Spring is when everything wakes up for the year… the trees, and the flowers, and the housing market!

We enjoyed a few days that felt like spring, even though that seems far away today. (The groundhog did try to warn us.) But if you’re hoping to sell, don’t let that relax you back into winter mode. Realtor.com reports that the time to start preparing is now!

Moreover, “you want your home to be ready to list at the start of the spring home-buying season,” says Lisa Cahill, co-owner of Evolve Real Estate in St. Petersburg, FL. “If you hold off on getting the process started, you may not be ready to put your home on the market until the late side.”

Look Inward

Agents and professional stagers often focus on curb appeal (with good reason). But in winter weather your landscaping is dead, most things look dingy, and repairs can be wasted time and money.

“If you replace siding in the winter, it could get wear and tear before spring,” says Yee. So if you live in a snowy city like Buffalo or Chicago, wait until closer to spring to do exterior work.

Work on improvements inside instead. Go room to room, and make yourself a to-do list.

Even small repairs, like fixing chipped paint or replacing a leaky faucet, are good to get out of the way during the winter. Also, “when you repair surface issues, buyers are less concerned about finding major problems with the home,” says Cahill.

You can also use this season to make cosmetic upgrades, which will keep the home from feeling dated. Little items like door handles and drawer pulls can make a big visual difference in a room.

If you want your home to hit the market in spring, start getting ready for the market now! By the time warm weather arrives, you’ll be ahead of the game.