3. They made a good first impression. Fantastic curb appeal will certainly not hurt your house. But I’m not talking about that… what is the very first impression you get of a home? It’s the listing you saw online. Make sure the photos found online will represent your house at it’s absolute best. AJ and I know this great agent in Davis, CA (KIM MERRELL) who often will hire a professional photographer to take her listing photos… why spend that money? Because good photos can make the difference between a potential buyer coming to look at your house or not. Is it necessary to have a professional photographer? Of course not, but your agent should be able to show off many of the amazing things about your house in those photos.
The last three houses that AJ and I listed had an accepted offer within a week. The market is definitely taking a turn for the better and in MA we’ve had more houses that have move under contract in April more than any other April in the last decade. As I was brainstorming about our listings, and others that I’ve toured with clients that have gone quickly, I came up with this list as a cheat sheet to sell your home quickly. Obviously nothing is a guarantee but these ideas will certainly help your house stand out.
1. They were priced right. This is the absolute number one tip. Listen to your agent when they suggest what your home should list for. They are the experts who are pouring over what homes are currently listed for and what comparable homes have sold for. A home that will go quickly is priced right at or below where comparable homes have just sold (usually within the past six months). Pricing a home competitively can encourage a bidding war in the sellers favor.
2. The homes were de-personalized. Sometimes this is referred to staging. You’ve seen my post about two well staged homes that I just toured HERE and HERE. Homes that sell quickly let potential buyers easily picture themselves in that space. When selling remove anything that defines a home as YOURS. As a seller you want the potential buyer to picture the home as THEIRS. Declutter all the areas buyers will see… including closets. Check out those two homes I just gave you links to… these were two very different homes from each other but they were both under agreement after the first open house.
4. They were move-in ready. Fix those items on your “Honey To-Do” list; people don’t want a long list of items they have to tackle, it’s too overwhelming for people that aren’t looking for a project house or a flip. If potential buyers see a bunch of little items that weren’t cared for they may be thinking there are deeper issues… which may keep an offer off the table.
Walk around the house as if you were a potential buyer and be critical. Make a list of the items that don’t look ready for a showing and work through your list.
5. The kitchen sold the house. The kitchen is the heart of the home so if you have limited funds to get your house ready to sell focus your cash on the kitchen; you will get back on average 85% of what you put into it. Buyers will love neutral choices in cabinets, counters and backslashes… it will let them envision their accessories in the place.
The couple who owned the house in the photo below didn’t expect to move as quickly has they did, they were only in their house for two years, but when a job came up that the owner couldn’t pass up they decided to put their house on the market. They had put off doing anything to their kitchen but decided that putting $100 into cabinet refinishing kit would be money well spent. It was. We presented them with a full price offer within a few hours of the first showing.
Have you sold your house? What are your go-to tips?