The New Year is the time to make resolutions to better yourself. Get healthy, spend more time with family, keep your garage organized, etc. So if you plan to sell your house this year, it’s time to start making resolutions to better yourself and your home to secure top dollar for it.

These 5 New Year’s resolutions to live by are designed to get you thinking responsibly. Not only will these resolutions prepare you to sell, they will get you more money and help the entire process run smoothly.

Start making repairs

Give your home a harsh once over and make a list of the little repairs you’ll need to complete before selling. I’m not saying you should demo your kitchen or remodel your bathrooms, but look at the little imperfections you’ve been living with and fix them. The sooner you get these small repairs out of the way, the sooner you can start focusing on bigger things.

Replace the hinges on that broken cabinet, retouch the chipped paint in your entryway, patch that hole in the garage wall, etc, etc. Buyers will be scouring every nook and cranny in your home, so make sure they don’t find anything to worry about. If buyers find little problems, they will either move on or try to negotiate big discounts.

Clear away the junk

Clearing away the junk comes in 2 stages. First of all, do some early spring-cleaning. Take your time going through each and every room, purging your home of junk you don’t need anymore. File away your important paperwork and toss the rest, donate those Christmas presents you never returned and don’t need (from this year or last) and get rid of the unwanted things in your home.

Second, consider putting unnecessary furniture, home goods, the clothes at the very back of your closet and other things you don’t need in storage to open up space in your home before you put it on the market. Buyers want to see space and light and everyday junk distracts from that.

Start following real estate news

It’s a good idea to stay on top of the real estate news so you know what kind of market you’re entering. A good place to start is the latest Orange County Real Estate Market Report from December 2014. Updated each month, our report breaks down the county city by city to show you average home prices, inventory, days on market and more. Keep an eye on your local market and follow the trends so you’re informed and ready when the time is right.

Get realistic

The market is shifting and beginning to favor buyers. Inventory is coming back up and buyers are willing to wait it out to find the right price. According to several sources including National Association of Realtors, prices have been appreciating however they’re doing so at a much slower rate than the past few years. All of that means you need to be realistic about what price to expect for your home.

With the right agent, resources and marketing plan you will get the best price possible, however it’s unrealistic to expect that to be above market value. Getting realistic also means setting a timeline for yourself and sticking to it. Decide when you want or need your home to sell and team up with an agent who can make that happen for you. Speaking of which…

Find a great listing agent

Resolve to find a great listing agent, not just any real estate agent. That means asking for recommendations, searching online, and interviewing several different candidates until you find that perfect agent you can trust. It can seem like a daunting task but we have some easy tricks and tips for finding a listing agent without making yourself crazy.

Just take your time and find someone you jive with so you can start making a plan for 2015. Start your search online at firstteam.com or contact us now and we’ll match you with a top agent near you.

The most important thing about New Years resolutions is to take action – so what are you waiting for?

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