The satisfaction of your need for speed when selling your house depends on several key factors, the most important of which is the current market. Though you have no control over whether the market is hot or cold, it’s a good idea to be at least cognizant of how fast other homes are moving so that you can act appropriately to get your house ready to sell.
In a buyer’s market, when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, you’ll have to work extra hard to promote your house over the competition. A seller’s market, on the other hand, puts you in the driver’s seat, and there’s less work to do.
How to Sell a House Fast: 7 Tips for a Quick Sale
1. Get the right agent. Find the superstar-listing agent in your town. You know the type – the ones with their photos on billboards, or whose name seems to be plastered all over town. If there’s more than one superstar real estate agent in town, great! Interview both of them. Find out the average time their listings remain on the market before selling.
Now, remember, days on the market is largely a function of the type of market and list price, but you should be able to tell which agent gets homes sold the fastest.
2. Set the right price. Your agent will determine the market value of the home by comparing it to similar homes in your area that have sold recently. Now, here’s the part most sellers are most resistant to: If you want to sell your house fast, take the agent’s market value and list it at 10 percent below that figure.
This doesn’t mean aim to price it 10 percent below market value after several price drops as it sits on the market. “Nothing smacks of desperation more than incremental price drops,” according to real estate expert Barbara Corcoran. If you want it to sell a house fast, come out of the gate with an attractive price.
The low listing price will certainly make your home stand out from all the others on the market, but there’s more to be done.
3. Offer incentives. If you think your house is going to be a tough sell, consider offering to pay the buyer’s closing costs. Buyer incentives are attractive and may give your house the leg up on the competition. If closing costs put too much of a dent in your pocketbook, how about paying for new carpet, new paint – buyer’s choice of color – or new appliances?
4. Prep the house inside and out. Next, it’s time to deal with the house. Curb appeal – how the home looks from the street – is what gets buyers out of the car and into the house. Check yours. Repaint the front door, pull weeds, tidy the landscaping and add some colorful flowers.
Once you have them in the door you want to keep them there. At least long enough to view your wonderful house. So, add some oomph to the interior.
Cleaning the house is a must. Just as you wouldn’t try to sell a dirty car, why would you market a cluttered, messy house? Box up and store all the clutter, and clean the house until it shines.
5. Great pictures matter. Once the house is in top shape, have your agent photograph it inside and out. Insist on lots of clear photos that show the house in the best light. That means moving cars out of the driveway for photos, keeping kids and pets out of the frame, closing toilet seats and absolutely no blurry shots.
6. Marketing matters even more. Although it is your agent’s responsibility to market the home, follow up with her to find out where she’s advertising. Make sure the marketing campaign is aggressive from the beginning.
7. The first offer is the best offer. Keep this old real estate adage in mind. While it isn’t always true, it is more often than not. Unless the offer is unthinkable, holding out for a better one is a waste of time when you need to sell a house fast.
Whether you need to beat the clock on a foreclosure or get to your new job in another town, it is possible to sell your home fast. Motivation is key in following all the steps it takes to get it done.