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  • The flowers are blooming and soon real estate will be too!

    Saturday, February 17, 2024   /   by Amy Brown

    The flowers are blooming and soon real estate will be too!


    We are right on the edge of the Spring buying season which will begin on March 1st. Any homeowner who has decided that this year is the year should start making some decisions, doing some research, and begin preparing themselves, their families, and their home for the market.
    In most real estate markets the spring is the best time to be selling a home, for multiple reasons.  Some of the most common reasons why the spring real estate market is the best time to be selling a home include;

    • Supply of ready, willing, and able buyers is the highest in the spring

    • Buyers typically get their income tax returns during the spring which can be put towards the purchase of a home

    • More daylight meaning homes will typically show better

    • Landscaping and curb appeal is prettier during the spring than the fall or winter months


    What should I do to get ready? Here's a list:

    1. Prep the exterior - Buyers typically drive by a home before they call their agent for a showing and curb appeal can mean the difference between them knocking on the door or passing your home by. Go ahead and get your daffodils and tulip bulbs in the planting beds and lay some fresh mulch. Clean out any leaves or debris, clean the gutters, and trim any trees or bushes that have gotten out of control. Also, do a walk around of your home and make sure that the siding, fascia, and soffits all look in good repair with no chipped paint or decaying trim. And check your decking to make sure that there are no loose boards or rot.

    You can also do some easy spruce ups by adding shutters, painting your front door, adding flowers around your mailbox, etc. to add a little extra pizzazz to the outside.

    2. Declutter - Spring is a good time to do this anyway as we all tend to hole up during the cold months and accumulate extra things like magazines, craft supplies, and empty boxes that we just didn't feel like taking out to the trash when it was freezing. Go ahead and start purging so that all of the surfaces of your home look clean, clear, and spacious.


    3. Interior DIY repairs
     - when you live in a home,  you tend to overlook small things that buyers can pick out in a minute. Things like cracked switch plates, outlet covers, chipped baseboards, scuffs on the walls, and such are normal wear and tear but can make a home look shabby. Go ahead and fix these little handyman things ahead of time.

    4. Deep clean - All of the little things that we put off will need to be done before the photographer comes. Things like cleaning the cabinet faces, blinds, washing the curtains, touching up the wall paint, and dusting the baseboards. And don't forget about the mechanics. Buyers pay just as much attention to your water heater, HVAC, and water filtration systems so change the filters and dust off the furnace. This will need to be done before any buyer inspections anyway.


    5. Get a pre-inspection completed
     - If you have some concerns that maybe your roof is approaching the end of its life, you suspect termite damage, or any other major repair that you may need to address, go ahead and get a home inspection. It will cost approximately $500 dependent upon the square footage and distance from town but it could save you thousands. By knowing what a potential problem is, you can go ahead and fix that ahead of time or you can adjust the list price to reflect that so that your sale goes more smoothly and you have less surprises. If you forego that knowledge, you could find a buyer asking for large seller concessions instead of a reasonable repair cost which could cost you the deal if negotiations go south.

    Spring prep for buyers


    The market here in Western North Carolina is going to move quickly again this year. Activity has already picked up significantly. The average days on market from list to close in all price brackets is only 34 days!!! And for homes priced under $500K you can expect them to go under contract in less than 4 days. 


    For this reason, you HAVE to have your financing ready to go. No matter if you are paying cash, using a lender, or a 1031 exchange; you will need to provide proof of funds (cash), preapproval letter (loan), or have your relinquishment property under contract (1031 exchange) for a seller to consider your offer in this market. 

    Don't go home shopping until you have completed this step. Contingency offers are very rare in the Asheville market as sellers have way more buyers to choose from than you have sellers to buy from. So please...have your finances ready before you look at homes. Nothing is more disappointing than finding a home that you love only to know that you are not ready to purchase it. By next week, that home that you love will be gone.

    Talk to your agent about expectations. In a fast-paced market,  you need to know what to expect from homes in this area so that you don't waste a lot of time looking at homes that you don't like. Things like dirt roads, steep driveways, tri-level homes, are very common here so discuss with your agent what you need so that they can point you in the right direction. 


    Learn basic real estate laws
     before you start picking out a house. For example, if you are shopping for a short term rental, you need to know that you can't rent out an entire home short term within the city limits. The home stay law prohibits that. Talk to your agent about what it means to have a shared road or driveway maintenance agreement, or a shared well agreement and what your obligations are. Discuss easements and rights of way. And talk about HOA rules and restrictions. Real estate law can be tricky on even its best day so talk to your agent about what you want to do with your home so that they can help navigate.

    Buying and selling a home is a lot to take on but if you are prepared, you can alleviate a lot of fear and anxiety. Take control of your sale or buying experience by doing the research, gathering the facts, and completing the preparation steps first to make your transaction smooth and easy.