Sell Your Home Faster
Showing your home isn't fun. Two mortgages are even less fun! Here are some tips to help you sell your home faster.
It is a good idea to get a pre-sale inspection. In the worst case, you can identify and fix any problems that could slow down or halt a sale. In the best case, you will have objective, third party proof that your home is in good shape. Display your positive inspection report during showings so that potential buyers can be at ease.
Set the Stage
Staging is the art of making your lived-in home look like a model home. Evaluate your home's curb appeal. Is the lawn and landscaping well groomed? Think "open and roomy." Have you removed all clutter and moved all storage to a different location? Focus on organization. Are your closets, drawers, and pantry organized? Buyers will look in them.
The key is to stay neutral. Do you have walls or flooring that are bright colors? They might match your sofa perfectly, but these loud colors probably won't work for a buyer. Consider painting over brightly colored walls and replacing non-neutral flooring.
You need to think less like a homeowner and more like a salesman. This is no longer the home where you raised your family, it is a commodity that you want to get the most money for. When a buyer walks through your house, they're picturing their own family pictures, heirlooms, and furniture. Help them by removing as many of yours as you can.
Unless you're selling a fixer-upper, your buyers will expect a move-in ready home that feels as close to new as possible. You can help this perception by making minor repairs. Fix leaky faucets. Check all of your doors and drawers to make sure they close tight and open easily. Find and repair nail pops or holes in walls and slather on some fresh paint where necessary.
Pay attention to your flooring, especially the areas with the highest foot traffic. Steam clean where you can and replace where you must. You can replace flooring with a neutral colored, less expensive option now rather than negotiating for flooring that could be more expensive.
Once your house is polished, you need to get potential buyers to it. Before selecting your agent, try to determine their enthusiasm, knowledge of the area, and past success. A good realtor will be able to get your house in front of other realtors and buyers.
If you're selling your house on your own, study the ads of other homes for sale. You will learn a lot about wording by studying just a few ads of homes similar to yours.
Certainly you can start by researching advertising costs in your local newspaper and real estate publications. There are also many great online options like www.ForSaleByOwner.com, www.FSBO.com, and www.MilitaryByOwner.com.
Again, your realtor will be a helpful guide here if you have one. Study comparables and set a fair price. It is dangerous to try to "test the waters" with a higher price. Make sure that your set price matches the real value of your house so you don't price yourself out of potential buyers' looking range.
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