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The Best Advice for Selling a Home

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The Best Advice for Selling a Home
7 min. read

Image: Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

Do you want to sell your home fast? Most people feel this way when they put their homes on the market. Besides, who wants to go through months of getting the home prepared for a showing and then scrambling out the door with a couple of kids and the dog? Certainly, not many. In fact, the thought of selling a home isn’t something that most people look forward to.

Fortunately, there are some things that owners can do to ensure a fast home sale. And, by following a few pieces of advice, you’ll be at the closing table faster with fewer headaches than you ever thought possible.

So, let’s take a deep dive on what you can do to get your home under contract quicker — so you can focus on the purchase end of your move. These home-selling tips will help you do just that.

Exterior Tips

One of the first things you should do to increase your chances of a quick home sale is to improve your property’s curb appeal. Note that the lead-in time is important as there are a few things to do. Then, with careful advance planning, you’ll make a sale. So, before you even call a real estate agent, focus on maximizing first impressions. In particular, these are some of the things you can do right away to bump up your chances of home sale success:

  • Weed and mow the front lawn.
  • Put in a border of seasonal flowers near the front door.
  • Weed any areas around your front walk and driveway.
  • Paint the front door, if necessary.
  • Upgrade the mailbox, if necessary.

These are all inexpensive fixes that can really help your home sell quickly. That’s because today’s homebuyers want as few maintenance projects as possible. So, if you can whittle down the list before buyers come looking, it will enhance your chances of a fast and profitable sale.

Interior Tips

The interior of your home should sparkle, and when the real estate agent comes to take pictures, your property should be spotless. Specifically, it should create an impression in a buyer’s mind so that they think to themselves, “I want this place!” To create a favorable atmosphere:

  • Remove redundant furniture that overcrowds rooms. Relocate it to either a storage facility or rent a moving container from PODS.
  • Consider having furniture and accessories you no longer need or want picked up by a charity.
  • Call a junk removal company, if necessary.
  • Collect all of your moving boxes and stow away excess knickknacks and other unnecessary items that clutter the home.
  • Apply one coat of off-white paint throughout the house to freshen it up, if necessary.
  • Start cleaning. The house must be spotless, especially the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Remove items from all of the counters. They should be bare.
  • Schedule any repairs and get them done.
  • Take down and clean light fixtures.
  • Get the carpets cleaned, if necessary.

Selling Fast with a Real Estate Agent

Once your home’s interior and exterior look great, it’s time to call in the real estate agents for a look. Selecting the right real estate agent will be paramount to your success. Select a full-time professional with a track record of success, and make sure you interview at least three agents. Steer clear of the agent who gives you a listing price for your home that doesn’t make sense. Be realistic.

Likewise, don’t fall for gimmicks or cheap ways to sell your house, like flat-fee MLS where you don’t receive any services from a full-time real estate agent.

Additionally, pay careful attention to what the real estate agent will be doing online. Online marketing for your home will be one of the keys to getting it sold quickly. You should find your property enhanced on all of the popular real estate sites, and the photography will be especially vital.

Rich Photography Key to Fast & Profitable Sale

It cannot be overstated how important photography is when selling a home. The photography for your home can make or break the sale. Keep in mind that this will be the first impression anyone has before they ever set foot on your property. The photos will determine whether a buyer has any interest in viewing your home.

To that end, the real estate agent you hire should use a professional photographer. Don’t let the agent post photos online that they took on their phone. Doing so screams, “I am cheap and not interested in investing money in the sale.”

Rather, the photos should be taken on a nice, bright day when your home is filled with natural light. Emphasis should be placed on the most important rooms in the home, such as the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom. If you have a finished basement or another specialty room, that should also garner extra attention.

Don’t Skip the Listing Description & Virtual Tour

In addition to the photography, the description of your property is also crucial. If the photography is awful, you’ll already have lost the buyer. But, if they like the photos, they’ll immediately want to learn more about your home. This is where a carefully crafted listing description adds marketing value.

Make sure your agent spends time writing descriptions that will entice a buyer to view your home. First-time homebuyers, in particular, will be especially interested in all of the features and amenities of your property.

Buyers love virtual and video tours, too. Find out if your real estate agent will provide one as part of their marketing plan.

#1 Factor for a Quick Sale: Pricing

While you can do everything correctly from a “staging” standpoint, if you get the price of your home wrong, none of it will matter. And, if you ask any real estate agent, they’ll tell you that pricing is the most vital part of a home sale.

For example, if you overprice your home in even the most vibrant seller’s market, it will languish on the market. Instead, put your emotions and attachment aside, and look at selling your home as a business transaction. Try to see your home through the eyes of a buyer — price it right from day one and it will sell for the most money. You might even be lucky enough to have multiple bidders.

More Tips to Give Yourself an Edge Before Going on The Market

  • Schedule a full-house window cleaning.
  • Book a contract cleaning team to come through every week until the house sells.
  • Arrange for seasonal fresh flower arrangements for the next few weeks.
  • Stock up on your favorite brewed coffee to give the house the inviting aroma of coffee wafting through it for the next few weeks.
  • Have soft music playing in the background.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and all of the kitchen cabinets. People actually look in them.
  • Give the children an incentive to put their toys away whenever they use them.
  • Buy new bed covers, if necessary, so that everything thing looks neat and understated.
  • Call a lawn-mowing and gardening service to finalize the grounds for viewing.

When you’re ready for the viewings to commence, have a final meeting with the agent. Specifically, discuss how you will deal with offers, especially if there are more than one.

Day of First Showings

  • Make sure that all family members have left the house. Nobody should be at the showing but the buyer and their agent.
  • If you have a dog, it should be away during the showing, as well.
  • Go around the house to check everything and do any last-minute tidying.
  • Place a few simple flower arrangements in different rooms.
  • Leave the house, as well. As the seller, you should not be there.

Have a Plan For Receiving Feedback

Top real estate agents will have a feedback system in place, and you should hear how the showing went within a couple of days. Did the buyer love it or hate it? What was their feedback? Are there things you can do to enhance the appeal? Your agent should be keeping tabs on the showing and reporting this information back to you. A sure sign of a lousy agent is one who does not communicate with you. Keep your house ready for buyers to come at any time.

Until your house is sold, keep it spotless and never refuse a request for an after-hours viewing. Genuine buyers are often really hardworking people, and if they want to come through at 7 p.m., let them. Remember, a lost showing is a lost opportunity to sell your home. Be as flexible as possible.

If you follow all of this advice, your agent will undoubtedly be marking your home as contingent in the MLS and discussing what you need to do to prepare for closing. Best of luck!

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