8 tips to sell your house fast
1. Price It Right
Selling a house is actually not that different from an eBay auction; people bid when the price starts low. After you find out what your house is worth, cut the price by 15 to 20 percent. Even in bad markets, buyers will bid on an attractively priced house, and they’ll bid up the price—it’s a psychological response to getting a good deal, paired with the rush of competition. Taking the bold step of marking down your home is the best strategy towards actually selling it, fast.
2. Use Storage Space
It’s wise to downsize before you list your home. Go through your closets and sell or donate a third of what’s in them (more if you can). Next, clean your closets and other storage areas, neatly organizing your belongings. Buyers will look in closets (and medicine cabinets), so keep them clean, pretty, and legal. Beyond this, storage spaces are a selling point; if yours look spacious and inviting, you’ll score points with potential buyers.
3. Place Proper Lighting
Consistently, for at least the last couple hundred years, buyers want homes that have good light. It’s the second most important point for homebuyers, after location. Simple steps will maximize the light in your home: take down the curtains and blinds, clean the windows (vinegar water plus newspapers works very well), change out old lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs, and trim obscuring bushes outside your windows. Dreary, dark houses don’t sell fast.
4. Network Effectively and Find the Right Agent
First off, tell everyone you know you are selling your house—grandparents, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Word of mouth is still a powerful networking tool. Second, hire the right broker; this means someone who is totally informed, and professional. They have to check the multiple listing service (MLS) all the time, know what properties are selling (and for much) in your area, and they have to be level headed. Someone who uses technology with ease is a bonus; they have more tricks to get your house sold.
5. Eliminate Signs of Furry Friends
Although your dog or cat may be a true member of your family, not everyone is a pet lover—overt signs of animals can turn off buyers. Tufts of dog fur, scents of litter boxes, errant piles of dog food: all of these should be mitigated before showing your house. They give impression that the home is not clean, or cared for. If you have an open house lined up, send your pets to a friend’s house or a pet hotel for the day.
6. Only Do Minor Changes
Major home makeovers, while exciting to watch on HGTV, don’t sell most homes. Small, quick fixes pay off. It’s hard to recoup the investment of a major upgrade in a fast house sale. Instead, focus on easy details: paint the walls, clean the carpets, wash the curtains, scrub the grout in the bathroom. Replace dated door handles and cabinet pulls; give some attention to off-track closet doors and leaky faucets. Keeping your home clean and tidy in general will make it less stressful when your broker texts to let you know a buyer is coming in an hour.
7. Make the Home Less Personal
This one’s hard for some people, but it’s crucial. When a buyer walks through a room and sees a bunch of personal items (photographs, hair brushes, sneakers), it’s hard for them to imagine their things in that room. You’re not selling your life or your things—just your house. Reduce your stuff by a third, if possible; sell it, donate it, put it in storage. Hiding things in the basement or attic is not cool either, as every space can be poked around in by a potential buyer. A home stager can help you arrange your furniture to best showcase the design and open space in your home.
8. Keep the Kitchen Pristine
Finally, remember the old adage: the kitchen is the heart of the home. Attractive, well-kept kitchens sell homes, while dated or cramped kitchens doom sale after sale. Replacing countertops for a few thousand dollars often means the buyer won’t ask for ten grand off the asking price because of an ugly kitchen. Frequently, a coat of paint (neutral colors please) and new cabinet hardware is enough to update the design. Buying one high-end stainless steel appliance can actually uplift the whole kitchen; buyers will think the others are expensive too. A vase of fresh-cut flowers on the kitchen table warms a cold kitchen and invites buyers to imagine staging their own meals there.