How to Sell Your House Fast:
Top 8 Tips to Sell a House Quickly
Written By: Mariko Baerg, REALTOR of Bridgewell Real Estate Group
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If you’ve ever been in a situation where you need to sell a house fast, you know how frustrating and overwhelming it can be. Whether you need to sell quick because you’ve already bought a house, you’re moving out of country, or another reason, having your home sit stale on the market for a number of days is a nail-biting and anxious experience.
Fortunately, there are ways to speed up the sale of your home, without putting crazy amounts of money in to a kitchen or bathroom renovation. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with our top 8 tips on how to sell your house fast in ANY real estate market.
Selling Tip #1: Light it up
Lighting is incredibly important when it comes to showcasing your home. Lighting makes the rooms feel warm, welcoming and easier to look at. Lighting also plays an important role during the photography process. Switch out your yellow bulbs for LED lights, and think about updating your light fixtures if they’re outdated. When you leave for showings, turn the lights on and open curtains and blinds.
Selling Tip #2: Make a good first impression & Amp up the curb appeal
Make the first appearance of your house impressive by amping up your curb appeal. If the appearance of your property is not good, many potential buyers will not even walk through the door. Pressure washing your driveway and entrance will be a good way to start. Sanding down and putting a new coat over peeling and chipped paint can work wonders to how a buyer perceives your home. Make sure the garbage and recycle bins are carefully tucked away so the first impression isn’t a big whiff of smelly garbage.
While your home is listed, it’s best to always make sure the home is in “show home quality” at all times – especially before you leave to work. As a guideline, here’s some things you should make sure to do before you leave:
- Make the beds
- Keep the kitchen clean – no dishes in the sink, clear the counters
- Do all the dishes or put them in the dishwasher
- Tidy the bathroom – keep the countertops clean, hang up the towels
- No clothes, toys, or junk on the floor (keep the living room, dining room,and bedrooms clean)
- Take the garbage and recycling out
- Put away all cash and hide all valuables
- Leave all the lights on
A showing could be booked last minute while you’re out or at work, so make sure that you don’t need to freak out and rush home to get the house all spick and span. We know it’s annoying, but hopefully in a market this hot all of this work will only last a week. Believe me, it’s well worth it, and your work will pay off. (literally)
Selling Tip #3: Make small upgrades
We all have things in the home that we’ve been meaning to do forever but just haven’t got around to. Start tightening up those loose door handles, repair the leaking faucet, patch up the holes in the wall, and grease up the door hinges. If you’re going to need some help with this one, think of hiring a handyman. Don’t go overboard on major remodels because chances are, you won’t get your money back. Instead, focus on small upgrades, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, where you’re most likely to see a return on investment.
Pro tip: Get rid of the scuffs all around the place. Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser can work wonders. Simple touches like these can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.
Selling Tip #4: Find the right real estate agent that knows what to sell & market a home
It’s important that you interview at least a couple of agents and ask the right questions. What really matters? A track record of sales that proves they know how to sell your house fast. Are they familiar with the benefits (and negatives) of your neighborhood? Can they walk into your home and tell you precisely what buyers will love and hate? Make sure to review their website, and also check their online google/yelp/facebook reviews and rating to get a feel for what you can expect when working with them.
When it comes to how they market a home, As a seller, you will need to know:
- What is your online strategy for my home? What kind of online presence do you have?
- Will you be using social media to advertise my home? Are you familiar with Facebook advertising?
- Can I see examples of how you’ve marketed a home that you were selling previously?
- Do you outsource professional photography? What kind of photography do you offer?
- Do you offer virtual tours for the home?
- Will you have a professional floor plan completed?
- What kind of print material do you use for open houses? Can I have a piece of print material that you have used in the past?
- Is there a custom website dedicated to the home for sale?
- Is cold calling or door knocking for potential buyers appropriate? Why or why not?
- Is a direct mail campaign appropriate? Why or why not?
Selling Tip #5: Make sure your realtor hires a professional photographer & videographer
Most homebuyers start looking for a property online, which means that you need to have great images that accentuate your home’s best features and selling points in order to successfully get home buyers to actually visit your house in person.
After you’ve improved curb appeal, and made necessary upgrades, make sure your realtor is hiring a professional photographer to take high-quality images, in the best light. These great images will inspire buyers to come to your open houses or request a tour. Make sure you or your Realtor post the listing online, and that they’re featured on sites such as realtor.ca and rew.ca.
Your realtor should also be providing buyers the option of viewing the home via a virtual tour. That way buyers can view the property anytime and anywhere, which will open your home buying market up to people that are from out of town or out of country! To ensure that your home sells fast, make sure that your realtor is hiring a professional photographer that will do both virtual tours and real estate photography.
Selling Tip #6: Get a storage unit & declutter
You will need to put a few things away to make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Maybe it will even help get ready to pack for your move and get rid of those unwanted items you have left around. Find boxes to store your belongings so you can easily store them out of sight. Maybe it’s time to look for a temporary storage facility or pile them up in your attic if you have one.
You might think that the easiest way to declutter your home is to just shove everything in the closets. However, just like potential buyers will be opening kitchen drawers to see how they’ll fit their pots and pans in, they will also be opening up closets and storage space to make sure their clothes, holiday decorations, shoes, and other items will fit. It’s important that they don’t open up to an absolute mess.Anyone who tours your home is going to check out the storage spaces, and disorganized, overstuffed closets only serve as evidence that your home is lacking. Work on organizing your closets and the storage spaces – keep them neat.
Selling Tip #7: Price smart
Choosing the right listing price is one of the most important tips for selling your home quickly. If your home is priced too low, you’ll obviously leave money on the table, and if it’s too high, you’ll get few offers and watch it get stale on the market. Price based on the comparables and your current competition at the time. Your realtor should be showing you the sales, active properties, and expired/terminated properties in your neighbourhoods in the last 30-90 days. These recent comparable properties will help to determine your listing strategy and also a rough estimate of what your home should sell for. How does your home measure up to those properties?
A good tip is to use charm pricing and “under a century” numbers. Instead of choosing to list your house for $407,000, consider listing it for $399,000 so that it fits just under the psychologically important century mark. You see retail shops and businesses using charm pricing all the time, and for good reason: People favor these numbers because they have the allure of not tipping a certain scale they have in their heads. $399,000 sounds so much more intriguing than $400,000, even though they are functionally the same.
If you want to sell your home fast, don’t overprice it. While you might be tempted to start with a high listing price to see what happens, overpricing can be a bad strategy.
After a home sits on the market for an extended period of time, many people will assume that it hasn’t sold because something is wrong with it. Agents and buyers may mistakenly assume that an old listing can’t pass inspections, or that it has a poor interior layout. So, don’t let your home become a stale listing because it’s overpriced.
Sometimes, a lower-than-expected price on a house can be a good thing. A low price can spark a bidding war, causing the price of the house to go up. A bidding war isn’t guaranteed, but it’s a lot more likely to happen when the price is lower than it is if the price is higher.
For more information on comparable properties and how to price your home, read this blog: Home Pricing Strategies 101
Selling Tip #8: Sell at the right time
Historically, spring is the most popular home-buying season. The weather is good, and families with kids can make a smooth transition during the upcoming summer break. Fall is another popular alternative, whereas in the summer and winter months a number of families (and realtors) are on vacation or just coming back from vacation.
However, receiving the highest price possible for that sale of your home often comes down to basic economics. How much supply is there? How much demand is there? There are pros and cons to every home, and if you feel like your home may have more cons than pros then you’ll want to sell when supply is low. What does this mean? It means that the generic answer that spring is the best time to sell may not apply to you. Spring often brings more supply, meaning as a home seller you will have more competition. For example, if your home is a condo and you know there are some big special levies coming up to have the roof replaced, then late January or early February may be your best bet. Buyers will be trying to beat the spring rush, and there will likely be a lot less competition when it comes to other listings.
Regardless of what month it is, or what the weather is like, if you maximize on timing and sell when there is a low supply and a high demand for your particular type of property, then you will almost always sell at the highest price that the market will bear.
If you’re interested in a free market evaluation, then give us a call at 604-765-0376. Prefer text? 604-319-0200 or email email@example.com to start a conversation. We’re here to help, and we can provide you with a comprehensive pricing strategy and an estimate on the amount that you can get for your home in today’s market.
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