How to Sell Your House… Quickly
The housing market is a harsh mistress. The contemporary sales climate is notoriously extreme, with sellers of even some of the nicest properties struggling for months – even years – before closing a deal they’re not even satisfied with.
It’s important that you learn how to sell your house quickly, as nobody wants to become embroiled in a lengthy sale process that drags on for ages, leaving you with more than a couple of sleepless nights. There are a variety of factors that can lead to a timely sale, some of them seemingly infinitesimal, from replacing a cupboard door to getting a nicer photograph of the living room.
If you know how to play the game, not only could you get the deal you want – or better – but you could see your home off the market in no time.
The Great British Clean-Up
It seems like a given, but it’s surprising how few people actually do a really good job of decluttering and sprucing up the interior of their home before putting it on the market. Tidying your house is an absolute must, even if it just indicates to buyers and estate agents that you’ve actually made an effort.
Declutter: You might be used to your living room being a tight squeeze, but your sellers won’t be. Decluttering is all about creating extra space, so the first thing you should do is collect items that you don’t need in your rooms and put them in storage. Large furniture can be one of the main reasons a room looks small to potential buyers, so see if you can replace any unnecessarily large items with smaller equivalents for the time being.
Emphasise space with light: Mirrors are a common method of emphasising the amount of space in the room. Make sure you add a few to smaller rooms in the positions that will get the most light; opposite a window, for example. Also, dark corners make a room look cramped, so keep them illuminated with lamps.
“What’s that smell?”: Bad odours can immediately put off a buyer who is looking at your house. Don’t just cover them up; get down to the root cause of the problem. Clean out drains with bleach, empty your bins, and get rid of any rubbish that might have fallen behind furniture. In terms of producing nice smells, we’re not 100 per cent sure that baking bread and brewing up a coffee (as legend suggests) really helps sell a house, but there’s no harm in giving it a go.
Paint job: Give your home a fresh coating of paint to give it a newness that tends to encourage sales. Warm neutral colours like eggshell white and magnolia are both inviting and give an impression of spaciousness. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to redecorate if they wish.
Still, it’s good to leave a few things out like family photos and ornaments to give the house some personality. Buyers need to feel like the house they’re viewing is a potential home rather than just a property.
Once you’ve appropriately redecorated, it’s time to find a reputable real estate agent to work with you. If you’re unsure who to choose, chat to previous clients and look at the quality of their website. If the houses on their sales page look like something you’d want to buy, they’ve probably done a good job when it comes to advertising, so you can expect they’ll do the same for yours.
That being said, there are definitely a few things you can do to help your agent out. The first is focus on your online presence.
You can’t sell a house on personality alone these days. Thanks to the internet, buyers have all the information they need at their fingertips, so if you fail to impress them online, you probably won’t even see them offline.
Get professional photographs: A bad photograph can stop a great house from selling. Hire a pro to go around your house post-cleanup to make it shine online. Whatever you’re charged, you’ll probably make it up by getting an extra few thousand in the final deal.
Look at your competitors: Check out the profiles of your rivals, or houses of a similar size and description on a variety of selling websites to get an idea of the going rate. It’s also worth taking a trip to view other homes for sale to see what they’re doing right and – of course – anything they’re doing wrong, for you to capitalise on in your own sale. It gives you the opportunity to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, allowing you to consider their wants and needs.
Promote on social media: More and more real estate agents – Newton & Co included – are turning to social media platforms to promote their latest properties. You can help out by promoting your house on your channels too, broadening the scope of people who are likely to see it.
The Question of Price
Setting an asking price for your house can often be a somewhat sensitive issue, especially if you have a lot of history there. It can often feel like you’re selling a part of your life, and so you might end up being quite stubborn about the asking price.
In reality, you need to be flexible with an asking price, especially if you want to sell your house quickly. If your house hasn’t had much interest in the first week you’ve put it up for sale, consider dropping the price a little. Generally speaking, the first two weeks a house is on the market is crucial for selling. Past fourteen days, buyers become to be slightly skeptical as to why your house – if it’s as great as you say it is on your profile – is still on the market.
Often you’ll find that setting your house at a lower price than you would like not only attracts more buyers, but it also draws in a number of competitive bids for your property, meaning you can sit back and watch as the proposed purchase price for your home steadily rises.
Sealing the Deal
Once you’ve got a buyer that is seriously interested in your property, you need to make things as quick and easy as possible for them. To sell a good deal, be prepared to inconvenience yourself.
For example, if the buyer wants to move in at a date other than previously arranged, living in rented accommodation – though inconvenient – is worth it for the eventual purchase; besides which, a good deal will pay for this accommodation anyway.
However, be wary of delaying the transaction for any reason. The longer you make a buyer wait to close the deal, the more time you give them to get cold feet about the purchase, or find another property that they may prefer.
With these tips, selling a house doesn’t have to be a long and arduous task. All it takes is a little effort and some common sense, and you’ll have people lining up to buy your property in no time.