Thinking of Selling in the Spring???

I truly pity people who have no control over when they need to sell their home.  Careful preparation is the means by which to maximize the price a home will bring on the market and it is best done over a few seasons.  If you are thinking of selling in the Spring, the following are items you should consider in the mid-to-late fall.  And if you are not, this list provides a good general maintenance checklist.

Lawn and Garden Maintenance:

Believe it or not, mid-to-late fall is the time where you can get the best bang for your buck regarding the appearance of your spring yard.  Mid fall, before the dirt starts to freeze, is the time to cut back, thin, and divide perennials.  If the perennials in your beds are appearing cramped or overgrown, get digging.  If you are seeking an easy way to add springtime color, plant bulbs.  It only takes a shovel and a few minutes.  If you are worried about deer eating your flowers, look for a sale on Irish Spring soap.  half in strips of it within your bulb beds will keep the deer away (click here for a discussion on this). If your shrubs are over grown, you can give them a trim, but if you want to cut back more than a little bit, wait to prune between December and February.  Finally dethatch your lawn, and fertilizer the lawn with a high phosphorus mix to ensure healthy grass in the spring (phosphorus helps in root growth, and is the middle number on the bag).  If you wish to trade time and effort for some saved dollars, use the mulch feature on your lawn mower to chop the fallen leaves into tiny pieces and leave them to rot into the top soil — they are high in phosphorous.

If you have a compost pile, be sure to remember to turn it, and make sure that your underground sprinkler system is drained.

Exterior Maintenance:

Performing exterior maintenance will not only help to prevent problems in the spring, it will also save you money throughout the winter in terms of lower energy bills.  First, check your home’s foundation for cracks.  Seal small cracks with caulk, and larger ones with hydraulic cement.  Caulk around the area where the masonry meets the siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the window and door frames to help keep heat from escaping.

If you have storm windows, make sure they are installed, but clean both the interior and storm window prior to installing.  Before storing your screens inspect for damage and send them out for repair.  Make sure your roof is in good condition.  In the long run, preventative maintenance will cost far less than resolving a problem during a snowstorm in the middle of the winter.

Clean your home’s gutters (inside and out), flush them with water, inspect joints and brackets, and tighten if necessary.  Fix any leaks.  If your gutters are in a state of disrepair to warrant replacement, consider installation of new ones with leaf guards.  Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams.

If you have a pool, carefully examine the pool cover for damage and replace if necessary.

Inspect your driveway for cracks.  Clean them out (use a pressure washer), and repair them with driveway filler.  After it has cured, consider coat with a commercial driveway sealant.

Inside the home, remember to change the direction of your ceiling fans to create an upward draft that will pull cold air up and redistribute the higher warm air from the ceiling.

Remove window unit air conditioner units and clean their filters prior to storage.  If you have an exterior unit, cover it for the winter.

If you perform your own yard maintenance with your own machinery, prepare to drain the fuel from all your gasoline powered lawn equipment (mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws).  Also consider this a good time to change the oil and either sharpen or have sharpened, the blades and chains.  Test your snow blower and ensure that you have replacement shear pins on hand in case they are needed mid-winter.

If you have a storage shed, inspect it for leaks and critters.  Addressing both will prevent damage to the items you’ve packed away for winter storage.

Finally invest the effort to maintain your stuff.  Drain your hoses and store them for the winter.  Ensure that the inside valve of your outside water spigots are shut off.  Inspect and fill bird feeders, and ensure that you are prepared to keep them filled all winter.  Inspect your porch or deck supports, stairs, and railings making sure they can support someone slipping on snow or ice.

Clean your outdoor furniture, and if possible store out of the elements for the winter.  Empty soil from clay pots.  Clay pots left full of soil will freeze and expand, cracking the clay pots.

Have your heating system and fireplace inspected.  Not only will this ensure that you will remain warm and safe throughout the winter, but also will provide evidence to a potential buyer that you have had the system and flue maintained by professionals.

Effort spent in mid-to-late fall on these items will save you money over the course of the winter, save you effort and time in the spring, and ensure that your lawn, garden, and home are ready for a last early spring push prior to listing.

If you need help either performing this work, or in selecting a contractor to hire, I can assist.  As always, I can be reached or texted on my cell phone at 413-564-9468 or via email.

Next Post
Comments are closed.