If you need to sell your house fast, you probably don’t have a whole lot of time to research the current real estate market and ponder how it’ll affect your home sale. You just want sales guidance from a real estate agent (here’s how to find a real estate agent in your area) or other pro that will help you find a buyer as fast as possible.
Well, here’s the good news: It is possible for you, as a seller, to offload your home quickly. The experts say selling comes down to a few key to-do’s that you should take care of before your property hits the market.
If you’re ready to unload your abode, heed the selling advice of the experts below. Of course, we can’t guarantee all homeowners a quick sale, but putting these tips into practice definitely won’t hurt the chances of securing a buyer.
1. Tidy up to make your house stand out (and sell!)
If you’re looking to sell quickly, you’re going to want to start cleaning, especially before those listing photos are taken by your Realtor®.
“Pristine houses from sellers are more attractive to a buyer, which will keep the buyer excited,” says Debi Benoit, principal and broker at Benoit Mizner Simon & Co. Real Estate in Wellesley, MA. “And an excited buyer may pay top dollar to the seller and will usually write an offer quickly.”
Fast selling means getting rid of clutter both inside the house and in the yard and putting some elbow grease into making everything look like a brand-new home (yup, you might need a storage unit for maximum curb appeal).
And selling fast means cleaning from top to bottom in every room of the house. Wipe down cabinets, light fixtures, and drawers, remove any scuffs from the walls, give all kitchen appliances a once-over, clean air vents, shampoo your carpets, and then sweep, vacuum, or mop every inch of the house.
It will take you several days of work to declutter, but the payoff (making a sale!) will be worth it for a potential buyer. Trust us—this is a major part of selling a home quickly.
2. Have your house staged to sell fast
Be the best seller you can be, and go extra mile beyond cleaning. To do this, consider having your house staged, a real estate term that means decorating your place so that it is more attractive to buyers.
“It’s best to present the home in its best light when you’re selling,” explains Nile Lundgren, an agent with Trent & Company in New York City. He once had a real estate listing—unstaged—on the market for five months without ever getting an offer to sell.
“We took it off the market, staged it, reshot photos, and put it back on the market,” he says. “Within two weeks, we got into a bidding war and signed a contract for a sale shortly thereafter.”
Real estate staging typically takes anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the availability of rental furniture, the movers, and the installers.
If you’re facing a major time crunch to sell, Lundgren suggests focusing on staging the beds, sofas, tables, chairs, and art—items that make a house feel like a well-maintained home where people can live and get comfortable.
3. Hire a photographer to take listing photos for a quick sale
It may feel like hiring a professional will be a waste of money. After all, your cellphone has a great camera, right? But that can be a sale killer, says Rosamaria Acuña, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in La Jolla.
“First impressions are everything, and need to be done right,” she says. “A professional photographer has all the tools to capture the right lighting and make everything look brighter and inviting.” The pros also have wide-angle lenses to fit the entire room in the photo.
4. Selling quick means making your home available for showings
Once everything is set up, get ready to spend a lot of time away from your home so buyers and real estate agents can view the property comfortably—without you or your pets wandering around the halls. Selling fast is best done when homeowners aren’t there for an open house.
Remember: If you want to sell your home pronto, you need to be flexible and open with your time, to allow buyers and real estate agents to tour it as often as possible.
5. Attract a buyer with the right price
Staging and marketing your home are important components, but at the end of the day, the amount of money you’re asking buyers to pay could be what seals the deal.
“Nothing will help sell a poorly priced home—and a well-priced home can overcome many other issues,” says Aaron Hendon, a Realtor with Christine & Company in Seattle. “To sell your home fast, your house needs to be priced to compete with the others currently on the market.”
Your real estate agent will help you decide on the right listing price for your home by looking at a variety of factors: your house’s age, any updates, square footage, and the school district.
An agent will pull up comparable homes, or “comps,” that have sold in the area to evaluate the best sale price.
By Jeanne Sager