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Preparing to Sell 

The basics of getting a home market-ready

The only thing consistent in life is change, and this winter, the Central Oregon real estate market is proving this. In previous years sales start to decrease in late fall and then gain momentum again once spring and summer approach. This new year is starting off differently as evident by the open houses that are bustling with activity from a larger-than-normal buyer pool currently looking for their perfect home.

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The notable data from the current market is the increase in total number of homes sold, which jumped from 167 in November to 205 in December—reminiscent of spring and summer statistics. Whether the goal in 2020 is buying or selling, now is the prime time to begin preparing. If making a purchase, the priority is to get financially ready and keep current on market updates to avoid soaring prices or interest rates. If planning to sell, whether now or later this year, a few quick and easy checklist items will help a home become market-ready. Prepping now will avoid an overload of to-dos in the coming months and these tips for homeowners can make a large impact on a small budget of time and money.

Clean, declutter and make it sparkle:

 It's a perfect time to tackle a deep cleaning. This means washing the windows, curtains and blinds; cleaning the carpets and floors, including tile and grout; cleaning out drawers, organizing closets and clearing off counter tops. Also do some organizing. Nicely stacked containers or boxes in the garage look much better than overflowing junk drawers and stacks of unpaid bills. Clutter can be distracting to prospective buyers. Removing personal items, such as wall art with family names or photos, will allow potential buyers to envision themselves in the home.

Keep it light:

Replacing light bulbs with brighter, more efficient bulbs will make a home more welcoming and appealing. Pruning landscaping near windows will allow more light to come in and will also highlight the views. Both of these inexpensive projects are simple ways to make the home feel more spacious and cared for.

It's the little things:

 Sellers will frequently ignore small maintenance items they believe buyers could easily repair themselves, but that actually depreciates the home—so always make sure everything is working properly. Adjust doors and windows so they open and close properly, replace broken door handles or outlet covers, fix leaks and make sure all lights and faucets function. These little projects always pay for themselves.

Larger renovations require expertise, planning and extra funds, and it can be difficult to know what should be done to prepare a home for sale. The answer is that it's always a case-by-case situation. It's essential to consider the financial situation, the motivation for moving and seller's goals with the home sale. Consulting with a trusted realtor who knows what buyers are looking for is crucial in making wise and cost effective decisions.

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