If you're ready to sell your home, you may have reason to want to sell it fast—such as a new job that starts soon in a different city. How do you generate interest in your house? After all, the more potential buyers you can attract, the better your chances of selling at a good price. Whatever your reasons for selling, here are six ways to sell a house quickly, even in a slow market.
- To sell your home quickly, price it competitively. And be ready to lower the price if you don't have any offers by a certain date.
- Clean the whole house, remove clutter, and hide personal items so buyers can picture themselves in the space.
- Boost the curb appeal to make the right first impression. Clear away the cobwebs, paint the front door, and plant flowers.
- Offer terms that might sweeten the deal for buyers—such as paying part of the closing costs.
1. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
If you want to sell your home fast, the first step is to hire a real estate agent. The ideal person will know the local market and have a sales record that proves they know how to sell.
Keep in mind that a real estate agent will help with the entire process, from hiring a professional photographer who will take top-notch photos of your home to negotiating for the best price. They will also write up a real estate listing that sells, schedule and host showings, and market your property to get it seen.
2. Price It to Sell
One of the most effective ways to sell your home fast is to price it competitively. If you price it too high, your home will spend more time on the market. Also, if your home is overpriced, you may end up selling it for less eventually—it will just take a lot longer.
Your real estate agent will research comparable homes (aka "comps") in your area to set a realistic price. If you really need to sell fast, consider pricing your home a little lower to attract interest (and maybe even spark a bidding war). If you haven't received any offers by a certain date, knock the price down.
It's also helpful to think about the price points that buyers search for in your area. If you list your home for $302,000, for example, you'll miss all the potential buyers who are looking for homes under $300,000. It's probably not worth asking for the extra $2,000 if it means fewer buyers will see the home.
3. Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize
Buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space, and they won't be able to if your house is a mess. Give your home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom, get rid of clutter, and hide the family photos and other personal items.
While you're at it, rearrange the furniture so your home looks inviting and so buyers can move through your home without bumping into anything. If necessary, put bulky items in storage. A crowded room looks like a small room.
Consider hiring a stager to help you showcase your home's best assets, impress potential buyers, and sell it quickly for the best possible price. Staging isn't cheap, but the National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that, on average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes.
4. Boost Your Curb Appeal
If you want to sell quickly, it's essential to make a good first impression. And the first thing a buyer sees is a home's exterior and how it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. To boost your home's curb appeal:
- Paint the front door
- Plant flowers
- Sweep away any spiderwebs and debris from windows, eaves, and porches
- Wash the windows
- Fix broken light fixtures and mailboxes
- Make sure the trees, shrubs, and lawn are nicely manicured
Keep in mind that a tidy exterior not only looks nice, it also signals to potential buyers that you've taken good care of the place.
5. Take Care of Quick Repairs
You won't have time for any major renovations, so focus on quick repairs to address things that could deter potential buyers. Survey the house and take care of the easy fixes:
- Fix loose tiles
- Tighten leaky faucets
- Touch up paint
- Tighten door knobs and handles
- Remove carpet stains
Depending on how much time and money you want to spend getting the home ready, you might also want to update fixtures, buy new appliances, install new hardware on the cabinets, and give the interior a fresh coat of (neutral) paint.
6. Sweeten the Deal
Another way to make the home and deal more attractive is to offer something to sweeten the pot. You could offer, for example, to pay some or all of the closing costs. Particularly in a down market, buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feel they get one.
Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which provides discounted repair and replacement services for household appliances and systems. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing the home is protected, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.
The Bottom Line
Selling a home can be stressful, and even more so if you're on a tight deadline. Fortunately, whether you need to sell fast because of a new job, a life event (e.g., a divorce), or financial reasons, there are ways to speed up the process.
If you don't have a big budget to get your home sell-ready, focus on that first impression. Buyers can make a decision within seconds—a few from the curb and a few when they step inside the front door. Make those seconds count with a tidy yard, a sparkling home, and, if you can swing it, a fresh coat of paint.