Written by James White
Once you list a house for sale, the waiting begins. Both realtor and homeowner want to find a buyer as quickly as possible. The longer a house sits, the more likely buyers will be to overlook it, assuming something’s wrong or someone else would’ve already bought it.
So what can you do to improve the odds of receiving an offer soon after listing? Some factors, like the current supply and speed of the local market, are beyond control. But there are things both realtor and seller can do to make their house stand apart from the crowd. Read on for the best ways to sell a house quickly in any market.
Set The Right Price
Many sellers want to list their homes for the amount of money they need to pay off the mortgage and have enough left over for a down payment on the next home they want to buy. However, pricing should be more about the market and the potential buyers you want to attract. It may seem harmless to try and get as much as you can for your house, but homes initially priced too high often end up selling for less than they would if they had been listed at the “right” price from the start. Several factors determine the right price for your home:
- Similar properties recently sold. To find out what the market will bear, look at what it has already borne. Analyze similar houses in your neighborhood that sold within the last few months. Looking at the prices they actually sold for will be more helpful than the original listing price. Homes that sold for close to or above the listing price were priced correctly.
- The competition. Now look at similar properties currently for sale. These are your competition. If inventory is low, you might be able to price your house a little higher than similar homes. But if it’s a buyer’s market, you might need to come down a bit to grab buyers’ attention.
- Homes that didn’t sell. The last part of your price analysis should involve the properties taken off the market after failure to sell. This will tell you what the market won’t bear, both in terms of listing price and condition of the home.
Make Any Necessary Repairs
Between HGTV and the Internet, homebuyers are saturated with images of stunning renovations and gorgeous interiors. Plus, many people work long hours and are not as handy as perhaps their parents were. So a move-in ready house is likely to sell faster than one in need of repair.
Go through your house from top to bottom. This means repairing unglamorous but important elements such as the roof or furnace, as well as cosmetic improvements such as refinishing hardwood floors or replacing the garage door Taking care of repairs before you list your house will make it more attractive to buyers, which increases the likelihood that your home will sell quickly and pass inspection with flying colors.
Increase Curb Appeal
Your house only has one chance to make a good impression on potential buyers. Some will mentally rate it “yay” or “nay” before they’ve even opened the front door. This is why curb appeal is so important. Before you list your house, give it a facelift and also pay attention to the first glimpse beyond the front door. Here are some tips:
- Give the exterior a makeover. Do you live in a city, small town or suburb? The kind of house and location you live in will determine how much you need to do. For example, an urban dweller might only have a few pieces of sidewalk to maintain, whereas a suburban homeowner must worry about a greater stretch of sidewalk as well as a driveway.
You can narrow your focus to everything the buyer will see as they approach your house and walk up to the front door. Depending on your budget, this could involve fixing or cleaning brick, siding or stucco. It could also mean replacing an old screen door, adding shutters, adding new plants and flowers or curating existing landscaping.
- Make the interior light and open. If you’ve watched HGTV at all in the last year, you know that open floor plans are the current trend in home layout and design. But even if your house has a more traditional layout, you can still take a few steps to make the front room feel expansive as buyers walk in the front door.
The most obvious step is to declutter. Clear away unnecessary objects such as children’s toys, magazines, blankets and other personal objects and decorations. You may also want to remove a few items of furniture, such as a living room table that takes up too much floor space.
Leaving some emptiness in a room gives buyers a chance to imagine their own furniture and belongings in your house. It also gives the home an appealing, airy feel. After you’ve decluttered, maximize sun exposure by opening curtains and blinds and cleaning windows. This will make rooms feel both light-filled and open.
Whether you’re considering selling your house next month or next year, keep these tips in mind to minimize the time between its first day on the market and that perfect offer.
*Fuente: jgwhite.realtytimes.com / google images