If you’re reading this, you have probably seen your neighbor’s futile attempt to sell his home for the past 4 months. This might not be the best real estate market for a seller, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. The trick is to be smart and think about what would you find appealing if you were a first time home buyer? Most likely, as these buyers applied for their home loan, they envisioned their perfect place just like you once did. It’s just a matter of whether this is their perfect place as well. Here is how you can sell your home much faster than your neighbor.
The Price Is Right
Sellers always think they should start high and move their way down. That isn’t the best tactic if you want to generate a buzz, especially when you need it the most. Your home only gets one chance to make a first impression. “The first 30 days’ activity of your house being on the market is always the best activity you’re going to see,” said Michael Mahon, General Manager of HER Realtors in Columbus, Ohio.
If the price is too high, some buyers won’t put in a bid, either because they don’t think you’re serious about selling the home, or they don’t think you want to negotiate. If you want to stimulate a sale, underprice your property by a hair. That can create more foot traffic and more people.
Once your listing is up, you need to add photos and possibly a video of your home. A study by trulia.com showed that listings with six or more pictures are twice as likely to be sold, compared to listings with less than 6 photos. Aside from lots of pictures, get creative and make a video. Walk around inside the house, outside on the property, head down to the local coffee shop down the block, and add anything else you can think of to sell the neighborhood as well as your home. The more effort you put into your listing, the more traffic and buzz it will generate.
Make Your House a Home
Do you have lots of kids’ toys scattered in the hallway, or a lawn that looks like it hasn’t seen rain since you were in college? That needs to be taken care of, and pronto. The point is to make your home look as inviting as possible. The potential buyers should see the house on the outside and envision their children playing on the newly sodded grass while Mom and Dad maintain the already immaculate garden in the front.
After they walk in the home, the furniture should be clean and arranged pleasingly, with no clutter, and the floor plan should be kept as open as possible. A cleared-out inside lets the buyers envision themselves in there, so they can create their own daydream of what to do with the space. Besides, if a buyer stubs his toe on a scattered bike or toy, it’s probably not a good sign.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Anyone buying a home will get it inspected by a professional. That’s just common sense. So, beat them to the punch and get your house inspected yourself before it goes on the market. Even before you apply for a home loan for your new place, repair the house you’re trying to sell. Making your own repairs is much cheaper and goes faster, as opposed to the buyer dragging out the negotiations because they want to include into the price the cost of fixing whatever is wrong. It also helps because, if they learn a major repair is needed, some buyers may not want the house at all. In the long run, and for a faster sale, ensuring that what you’re selling is in proper order and in working condition can only benefit you.
Give Them the Leftovers
A seller offering to throw in closing costs is common these days, but you can set your property apart from the others by throwing in your plasma screen TV as well. If you live by a body of water and have jet skis, throw them in, as well as the dock. Maybe the buyers are excited about your beautiful kitchen, and are ecstatic when you offer your kitchen appliances and cooking materials. Think creatively and set yourself apart from any other home they’re going to view. No one else is offering jet skis or a fully installed surround-sound man cave.
With these simple steps, a home can be taken off the market sooner than the neighbor’s—the one who won’t bother to re-shingle his roof or come down from his already high asking price.