Selling your house in a week sounds like music to most homeowners’ ears, but they then quickly dismiss this idea as an unachievable goal—or simply the product of good luck. Perhaps it was perfect timing when Joe across the street sold his home since his buyer immediately needed a house in the area. Or another neighbor’s house was such a desired property in town that when it went on the market, buyers were lined up at the door. But selling your house in a week is not just a matter of good luck or timing. There actually are steps you can take to sell your own house in the least amount of time as possible. While these may not work for everyone, they certainly give you an idea on how to make your home as desirable as possible.
- Spruce it up from head to toe. Rather than invest time in the selling process, invest time before you ever list the house. If something is broken, fix it! If there are marks on the walls, cover them up. If you have a turquoise bedroom, paint it a neutral gray, beige or cream. Houses that are in pristine, move-in ready shape sell the fastest, since buyers want to envision themselves in the home the minute they step in the door—and don’t want to envision the time or cost of renovating or fixing anything.
- Declutter, declutter, declutter. Remove all personal belongings and empty out furniture to make rooms look larger. Stash it all in storage, the garbage, or Good Will. Make the house look as sparse as possible, so that prospective buyers can look at the house and the rooms—not your decorating style or family photographs. Make your home as blank a slate as possible so that they can envision themselves living in your house.
- Have professional photographs taken (lots of them!) and list them on all major online real estate sites. Most buyers start their search online and decide which houses they want to look at based on the photographs. If there are only three pictures of dimly lit rooms, or just one of the front of the house, most buyers will assume there’s nothing to look (or something to hide), and they’ll move on not giving your listing a second thought. So don’t skimp on the quality or quantity of photographs. Now is not the time to take pictures on your phone. And be sure your listing is on all of the major real estate online sites, including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. This is typically part of the marketing package that most agents will offer, but you should ask where your listing will be advertised.
- Create hype. Talk it up. Have you seen “Coming Soon” signs? That’s exactly what these sellers are doing. And use social media to your advantage as well. Advertising a property that will be coming on the market in the near future generates interest—and hopefully a few eager buyers—when it finally hits the market. This is a marketing trick that not only gives buyers time to be ready with an offer shortly after they view your home, but it also builds anticipation, making them want to submit an offer as soon as possible for fear of another buyer getting it first.
- List your home BELOW the comps. Yes, we just said below. While the best way typically to price your home is to look at comps in your neighborhood and price it in a sweet spot that is neither higher nor lower than the average, a sure-fire way to get attention—and immediate offers—is to price your home lower than these comps. Educated buyers and real estate agents will know that your house is a deal and this will generate immediate attention and showings. And if all stars align, you may even attract a number of buyers, resulting in a bidding war, ultimately winding up with a quick sale and a selling price OVER the comps. But this strategy of pricing a home below the comps may seems counter-intuitive to some sellers, so make sure you’re comfortable with this tactic.
- Be motivated and willing to listen to all offers. Just because someone comes in below your asking price, they may be offering cash with a quick closing date. Time means money. Or they may offer to forego a home inspection. It’s not all about the price, so be open-minded and be sure to look at all parts of their offer. If you want to sell fast, you may need to make some concessions as well in order to work with your prospective buyer.
- Hire an experienced realtor you trust who knows all of these tricks and can create the perfect strategy for you. And then let them do their job.
Allison Ziefert is Maplewood, NJ based realtor and was the #1 individual real estate agent at Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct in Maplewood, NJ in 2015. A local market expert, Allison specializes Maplewood, NJ real estate and homes and South Orange, NJ real estate and homes as well as Millburn/Short Hills, NJ, West Orange, NJ and surrounding towns. Allison’s success as a Maplewood/S. Orange realtor is driven by earning great testimonials from sellers and buyers of homes her marketplace. You can read her testimonials at www.azhomesnj.com/testimonials