Many sellers would like their house to sell as fast as possible. After all, having a house on the market can be an inconvenience because showings and the hassle of keeping your home tidy at all times; or the risk of leaving a house vacant. Oftentimes, sellers are in the process of purchasing another home and do not want to get caught paying two mortgages.
Typically, if you are looking to sell fast you will fall into one of three possible categories:
Don't be fooled by all the fast house sale scams and/or marketing gimmicks. The simple truth is, regardless of motivations, it's still all about price regardless of the condition or location of the property. If a property is priced correctly, it will sell fast just by taking the correct selling approach.
Simple tips to improve the speed (and price) of selling your home:
- Walk in the shoes of a potential buyer by viewing your competition with a completely objective eye. How do the other houses for sale in your neighborhood compare to yours? Does yours differ greatly in price point? What about attributes that may be in demand? Try to look beyond whatever emotional tie you have to your property and see it strictly from a buyer's view while comparing alternatives.
- Determine your 30-day price. This is not necessarily your listing price and probably not your selling price, but it should represent a price on the lower end of market value that would likely sell your property quickly. Knowing this price will help you identify an appropriate listing price, as well as a selling strategy for potential price reductions and to keep your property in the market spotlight.
- Get a professional home inspection to uncover any hidden issues that could pop up during a buyer’s home inspection then create a plan to address these issues. Items uncovered during an inspection can create delays for a real estate transaction, so addressing these issues sooner versus later prevents delays and minimizes unanticipated costs. In some cases, you may make the decision to disclose an issue versus repairing it, then correctly adjust your price and selling strategy accordingly. Another benefit, is a sellers home inspection may have the ability to find better balance and neutralize a buyer home inspections, as many buyers home inspection are leveraged to gain additional negotiating power by exposing everything that is wrong or might go wrong.
- Address any glaring exterior and interior issues. Give attention to your lawn, doors, any peeling paint, cracked siding, loose shingles, flaws on the wall or floor, cracked or chipped concrete, uneven walk-ways, marks on the wall or floor, and other issues that may create negative attention and/or a prospective buyer's first impression once inside the door. Buyers would rather see how great your home really looks rather than imagine how great it could look.
- Embrace neutrality. Choose a neutral palette for paint colors in as many areas as possible. While you may have a perfect color to coordinate your decorating theme, neutral paint appeals to the broadest number of home buyers. Select your colors with this in mind.
- Let in natural light and be sure all burnt out bulbs are replaced. Natural light is extremely appealing to most buyers, whether they realize it and have it on their list of criteria or not. Pull back your window coverings, clean your windows and let the sun shine in to brighten up your home. For evening showings, turn on both exterior and interior lights to add warmth and make potential buyers and agents feel welcomed.
- Make your home sparkle. Other than a small investment in cleaning supplies, it costs very little to deep clean all areas of your home, but the results can be a game changer. Pay particular attention to the kitchen and baths because these rooms can sell homes. Be sure all odors are removed from pet areas. Along with cleaning, replace any worn or damaged appliances, repair unsightly caulk and address any leaking or damaged plumbing.
- Depersonalize and de-clutter. Your family photos help to make your house your home, but the goal is to have a prospective buyer picture his or her own family living in your home. This becomes more difficult if you have a lot of family portraits displayed or simply a lot of personal clutter. Buyers should be able to walk through your home and look at all the fantastic features, and not be distracted by anything else that hinders their ability to picture themselves living there.
- Stage rooms. Making sure furniture is properly arranged to maximize the presentation of each room. Think about traffic flow and how you can improve the spaciousness of some areas or the coziness of others. If you can't afford to replace furniture that is showing a great deal of wear and tear, then remove it.
- Consider less expensive alternatives. If certain rooms, like kitchen and baths, need to be remodeled or require additional work to look their best, consider less expensive alternatives to full renovation. A fresh coat of paint or replacing outdated appliances with better used models can work wonders. Replacing handles or knobs with newer, inexpensive hardware is another inexpensive trick for giving a room an updated look without the expense of a full remodel. Investing in major renovations when you are putting your home on the market will rarely pay off dollar for dollar.
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There's a myriad of improvements, repairs, staging, cleaning up, promoting and marketing any seller can undertake under the proper guidance and/or experience, but in the end it comes down to the seller's willingness to establish a price the current market will accept. If the price is wrong, a sale will be delayed or not occur regardless of how well a seller and a Realtor have addressed everything else to make the property appealing.