When it comes to selling your house FAST (rather than just selling it) there are a few tactics you can try. In the end, it all boils down to doing what you can do to make your house the most desirable choice for your prospective buyers.
There are a lot of buyers in the market right now competing for homes, and a certain demographic slice of those buyers are looking for a home just like yours. The problem is, your house isn’t actually the only one ‘like yours’. That’s right, even with all those buyers out there, you could still end up waiting for offers while they compete over other listings.
One way or another, you need to stand out if you want buyers to make offers on your house before the competition. Luckily, I’ve outlined a few tips here to help you make a great impression and really stand out from the other listings I your neighborhood.
1 – Curb appeal
Curb appeal is really very important when you’re selling a house because first impressions can have a lingering affect. When a buyer drives up to a house that’s beautiful on the outside, they usually expect it to be beautiful on the inside too. In fact, this can actually be somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy as the buyer-to-be may be more willing to overlook some minor flaws or shortcomings because the outside already blew them away and “makes up for it.”
To get the best curb appeal possible, you need to turn your yard into the very best version of itself. Anything new, whether it’s grass, plants, mulch, or wood-chips can give the whole yard a fresh new look. If not, just make the best of what you have. Rake the leaves, hose off the driveway and sidewalks, pull the weeds, and mow the lawn. If you have a few bucks, here are some landscaping ideas to increase your home’s value.
To make the house really pop it needs to look neat and clean. Wash the windows, hose or power wash the entire exterior, and sweep the porch.
Of course, curb appeal isn’t going to make all the difference in the world, but it is a clear advantage over the alternative. If a home’s curb appeal is only ‘so-so’ or worse, then the buyer is probably not going to let some of the other little things go. Every little flaw or shortcoming they see, no matter how minor, just becomes another reason to dismiss your house and move on to the next one.
2 – Clean Everything… And I Mean Really Clean It
If the sellers in your market are serious, most of them are going to have clean homes. Your goal is not just to also have a clean house; it’s to have the cleanest house on the block.
As we mentioned in the Curb Appeal section, make sure the outside walls, walkways, and windows are all spotless. We want to do the same thing with the inside. Dust everything, sweep, vacuum and shampoo the carpets, wash the appliances, make the bathrooms and kitchen spotless, and get all the spider webs! But don’t stop there.
There are a lot of areas that we get used to seeing dirty and don’t think anyone would really notice or even care about if they did. These are things like door-jams, cracks in the sidewalk, grout between bricks and tile, that little ledge along the wall paneling, air vents, scuffs on light switches, and dust on knick-knacks. It’s probably true, most people would gloss right over these common dirty spots… But they won’t gloss over them if they’re clean. They’ll notice it, and as a result this will feel like the cleanest house they have been in.
3 – De-Clutter
This can be a tough one to do, but it makes a huge difference. You want to remove as much stuff as you can from the house, preferably off-site, otherwise into the garage is fine.
You don’t want buyers to see your real home, you want them to envision their dream home. To accomplish this we need to keep the furnishings sparse and neat. We also need to remove as much of “you” from the house as we can without making it look barren. This includes pictures on the walls, report cards on the fridge, and junk from the closets (buyers snoop). Don’t go too far, the house should still look inviting, but consider limiting the furniture to one or two pieces per room. The look you should strive to achieve is “Clean, neat, impersonal.” Think “Ikea ad” meets “Martha Stewart.”
4 – Renovations and Upgrades
Minor upgrades can be pretty inexpensive, but they can go a long way to making your home ultra-desirable. New paint, flooring, door and crown moldings can completely transform and instantly modernize the appeal of your home.
Even just doing some relatively inexpensive landscaping updates can dramatically increase the curb appeal and desirability of your home.
You can even take it to the next level by replacing fixtures like lights, ceiling fans, doors, or even windows. At a minimum you can replace all of the door and shower knobs throughout the house with brand new shiny ones. The parts are pretty inexpensive and you can do the work yourself, but even something this small can have a big impact on the overall feel of the house.
5 – Professional Photography and Marketing
As a Realtor I see tons of houses, and tons of tons of pictures of houses. So do my buyer clients when they go online and look at house after house after house and send me pictures of the places they want to go see. It’s rare that one of my buyers sends me a listing they want to go see with photos that are sub-standard. The point is, it’s not so much that great looking professional pictures are a great marketing strategy, it’s that anything less than that is a BAD marketing strategy. Great pictures are a must, especially if you want to sell fast.
Also, if you want to sell fast you need to show the house to as many buyers as possible in order to attain multiple offers. That’s where marketing and advertising comes in. You should be careful about which agent you hire. Talk to a few different ones and hire one that has a solid plan for marketing and advertising your home.
6 – Price Effectively
The “most desirable” house is not necessarily the nicest house. It could also be the one with the lowest price. To be clear, I am not suggesting you lower your price and accept less money than your house is worth. But as you’ve heard before, a house is worth “as much as someone is willing to pay for it.”
It is a common and extremely effective strategy to list a house for less than you think you can get for it. Lower prices attract a lot of buyers, which means a lot of offers. The more offers you have, the more counter offers you can make, and ultimately you can get right back up to full market value pretty quick.
In fact, a common mistake people make is listing a house too high. This usually turns buyers away and reduces the amount of offers they get while increasing the amount of time that the house sits on the market. The more market time you accumulate actually tends to decrease the amount you are ultimately able to get for your house.