10 tips for getting your house ready for the spring market

With spring just around the corner, the real estate experts from Bulldog 100 have generously offered some advice if you’re looking to put your house up for sale after the long winter season. From inspections to pricing, here are 10 tips for successfully springing into the housing market.

1. Get a pre-inspection done

Check the attic and crawl space for any issues with water intrusion or rodent activity. If you don’t want to do this yourself, we have home inspector partners who can do a quick four-point inspection of your home just to check for major issues like this.

— Joe Cozart (BSED ’03, MED ’06, PHD ’11 ), Cozart Realty

In this process, they will point out many of the same items a potential buyer’s inspector would discover that might possibly scare off an otherwise great buyer.

— Bob Allen (BBA ’81), Greater Athens Properties

2. Take care of any repairs

Take care of the minor repairs before going to market. If you know something needs to be fixed, get it done before any buyers enter your home. If repairs aren’t addressed in the initial offers, they will still come up during the inspection.

— Scott Talley (AB ’04), 5Market Realty

If you want top dollar, make sure your home does not look like a renovation project to a homebuyer. Check your home for rotten wood on the exterior.

— Blake Underwood (BBA ’04), Athens Real Estate Group

Have a handyman do a lap around the outside of the home to replace any rotten boards. This includes rotten soffit, facia or window trim.

— Joe Cozart

3. Have a purposeful design

Make sure every room in your home has a purpose. Turn a bonus room into a playroom or office space. Defining a use for all parts of your home can help buyers see more value.

— Scott Talley

4. Clean and declutter

Move your boxes to the garage or a pod in the yard. Empty those closets and storage areas to the bare minimum items needed to live a normal, comfortable lifestyle. You probably have not opened some boxes in years, so eliminate them so your space looks larger and inviting.

— Bob Allen

Declutter your home and then get the smaller spaces well-organized. Closets, bathrooms and laundry rooms show much better and appear larger when they are efficiently organized.

— Scott Talley

Deep clean the entire house so that it smells fresh and tidy as potentially buyers tour the property… Too much clutter makes the home feel smaller than it really is.

— Blake Underwood

5. Paint … and repaint

If you need some cosmetic upgrades inside or outside, please consider making the changes needed. If the paint is showing signs of wear and tear, have it painted; maybe it is just the trim outside or old wallpaper that dates the home on the inside. You do not have to completely renovate your home. You just need to make it show as move-in ready for most consumers.

— Bob Allen

Get a fresh coat of paint.  This could be inside or out, especially if it has been more than seven years.

— Joe Cozart

Spend the extra time and money to make sure your home is SHOW READY. Pressure wash, fresh pine straw, declutter closets / garage, clean gutters and please paint that wild color in the dining room to a more neutral color.

— Bonneau Ansley (BBA ’99), Ansley Real Estate

6. Make sure there’s curb appeal

Give your home an exterior face lift. Take a look at your home from the street and examine what could be done to brighten up the front of your house. Landscaping, flowers, mulch, pressure washing or just painting the front door can go a long way.

— Scott Talley

Be sure to dress up the landscaping with fresh pine straw or mulch, trim the shrubs and keep the grass cut.

— Blake Underwood

Curb appeal is very important. The home needs to look its best from the road. If you have to hire a landscaper to get the front of the home looking its best, now is the time to invest in the yard.

— Bob Allen

7. Figure out the best timing

I like to list on a Wednesday night and call for highest and best offers by Sunday evening.

— Bonneau Ansley

8. Price accordingly

Make sure you price the home correctly — use an appraisal or a pricing evaluation.

— Bonneau Ansley

Be sure to price your property at market value. If you price your home correctly, you will see maximum exposure and possibly multiple offers. On the other hand, if you price it too high, the home could sit on the market and ultimately cost you more money.

— Scott Talley

9. Check over your buyer

Make sure you choose a buyer who is pre-qualified to purchase your home.

— Bonneau Ansley

10. Talk to a realtor

Hire an agent that you are comfortable with and is an expert in your market.

— Bonneau Ansley

Call your favorite realtor — or several — to walk through and give opinions on things to do to help the sale and suggested pricing. Realtors do this every day and know the local market better than any website like Zillow.

— Bob Allen


The annual Bulldog 100 Celebration takes place on February 5. There, the UGA Alumni Association will reveal the No. 1 fasting-growing business for 2022.