If you want to sell your house fast in Fort Wayne, Indiana, you’ve picked an opportune time.
With its vibrant cultural scene, low cost of living, and bustling downtown, Fort Wayne is attracting homebuyers from far and wide. Indiana’s second-most-populous city was even recently ranked as the fifth-best city in the country for first-time homebuyers for its home market favorability, affordability, livability, and low income-to-housing cost ratio. The strong demand for houses has driven property prices up by almost 50% during the last five years.
We’ll help you capitalize on this seller’s market with these five tips to sell your house fast from local real estate experts.
1. Don’t over-improve your Fort Wayne home
While you’ll want to spruce up your space before listing, beware of sinking too much money into remodeling that won’t yield a high return on investment. “With such low inventory, a lot of people are kind of just taking what they can get to a degree”, notes Warren Barnes, a top Fort Wayne agent who works with 76% more single family homes than the average agent. “A lot of [buyer] clients I work with just want a place that’s put together, not much will come up on the inspection, built within the last 40 years. Something on a slab that’s going to last a long time.”
“In general, a deep clean goes a long way … you don’t need to be doing super expensive things,” says Gregory Brown, a top local real estate agent with over 19 years experience. Sometimes, explains Brown, “the more money you dump into a home, the harder it could be to get it out.”
Instead, consider some basic home improvements to polish what might be an older space:
- Hire professionals to clean the windows for an average cost of $121 to $261.
- Replace mismatched light bulbs with high wattage bulbs to brighten the interior.
- Swap out old hardware such as doorknobs and cabinet pulls and replace them with simple matte black designs.
- Rent a carpet cleaner from Home Depot for $32 per day to deep clean your floors.
- Depersonalize your home by removing family photos, collections, and religious and political items.
2. Enhance curb appeal with a well-kept yard and native plants
It’s no surprise that 99% of real estate agents believe curb appeal is critical in attracting buyers. Draw buyers’ eyes to the front door with a paver pathway bordered by native plants. For a pop of color, try blue false indigo perennial in spring, yellow cornflower in summer, and smooth aster in the fall.
“Consider some pressure washing, [which] can be done pretty affordably, especially if the front of your house is facing the north, where it’s going to be most likely to get moss”, shares Barnes. He also advises adding some mulch and trimming hedges as budget-friendly ways to make your home stand out.
Maintain a lush lawn throughout the listing period. Lawn care generally costs between $100 and $500 — a small price to pay to make your property pop.
In the winter, keep your walkways and driveway clear and free of ice. If you need equipment to help after a heavy snowstorm, you can rent a snowblower locally for just $65 a day. When you catch a window of warmer weather, clip back dead branches and remove debris from places that are more difficult to reach when blanketed with snow.
3. Craft a compelling listing to showcase your home’s best features
“People don’t want to spend $1,200 a year for these community amenities,” says Brown, who advises that most Fort Wayne buyers are looking for low-maintenance homes with a three-car attached garage and central air conditioning.
With that in mind, play up these desirable features in your property listing with a detailed description and professional photos. For instance, highlight if your home is in the top-rated Southwest Allen County school district or close to I-69 or other main commuter routes. And if your property is close to one of the city’s best spots like the botanical conservatory, the Aboite, or Saint Mary’s Rivers, use drone photography to showcase this proximity.
4. Tend to any drainage issues before the inspection
Since Fort Wayne is rainy throughout the year and has clay rather than sand soil, water doesn’t drain as fast as in other climates. If your home is flooding after rainfall or there is water buildup anywhere in your basement, invest in protective measures such as a quality sump pump and extended downspouts to keep water out. If you don’t, you may run into issues during the home inspection that could slow down your home sale.
The average cost of a regular sump pump is around $250. Heavy-duty options with a higher horsepower can cost up to $400 and, as installation costs can vary, the best way forward is getting a quote from a local plumber. A downspout extension is a cheaper option that can run from $10 to $50, depending on the extension length and downspout type. Barnes makes sure to recommend these to his clients ahead of the inspection, agreeing they’re cheap and “relatively easy to install”.
5. Partner with a top real estate agent
To sell your house fast in Fort Wayne, you need to partner with a top real estate agent who intimately understands the local market conditions and buyer pool. On average, Fort Wayne’s top real estate agents place 1.8-times more transactions than the average agent and net their clients 24% more money on their sale.
“I’m very committed to helping my clients accomplish their goals”, says Barnes. “I put them first before myself”.
When deciding on who you want to work with, look at the agent’s performance history first. What experience does this agent have in the area? How long does it take them to sell a home? Is this fast or slow on a relative basis? How much more or less than the listing price do their clients typically sell for?
For a foolproof way to find the best real estate agent, share your home details with HomeLight. We crunch real estate agents’ performance data like list to sale price, client reviews, and average number of days on the market to match you with the three best agents for your needs.
From there, we recommend that you interview your candidates and choose the agent whose experience and professionalism you most trust.
Header Image Source: (Nagel Photography / ShutterStock)