12 Insider’s Secrets To Sell Your House Faster In Today’s Market
1. Chose The Right Price – The right price sells a home faster than any other factor. When the listing price is more than 5% over market value, the price alone discourages buyers. An overpriced house scares away potential buyers who think they can’t even afford to look. Buyers who do look at an overpriced house know they can get more house for their money elsewhere. Reducing the price later may help, but it won’t generate the excitement a new listing does, nor can it bring back buyers to passed up an overpriced home to purchase another property.
Conversely, underpricing your home will cost you money even though it may result in quick sale. If you price your home way under other homes in the area buyers may think something major has to be wrong with it and not look.
Your Realtor will help determine the Fair Market Value of you home or the price your home will probably sell at. Even if you are unable to negotiate your price much it is always good to look at a market analysis by a local agent so you know what your competition looks like.
2. Top Condition – A home that really sparkles gets the top dollar when it comes to the bottom line. Next to “the right price”, which plays a vital part, move-in condition sells your home fast. Get rid of junk you’ve accumulated and clean top to bottom. Dirt, odors, and clutter can turn a buyer off. Dare to make your home look better than you’ve ever had it looking before. Make it truly a “model home”. If you are unable to do this or would like assistance ask your Agent for advise.
3. Curb Appeal – Your home only gets one chance to make a good first impression. That’s why curb appeal is one of the most critical points in selling. Buyers are apt to fall in love at first sight, or not at all. If a buyer is not immediately turned on, chances are the first impression will not be counteracted by the most perfect floor plan or the most immaculate, tasteful interior. Buyers “in love” picture themselves at home in your home, even discussing how their furniture will be arranged; and they are the ones more willing to pay your price. So spruce up the view of the house from the street: lawns, shrubs, flowers, windows, front door, mailbox, whatever will enhance it’s “buy me” look. Pay special attention to the main entrance of the house, inside and out, where buyers will get their first close up impression.
4. Bright Decor – Probably the best dollar-for-dollar investment for selling your home fast is fresh paint. Neutral colors are best. Next to fresh paint, fresh carpeting (replaced due to either condition or color) makes a big difference. Generally, spending elbow grease is as effective as cash: care to shampoo, floor polish, stronger light bulbs (or extra lamps), open curtains,wiping down light switches and outlet covers, white graphite for locks, 3-in-1 oil for hinges, window cleaner, brass polish, etc. Rarely does major renovation pay back 100% of what you invest, except if you do the work yourself or your home isn’t functional without it.
5. Room to Maneuver – Three rooms most inspected in any house are: The kitchen, mater bedroom & garage. In the kitchen, clear off counter & uncluttered cupboards. In the master bedroom, move furniture (or remove) to create spaciousness. Clean out the closets to make them appear larger. The ideal garage stores only cars, the lawn mower and some outside tools, so throw out your junk to show of the room for theirs. Clutter and too much furniture in any room or closet of the house can make your home appear much smaller than it really is.
6. Flexible Terms and Financing – The more buyers you appeal to, the greater you chances of selling faster. Be flexible. Consider closing costs, points, or an allowance for decorating, carpet, etc. Don’t shy away from buyers that are using a VA (Veterans Administration) or FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan. While these loans typically include some cost to the seller, and may even require a minor repair to qualify for the loan, the cost is small and it means your home will sell then instead of waiting for another buyer. Flexibility can give you something your neighborhood competition doesn’t have – a fast sale.
7. Teamwork – Selling a house is a team effort between you, the home seller, and your Realtor. While the Realtor is handling many of the details, they can’t sell it without your help and cooperation. Information on the good points about your property, why you purchased it, information on your neighborhood, utility bills, or anything else that may affect the sale of your property can help with marketing your property. Let your Realtor know if the yard sign is missing, replace it after mowing and clear the weeds or snow from around it. Be prepared to allow showings anytime. While it may not always be at a convenient time, and you Realtor will give you as much notice as possible, delaying a showing could cost you the sale of your home. The Realtor will also give you any feedback from showings, this is important because it give you the opportunity to change or fix minor problems that may turn off potential buyers.
8. Good Seasoning – Make the most of the season with accents of color & smell. Potted flowers out front, wreath on the door, potpourri in bathrooms, cookies or bread freshly baked, fireplace crackling, or just fresh and clean everywhere. Make your house inviting. Don’t go overboard though, a good buyers agent will suspect you are trying to cover up mold, mildew, smoke or other smelly problems. Some people are also allergic to some scents, and some strong scents can make a buyer nauseous. If in doubt just have a clean, fresh smelling home. For an extra added touch Leave a welcome note for the buyer and some snacks in a bowl.
9. Show Time – If an open house is needed, experience shows that too many introductions can spoil a showing. Plan to be away from the home, but let us know how to reach you if possible. When you’re not home during other showings, agents accompanying the potential buyer will leave their business cards and/or will follow up with feedback to your Realtor.
10. Meetings & Greetings – If you are at home, do all you can to avoid making the potential buyer feel like an intruder. That means keeping children & pets out from under foot (some people are afraid or allergic to animals) and be low key but your usual friendly self. It’s true that buyers want to buy from someone they like, but your presence can add more pressure to a big decision, and in the worst case you could turn the buyer off (even though they may like the home), or you may unwittingly lead them to believe you’ll accept a much lower price for your home.
11. Negotiations – Approach negotiations in a positive frame of mind, not as an adversary of the buyer. After all, you both want the same thing – a closed sale. Negotiating can be challenging, even fun. Leave most of the discussion of price, terms, possession & other conditions up to us, and don’t discuss these openly in front of the buyer. After all, that is our business. Don’t be disappointed if you can’t come to terms with the buyer or the deal falls though. There are many factors outside of your control such as the buyers ability to secure a loan. Also, don’t be offended by a low offer. Your Realtor must present All offers and the buyer may simply want to start the bidding low, or may just be looking for a great deal.
12. Contracts - One of the most important moves you can make is to reply immediately to an offer. When buyers make an offer they are, right then, in the mood to buy. Moods change, and impatient buyers will move on, and you don’t want to lose a sale because you stalled in replying. This can be difficult in cases where there are multiple owners who may not be easy reach or may not be in complete agreement. This is not uncommon with estates and relocation. It’s highly recommended that when multiple owners are involved, they discuss and come to terms what an acceptable offer would be before an offer is made. It is also important to leave contact information with your Realtor even if you are out of town for a few days.