So, you need to sell your house and you need to do this quickly. Perhaps you’re transferring to another state, experiencing payment problems or found the house of your dreams. You might be ready to move forward with your life. But without a buyer ready to take over ownership of your house, your plans come to a standstill.
Housing markets vary across the nation. And whereas homes in a particular area may sell after a few weeks on the market, homes in another area may sit on the market for six months or longer. There is no way to predict how fast your home will sell, but you can take steps to speed the process.
1. Get help from a professional agent
You can save money by acting as your own agent. If you hire a real estate agent to list and market your house, you’ll pay a hefty six percent commission. You might argue, why pay a realtor when I can sell the house yourself? This approach saves money and can provide extra cash for a down payment on your next property. But if you don’t know the first thing about real estate transactions, you might run into a few roadblocks.
How fast do you want to sell your house? Put a “for sale by owner” sign in front of your house and the property will eventually sell – but how long? If you don’t work with an agent your property may not appear on the multiple listing service. Plus, there’s no one advertising and marketing on your behalf. As a result, the house isn’t likely to move quickly. Speak with a realtor and determine whether you have enough equity to pay a commission.
2. Price the house appropriately
Choosing the most appropriate sale price is challenging and requires knowledge of your local real estate market. It’s important that you get the price right. A low price decreases your profit, and a high price can scare potential homebuyers. Real estate agents know the market and they can pull comparative sales to help decide the best asking price.
If you decide to sell without a realtor and you don’t have access to comparable sales, bring in a home appraiser. An assessment of your home’s value can help you select a reasonable price point.
3. Make an impression
If your house doesn’t “wow” potential buyers or make a strong first impression, people who view your home may bid elsewhere. The newer, more updated your home, the better. But even if your property is dated, simple improvements can help you sell faster.
Maybe your budget doesn’t allow for a new kitchen or bathroom. Think of other ways to breathe new life into your decor. For example, you might replace the carpet throughout, paint the walls a nice neutral color and update the lighting and fixtures. New appliances and countertops might leave a good impression, as well as new windows and doors.
Staging the property to give the illusion of a larger space can work in your favor. And don’t forget to keep the house tidy and remove clutter. Add a few decorative pieces – curtains, rugs, throw pillows, wall art and other accents – to give the space a warm, cozy feel.
The condition of your home’s exterior can also influence how fast the property sales. It doesn’t take much to boost your curb appeal. Paint shutters and doors, keep the lawn trim, plant bushes and colorful flowers, and power wash the siding or brick.
4. Choose the best time of the year
There is no wrong or right time to sell a house per se, however, there’s often a slowdown of home sales at certain times of the year – primarily the fall and winter months. People are generally occupied with back to school and the holiday season, in which plans to purchase a new house are pushed aside. There are no hard and fast rules on when to sell a house, and you can definitely list your property during the slow season. But in this case, it might take months to receive any real interest.
The situation is often different in the spring and summer. This is when homebuyers come out of hibernation. With your house newly listed, it could sell in a matter of weeks.
5. Add a few incentives
Despite the fact that your home is priced well and move-in ready, it pays to sweeten the deal with incentives. Go the extra mile and you will stand out from your competitors. For example, some sellers pay a percentage of the buyer’s closing costs or purchase new appliances for the house. This is an effective strategy, especially if someone’s on the fence and needs a little motivation. Be prepared to negotiate. What will it take for this person to purchase your home? If you can meet his demands, you might have a sale.