How To Sell Your Own Home Fast
Almost every homeowner hopes for a quick sale. Some are truly motivated by the need to sell quickly, such as those pursuing a job offer in another city. Others might not have an urgent need to sell but are still hoping to get the task done and dusted, such as those selling an estate.
When selling any property, it all boils down to appealing to potential buyers. The more attractive you can make your property, the quicker you will find a buyer. Read on for tips on how to sell your own home fast.
Research, Research, Research
Two key factors in selling a home quickly are the timing of the listing and the price. A little research can help you pinpoint these answers and ultimately help with a swift sale.
When’s the Best Time to List?
Sometimes a seller can’t control when they list their property. You may need to sell ASAP for reasons beyond your control. But if your growing family needs a bigger home or if you’ve decided to sell and travel the world, you may have more flexibility.
Not surprisingly, the best time to list your home varies across municipalities. Global News reports that, in the GTA, homes listed in May tend to sell more quickly and at a higher price than those listed in January. On the west coast, however, the Vancouver Courier reports that the best time to list a home is in early or late fall.
How Do I Choose a Price?
Pricing is a key factor in how quickly a property sells. As a piece at Forbes points out, “Nothing kills a real estate deal faster than an overpriced property. … [Instead,] choose a price that will get motivated buyers into the door quickly.”
Start by researching the price of similar homes close by. Carla Toebe recommends looking at things like:
- Which other properties in your area might attract the same potential buyers.
- How comparable properties in your neighbourhood are priced.
- Whether your home has unique features or upgrades that affect the price.
- What is the price that would make your own home seem like the best value for the money?
Competitively pricing your home can pay off in the end. Not only can it result in a faster sale but it can also spark a bidding war. Lower prices are more likely to draw competing offers, driving the final price up.
Make a Great First Impression
When thinking about your home’s first impression, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Can you imagine yourself moving into this space and making it your own? A spotlessly clean home with a neutral palette and updated fixtures will have the widest appeal.
Channel Your Inner Marie Kondo
Start by being ruthlessly about decluttering. Clutter makes rooms seem smaller and messier. As well, clutter is often deeply personal. Those fridge magnets collected on your travels, your kids’ drawings, and grandma’s knickknacks make it harder for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the space.
Consider renting a shipping container to stow your clutter while your home is on the market. Bonus: Some of your packing will be done before your house even sells.
Dive Into a Deep Clean
Make your house shine. Start at the ceiling and work your way down:
- Polish light fixtures and wash ceiling fan blades.
- KO cobwebs.
- Wipe down walls, cupboard doors, and baseboards.
- Thoroughly vacuum.
- Use a toothbrush to get right into all corners and grooves.
- Meticulously clean your bathroom(s).
It’s especially important to have sparkling clean windows that fill your house with natural light.
The cleaner your house is, the more appealing it becomes to potential buyers. And a wide appeal is a key component in how to sell your own home fast.
Break Out Your Toolbelt
Minor cosmetic improvements can also make your home more appealing to buyers. Think about doing things like:
- Repainting rooms with neutral colours;
- Replacing cabinet hardware;
- Updating light fixtures;
- Installing new faucets; and
- Replacing shower curtains and/or bathroom fixtures.
It goes without saying that if anything is broken or not working properly (like a leaking faucet or a non-working electrical outlet), now is the time to fix it.
Stage Your Home
Staging is about creating a sensory experience for potential buyers. As Elizabeth Weintraub explains in a piece at The Balance:
Staging is what you do after you’ve cleaned, decluttered, painted, and made minor repairs. It’s about illusions. It’s about creating moods. It’s about making the home look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, and more loving.
Staging can help sell your home more quickly and for a higher price.
Hiring a professional stager can be a worthwhile investment. Not only do they bring a keen, creative eye to your space, but they often have a beautiful array of home accessories that they can bring in. However, if you don’t have the budget for a professional stager, consider:
- Rearranging the furniture. If necessary, stash extra pieces in that shipping container to make the space look larger and improve traffic flow. Try to group pieces together in a way that looks inviting. Put out fluffy cushions and drape throws over furniture arms. Tempting people to sit and stay awhile is an excellent way to appeal to buyers.
- Setting the table with your good china, cutlery, and linen. It helps people envision living in the space and the idea of sharing a meal evokes a sense of familiarity and comfort.
- Appealing to the olfactory senses. A piece at realtor.com suggests that the best scent is simply clean freshness. Any introduced scents should be natural and simple like citrus, herbs, or pine.
- Replacing window treatments to let in as much natural light as possible. Choose simple sheers in a neutral colour. When hanging them, position the rod at the top of the wall instead of the top of the window. The extra inches will draw eyes upward and make the room appear larger.
- Setting out fresh flowers to bring the outside in and provide a lovely natural scent.
A well-staged home is crucial not just for open houses and showings but also for photographs, which are important in today’s online listings.
Curb Appeal Still Matters
With the advent of online listings, the way homes are sold has changed. First impressions are now made more often through photos and videos than through curb appeal. Still, it’s important to beautify the outside of your home. There are all kinds of things you can do, including:
- Spruce up any green areas. Keep the grass and hedges trimmed, refresh mulch, deadhead flowers, and edge the lawn. In the winter, keep the walkways meticulously free of snow and ice.
- Polish the exterior of your home. The house and hardscaping can be pressure washed. Windows should sparkle. Clean the gutters. Consider refreshing the paint on the trim, front door, and fence. Clean–or, even better, replace–front door hardware.
- Refresh outdoor lighting. Replace the light feature with something new and fresh or at least polish the existing fixture. Add string lights or solar pathway markers for an extra punch.
- Replace decorative elements with fresh new pieces. New house numbers, a stylish mailbox, and a dried or green wreath can make your front door pop.
An attractive front yard can help appeal to buyers, which can ultimately help you sell your own house more quickly.
Take Great Photos
As pointed out in a piece at Real Simple, today’s home buyers start the shopping process online. For that reason, well-staged and high-quality photos of your home are crucial.
Once your home is meticulously cleaned and beautifully staged, whip out your camera and start snapping. A piece at Trulia offers these tips:
- Take most photos in landscape orientation. Horizontal photos look better in online listings.
- Take photos in bright natural lighting wherever possible. If necessary, supplement with indoor lighting.
- Take the highest-resolution photos that your device will allow. Low-resolution photos are often grainy, especially when enlarged (which potential buyers may do to scan for small details).
- If you have a digital camera, use it instead of your phone. If you don’t have one, see if you can borrow one from a friend–and ask after a wide-angle lens at the same time. Photos taken with an actual camera are often of better quality than those taken with a phone camera.
- Edit your photos. Straightening, cropping, and brightening photographs will showcase your home to the best possible advantage.
Since photos often provide the first impression of your house, beautiful images will attract buyers and help to sell your home quickly.
Use Your Socials
In addition to actually placing your property for sale online, use your social media accounts to promote the listing. Ask family and friends to share the posts. If there are online local groups that allow real estate listings (such as homeowner association groups or buy/sell groups), post there as well.
Selling a house can seem like a huge and daunting undertaking. But with research, planning, creativity, and good old-fashioned elbow grease, it won’t be difficult to sell your own home quickly.