If you're anticipating putting your home on the market soon and want to sell it as quickly as possible, you're probably thinking that the best way to accomplish this is to accept a major drop in price. Although it's true that price points can affect how quickly a property sells, you don't have to dip much, if anything, below market value to facilitate a fast sale as long as you live in an area with a moderately healthy real estate market. Following are five proactive ways you can help your upcoming home sale go quickly.
Declutter and Depersonalize
One of the key components of a successful home sale is creating an environment where potential buyers can easily envision themselves and their family enjoying a pleasant life. Too many family photos and general clutter takes away from this. Renting a storage unit helps by providing a place to keep things and also gives you a head start on your move.
Homeowners who limit when the house can be shown are missing out on a lot of potential buyers. Although it's a hassle to always have to be available, you can make it easier on yourself by doing a general quick cleaning every morning and by using the above strategy of keeping clutter to an absolute minimum. If you simply can't guarantee availability for last-minute showings at all times, at least try to do so on weekend because that's when most people are looking at homes.
Have Professional Photos Taken
Professional photographs that show your home in the best possible light make it more likely that prospective buyers will ask to see your home. Don't settle for just any local photographer, though -- ask your real estate agent to recommend someone who specializes in home photography.
If you move out of the home, you and your family won't have to endure the inconvenience of people coming in and out, and your real estate agent will be free to show the property at literally any time.
Paint Your Home in Neutral Colors
Now is the time to make your home look as much like a blank slate as possible without sacrificing any of its charm. Neutral colors don't clash with anything, so buyers are therefore less likely to pass on your home due to aversions to certain colors, and there's something really appealing about a fresh coat of paint.
You'll also want to amp up the curb appeal of your home to make it more attractive. Because people are often blind to the faults of their own environments, ask a trusted friend or relative to look at your home exterior from the critical eye of a potential homebuyer and add improvements from there.
Creating just the right amount of curb appeal can be a delicate balance, but one thing's for sure: Many real estate agents firmly believe that it is the most important factor affecting how long a property remains on the market. That being the case, it's a phase of preparing your home for sale that you don't want to neglect or put on "the back burner."
If your home and property is in reasonably good condition, it may be possible to give it some extra eye-appeal without going overboard on the cost. Here are a few curb-appeal basics to consider as you get your house ready for the real estate market.
Painting: If it's been more than a few years since the outside of your home has been painted, it may be time to either repaint the entire exterior (which won't be cheap) or do some extensive "touching up." Sometimes, simply repainting window trim, shutters, and the front door can help visibly improve the overall appearance of your property. In general, peeling or fading paint will negatively impact the marketability of your home, so it's an issue worth addressing early on.
Power washing: A professional power-washing service can remove unsightly stains, layers of dirt, and discoloration from concrete surfaces, fences, roofs, garages, garage doors, and your home's exterior. One cautionary note about power washing: Applying too much water pressure can potentially cause damage to materials like loose roof shingles, older painted surfaces, crumbling concrete, old slate flooring, untreated wood, and aging fences. Special instructions may need to be given to workers and their manager, regarding delicate surfaces and the need to adjust water pressure accordingly.
Front porch: There are a lot of nice touches you can add to a front porch to make it look more inviting and visually appealing. In addition to making sure floors, steps, railings, windows, and furniture are immaculate, inexpensive upgrades, such as a new welcome mat, mailbox, and house numbers can also make a noticeable difference in the impression you create. Weather permitting, colorful potted or hanging flower baskets will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property. As is the case with interior home staging, strategically arranging furniture can help prospective buyers imagine themselves relaxing on your porch and elsewhere in your house. That can be a key step in triggering their interest.
Landscaping: When your house is on the market, it's crucial to keep your lawn and shrubs looking manicured at all times. Any hint of overgrowth, dying trees, or weeds can send the wrong message to potential buyers about the quality and desirability of your home. Edging for lawns, flower beds, and sidewalks can often be a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the eye appeal of your property.
A seasoned real estate agent can provide you with more cost-effective ideas on sprucing up the outside of your house to attract prospective buyers.
If you’re a homeowner considering selling your home as an investment property, timing is important. From a financial perspective, just as you probably bought strategically, you want to sell strategically too. The trick is knowing when the right time arrives. Here are four common metrics people use to determine when it's time to sell their property.
Amount of Equity in the House
A primary factor to look at is how much equity is in the home. Ideally, to sell a home as an investment, the seller can make a tidy sum. If mortgage payments are still owed, this may negate any potential profit made, but not necessarily. If you're looking to broaden your investment portfolio, be certain you can sell your house for enough money to pay off your debt with a sufficient amount left over to re-invest. If you don’t have enough equity to do this, you’re better holding off.
Market Conditions Are Good
Many owners who bought low and can sell high find this to be a strong motivator to put their property on the market. Since market conditions eventually shift to a buyer’s market, it’s a smart strategy to sell when the housing market favors the seller. Owners who have held their property for a long time or purchased as the housing bubble burst between 2007-2012, are likely going to make a better profit than investors who purchased when prices were at their peak.
Tax Code Advantages
Buyers are often motivated to sell if there are tax code advantages. For instance, the IRS currently offers a tax-deferred advantage to investors looking to sell one property to buy another. Under tax IRC Section 1031, sellers are required to find another property to purchase within 45 days and then buy it within 135 (180 days total).
By selling and making a similar real estate investment, investors can defer paying their federal and state capital gain taxes. It’s a good strategy to use if you want to leverage real estate and broaden your portfolio.
Taxes Are Going Up
If local taxes are going up, often buyers find this to be an incentive to sell. For instance, if a town severely limits commercial activity, the tax burden falls to homeowners. Over time, the tax bill may become too exorbitant. If you own enough equity in your property and the housing market is in your favor, high taxes might be your tipping point.
Let's face it – selling a home in a buyer's market is far from ideal. In this scenario, a home seller likely will compete with many property sellers to promote his or her residence. And despite a home seller's best efforts, there are no guarantees that he or she will be able to maximize the value of a residence.
A buyer's market often is a dream come true for property buyers and a worst nightmare for property sellers. Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate a buyer's market and ensure you can get the best price for your home.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that every home seller who is operating in a buyer's market needs to know.
1. Complete a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal offers a valuable opportunity for a home seller because it enables this individual to identify a property's strengths and weaknesses. That way, a home seller can find the best ways to enhance a residence and help it stand out from other available properties.
Typically, a home appraiser will inspect a residence both inside and out. After the evaluation is completed, the home appraiser will provide a home seller with a report that describes problem areas that were identified during the assessment.
A home appraisal report can make a world of difference for a home seller, particularly in a buyer's market. With this report in hand, a home seller can work toward enhancing a house's interior and exterior.
2. Establish a Competitive Price for Your Residence
What you paid for your home a few years is unlikely to match the value of your house today. Meanwhile, a home seller should set a competitive price for a residence to ensure that his or her house stirs up plenty of interest from homebuyers.
To determine a competitive price, examine the prices of comparable homes that are currently available in your area. This will help you establish a price range for houses similar to your own.
Furthermore, check out the prices of recently sold homes in your city or town. This housing market data can help you make an informed decision about how to price your residence.
3. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
An experienced real estate agent is unafraid to list a home in a buyer's market. In fact, this housing market professional knows exactly what it takes to sell a residence in any real estate market, at any time.
Thanks to an experienced real estate agent, you can streamline the home selling process. This real estate professional will showcase your house to the right groups of property buyers consistently. He or she also will set up home showings and open houses, negotiate with property buyers on your behalf and do everything possible to help you optimize the value of your residence.
Take the guesswork out of selling a home in a buyer's market. Use these tips, and you can keep things simple as you sell your residence.
A home seller who understands his or her residence's strengths may be better equipped than others to enjoy a successful property selling experience. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to identify your house's strengths before you list your residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your home's strengths.
1. Conduct a Home Inspection
Although a home inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts his or her offer to purchase a house, a seller may want to conduct an inspection prior to listing a residence. That way, a seller can gain deep insights into a house's strengths and weaknesses and map out his or her property selling strategy accordingly.
A home inspection may require only a few hours to complete, and an inspection's benefits can be significant. After an inspection, a homeowner will receive an inspection report that details any home problems. Then, a homeowner can use this report to learn about his or her house's strengths and weaknesses and explore ways to transform assorted weaknesses into strengths.
2. Consider the Buyer's Perspective
Think about why a homebuyer may consider your residence over other options – you'll be glad you did. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you could discover unique ways to distinguish your house from the competition.
Evaluating the buyer's perspective may help you prioritize home upgrades too. For instance, if your home boasts a large in-ground swimming pool, you may want to dedicate time and resources to clean your pool and perform any necessary repairs. Or, if your residence has a two-car garage, you may want to eliminate clutter from it so you can show off the true size of your garage to potential buyers.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about what differentiates your home from other properties in your city or town, there is no need to worry. Because if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support throughout the home selling journey. And as a result, you can identify your house's strengths and take the necessary steps to highlight these strengths to potential buyers.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a house, regardless of a property's age or condition. He or she is happy to meet with you and learn about you, your home and your home selling goals. Next, a real estate agent will craft a property selling strategy for you. And once you put this strategy into action, you should have no trouble achieving your desired house selling results.
In addition, a real estate agent is ready to assist you in any way possible throughout the house selling journey. If you have concerns or questions at any point during this journey, a real estate agent will respond to them right away.
Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can identify your house's strengths and develop an effective strategy to promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.