As I sit here in our empty house with only an Internet connection and a mattress on the hardwood floor in the dining room, I keep thinking about how to sell your house fast and for top dollar. It takes work and there are plenty of things about your house that you can’t change such as location, lot size, school zoning, etc… But, there are plenty of things that you can control to ensure that your house SELLS FAST! So, with the moving truck loaded up and nothing to do I figured I would make a top 10 list grouped in no real particular order except NUMBER 1.
So, if you are thinking about selling your house or know someone who is, then read and heed this list of actionable items (I actually had more than 10 so I grouped a couple together).
10. MARKETING YOUR HOUSE
Come up with a marketing plan and make sure that the word gets out to as many people as possible. You must ensure that someone who is looking for a house like yours can find YOUR listing. If you are using a realtor, don’t limit yourself to the MLS only. Included in this is the description of the house, make sure it is inviting and draws the buyer in. This could be a whole blog post in itself and now it is on the list for the future. Make sure to include neighborhood details such as parks, pools, location to shopping, schools, etc… MARKET, MARKET, MARKET.
Make sure there are plenty of photos and they are of high quality, highlighting the desirable features of the house. These days, people want to see photos and they likely won’t even look at your house if there aren’t any or they aren’t appealing. Consider hiring a professional to come take the photos, as you will likely get a good return on that investment. This goes along with number 10, outstanding photos will bring more showings and that will lead to a fast sale!
8. EASE OF SCHEDULING SHOWINGS
Make it easy for people to schedule showings. Don’t put a ton of requirements on when and how the agents or buyers can schedule showings. For example, only 2-hour windows on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Get the lockbox on the house and be ready to go out on a one-hour notice to allow more showings. Buyers have to get in to see the house if you want to sell it fast and you don’t want to lose a showing because it is difficult to arrange. On that note, make your house show ready ALL THE TIME. If you always keep it clean and tidy, you will be able to go out on an hours notice and not have to do a ton of work when you get that call.
7. CURB APPEAL
Buyers first impression when pulling up to your house is half the decision. If they are impressed with the look from the outside, they will open that front door excited to see what is inside. I have seen buyers pull up to a house and not even go in because of what the outside looks like. So, hit the landscaping, clean up the exterior, throw some color in there, and make the house look inviting from the road! Numbers 8-10 will get the showing scheduled and number 7 will get the buyers through the front door.
If you have an animal, dog, cat, bird, ferret, etc… Take them with you if you can for the showings and make it look like there isn’t one living in the house (as much as possible obviously). Buyers may or may not love pets but they most likely won’t love yours. When they see a pet in the house or a bunch of evidence of animals in the house they wonder what damage they have done and what smells they expect. This one isn’t huge but if you can play down the animals it can help.
5. CLUTTER AND DEPERSONALIZATION
This point and the next one go hand in hand. De-clutter your house and take the personalization out of the equation. Take down those family photos and pictures with granny. You want the buyers to picture themselves in the house and not you and your family. If the house is cluttered it will make the rooms feel small and make the buyer think there is not enough storage for all of their things. If you need to, rent a storage unit for a bit and load it up with the things you don’t need everyday to minimize the STUFF in the house.
4. STAGING YOUR HOUSE
Stage your house how it should be setup and then let the buyers decide how they will purpose the rooms. If you are using your formal dining room as a kids play room that is probably great for you but likely not what the buyers will be using it for. If your house is vacant, consider hiring a stager to stage the house or just a few of the key rooms. You will get the return on your investment as staging a home will ensure your house sells faster! (Another blog post for sure).
If you have bright, extreme colors on the wall consider painting the rooms a more neutral tone. Most buyers don’t want to come into the house and repaint all the rooms on day one. If all the colors are geared toward your young boys, the rooms probably won’t fit their plans for the girl’s bedrooms. This is a DIY project that will certainly help sell your house fast.
2. KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS
You have likely heard that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell houses. You can probably add master bedrooms to the list these days too. If you have an outdated or non-functional kitchen or bathroom then update them before putting them on the market. If everyone that walks into your house thinks they need to gut the kitchen and bathrooms, your house WILL NOT SELL FAST! Invest the money up front and reap the returns when you sell. If you don’t want to spend the money, unless you change Number 1 your house will not sell fast.
1. PRICE, PRICE, PRICE
Obviously this is number 1 and there is a good reason for that. Setting your price right is the best way to sell your house fast. If you price your house at the top of the market and are just hoping that you will get an offer, not only will you not sell your house fast, you will not get the showings and you will likely just be lowering the price later. At that point, the house has been on the market for months and the buyers know that you are more motivated than you were when it first went on the market. This will likely bring in an even lower offer. But, if you price your house right from the start, the showings will roll in and so will the OFFERS!
So, what can you do to SELL YOUR HOUSE FAST? If you price your house right and follow these 10 tips, you will have no problem selling your house quick and for a great price!
What do you think about my list and what did I miss? Please comment if you have an addition that people should be thinking about to help sell quickly.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net