If you’re like most home sellers, you want to minimize the time your property is on the market.
For one, showings and open houses are inconvenient. You have to leave your home at the drop of a hat, keep it clean 24-7, and let complete strangers onto your private property (and even into your bedroom) when you’re not even there.
More than this, though, you’re also ready to move on. Maybe you’ve already bought a new home or you’ve got a new job waiting for you in another city. Either way, you need that home sold so you can move onto the next chapter in your life.
While there’s no magic bullet that can help you do so instantly (except an iBuyer, maybe), there are a number of steps you can take to make your home more marketable and quicken the pace at which it sells.
Do you want to help your home sell faster in today’s market? Try these 7 strategies on for size:
1. Stage it.
According to a recent study from the National Association of REALTORS®, more than half of agents believe staging a home either “slightly” or “greatly” decreases the amount of time the property’s on the market. An extra bonus? Nearly 40% say it positively impacts offer prices, too.
If you don’t have the budget to fully stage the whole house, then stick to the most important areas. The study shows these as the living room, the master bedroom, and the kitchen.
2. Time it right.
Real estate is pretty seasonal. Home sales tend to pick up speed in the summer months, and then start to wane as we head into late fall. As such, the time you list your property can significantly impact how quickly it sells (and how much it sells for).
A study from Zillow shows that listing between May and July is usually your best bet for a fast sale — though it really depends on where you’re located. The day you list your home also matters. Data from Redfin shows that homes listed on Thursdays sell both faster and for more money than properties listed on other days.
3. Be accommodating.
You can’t sell a house that you don’t show, so be as flexible and accommodating as possible with showings — especially in the first few weeks after listing your home. Have a getaway plan and a reliable place to camp out when a last-minute showing crops up. You might even consider staying with a friend or family member for a week or two to really maximize your chances of a sale.
4. Price the home properly.
Just because one agent says your home can sell for $500K doesn’t mean it necessarily will. Speak to a few different agents and get listing price quotes from each before putting your home on the market.
Always ask each agent to show you their comps, too — the recent local sales that led them to their conclusion. You want a listing price that falls in line with what buyers are currently willing to pay in your area. It doesn’t do any good to inflate your price beyond this point. Though it could, in rare instances, equal more in profits, most of the time, it simply means a longer, more drawn-out home sale. (It also usually means dropping your price down in a few months, too).
5. Choose the right partner.
You don’t have to use a real estate agent to sell your home, but if you do, choose wisely. Not all agents are created equal, and if you want your house to sell fast, you’ll need an agent who’s experienced and who’s an expert marketer. You’ll also want one with a wide network and solid local knowledge.
6. Know bargaining limits.
What price are you willing to go down to? What contingencies are you willing to deal with? Are you OK with making repairs or covering a portion of a buyer’s closing costs? Most buyers are going to negotiate at least a little before agreeing to purchase your home. Knowing how much you’re willing to give and what areas there’s wiggle room in can help speed this process up.
7. Start with a clean slate.
The majority of buyers aren’t looking for a super unique or customized property. Instead, they want a clean slate — a nice, well-cared for home that they can personalize and make their own. Because of this, it’s important to take as much of yourself out of the property before you list it. Remove any personal photos or artwork, tone down any bright or bold decor choices, and give each wall a fresh coat of white or beige paint. You want buyers to be able to see themselves in the home — not wonder about who currently lives there.