Are you ready to think spring? I may be pressing my luck but it's not too early to start thinking about the new selling season! I know real estate sales can happen on any given day of any given month but the law of averages says your greatest opportunity for buying or selling happens between April and September. So, if you follow that rule of thumb, it's not too early to start getting focused on beating the rest of the competition when those buyers begin to get serious. So, if you're a seller, what should you be doing to get prepared? Well, you should start by calling one of our CENTURY 21 House of Realty brokers in any of our southern Illinois offices. We know real estate and how to help you get ready. But, if you're not ready to make the call yet, here's my "A List" of what to do to get started. First, grab yourself a notepad. Any size will work. A notepad because you're gonna play act! I want you to act like the most serious buyer you can think of. Someone that's really scrutinizing your home. Using that pretend purchaser, go through the entire house with a fine tooth comb. Every room, every closet, from floor to ceiling. How does it look? Trust me, if you're serious, you'll see a need for patinting walls, possibly new carpet, fresh paint, etc. Now, don't take it to heart or be the least bit offended. Even the best of homes in southern Illinois have a list of a"Honey Do's" that neeed attention. So, don't hold back. Look at EVERYTHING! Then, take your growing list outside and critique the exterior components of your home. Once you've created this laundry list of things needing your attention, begin prioritizing the most pressing items that could have the most profound impact on your home's value? Now, mark it all down. When all is reviewed, set a target date to complete those most glaring concerns. Always remember what may cost you a few hundred bucks to replace or repair will cost twice as much to fix in the eyes of the buyer. And, that will be reflected in what you will get when you go to sell it! It's so important to review and fix as many negative aspects in your home that you can. Believe me, the buyer will see the little things; even if you don't. I've listed and sold real estate from Marion to Murphysboro and Lake of Egypt for going on a quarter of a century and I can't tell you the times clients who followed my direction and got their honey-do list completed BEFORE the home was listed go under contract way sooner than those that chose not to. One last thought for today. It's my seasoned experience that says if you don't have your home listed and under contract within 60 days of listing it online, you will have most lik1ely lost the market. Why? Those critical 60 days reflect the time it takes for all of the current buyers that are out there right now (and there are a lot of them!) to have had the chance to size up your home's price, location and condtion. If they don't like what they see, they'll pass you by ...and it's very unlikely they'll come back. When that happens, you're then at the mercy of waiting for new customers to come on line and see it. Is it worth losing a good qualified buyer for your home simply because you chose not to create and complete your honey-do list? So, whether you live in Marion, Carbondale, Creal Springs or anywhere in between, just know, we're happy to wait a few weeks and help you to prepare than waiting weeks facing price reductions by jumping in prematurely. That's the way I see it!