Any season can be a seller's season with these top tips to sell your home ASAP
Your spouse landed an exciting new job in another city, but there’s one big hitch: it starts in eight weeks, so you need to sell your house—well, yesterday. The process of selling your home can be consuming and stressful, and having less time than you’d like can exacerbate those feelings. We’ve compiled these 12 tips to help you sell your home quickly and to a buyer that will offer you the price you want.
1. Pick the Right Time to Sell
Peak selling time will vary by state and neighborhood, but in general, spring and summer are the best times to sell, offering pleasant weather and lighting for open houses. In addition, buyers with families may prefer to purchase in the summer before kids need to be registered and ready to go back to school. When deciding when to sell your home, consider the delicate timeline of buying and selling a home at the same time.
2. Get a Detailed Home Inspection
Most buyers don’t want a laundry list of repairs to tackle as soon as they move in. Doing a thorough home inspection will help you check and make sure everything is functioning as it should be.
3. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Interview several listing agents to find the right one for you and your home. Ideally, the agent you hire will bring in a great photographer to help market your home and be very familiar with your neighborhood in order to pick the price point you need to sell at.
4. Get a Consulting Appraisal
Hiring a local home appraiser will give you an accurate sense of what the house is worth, and help you and your real estate agent appropriately negotiate once offers start to come in. If a buyer suggests an offer that feels too low, your agent can show comparables to their agent to justify your sale price.
5. Price Your House Competitively
Now that you have your appraisal, it might be worth it to knock 15 or 20 percent off the price in order to start a bidding war and close a deal quickly. Don’t neglect the way that real estate listing sites structure their search results. Most people will put a cap on their price window in their searches. For instance, if your home price hovers around $505,000, price it at $499,000 so it’ll show up in searches for all homes listed under $500,000.
6. Make Small but Meaningful Upgrades
It’s too late for renovations, and that’s ok. You can still make many small upgrades that will boost the look of your home with relative ease and without much cash. Do a full walk-through of the space and make note of anything that is broken (like chipped tiles), outdated—the bathroom hardware, maybe?—or dull. A fresh coat of interior paint can make a big impact on potential buyers.
7. Clean Up and Organize
The less stuff your home has in it, the larger it will look. Decluttering your home will also allow potential buyers to see themselves, their furniture, and their family in the space, without getting mentally bogged down by your imprint. Before your home goes on the market, do these things:
Figure out what items you can sell, donate, or throw away—this process will leave you with much less to move.
Put anything else you don’t need immediately in storage.
Take down family photos or other personal memorabilia, and make sure you’re not around during showings.
Clean up: wipe down the baseboards, dust the blinds, and get the carpet or other flooring cleaned by a professional near you. Remember that buyers want to see a clean slate to imagine how they will decorate, host dinner parties, and so on.
You can also take this a step further and work with your real estate agent to hire a local professional home stager, so there’s no risk of a potential buyer seeing the sofa in the den that the kids wore out.
8. Light the Rooms Up
A well-lit home feels warm and welcoming. For all showings, keep the blinds and curtains open. If any rooms are naturally light-deficient, place lamps in them that have bulbs with extra bright wattage—and remember to replace any old, dull bulbs throughout the house.
9. Add a Dimension
Having a digital 3D tour is a great way for potential buyers to tour your home without ever having to leave the comfort of their living room. This can make it more likely that when they do an actual in-person tour, they’ll already have a heightened interest in your home.
10. Boost Your Curb Appeal
Your home’s exterior is its first impression, so make it shine. To quickly add some oomph to your curb appeal, trim any overgrown trees and shrubs, rake fallen leaves, remove any spiderwebs or debris that might be on the porch, and replace anything broken—from doorknobs to lights. If your home isn’t selling quickly, consider adding a fresh coat of paint on the door, shutters, and trim.
11. Be Flexible With Showings
Your buyer might want to see your home at unexpected times, as they might be as eager to buy as you are to sell. Try not to get frustrated, and accommodate their requested viewing times as much as possible. Keep your home show-ready 24/7—that means making sure dishes are clean and put away and the dog’s toys are stowed in the closet.
12. Prepare to Negotiate
If you want to sell quickly, you don’t have a ton of time to hear a lot of offers and wait for an overeager buyer to offer a number way above asking. Your real estate agent should be able to identify reasonable offers.