Want to Sell Your Home This Spring? Read This.

Colleen Hungerford shares her tips, advice, and predictions for selling your home this spring in Indianapolis.
Red house in between two houses on a tree lined street with bright blue sky behind.

Created in partnership with Colleen Hungerford, The Agency Indy.

Colleen Hungerford

Weather aside (because who even knows anymore?), the first day of spring is right around the corner, with many homeowners thinking about buying or selling. We sat down with Colleen Hungerford, Real Estate Broker with The Agency Indy, to find out what potential sellers should do now to prepare for a successful sale this spring.

What’s the vibe for the 2024 real estate market? 

Spring is going to be exciting. The Federal Reserve announced they will cut interest rates six times starting Q2 through 2025. That is going to cause excitement for buyers and sellers. That’s why I’m telling people to buy now—if you’re a buyer, you’ll get a better deal right now because we’re almost at a balanced market. But as soon as the rates drop, all the buyers return to the market. I don’t think it will be 2020 vibes, but I think it will be exciting.

If you’re ready to sell your home, what’s the first step?  

Decide if you need to sell your house to buy a house. If you’re going to sell your house, where are you going? We need to figure that out. Next, we need to prepare your home. 

How should we prepare a home to sell? 

I’ll come out and possibly bring a stager, depending on the size of the house, the area, the location, and whether you’re taking all your furniture with you or not. We’ll have suggestions to present the home in its best light. That might include painting, landscaping, changing light fixtures, or some of the repairs that people have been putting off that need to be done prior. 

There is work that goes into preparing your house for sale. It isn’t like you call a realtor; the next day, your house is up for sale. And if it is, please don’t hire that person—you won’t get the most value for your home.

How long is it going to take? 

The best-case scenario is somewhere between 60 days to three months. If you don’t have that timeframe, that’s fine. We can do it faster, but it’s less stressful for you if we have a little bit more runway. After we stage, we photograph, and we start marketing internally. We want to go to market pretty quickly after photographing and stage because we want the house to look like what it looked like in the photos. 

About that. How does one do this with kids, pets…you know, life? 

Ideally, you go somewhere else for the first weekend or the first week. If you can get out, get out because we want to get as many people through that door as possible in the first week of it being listed—ideally, the first weekend. That’s our most valuable time. And if people are in the home, and they’re rejecting showings, and they’re not letting people get in, you’re losing dollars. 

Your realtor should ask these questions. Can we set up for showings? Where are you going to be? If you’ve got a bunch of kids, how are we working with that? How are we working with naptime? How are we working with sports and activities and things like that? We make a plan. None of that’s a problem; we just have to have enough information to create a really good plan. 

Why is spring a good time to sell? 

If it’s mid to late spring, everything looks really beautiful. Everything’s green, the flowers look great, the weather’s better. More people like to be out during that time. We’ve been very fortunate with this winter market that the weather has been so good. We’re still getting people coming to open houses. But Indianapolis looks gorgeous in the spring. It’s like such a lovely time. And it photographs really well. And so we’ll also think about where your house is and what your landscaping looks like, and think about that as far as the timing of our photographs so that we can get the best photos.

How do you set pricing? 

Pricing is a game-time decision. We can talk about pricing two to three months ahead of time, like a range, but we have to see what’s happening the week of when we go to market. At that time, we might decide, “Oh, wait, the house down the street that’s not as good just sold for 10 grand more,” and make an adjustment. 

What’s the most important thing to know about the process? 

Setting expectations and a plan. For example, what happens if your house doesn’t sell on the first weekend? Because that’s not the market that we have right now. If we’re going to price at the higher end of the market, are we going to have a plan to reduce? Are we going to hold strong? When we get our feedback, how will we adjust to the feedback? It’s important to have this conversation continually and early on.

What’s the number one thing people should tackle before putting their house on the market? 

Declutter. Even if you think your house isn’t cluttered, we’re doing this for showing. We talk about removing some personal stuff, but also we want the house to feel like a home. We will remove a lot of decor because when you show a house, we don’t want people to be distracted by your decor. We want them to imagine what it’s like to live there. So decluttering and then cleaning—especially carpets— and painting. 

Considering buying your selling your home this spring? Contact Colleen Hungerford for a free consultation. Call (541) 231-1647 or email colleen.hungerford@theagencyre.com

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