The moment November hits my calendar, I’m instantly hyper-aware that the end of year is upon us. I feel like the last three months of the year fly by quicker than any other time of year. If we plan accordingly, though, we can position ourselves, our goals and our task list for a strong new year. This is very true for those homeowners considering selling after the holidays. The next three months are an ideal time to prep your home and logistics to leverage a profitable, stress-free(-esque) sale in early 2022.
My prediction is that the first quarter of 2022 will be red hot for South Florida real estate. Not only will sellers have local buyers vying for their property; they will also have the snowbirds and ongoing interest from relocation buyers. While this bodes well for sellers, it does not mean your houses do not have to be in tip-top shape.
Here are my top five tips, even during a seller’s market, that will impact your return on investment.
- Interview reputable, experienced Realtors who have a track record in your neighborhood. The Realtor you align with will provide a slew of expertise to best position your property.
- Start assembling a binder with property information such as property surveys, a detailed list of updates and renovations (including closed permits, warranty and manuals), insurances and the like.
- Curb appeal is vital. Landscapers, painters and other contractors are in high demand — hence why starting this process early will give you a leg up in the January housing market. Consider painting your exterior, if needed, or the trim for a clean appearance. Pressure cleaning is also a low-cost investment that yields high results. Planting in November will result in lush landscape by the new year. These small enhancements will pay off — trust me!
- Decluttering is easier if you tackle it over a longer period. Three months is ample time to tackle those overstuffed closets and cabinets that buyers open to assess storage. That exercise bike you use as a clothes hanging surface may be an eyesore in your bedroom. Consider selling it or storing it (or using it until you put your home on the market). Many rooms may have excessive amounts of furniture or decorations. Use a very critical eye and pare it down.
- Consider repairing those quirky small items that may be off-putting to buyers (for example, the scuffed-up baseboards, the dripping faucet and the closet door that gets stuck). These small repairs help buyers see a move-in-ready home worthy of a high offer.
January might seem like it’s far away (I personally dislike seeing Halloween candy and Christmas ornaments coexisting in the stores; I swear retail is speeding up our clocks), but alas, planning is required for the best outcomes. If you want to leverage this extremely profitable sellers’ market, early 2022 is your time. One final note: If you are going to list your home after the first of the year, have the house professionally photographed without the Christmas decorations. Around January 15, you will be glad you did.