Last week, we sold our house! It was on the market for about two weeks and sold for about $20k more than I thought it would. When we bought our house, our original plan was to stay in it for about a year and then rent it out. Not long after moving in, I started researching how to sell a house fast in addition to trying to learn everything I could about rental income. After learning more about rental properties, it became clear that our house was probably not going to be a great rental, but it probably would sell high. Anyway, since I’d been learning about how to sell a house fast over the last three years, when the time came, it sold quick (thankfully)! Here’s exactly how we did it.
[Related: Should You Buy Rental Income Property When You Have Student Loan Debt?]
HOW TO SELL A HOUSE FAST:
Probably the most important factor that helped us sell a house fast was being in a prime location. Obviously, you can’t change the location of your house after you buy it so this is an important step to consider at the beginning when you are first looking for a house. If you have any intention of not living in the house you’re buying until you die, you should highly consider buying a house in a good location to ensure that it will sell faster. For us, we moved into a really popular area that was fairly close to down town. Further, we knew that a big attraction was coming to our area and that it would possibly make property values go up while we lived in our house.
Get rid of clutter.
Another thing to consider when you’re trying to sell a house fast is to get rid of clutter. When buyers are looking at your house, they want to be able to visualize themselves there. Having a clean, decluttered space helps them to do so.That means you should pack up any personal items, like family photos. (Even though if 90% of us are being honest with ourselves, that house won’t be decluttered when we live there 😉 Pack up things that you don’t regularly use and store them in your garage, at a friend’s house, or if all else fails, a storage unit. Also, consider selling some of those things that you don’t really need. [Related: How to Earn Money Selling Things From Home]. I really believe the clean look of our house helped us sell it even faster, especially if you live in a smaller space like we did. So channel your inner Marie Kondo.
Get the timing right.
Another huge factor in selling a house fast is to list it at the right time. For most areas of the country, late spring is when most buyers are out looking for houses, making it a good time to sell. But keep in mind that other people will be listing their homes in late spring for the exact same reason. That’s why we decided to list our house in early spring/late winter– we wanted to beat everyone to listing so the competition was low (even though our pool of buyers was probably smaller). Chat with a realtor about when the best time to sell your house is because timing is everything.
Painting the walls in your home will help it to feel fresh, new, and extra clean. You might not notice the small marks and smudges that have accrued on your walls over the years, but a buyer surely will. Painting is fairly cheap and easy to do on your own. If you can spare a few dollars and some time, painting will help you sell a house fast.
Add value to your home.
A really easy way to sell a house fast is to add value to your home. Plenty of things add value to your home. Consider things like adding a deck to your backyard, putting in storage in your garage, and updating older things such as the HVAC or roof. Some of these items can be expensive, so always check with your home insurance whether they’ll cover any of it. Also, look for rebates/government discounts that are often available when you do things to make your home more energy efficient.
But not too much value.
While you want to add value to your home, you don’t want to add so much that you don’t get your money back. For example, it probably doesn’t make sense to put in over the top high end appliances, the most expensive custom counter tops in the kitchen, etc. You want to do small upgrades that look nice, but that you’ll get your money back with when you sell your home.
Hire an excellent realtor.
Hiring a really great realtor will also help you sell a house fast, and also help you get more money from your house. There’s a time and a place to list your house as “for sale by owner” but if you’re trying to sell fast, that is not the time or place. Ask friends and family for realtor recommendations and use google reviews to guide you. Let your realtor know your desired timeline. Get a feel for your realtor before you sign any paper work agreeing to work with them exclusively, and if they don’t seem like a good fit for you, find a new one.
Promote your house.
Your realtor will obviously be listing your house, showing it, conducting open houses, and likely even sharing it on their social media but in addition to that, make sure you are sharing with friends and family that your house is for sale. We had lots of friends of friends/family look at our house that probably never would have without a recommendation from friends or family.
Find the right listing price.
Your house is certainly more likely to sell fast if it’s listed at the right price, and conversely, won’t sell as fast if you’ve listed it too high. Work with your realtor on running comparable houses in the area and seeing what they’ve sold, and factoring in any value that you’ve added to your home to come up with the perfect list price.
Focus on curb appeal.
Make sure your house looks inviting on the outside in order to sell it fast. That means you should mow and edge, weed any flower beds, and likely mulch any areas in the front to help it look nice and inviting. We had bushes and mulch and a flower bed out front to help our buyers feel at home.
Lighten up your space.
When you show your home, leave the lights on and open blinds and curtains to let in natural light. Most buyers are looking for bright, clean spaces, and when they walk in and see that it’s nice and bright inside, they’ll feel more at home.
Selling a house can be a really stressful process if you’re not prepared– and trying to sell a house fast (because I mean, who doesn’t want to sell their house fast?) can really add to the stress. Implementing these strategies will help you sell your home quickly!
For the comments: have you sold a home before? What things helped you sell it?
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[Related: Should You Buy a House if You Have Student Loans?]