With the recent decline in real estate sales many people are finding it hard to sell their homes. In some places, declines of this nature haven’t been experienced in 10-20 years leaving many unsure of what to do. As the pressure increases to sell a home quickly and get out of the mortgage before another payment is due, many homeowners are finding themselves in a state of panic and/or financial distress.
Even if your home is not in the most desirable neighborhood it can be sold, quickly and with ease if the conditions are right. If you’re looking to sell quick here are some suggestions you may find helpful.
CLEAN AND DE-CLUTTER
Before hiring a real estate professional or putting your home on the market, there are several things you can do ahead of time to prepare for a quick sale. Without hiring any professionals you can de-clutter your home and make it much more sellable. Clean out the garage, attic, and basement beginning with the largest items. It is best to rent a space in a storage facility so you can keep items out of the way without filling up another area of your home.
Potential home buyers want to see a house that looks ready to live in, not lived in. By de-cluttering buyers will be able to better picture how their belongings will fit into the home, and how the home will fit into their lifestyle.
When cleaning the garage, attic, and basement remove as much stuff as possible. Store children’s toys and bicycles, remove the numerous boxes of holiday decorations from the basement, and make sure you can actually pull a car into the garage. You should be able to see the walls, floors, and ceilings.
Clean rooms are also easier to stage later on in the selling process. Instead of bright colors and loud wallpaper try using neutral colors as they will lure more buyers. Unusual color schemes and decor can turn off buyers and lessen the chances of a quick sale. After removing large items and unnecessary furniture put away personal effects like photographs and knick-knacks.
Potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the house and photographs of you and your family will only be distracting. It is wise though to use art on the walls, but nothing distasteful or sexual in nature. In the kitchen and bathroom, store items in cabinets and baskets to maximize the amount of space. Cluttered counters can make the room look smaller. If you want to sell your home quickly you should also update the kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures, door knobs, switches, and locks.
LANDSCAPING AND OUTDOOR IMPROVEMENTS
When prospective buyers come to look at your home the first and last thing they see is the outside of your home. It really pays to keep a neatly manicured lawn and clean property when it comes to selling your home quickly. It’s well worth the money to hire a landscaper to help beautify your property and set the stage for buyers. First of all, you should be able to see the home clearly. If trees and shrubs are overgrown it can make your home look unkempt and buyers will turn up their noses. You should have any overgrown trees pruned by a professional or removed if they are dead.
You should also weed gardens, put away hoses, rake leaves, cut the grass, and remove unnecessary outdoor furniture like swing sets and patio chairs. If you have a pool, make sure it is clean and in working order. As with outdated fixtures inside the home, it also pays to update outdoor lighting and electrical outlets. Fencing, driveways, railings, and decking that needs repair should also be fixed up before putting your home on the market. The better the outside of the home looks, the more likely you are to sell quick and get the price you are asking.
REMODELING AND RENOVATION
If your home needs work it is likely to fetch less once on the market, and will take longer to sell. Home buyers are willing to pay more if a home is excellent condition. You may have to do more than patch holes in walls and freshen up the paint. Two of the most important selling points in a home are the kitchen and bathrooms. If your bathrooms and kitchen are small and outdated buyers may think twice before submitting an offer.
You may be able to update the tub, sink, toilet, and fixtures but many times it doesn’t hurt to go all out with a full renovation. Homes with updated kitchens and baths sell much more quickly than those that have not been remodeled or renovated. Be aware of structure problems like cracks in walls, door frames, and window sills and have them repaired by a professional before putting your home on the market.
Home renovations can seriously impact the sale of your house for the better. By updating and modernizing your home it is more likely to sell in a short period of time. When it comes to selling a home quickly it’s all about looks. Once you have cleaned up, de-cluttered, and finished all home improvements you are ready to hire a real estate professional and put your home on the market.
FOR SALE BY OWNER VS HIRING AN AGENT
Some homeowners may think they can sell faster by listing their home “for sale by owner” (FSBO) but the truth is they are wasting not only time, but money. By hiring a real estate agent you will be able to sell your home faster than you would on your own. The main reason being, that real estate professionals have a database of clients looking for a home.
On the other hand if you’re going to list your home for sale FSBO you do not have a client base which severely increases the time it takes to sell. Just hiring any agent isn’t going to make your home sell fast either. You have to choose the right person for the job. Your real estate agent should be prepared with ideas, be proactive, and is reliable. If you can’t count on them to lead you in the right direction in a timely manner, your home may sit on the market for weeks or even months.
It is best to hire a real estate agent, especially if you are looking to sell quick. Your real estate agent will be able to help with staging, paperwork, and should be able to provide legal resources when necessary. As a seller, you also have to be ready to sell when your home goes on the market in order to attract a motivated buyer. If you’re unsure of the asking price or otherwise hesitant buyers will pick up on it immediately and may not submit an offer right away. You have to be ready to sell so when the right buyer comes along you can complete the transaction effortlessly and quickly.
STAGING AND DECORATION
When you hire a real estate professional they should be able to help you stage your home for a quick sell. Any good agent will have plenty of ideas for maximizing your space and making it look it’s best. Whatever your agent suggests for color and placement of furniture and art, you should heed. By having a professional come in and stage the home it is much more likely you will make a quick sale.
Part of staging may include moving furniture around, hanging art, and changing the main function of certain rooms. For example if you have a 4 bedroom house, but one of the bedrooms is fairly small you may be better off converting it into a home office while still listing the property as a 4 bedroom. This gives the spaces in your home more flexibility and will attract a larger number of buyers. You may have to absorb the costs of staging your home for sale, but if you want to sell quickly it is one of the best means.
PRICING AND TIMING
The two main factors in selling a home quickly are pricing and timing. Timing is everything and if you list your home at the wrong time it may not even be looked at by potential buyers. It is best to avoid putting your home on the market during the dog days of summer or in the dead of winter. Prospective buyers want to look at homes when it is convenient, not a pain in the neck. List your home during the spring, early summer, and early fall when it is still warm out and buyers are shopping. If it’s too cold or too hot out, you will not get the traffic it takes to sell quickly. It is also beneficial to avoid listing your home during holiday seasons. Wait one to two weeks after a holiday before listing your home for sale, it could make all the difference between a quick sale and a home that sits on the market.
If you want to sell your home quickly you have list it at a competitive price. Although you may have done a lot of cosmetic work, if your home still needs a few improvements you’ll sell quicker by asking a lower price. The fact is, if the home is not priced right it is not going to sell. You have to be realistic and understand you may not get the price you desire and you may end up loosing money. Research recent home sales in your neighborhood to get a clear idea of what the median price is. Offer your home at 10-20% below the fair market value and you are almost certain to sell quickly. Buyers can sniff a bargain from a mile away and if your home is priced accordingly they will find it and make an offer.