13 Smart Ways to Sell Your Home as Fast as Possible
Here's how to score the most money, close the sale, and get settled in your new home ASAP.
Sell at the right time
If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home, spring it the best time to do so. “Real estate can be a very seasonal business,” says Max Fitzgerald, a real estate agent in Manhattan Beach, California. If you’re looking for how to sell a house fast, he says that listing your home from March through May is usually the best time, since “conversation rates and sales velocity are usually at their highest levels for the year.”
Price your home right
“It is super important to price your home correctly right from the beginning. Not only will this allow you to sell your home faster, it will help you net more money too,” shares Alex Glaser, a real estate agent in Richmond, Virginia. Glaser recommends that sellers put themselves in the shoes of a buyer. “Say the house across the street has been for sale for five months. Would you offer full price?” he asks. Buyers are less likely to get into a bidding war over a house that has been on the market too long, so price competitively from the beginning.
Take great pictures
Most buyers start their search for a new home online, where images are king. When it comes to knowing how to sell a house fast, avoid posting low-quality, too few, or unappealing pictures—this will turn away potential buyers. “Pictures need to be of high-quality and shot with a 5-megapixel or better camera, not a cell phone,” says Matt Bigach, the co-founder of Nexus Homebuyers, a real estate investment firm. “Let as much light in as possible when taking your pictures,” Bigach continues. “This also includes making sure you don’t have any burned-out bulbs and turning on all the lights for the photos.” Here are 11 questions you need to ask before selling your home.
Write an enticing listing description
The right words are just as important when it comes time to sell your home. Give potential buyers inside info on how amazing your home and area are, including facts about nearby schools and shopping or regular events that happen near your house. “We know the bedrooms and bathrooms already; tell us something about the property and the area that is beyond pictures and basic information,” says Mike Hrubos of Long & Foster Real Estate in New Jersey. “The buyer should feel like the home is a special piece of property to be acquired.”
Improve the curb appeal
“Whether the potential buyer sees the home online, or does a drive by, the first thing they see is the exterior of the house so it is vital that it looks as best as it can,” advises Marcia Mack, realtor and broker in the North Shore areas. She says that the first thing to focus on is to give the exterior a well-maintained look by removing weeds and debris and trimming the lawn and bushes. “Some homes would benefit from having a couple of potted plants or shrubs, a sculptural item, and maybe a bench or chairs,” Mack says.
Update your home with fresh paint
New paint can refresh the look of your house and help sell your home faster. For exterior color, Constance Allen, a real estate broker in Florida and Ontario, encourages sellers to ask, “Does the home look inviting and well-kept from the road? Does the color make it look more expensive?”
For interior paint, choose colors that are appealing for most buyers —i.e. a neutral, like a warm beige, rather than a green hue. Allen adds, “If the paint is tired, marked, chipped and worn looking, it gives the impression that the home is not well cared for.” Here are 15 more tricks that will help you lock down a sale faster.
Stage your home like a pro
As you sell your home, realize this is not your house anymore, but a potential buyer’s. Therefore, cast personal preferences aside and stage your home in a way that appeals to the mainstream market. “One of the best things you can do to prepare your home is to declutter, says Sep Niakan, the owner and broker of HB Roswell Realty. “Help create a canvas for the buyer to imagine their own life in the home, not yours.” Since you have to pack anyway, get a head start and pack away the majority of the items you don’t need to use daily.
Take personal touches out
There’s no doubt that your family photos and heirlooms are beautiful, but they can be a hindrance when it comes time to sell your home. “As a seller, you have to remove the distractions of your personal items so that the buyers are picturing themselves inside the home rather than looking at your stuff,” says Jennifer Murtland, licensed Ohio and Kentucky agent.
Be flexible with showing times
It can be a challenge balancing showing your home alongside a busy work and family schedule. However, if you can make your home available to see at any time for two weeks, there is a greater chance of it moving off the market. Seth Phillips, the president of SP3 Realty agrees, “The easier it is for agents to show a property, the more it will get shown. The more showings, the more offers. The more offers, the higher the offers.” Check out these 10 funniest moments realtors have had while showing houses.
Say goodbye to Fido
While 68 percent of American households have pets, they aren’t always a favorable factor when it comes to selling your home. “I understand the rationale behind having a cute dog pose in your backyard,” says Dana Bull, a realtor in Boston. “The truth is, many of the thousands of people seeing your listing may not find your dog cute. On top of that, they may worry about the damage your pet has done to the house.” If you want to know how to sell a house fast, it is important to remove your pet and pet’s items, like dishes, beds, and litter boxes from sight for photos and showings.
Make your house smell good
Whether potential buyers realize it or not, they are evaluating your home with all of their senses. Not only are they examining the look of your space, but they are judging the smell too. “Shampoo carpets to remove any stains and pet orders,” recommends Sheryl English, a realtor at Blackjack Realty Group. “A lovely scented candle of vanilla, cinnamon, apple, or lavender is inviting without being obvious or overpowering.” Don’t miss the 22 secrets your real estate agent isn’t telling you.
Light the way
It may not seem like it, but lighting is a bigger part of how to sell a house fast than you might think. Walking into a house that is clean, airy, and with a lot of natural light flowing through gives the impression of a happy home. “Light is a major asset for most buyers,” agrees Brian LeBow, a national real estate coach and sales manager for Coldwell Banker Dynasty. He suggests staging your home to accentuate the positive and to “add lighting where appropriate and open the clean windows.”
Go modern with drone footage
Investing in a photography package with drone footage will make your home listing stand out above the others. Real estate agent Julio Ybanez relies on professional drone photography to sell luxury properties in Florida. He says that this service can cost anywhere from $300 to $500. “Drones for this price range should be used only if they will add value to the listings due to great surroundings like lakes, canals, golf courses, parks and of course a clean and good-looking neighborhood.” Don’t have great surroundings? Just stick with professional photos, Ybanez suggests.