As the spring home selling season approaches, homeowners can take steps to get their home ready to list on the market. At least two months out or more, homeowners should find a reputable dependable real estate agent, typically using word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. References from at least three recent clients should be checked, and before signing the contract, it is essential to be clear on the agent’s commission. A recent survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center revealed 63 percent of professionals negotiate their fees at least half the time, and the average commission was 4 percent rather than the 6 percent deemed the industry standard. About six weeks out, consumers should address any large repairs or upgrades, in particular to the kitchen and bathrooms. The survey suggests that spending about $2,200 on a new dishwasher, range, and refrigerator could provide an extra $6,000. One month out, homeowners should focus on removing clutter, clearing closets and kitchen cabinets, and removing family photos. Such measures can add about 5 percent to a home’s asking price, or about $10,000 on the average property. Two weeks out, it is important to photograph the home using a professional photographer and potentially a stager. All rooms of the home, the exterior, and yard should be photographed. Finally, it is essential to do a deep clean before listing the home online, ideally on Thursday or Friday in anticipation of higher weekend traffic to real estate websites. | Read More