It always seems that when you decide to sell your house, everyone else is selling theirs too and you can’t find buyers to save your life. This is not the end of the world. With a little work and a few tips, you can put yourself ahead of 90% of the other sellers. It just takes making that extra effort. You might have to spend a little cash, but it will be worth it in the end. You will more than make up for it by selling your house faster.
Your home is full of “stuff”, most of it things you have collected over the years. The longer you have owned the house usually the more stuff you have. Rent a storage unit and story at least half of it, if not more. That includes emptying the garage. You need to take at least half of your clothes from your clothes closets, if not more, and store it. You don’t wear all those and you need to make the closets look roomy. Buyers will look everywhere. You should even store some furniture if you have too much in a room. Move it all to the next house later, but for now? Move it to storage.
Clean like you are insane
Deep clean and we mean deep clean. Sometimes it is better to get professionals to do this if you can. If you can’t, you should make sure to clean the carpets and floors with something like the Riccar R10E vacuum. Bleach and clean the grout in the bathroom and kitchen. Become that insane unsatisfied person cleaning. If you see a smudge on the wall? Paint over it. There must be perfection. Seriously though, it will make a huge difference.
Pretend to be a buyer and go to other houses
Go to other houses for sale and have a look at what they are doing. Does the house feel cozy? Cluttered? Old? Messy? Look at everything you don’t like about their house and fix that in yours.
Get the right agent
Sure, your sister in law is a real estate agent, and you might cause family upset if you don’t use her, but if she hasn’t sold a house in a year, we suggest finding someone that has. Check their reviews online. Research them, and make sure they know the area and have experience. Some people are just better salespeople than others. They may have their face all over the place at bus stops, but unless they have a great selling record, don’t use them.
Hire a professional photographer
You can take pictures of your house, but unless you have a lot of talent, you need to hire a professional. The difference between amateur photos and professional ones are massive. Check online for real estate sales, or even Airbnb, and you will see some pictures that really don’t make you want to even go visit. Dark, show only 2 rooms, etc. Get a professional and take a lot of photos, this is sales. People want to see everything before they even visit.
Advertise the house yourself
The real estate agent will advertise and try and sell your house, but, if you truly want to sell, you should help them. Make sure they have a strong social network presence. Put your house on social networking; let others know it’s for sale. Post it in forums of people looking for houses and ask their opinion. You need to get the house out there in front of as many eyes as possible. Someone once said “show if you sell it, hide it you keep it” so I think you get the idea.
Update not renovate
You do not need to renovate the house. Unless you can renovate quickly, and it makes a large difference to the house, don’t do it, just update things. Fix things that don’t work. Replace things that are obviously old and flawed. You can renovate just about anything nowadays. For example, if you think your staircase is dated, look at the types of staircases you can copy and get decorating! If that bath tap is pitted, go replace it. Try and spend as little money as you can, but get the most out of the repairs. Just keep it simple. Renovation can help sell a house faster, but it generally won’t make you any more money on the house.
Plants and paintings
If you don’t have them inside, then you need to add them. Add plants and paintings, and remove some furniture. It will give the rooms a better look. It doesn’t matter that in the real world those plants will die for lack of sunshine, for now, it is fine, as long as the buyers think it looks great
Give up trying to energy save when you are selling. Change the light bulbs for brighter ones. Make sure there is more than enough light. You want to make the place look bright and airy as it makes a difference. If you have dark walls or dark anything, it is also a good idea to paint them lighter colors. Your style might be dark, but buyers generally fall for lighter
Air it out
Deodorize everything, carpet, chairs, sofa, curtains, and the beds at least. You want the place to smell great. Putting in aromatic flowers will help, as well as mild air fresheners. Before a potential buyer comes, make sure you open all doors and windows and blow the air through the house, using a fan if need be. Make it fresh. You might not smell your house, but they will. When you go check other houses, pay attention to smell and see how it makes you feel.
Just like cleaning the inside like you are insane, clean the outside. Steam wash everything you can. Make the driveway pristine. Fix anything that you see that’s not perfect. Bubbled paint? It doesn’t take much to sand it and paint over it. Add plants, preferably flowering ones. Anything you can think of to make the front look cleaner is a must.
Get an independent appraisal
You don’t need to do this step, but we like to. After you have done all your cleaning and fixing, hire a certified appraiser for a full appraisal. This will cost you $1k and up, but it is well worth it. You do not have to tell anyone you did this if it doesn’t meet what you expect. They will also tell you what to fix that you might have missed. It will give you more information when you are deciding what price you can take, and it won’t just be the agent’s opinion. If you know what it’s really worth, it makes it easier to sell, and to know what you can and can’t accept on it, with no emotion attached.
These are just a few methods to sell your house faster, there are many more, but they are the most important. You can hire professional services to do most of them, or you can do them yourself, just as long as they are done, and done well. You are selling a product, just as if it was in a store. So you need to make it as attractive and as desirable as you can. We know one realtor that used to park a Ferrari in the driveway of houses he was selling and leave it in the pictures. We don’t know if it helped, but you get the idea. Make it desirable and people will come.