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Refinishing cedar shingles can boost your North Fork home’s curb appeal. (Photo Credit: iStock/Solarisimages)

Last year, the National Association of Realtors reported that recent sellers typically sold their homes for 99 percent of the listing price, and that the typical home was on the market for three weeks .

If you’re shooting for the same and hoping to sell your home this spring, it’s a good idea to get it in open-house shape now. While there are certain buyers looking for a project, many – especially in the North Fork where they hope to close by Memorial Day – are seeking turn-key properties that don’t require much work before moving in. Depending on the state of your home, think decluttering, staging, repairing and prepping it for sale.

This doesn’t have to be a monumental task, but you do want to be organized. Walk through your property with your agent, combing through each room for spots in need of some TLC, suggested Bridget Elkin, a real estate salesperson with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

“In our busy lives, we might ignore minor repairs around the house for weeks, months or even years,” she said. This might include small things like leaky faucets or non-working light fixtures, to larger projects like repairing ceiling cracks and stained, worn-out carpeting.

“It’s amazing what a deep clean and fresh paint can do for the presentation of a home,” said Elkin. “In that same vein, removing excess — specifically personal effects, tchotchkes, and furnishings that make movement around the space a bit tricky — all helps buyers envision themselves in the space.”

Temporary, cosmetic enhancements can also help prime your home for a quick sale.

“I suggest staging the home as best as possible,” said Kristy Naddell, a licensed associate real estate broker with Douglas Elliman. This process may even involve working with an expert to swap out dated furniture and rugs with a more cohesive, modern collection. “Use neutral paint colors and neutral designs for bedding and other accessories,” suggested Naddell. 

Don’t forget about the exterior, a mistake real estate agents say many sellers fall victim to. A curb-appeal update includes landscaping and driveway repairs, making sure the lawn is mowed, adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door, and replacing a worn welcome mat with a clean new one.

“Make sure the front of the house looks good,” said Naddell. “Curb appeal is important. Repair things like decks, touch-up siding if it’s peeling, make sure front steps look good and are secure, and also that gutters are clean and properly adjusted.” Whether you decide to sell or not, by spring your home will be looking better than ever.