When your home is one of many on the market, just what does it take to quickly secure a sale? Smart sellers put effort and thought into their listing game plan, as well as heed the advice of a trusted Realtor. From cosmetic updates to strategic pricing, here are my 7 tips to sell your home fast in a competitive market.
Work With a Realtor
Selling a home without the help of a Realtor is often harder than most people realize. It takes time and specialized knowledge to effectively market and position a property to sell fast in a competitive market. When deciding on a Realtor, choose someone with a proven track record, who you trust to do a good job on your behalf, and then follow their advice. Should you choose to sell a home yourself, consider consulting with a Realtor about paperwork and contracts. Many are willing to help DIY-ers.
Price It Right
A professional Realtor not only knows the market, but has information on past sales and current listings, and will help you set a fair yet competitive listing price. To set a competitive rate, ask your agent for the sale prices of three homes, in your area, that are similar to yours and have sold within the past one to three months. Set your listing price 10% to 15% below what they have sold for. Homes that look like a great deal are visited more frequently and sometimes receive multiple offers, which can result in a bidding war. As a caution, pricing your home too low can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for, so be sure to leave enough room in the asking price to bargain.
Sweeten the Deal
Incentivize potential home buyers. Make your home stand out in the market by offering to contribute to closing costs, or have the home inspected to ease buyer’s minds that your house is in good shape. Alternately, any high-end personal property that you can leave behind will help too. Examples are stainless steel appliances, or a golf cart if your home is on a golf course, for instance. Finally, ask your Realtor about other ways you might appeal to buyers in a competitive real estate market.
Make Home Improvements
Improving the condition of your home is always a good idea. Make a list of small and large repairs, and get as many done as possible. Odds and ends such as paint nicks, scuffs, loose or stuck door knobs and handles are examples of commonly needed small repairs. Also, consider having a termite inspection. These measures will allow you to proudly advertise the quality condition of your home and the low or non-existent repair bills that come with it.
Stage Your Home
Buyers want to imagine your house as theirs. Your personal effects will make it hard for them to do that. De-personalize the interior by removing family photos, religious or political paraphernalia, kitschy memorabilia and taxidermy (Yes! Even in Texas). Similarly, de-clutter the space. Clear countertops, shelves and even streamline your closets. Paint walls neutral colors, such as Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore. In addition, get rid of any pet, kitchen or smoking odors. And, finally, tend to the home’s entrance and back yard. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Keep the landscaping immaculate, and create a cozy seating area out back to help buyers envision leisurely Saturday mornings in your space.
Make It Easy to Show
Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. If agents need to set long-advance notices to show your home, it will be more difficult for them to get their clients in, making it more likely they’ll cross your home off the list and move on to the next property. Many foreclosures and short sale listings are vacant, and can be shown anytime, for example.
Scope Out the Competition
See that your home is up to par by visiting open houses in your area. This helps you to more clearly see how your home stacks up to the competition. As you walk through open houses, take note of the things that turn you off and consider how you can improve these areas with your property.
Competition in the marketplace doesn’t mean you can’t get sell your home quickly, or even for the price you want. Put these seven steps into practice to get a leg up. A Realtor will also be invaluable to the process. He’ll help you to negotiate offers and counteroffers, effectively market your home, and advise you on ways to appeal to potential buyers.
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