What Lazy Days of Summer? How to Prep Your Home for the Fall Market

LKR Agent guest post by Verne Folkmann

Summer is here!

With its steady hum of lawn mowers and the smoky scent of BBQ wafting over the fence. It’s hard to imagine how busy things will get again in just a few months. While the real estate market in the Iowa City/Coralville area is always active, the fall will bring more listings—and more buyers. Some buyers are already looking so they can get settled before the new academic year. So if you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s never too soon to do a little prep work.

It may take a couple months to get everything in shipshape, so save yourself last-minute stress and get to work! Here are four places to start:

  1. Gather dates of major systems updates, like your HVAC and roof—even if a previous owner did them. Have those ready for the Realtor to share with potential buyers. Disclose anything that doesn’t work well, like a hot tub or steam shower.
  2. Don’t just declutter, give each room a purpose. For example, move gym equipment out of the garage and keep toys off the porch. If one spouse is using a spare closet for their clothes, put them back in the master bedroom; buyers might assume there isn’t enough closet space for two people. Remove personal items like family photos and collectibles, no matter how much they make it feel like “home.” You may need to rent a storage unit or stack boxes in a friend’s basement.
  3. Fix things that need fixing, and clean things that need cleaning. This could take a little while if you need to hire work out. Buyers will notice leaking faucets, broken door handles, ripped screens, and, of course, pet odors.
  4. The first impression is everything! See my earlier post on boosting curb appeal.

Here is some motivation: Most of these fixes will help you live better in your home, even if you decide not to sell or if your circumstances change. Who knows – maybe you’ll fall in love with the spruced-up version of your home!

Verne Folkmann, | REALTOR®