Selling your home fast is always a good idea, no matter the motivation. The longer the home is on the market, the less valuable it becomes so speed is of the essence. Derek Gutting, a top real estate agent who’s sold 86% more single family homes than average in Indianapolis, Indiana, explained that “the longer the home is on the market, the higher the probability of getting a lower offer.”
If you are selling your home, you need to do it quickly. We spoke to some of the best agents around the country and put together this quick little guide on the fastest way to sell a house.
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1. Start with a top selling real estate agent
Hiring a successful real estate agent is the first step to take once you make the decision to put your home on the market. They will serve as the main point of contact for both you and potential buyers by scheduling showings, crafting your listing, and marketing your property.
Homes sold without a real estate agent usually go for thousands of dollars less than if they were sold by an experienced agent. The reason is that selling your home without an agent is risky, time-consuming, and just plain hard work. If you don’t know what you’re doing you set yourself at a huge disadvantage.
We can’t express the importance of hiring a top real estate agent enough.
2. Be smart about the listing price
Listing your home for the highest possible price almost seems logical. Buyers are sure to attempt to negotiate it down anyways, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works at all.
Oftentimes, buyers don’t have the time nor patience to scope out homes that will require negotiations, explains real estate agent Djana Morris in the Washington Post. “[Listing the home above value] sounds like a sensible strategy for getting your desired price, but it assumes that buyers will make an offer that can then be negotiated,” she wrote in 2014.
Gutting told us the same thing, and it still rings true today: if you list your house for too high a price, buyers won’t take an interest. If nobody bids on your home, it’s eventually going to become a stale listing. If your listing goes stale and sits on the market too long without any bids, buyer’s agents start to smell blood in the water and you might get a lower price in the end.
The best thing you can do when pricing your home is to look at the prices of other homes in the area and price accordingly. According to Gutting’s experience, if you list the home according to market value, you’ll create a bidding war and will likely receive an offer that’s at, close to, or even higher than the price the home is listed for.
3. Fake it ’til you make it
When you’re selling a home, appearance is everything.
There are two scenarios in which a home is viewed in: vacant and non-vacant. Gutting stressed that in both scenarios, appealing to people’s emotions is crucial. To do this, he recommends making 5 specific updates to your house:
- Replace the carpets
- Put fresh paint on the walls
- Update appliances if you can afford it
- Update your light fixtures
- Hire a landscaper and get the yard in line
These five tasks, along with decluttering and depersonalizing, drive sales because they give your house a “brand new” look and feel. The cleanliness and modern feel will hit buyers where it counts: their eyes and hearts.
If the house is vacant, though, hire a professional stager. Staging a home takes it from zero to hero overnight, and it’s often enough to expedite the process of selling your home. Gutting couldn’t stress the necessity of staging enough, mentioning that none of his homes that were set by a stager sold in more than thirty days.
That isn’t a coincidence. In fact, 83% of top agents surveyed by HomeLight agree that staged homes sell faster, with 71% claiming they sell at least 6%-10% quicker than those left alone. The small up front investment will pay off when you close the deal.
4. Keep up with current technology
People won’t view the home, let alone buy it, if they aren’t intrigued by your online real estate listing. Today, the internet is the driving force behind home sales, and you should keep that in mind if you want to sell your home fast.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 52% of buyers find the home they ultimately end up purchasing online, while only 29% find their home through their agent.
However, we mean “online” in a specific sense.
Mobile devices are a popular way to surf the web, with 73% of buyers using a smartphone or tablet in their home search. When listing a home for sale, note that people will likely look at it from their smartphone or spot it while sifting through properties on their iPad.
Be especially vigilant about your house’s photos!
Professional photography of your home could net you thousands of dollars more than if you used low-definition ones. Professional photography of your home is the single highest ranked website feature of a real estate listing among buyers, according to NAR’s 2020 Generational Trends Report.
And, photos need to be clear and sharp to stand out on mobile devices. If buyers aren’t impressed by the photos on the listing, they won’t bother visiting it.
5. Keep your friends close… and your Facebook friends closer
Social media is inescapable these days. Over 2 billion people worldwide use Facebook, making the social media site one of the strongest platforms for marketing. What’s more, 74% of those users visit the site daily, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center study.
Tapping into this wealth of potential buyers is a no brainer. By “sharing” your listing, you’re showing it to hundreds of people. If somebody else shares your post, all the better.
The Gutting Group uses Facebook to help the selling process. Gutting, whenever he is selling a home, puts the listing on his group’s Facebook page, which has garnered over 1,400 followers.
He also encourages his clients to do the same. In one instance, a client, who had a huge friend group on Facebook, shared the listing on her feed. Within 48 hours, the Gutting Group’s website received almost 400 hits that came from her post alone.
6. Don’t cut corners — bring in the pros
When it comes to selling your home quickly, cutting corners isn’t an option. Hire a top real estate agent, use technology wisely, and stage your home like it’s a castle; it won’t be long until your home is sold for a price that can’t be beat.
Bonus tip: In a serious hurry? Consider a cash offer
Let’s say you just got an amazing job offer across the country, your financial circumstances suddenly changed, or you’re going through a tough divorce. You need to unload your house in days, not months or weeks. In that case, soliciting a cash offer on your home can be a viable alternative to the traditional listing process. You might take a hit on price, but you’ll also skip the Realtor fees and be able to close on a much shorter timeline.
Sound like something you might be interested in? You can connect with a cash buyer through our Simple Sale platform to get money in your bank account within as few as 7 days and move on your timeline. If you request a cash offer through Simple Sale, we’ll help you compare the Simple Sale price against an estimation of what you could fetch on the open market so that you can make an informed decision.
Header Image Source: (Alex Tan / Death To The Stock Photo)