Selling your house can be a frustrating experience if you’re in a tough economy. The sluggish pace can be especially frustrating if you have a reason to speed things up because you need the money or you want to move to a new location.
In a Forbes articles on the housing outlook in 2017, the chief economist at Redfin, a real estate brokerage, Nina Richardson said, “The irony of the modern housing market is that the places where we are seeing wage growth are places where people can’t live because they are too unaffordable. There is a mismatch.”
Still, the situation is not as hopeless as you might think after you research some pessimistic posts on real estate market for this year, and here are some tips to be able to buck current housing trends to sell your house faster:
1. Make some home improvements
For a moment, pretend you’re not selling the house, but buying it. Since you’ve lived there so long, you’ve probably become used to its appearance, including its shortcomings. Go out to the street and approach the house as if you were responding to an open house invitation.
Do you see any obvious problems? Does your home look well-kept?
Think about things you can do to make the home more desirable. You might, for instance, think of adding solar panels for energy efficiency. In fact, with a solar power inverter, the new owner might even be able to sell energy back to the power company. What about the yard? Is there some landscaping you can do to make the house much more attractive? Perhaps you can add a small goldfish pond or build a deck. Besides brainstorming for ideas, do some research on home improvement websites and magazines to get some fresh inspiration.
2. Pick a realistic price.
It’s not always a good idea to price it high and then figure out how you can appear to get talked down. It’s a strategy that might work, or it might just deter a potential buyer who will look for a more reasonably priced house in your neighborhood. Not all home buyers are into negotiating a price down. Many figure the stated price won’t be adjusted much lower.
3. Do some interior decorating.
Walk through the various rooms and see how you can make them more attractive. Besides adding a fresh coat of paint, what else can you do? Perhaps you can catch up on neglected home repairs, like fixing doors that don’t shut properly and replacing cracked window panes. Be creative and imagine what you can do to make the interior look far more attractive than it does now.
4. Stage the house.
While it might not be feasible to stage the whole house while you’re living there, pick a room that a visitor will be sure to visit, like the living room. There are many ways to make a living room space livelier—like adding knickknacks, using bright flowers and throws, and rearranging the furniture to make the room look bigger.
5. Declutter messy parts of the house.
It’s reasonable to assume that your knickknacks and interesting taste in décor and furnishings won’t make much of a difference to your buyers because they’ll be adding their own stuff, but do your best to make it easier for the prospective buyer to imagine their own stuff. Reduce your personality footprint if possible. In addition, you may have spare rooms that are filled with clutter or a garden shed that hasn’t been used in years and that’s filled with rusting garden tools and broken down machines. Declutter your messier rooms as much as possible to create a clean, spacious look.
5. Keep an open schedule.
Arrange to make it easier to show the house. If you have a busy work schedule, then arrange for family members or friends to fill in for you on the days when you can’t work with prospective buyers.
6. Check that your listings are up and running.
Although your agent has probably done this already, there’s no harm in making sure that your home is listed in the most popular online portals where people often go when they’re looking for a house to buy.
7. Hire a professional photographer.
It’s amazing how lighting and angles can make a house look more attractive. By hiring a professional photographer, you will make all photographs of your house and yard look as attractive as possible.
If you make your house attractive enough when you put it on the market this summer, you will get many opportunities to sell it. You may not need to lower your asking price for a quick sale if the house looks too good to pass up.