Are you planning on selling your home this year? If you are, you’re in luck. Last year was a great market for sellers, and it’s expected that 2018 will be another good year for the housing market.
It’s now spring of 2018 and spring season is regarded by experts as the best time to sell a home. Most buyers start their home shopping search in the spring months of April, May, and June.
Are you getting your house ready to sell? Do you want to sell your house fast?
Whether you are looking to downsize or upsize, we all have a common goal. To get the most money we can when selling our current home. It’s because this money can help in many ways, such as making retirement more comfortable, lowering our next mortgage payments or putting our children through college.
Getting your house buyer ready may not be too complicated, but you will have to do your homework. You want your house to impress your potential or would-be buyers. If you want to sell your house fast, you would want to convince them that your house is the right home for them. In short, you want them to make you an offer as soon as possible.
That is why this week I have put together a handy step by step guide to help you get the highest possible price when selling your home, with as little money spent as possible.
How to sell your house fast:
When people come to view your home, they want to see the features, space and imagine where their belongings would go. Make it easy for them. Keep only the most necessary furniture and just a few of your personal items. Think “What is the minimum I need to get by?” and you’re on the right path. That goes all the way from the number of jeans in your closet to plates in the kitchen.
Decluttering is a fantastic way to potentially add a few hundred or even thousands to your sale price.
Old tools, toys, and clothes all have a resale price. Hold a garage sale or post your items online. Put everything else that you want to keep in the storage. I conducted a garage sale when I sold my second home and able to get rid of a lot of stuff that we didn’t need. From my old bowling ball, golf clubs to kids clothes. By doing so, we were able to accomplish two things. Turning unwanted clutter into cash and not have to pack away those unnecessary items to the new house.
Decluttering should be the very first on your to-do-list if you plan on selling your house.
Focus on the little renovations and touch-ups
A lot of people think quite rightly that a big renovation will add the most value to their home. But it doesn’t add the most profit. The reality is that although you may sell your home for more and more quickly with a brand new kitchen, you are unlikely to get that investment back.
The best things to focus on are those little jobs you have meant to do for ages. The broken baseboard, cracked tile and that door to the spare bedroom that always seems to get jammed shut. You may want to replace that old style kitchen and bathroom faucet. If those window blinds are dusty, you should either get them cleaned or better yet replace them. A new curtain will also give your windows an appealing look.
Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they’re interested in buying it. Barbara Corcoran
Give all your walls a nice new lick of paint too. White can seem a bit cold, so opt for warm cream tones. This alone could add up to $2000 to your sale price. Painting your home is a smart investment if you want to sell your house.
Lighting is important too and can add over $1000 to your sale price. Use brighter lights to make a small room bigger and softer light to make a room seem cozier. Mirrors are a great way not just to make a room look bigger, but to also reflect natural light. Buyers love natural light!
Your goal should be to create a good and lasting first impression. Fix what needs to be fixed.
Increase your curb appeal
Jeffrey Mills, co-founder of AE Home Group says “Selling your home for top dollar is all about first impressions”. Because the outside of your home will be the first thing, they see not just when they visit, but also online. It’s important to get it right. As with inside, focus on the cleaning, decluttering and little touch ups.
Cut the grass, trim back the bushes and plant some flowers. A well-manicured lawn will definitely boost the curb appeal of any house. Paint the fence, weed the driveway and clean out the gutters. Fix broken wood on your deck and either stain or paint them. You can replace doors and windows but only do so if they are very old. It makes more sense to give a front or garage door a fresh coat of paint if they are looking a little tired.
If you live in an apartment block, talk to your neighbors and those responsible for the upkeep of the block. You want to make it look as good as possible and ready for that open house day. Adding curb appeal will make your house look attractive and increase your chances of selling your house.
Your goal here is making those curious onlookers and serious buyers to check out the rest of the house and impress them.
Clean, clean, clean
Would you buy a messy house? I know, I wouldn’t.
A clean house could add up to $2000 to your sale price. And when I say clean, I mean clean!
Try your best to make it shine like it did when it was new.
Get in between tiles, inside the kitchen cupboards, shampoo the carpets. Don’t leave any stone unturned. If you have a pet, take them away before you clean. If you have ceiling fans, clean them all. Because if a prospective buyer has an allergy, you simply won’t sell if they are coughing and sneezing throughout the viewing.
On her blog, Julie Banner states “Don’t use air freshener. When we were lake house hunting earlier this year that was our first sign that something was amiss. It made us feel like the sellers were trying to cover something up. In fact, we rushed out of a couple because the smell was overpowering.” As she states instead try to opt for softly scented candles or thoroughly air your home beforehand.
Your goal here is to make sure your house is clean before even listing your house for sale. Get those junks out of the buyers’ sight
Getting the right real estate agent
Hiring the right real estate agent will be your most important decision, so take your time to get it right. Be proactive, contact lots of real estate agents and arrange meetings with them. Take the time and seek a few price opinions.
When you meet an agent be sure to ask the following:
- What experience do they have and how many homes have they sold?
- What are their commissions/fees? Don’t be afraid to negotiate!
- Where will they advertise your home?
- Will they take photographs, make a virtual tour or use a drone? If yes ask to see examples.
- Do they plan to have an open house?
- What is their valuation of your home?
- Are they using the internet to sell homes?
Although the agents offering the highest valuation and lowest fee may seem the most attractive. It is often best to choose an agent somewhere in the middle (I will explain why a little later).
Another good strategy will be to offer an incentive to your agent or the buyer. But above all choose someone you trust.
Your goal here is finding a hard working agent to work with you in achieving your objective.
Getting the best price
Now is the time to sit with your agent and discuss your asking price. The commonly held belief is that you ask a little bit more than you plan to get eventually. However, in reality, it puts off prospective buyers and results in receiving a lower price.
For example, You want to buy a new home and have $500,000. You find two houses in the same street in the same condition. One is priced at $525,000 and the other $500,000. Which would you go to see first?
By pricing a little lower, you are attracting more interest in the crucial first week when online views are four times higher than after a month. People also believe they are getting a better deal and will likely offer close to or match your asking price. Should a bidding war begin, it may even exceed your asking price.
Let’s say now that everything has gone well and you have a few bids. Which should you choose? It’s important here to speak to your agent and ask which bid they think is likely to be the smoothest. The highest bidder may need a mortgage and be part of a chain, lowering the chance of completion. But the second may have no chain and the cash ready. At this stage, it will be wise to ask your agent to deal only with buyers with pre-approved credit. Also don’t be afraid to negotiate!
Your goal here is to sell your house fast at the best possible price.
Be organized and ready to move out
Being organized may seem like a strange last point, but it is the most crucial of all, and it plays a huge role in all of the above steps.
The issue almost all of us face when selling a home is having the next one to move in to. Finding the right house early may mean you rush the sale of your own home, losing money in the process.
By planning to move into a temporary or rental property when the sale goes through you put yourself in the best position to get the highest price for your home. In turn, you make yourself more desirable to the owners of the home you plan to buy.
If you want to sell your house fast, you have to be ready to move out of it asap. Most home buyers don’t like waiting; they want to be able to move to their new home as soon as the closing is done. Make sure that you’re ready to hand them over the key to their new home.
By preparing and being organized, you can also sell your home at the time when it will make the most money. A Redfin study found that houses sold between December 21st and March 21st sold one week quicker and for a higher price than any other season. In turn, those listed on a Thursday or Friday sold more quickly and for a higher fee. So much, so that houses listed at $400,000 on a Friday sold on average for $2800 more than those listed on a Sunday.
The bottom line
When it comes to selling your house fast, creating an action plan should be your top priority. You cannot rely on hope and luck and expect the best to happen. There will be work involved when you decide to sell your house. Implementing the strategies mentioned here will help sell your house fast at the best possible price.