hustle and bustle and people and presents, but it also offers the time to begin the home sale-prepping process. It really is the ideal time to make your home merry and bright, sellers.
Here's how to get ahead of the home-selling game during your winter break.
The Three "C's"
No, we aren't talking about candy canes, Claus, and cookies—it's all about clutter, cleanliness and curb appeal when prepping your home for buyers.
Clear Out Clutter
One of the biggest turnoffs to home buyers is a house filled with clutter. Get rid of it now.
Start sorting through closets and drawers to seek out the stuff you no longer want or need. Make two piles—take and toss—and get to work sorting the odds and ends you've collected throughout the years.
Hone down your holiday décor as you take down your tree and start putting away garland and bows. Chances are you'll find boxes of bobbles and holiday trinkets you no longer display that can be donated.
Tackle your kids' toy pile. Make space for the presents that Santa will bring by donating some of the toys your children have outgrown. You'll appreciate the effort you put into clearing out the toy box when it's time to pack for the move to your next home.
Purge your attic, storage space, and garage. If you find boxes you never opened from your last move, you certainly don't need to take them to your new home. Give the items away or donate them to your local thrift store.
Less clutter will make your rooms look larger and give your home a more spacious feel.
Forget about waiting until spring to clean, do it this winter.
Home buyers will want to tour a home that sparkles and shines, and no, we aren't referring to the glitter that fell off your holiday décor.
Try to look at your home like an interested buyer would. Give special attention to your kitchen and bathrooms. If you would be disappointed to find dust-lined baseboards, moldy grout, and sticky, spotted cabinets, you can assume a prospective buyer would be too.
Have carpeted flooring? Consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to remove old stains and pet scents to refresh your fibers.
Wipe down mirrors and windows to let the light shine in and around your home.
Check out walls and doors to see what scuffs can be easily removed with soap and water and what may need to be repainted.
Cleaning now will give you a leg up on the home staging you'll do before you list your home to sell.
Consider Curb Appeal
You may not want to spend a lot of time outside now that the cold weather has set in, but you can still take a look at your home's curb appeal and make plans.
How do your gutters look? Are they lined with leaves and debris? It's probably time to have them cleared and cleaned.
Are your driveway and sidewalks mildewed and stained? Perhaps you should have them pressure washed on a warmer winter day.
What about your trees and plants? Do you need to have any dead limbs removed? Should you replace any diseased bushes or shrubs?
Has your siding faded over the past few years? Do your shutters and front door need a new coat of paint? Ask family and friends to recommend a few painters.
Think about your home's exterior and your landscaping now to determine what you will want to fix before a buyer pulls up to your curb—first impressions always matter, you know.