Ask any real estate professional why March is so exciting, and they will tell you it is more than just better weather, longer days and more sunshine. It is the start of the spring selling season. For the Hudson Valley, this year is full of promise.
A very active year is projected for real estate sales in both Rockland and Orange counties. Right now, we are in the most ideal time to list a property. The spring market season runs from March through June and is known as the unofficial start of the real estate year, characterized by an increased number of home sales and new listings.
Last year, home sales increased about 20 percent compared with 2014 in Rockland and about 24 percent in Orange County. I believe we will see a 16 percent increase in Rockland and 20 percent in Orange because inventory levels in both counties are down – 11 percent in Rockland and 7 percent in Orange – compared with 2015.
Low inventory puts more pressure on existing homes to sell. My advice for those considering listing is to beat the trend and get listed on the market earlier to stand out from the clutter of new listings. In addition, it is important to be realistic about listing prices.
There is more potential sellers can do to set their homes apart from the competition, however. First, give your property an overall spring cleaning followed by staging. Staging refers to the art of decorating a house to sell quickly and for the most amount of money as possible. Cleaning should focus on the inside and outside, from landscaping to touch-up paint to making the windows sparkle.
According to HGTV’s “10 Best-Kept Secrets to Selling Your Home,” the number-one tip is to focus on curb appeal: “You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers.”
Finally, once a home is clean and personal effects are removed, it should be staged with universally appealing furniture. As tempting as it might be to have a batch of cookies baking in the oven before a showing, or a new candle burning, the lack of aroma is actually the best scenario. By following these simple steps, sellers can make the most of a blooming spring selling season.