One time, Jenah Mahan-Williams, top-selling real estate agent who ranks in the top 5% of agents in Washington State, let a family of six and their 150-pound dog live in an RV in her driveway for three months.
The market is so hot right now, almost no one can buy contingent, so the family had to sell their home before looking for a new place. In other words, they sold their home so fast that their real estate agent needed to put them up. Mahan-Williams gets major creativity (and generosity) points for this one.
You don’t have to live in an RV in your agent’s driveway — and we suggest you don’t invite yourself to do so — but you and your agent can take some clever steps toward selling your home.
Here are a few unique ways to sell your house fast:
Get Creative to Sell Your House Fast Online
Your home’s real estate listing is competing for attention with all of the following online:
- Kim Kardashian’s selfies
- Marnie the Dog (this dog has 2.1 million Instagram followers!)
- The newest “Which Disney Princess Are You?” Buzzfeed quiz
- Real News
- Fake News
- Your son’s homemade movie on YouTube
To sing above the noise and sell your house fast, you don’t have to be loud, but it helps if you’re a little different. Here are a few ways to differentiate yourself:
Shoot a home promo video.
Tell the story of the lifestyle that comes with your home. Maybe the house has so many rooms, it’s the ultimate house to play hide and seek in. Maybe it has the perfect backyard to host your book club, or is so private you can walk around naked in it (warning: NSFW).
Branch out with some drone photography.
Your real estate agent may have connections to use a drone. Get aerial shots of your lot and neighborhood, as well as your home from some creative angles.
If you need more space, find it.
Stephen FitzMaurice, the #4 top-selling agent in Portland, Oregon, had to sell an 8,000 square-foot home. MLS has limits on the number of pictures and the amount of info you can put in the various fields, and there simply wasn’t enough space to talk about 8,000 square feet of house! So he created a link, which he pasted in the info section on the MLS listing. The link led interested people to the house’s own landing page. It had a detailed description, hundreds of pictures and a 3D walkthrough, all beyond what MLS could offer.
Host a Garage Sale and Open House Simultaneously
Catch people while they’re out and about on Sunday morning. Use Nextdoor, Craigslist and Garage Sale Finder, as well as traditional open house marketing techniques, to tell people about your event. You’ll catch the attention of more than one market segment.
House hunting is all about the grown-ups, but garage sales (with donuts and coffee) are a family-friendly Sunday morning. Kids will love going through the box of board games or the giant trunk of dress-up clothes, and parents will be more willing to cart their kids along if there is something to keep the tots occupied.
Use this dual-purpose event as an opportunity to declutter your home. To show your home, you’ll need to clear every surface. Though the bookshelf doesn’t need to be organized alphabetically, it does need some semblance of order. As you sift through your stuff, put items aside for your garage sale.
Tag Team Events to Sell Your House Fast
Your house is more likely to sell quickly if the houses around yours are selling too. Nobody wants live next door to the house that was on the market for a year. If there are several homes for sale in your area, suggest getting the agents together for a collective event.
Say, for example, there are three homes for sale on your cul-de-sac. Make it a block party open house. People who are interested in the neighborhood can come by for a hot dog and a beer. Kids can keep busy with lawn games and adults can walk through the homes and chat with the agents.
In a more exclusive, gated community, consider hosting a progressive dinner party — wine at one house, apps at next. When finished, participants have not only eaten dinner but they’ve seen four open houses. Talk about productive!
Be Festive – It Just Might Sell Your House
Embrace the season.
Tulips on the kitchen counter shout “Spring!” and a big ol’ orange pumpkin next to the front door sets the stage for a crisp October. If your house is decluttered and depersonalized, it may feel a little sterile. Seasonal decor can help add back some personality and warmth.
Every neighborhood has a house with too many Christmas decorations — the spinning snowmen, eight wiry lawn reindeer, a two-story, blow-up Santa Clause. While you shouldn’t mirror what this house is doing, it’s ok to be festive. Nothing says home like a Christmas tree in the living room and the smell of sugar cookies wafting from the kitchen (even if it’s just from a Yankee Candle) … and provided it’s December.
Participate in charity.
Stir up some camaraderie for your open house by making it the home base or drop-off point for a food drive. Encourage visitors to bring a can of food when they walk through. You can later donate them to the local food bank. It’s a way to show your love for the community and to do things a little differently.
Put Your House on Airbnb Before You List
You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, yet house hunters are expected to walk through a house once or twice and then enter into one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. Give families the opportunity to test drive your house for a weekend before they buy it by listing it on Airbnb.
From dryer-fluffed towels to a breakfast diner recommendation, set up your guests with the warmth of home but the amenities of vacation. They can experience the house by living in it (even if it’s only for 48 hours this time).
Reach out to HR Departments
Companies attract and recruit employees from everywhere. Take Amazon for example, which brings people from all over the world to work at its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The healthy state of the Seattle economy is largely based on the influential company.
You may not have Amazon in your backyard, but you probably have at least one or more big employer. Reach out to the HR departments. Since HR departments are constantly working to attract the best talent, they know who’s moving to town and who might be interested in buying. Though they can’t (and won’t) talk about income with you directly, they’ll have a good idea about how much people might be looking to spend.
Create Visuals for the Open House
Design an infographic.
House hunters see hundreds of listings and thousands of pictures during their home-search process. Consider creating something different like an infographic. When was it built? How many square feet is it? What’s the school district? The same info that you’d find in a listing can be represented graphically to catch attention. Then put it on social media and out on the kitchen counter when you have walkthroughs.
Write up a list of faves.
If you live close to activities and restaurants, create a cheat sheet of your favorites. Viewers will love to know that the house they’re interested in is around the corner from the best coffee shop in town, that the neighborhood dog park is just two streets over, and that the community farmers market is on Sunday mornings from 7-12.
Make it work.
Every open house has a sign, but Mynor Herrera, an agent in the top 1% of agents in Maryland, was in a situation where he had to do things a little differently. You have to focus on the solutions instead of the problems.
He says “There was a co-op building that did everything they could to prevent open houses. Knowing that it was a high-traffic area, I arrived very early so that I could park directly in front of the building with my bright red car. I put a ton of balloons and signs on my car promoting the open house, along with my cell number, which I could use to buzz people in the front door. We had 37 people come through. It resulted in a quick sale and additional clients who have spanned years.”
Keep competitive in your area by enlisting the help of a top real estate agent, thinking outside the MLS field and joining forces with other agents and home sellers who have the same goals.
Article Image Source: (Caleb George/ Unsplash)