5 Market-Tested Tips for Selling Your Home

March is the most lucrative month to sell a home in Philadelphia. Here are some tips to get your property sale-ready.

Be it grand or humble, your home will sell faster if you get it ready for its closeup. Seen here: 817 Roberts Rd., Ambler (now off market). | TREND image via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

A lot of old wives’ tales aren’t true. By now, we know that a full moon is not directly responsible for strange things and that keeping the doctor away requires a little more than an apple a day. However, there may be something to that old real estate adage about spring being the best time to sell your house.

“Selling in spring certainly rings true in Philadelphia,” says Matt Proctor, head of content marketing at HomeLight, a company that uses sales data and client reviews to match sellers with real estate agents. According to HomeLight’s “Time to Sell Calculator,” March is the best time to list your home in Philadelphia. In fact, if you list your home in March, you can sell your house for almost 14 percent more than the yearly average.

If you want to get your home on the market this month, here are some market-tested tips to prepare your house.

  1. Spruce up the exterior. “Top agents really stress your home’s curb appeal,” said Proctor. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the yard and front façade are the first things a prospective buyer sees of your home. Don’t let house hunters rule out your home on first glance, make sure the exterior of your home is well maintained.
  2. Maintain an online presence. Nobody wants to be catfished. This applies as much to 21st-century real estate as it does to 21st-century dating. The first step people take in searching for a home nowadays is looking online. Making your home look appealing and desirable online is the perfect way to pop up on the radar of potential buyers. This means showcasing your home with the best natural lighting, as well as emphasizing the best qualities of the space and of the neighborhood. “Whatever a prospective buyer sees on that listing determines whether or not they show up,” said Proctor.
  3. Spring cleaning. It’s more than throwing away your old clothes and knick-knacks. Decluttering is a piece of advice that always comes up with real estate agents. A little goes a long way. Cleaning can be as simple as clearing off your countertops and organizing your closets. It’s a cheap way to make your space look bigger and more pristine. “Making sure hedges and flower beds look good and that windows are clean can all be done on a Saturday afternoon for relatively no money,” advises Proctor.
  4. Keep it simple. One man’s classy décor is another man’s tacky trinket. Keep this in mind when decorating your home. Personal eccentricities in design may turn off a potential buyer. Creating a minimalist style, if only during the selling period, well help house hunters imagine their own style in the area. Proctor recommends a professional stager if you have the capital. They’re relatively inexpensive and know what designs sell.
  5. If time is a factor, wait to list. While March is the most profitable month to list your home, it’s not exactly the speediest. If you’re looking to sell your home fast, the best time to list it is in May. Since a home usually stays on the market for about four months after listing, this means it would sell in August, which is the best month to close a sale. According to HomeLight’s “Best Time to Sell Calculator,” a home listed in May could sell almost a week faster than a home listed in any other month.