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[caption id="attachment_2831" align="aligncenter" width="420"]23 Winfield Court Providence 23 Winfield Court Providence[/caption] The spring season is the busiest time of all in real estate. With buyers ready to jump into the market, agents are prepared to work tirelessly so each listing gets an edge over other competitors.  For sellers who are anxious to get ahead of the game this spring, you don't have to wait for the flowers to bloom to get started. There are ways they can be proactive on your own. Here are 5 tips to marketing your home for sale this spring. But first, let's begin with the exterior of the home and then work our way in. Why? A good first impression makes all the difference when showing a property. 

5. The Importance of Curb Appeal

Some studies show that a majority of buyers will not move forward with a showing if they do not find the home's curb appeal aesthetically pleasing. Think about it: You (potential buyer) have dreamt of finding an enchanting 5 bed, 3 bath English Tudor cottage in a suburban neighborhood close to the proximity of downtown Providence. Low and behold, your agent secures one for you. As you both drive up towards the prospective home, you immediately see huge driveway cracks and a few discarded pepsi cans on the front yard. Don't let bad curb appeal happen to you. It's the  easiest way to deter potential home buyers from even going inside your property. As a seller, not only does it showcase the level of maintenance you have put into your home, but it is also reflective of how much you respect the neighborhood. Here are some suggestions for sellers:
  • Don't invest in outlandish water fountains, 13ft columns or lawn ornaments. In other words, additions that don't provide a return on your investment. That doesn't mean your home's exterior shouldn't have its own unique presence, but it's important to stay in synch with your neighbors.
  • Make sure the exterior colors are neutral and inviting. Colors to avoid: pink or neon green.
  • Keep trash and trash cans off the front yard.
  • Install exterior lighting.
  • Replace the front door or repaint it.
  • Fertilize grass and shrubs.

4. Determine What Your Home is Really Worth

When it comes to putting your home on the market, it's important to determine a sales price that is both competitive and true to your home's value. Oftentimes, the agent and seller don't meet eye to eye on this. When this does occur, it's because sellers sometimes have expectations that don't necessarily match with reality. It's vital for a seller to negotiate on a price with the agent, because if you don't, the listing may end up on the market for far too long. Trust the agent's advice, it's what they're hired to give. The general consensus is that the longer a home is on the market, the longer it stays on the market. Buyers simply find it unappealing that a home isn't in demand for everyone else looking to buy. Avoid this mistake and do your research. Tip: Don't rely on Zillow's "Zestimates". This generic home valuation tool typically undervalues your home.

3. Clear the Clutter And Stage Your Home

The moment a potential homebuyer enters a home, they are immediately struck with an instinctual or gut reaction. As a home seller, your job is to allow these buyers to get a taste of what it's like to live there. In other words, what makes this home ideal for families, those looking to retire, or first time home buyers. That doesn't mean you should leave a pile of magazines on the side of the couch, or have your children's toys sprawled out on the floor. Create a fresh perspective of your home by hiring someone to stage your home.

2. Give Your Walls A Fresh Face

Home designers will tell you that the simplest and most inexpensive way to update your home's appearance is with a fresh color of paint. You won't necessarily know the taste of every buyers entering your home, so it's best to go with warm and inviting colors. Simply keeping your walls bright white will make your home feel stale or cold. An even worse scenario would be to have dirt on white painted walls. Ouch. Sellers: How to Use Light to Increase Your Home's Marketability

1. Work with An Agent Who is Well Networked

There are a TON of real estate agencies in little ol' Rhode Island. That's no secret. This doesn't necessarily mean that a seller should go with any agent around the block. For the size of this market, it's important to work with an agent who is well networked.  Marketing 101 dictates that great photography and a reasonable sales price is only half the work. If your agent has a small network, your listing won't extend itself to other social networks in a timely manner. They will simply rely on other agents in other firms to do the work of finding a great fit. That could take a while. Secure an agent that has a solid reputation amongst buyers and sellers, and it known for selling properties in a short amount of time.

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Jim DeRentis
Sales Associate
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