By James Judge

Homeowners across the Valley are getting ready to list their homes this spring, which, according to a recent Zillow analysis, tends to be the best time of year to sell your house.

Scottsdale-based HomeSmart found the best months in the Valley has varied between May and July during the last three years, which is a good indication that 2019 won’t be that different. Therefore, if you’re thinking of selling, now is the time to get ready!

An essential first step in the home-selling and improvement process is to find an agent who can help you. It’s important to work with someone who understands your neighborhood, the value of your home and what you can do to stand out among the competition. Today, so many people’s first impression comes from the listing photos because buyers are browsing online before they look at a home in person. It’s so important to make sure your home is picture-perfect before listing!

As a designer and Realtor, I work with my clients to enhance their homes with staging, DIY improvements and essential repairs before listing it for sale. With just a few simple changes, a property sells faster and for top dollar. We all know that decluttering, removing personal belongings and cleaning are important when selling a house, but in today’s market, it’s important for sellers to take things a step further. For about $500 or less, sellers can dramatically improve the appearance of their home to help attract buyers.

The Power of Curtains
Curtains are low cost but make a huge visual impact because they add color and help frame a view. Hanging them 12 inches above the window and extending them to the floor can help make ceilings feel taller and the room seem bigger.

My Designer Tip: Install the same solid color curtains on all the windows in the house to create a neutral appearance.

My Favorite Place to Shop: IKEA

Total Estimated Cost: $30-$150

Embrace the Trends
Changing light fixtures can make a home go from feeling dated to looking stylish. Foyer lights are essential because this is the first thing a buyer sees when they enter a home, but a dining room chandelier is where you’ll get your biggest impact because it’s typically one of the largest lights in the home. Make it count!

My Designer Tip: Keep it consistent so that all fixtures are of the same metal finish and a similar style to help buyers feel like the home has a unified design.

My Favorite Place to Shop: Stardust Building Supplies. With two locations in the Valley, you can find amazing second-hand light fixtures and home items for great prices.

Total Estimated Cost: $50-$200

Stage to Sell
Is your dining table too big for the space? Go to your local thrift store to find one that fits the space better. People are not usually buying the furniture, but they are looking at it. Stage your home to emphasize its highlights.

My Designer Tip: Things don’t need to match perfectly, but having the right scale is essential so buyers can imagine their own things in the home as well.

My Favorite Place To Shop: Goodwill. Bigger furniture items are so affordable and you can fill in the missing pieces of your home without breaking the bank.

Total Estimated Cost: $5-$100

Getting a home ready to sell can be a lot of work, but these simple changes are money and time well spent to help your home be the best it can be. If you start now, you can enjoy the DIY part as well. Spray paint is one of the easiest DIY tricks you can use to update a light fixture and completely transform it from blah to beautiful. Gel stain is another simple solution for wood pieces because it allows you to touch up scratches without completely resanding. This can easily turn a thrift-store find into a stylish piece of furniture.

If it’s time to sell, it’s time to get started.

James Judge is a designer and HomeSmart Realtor.