As we head into fall, the peak home buying season may be over, but homes are still in high demand. There are buyers that still haven’t found the right home. Maybe your home is just what they are looking to buy. If you’re considering selling your home, now may be the best time. Although there are few homes that have been sitting on the market for months or longer; the majority of homes in our area are under contract within a month of listing and may even have multiple offers. How can you be assured that if you list, your home will sell quickly and for top dollar? Here are a few tips.
Setting the right price and making an excellent first impression are both essential to attracting buyers, but what else can you do to get the offers rolling? Here are 10 tips to help you sell your home as quickly as possible – even in the off season.
- Price it right from the start. Sellers often think they should start the asking price high and then lower it later if the house fails to sell. But that can result in a slower sale – sometimes even at a lower price. The first 30 days’ activity of your house being on the market is always the most activity you’re going to see. Many sellers seem to value their property above market value. If you want a quick sale, you need to be realistic and listen to your agent who will look at current listings in the area and other properties that have recently sold.
- Enhance your home’s curb appeal. This could mean adding new sod, planting flowers, painting the front door or replacing the mailbox. Prospective buyers form an opinion the moment they spot the home. Driving into the driveway and walking into that front door sets the expectations.
- The fewer things there are in the home, the larger it will appear. Remove knickknacks and excess furniture. Take down religious items and political posters. Remember, they are buying the home, not the items inside. Make it easier for potential buyers to see the home and not get distracted by your personal items. Pay particular attention to common junk magnets like; kitchen and bathroom counters, fireplace mantels, laundry room shelves, tabletops and magazine racks. No decluttering advice would be complete without a call to streamline your closets. If your closet is crowded, buyers are going to think their stuff won’t fit. Wow buyers by showing them how much space there is for stuff; not how much stuff there is in the space.
- Cleaning your home for home showings might be common sense. But many folks underestimate just how clean it needs to be. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill weekend tidy-up. Think of it as spring cleaning on steroids. You’ve got to think about what buyers look for and get down to the nitty-gritty so that even the smallest details shine. From ceiling fans and window blinds to baseboards and tile grout, no surface goes unscrubbed! Don’t forget to get your windows squeaky-clean to make your home look bright and airy. You may want to consider hiring a cleaning service.
- Repair broken items. Even the small stuff matters. Tighten the loose knob on the drawer, change the burnt out light bulb, etc. If buyers notice items that need to be repaired, they may start to wonder how well you took care of the large maintenance items like the furnace and air conditioning unit.
- Stage the house to show how the rooms are supposed to be used. If you have an odd rooms with no obvious role, give them one. An odd alcove off the kitchen could be staged as an office or a pantry, for example.
- Make the property easy to show. The more flexible you are about visits, the more people will be able to see your home. Be ready for prospective visitors early in the morning, at night and on weekends, with little notice. Also, leave when the house is shown so would-be buyers can feel free to move about without feeling like intruders and discuss the home’s pros and cons honestly.
- Remove your pets. Also remove their paraphernalia, such as dog dishes and cat litter boxes (or at least hide them). A prospective buyer may be allergic to pets.
- Your listing should be on all the major online portals. This is part of an agent’s service, but some agents use more online marketing than others. Find out what type of online marketing your agent will use before you list. Your home should be on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. It also helps if your agents showcases the home on social media.
- Ensure the listing has good photos, and lot of them. Once again, this is your agent’s job, but you want to make sure that your agent uses a good camera and gets plenty of good photos. Make sure your house is clean and organized before the photos are taken. Look at pictures of other listings from that agent before you list. Most homebuyers start their search online and decide which homes they want to see based on photos. You don’t want a potential buyer to pass on viewing your home based on poor or few photos.
Selling your home fast and for top dollar might require a little extra work, but it will be worth it in the end. Do everything you can to get the home in excellent shape and be prepared to make some small concessions at closing such as helping with closing costs. These tips will increase your odds of getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar.
By: Bonnie Marlow, Realtor, Cisco Realty