There are many things that you can do to help your home sell fast. Though your local home market may fluctuate, there are still some core principles that manage to transcend the trends and remain applicable.
- Contact a Local Professional Real Estate Agent. A good agent knows what the home market in your area is like and will be able to give you a comparable market analysis to help you determine a proper list price. A lot of people believe that skipping on a professional sales agent will save them money – but a real professional sales agent will ultimately save you a ton of time, stress, and hours of tedious marketing (there is more to marketing than just putting up a “For Sale By Owner” sign).
- Shop Around. Do not settle for less than the best when you are deciding on a professional to work with. You want someone with a strong internet presence, an engaging marketing presentation for potential buyers, a proven track record of sales in your area (complete with positive testimonials and reviews).
- Research. The internet isn’t JUST for cat pictures. There are lots of free websites that allow you to peruse recent home sales in your area. Check out homes that are similar to yours in bedroom/bathroom number and square footage to get an idea of what people are buying and compare that to homes similar to yours that have been listed for an extended period of time to see what people are not buying. Doing your own research will help you better understand what to expect and it alleviates some of the stress and anxiety that people sometimes feel when selling a home.
- Price Appropriately. If you want your home to sell, it is important that it is priced competitively. The more competitive the price, the more interest you will elicit from potential buyers, the more showings you will receive, ultimately culminating in offers.
- Curb Appeal. The exterior of your home, yard, and driveway are all part of the very first impression of your home. You have no idea how many times I have pulled up to a home with a client and they tell me, “Nevermind, let’s not waste our time in here,” even if the listing is one they liked online! If your home’s “curb appeal” isn’t taken into consideration when preparing to sell, it will be apparent and it will turn off buyers. Keep your lawn cut in summer, your driveway plowed in winter, and your leaves raked up in autumn. Take a look around your neighborhood to get an idea of how others in your area spruce up their front yard and take some pointers. It doesn’t hurt to consult a professional landscaper either to see what they recommend. You don’t have to get carried away spending tons of money, just something simple and inviting that helps your exterior pop.
- Tidy Up Inside. When one of my buyers wants to write an offer, the number 1 reason they cite for choosing the house that they are making an offer on is always that it was “kept up well,” or it looks “well taken care of.” Take the time to clean your home. After you have cleaned it thoroughly from top to bottom, get a second opinion – your neighbor, your cousin, a close friend, a professional cleaner perhaps – anybody whose opinion you trust that has a fresh perspective. Low-cost maintenance things should be handled before listing. Fixing door handles that don’t work, replacing light bulbs that are burnt out, greasing the hinges on squeaky doors, and putting up a fresh coat of paint (neutral color) are all easy things to do that will help your home’s impression with potential buyers.
- Invite Imagination. When a buyer is looking at your home, you want that buyer to be able to imagine himself/herself living there. Pack away your personal items and get rid of any and all clutter. Your personal items will distract the buyer from envisioning their own stuff there and the clutter will ground the buyer’s fantasy as a subtle reminder of the real world.
- Eliminate Unattractive Smells. Sellers who have pets, teenagers, or smokers in their house may have developed an immunity to the smell these things create – an immunity that potential buyers may not have. Get an honest friend to help you assess your home’s aromatic challenges and put together a plan of action to get rid of bad smells and keep them gone. It is important to stick to your plan so that you can prevent unpleasant aromas that may be undetectable to you, but could also fundamentally transform a potential buyer’s impression of your home. Also be mindful of your cooking. If you have a showing at 5:30pm, there might be a better dinner option than fish.
- Always Be Ready To Show. Most of the time you will have advance notice of a showing if you are working with a sales agent, but if your agent calls you up and asks if you can squeeze a showing in, you want to be able to say “Yes!” every single time. Every showing is critical. Best case scenario you get an offer. Worst case scenario you get feedback about what the potential buyers liked and disliked about your home. Showings are absolutely key to selling your house – very few people will take a chance buying a house without seeing it.