This guide outlines the top 10 ways to sell your home fast. Before we delve into the specifics, I would like to preface this guide by saying two things; there has never been a better time to sell a home, and pricing your home right is the key to generating a lot of interest in your property and ultimately selling your home fast.
Why the Worst Time to Buy a Home is the Best Time to Sell Your Home:
Let’s face it, the current real estate market is obnoxiously unbalanced in terms of supply and demand. There are not enough quality houses on the market to meet the demand.
The “would be sellers” are holding onto their properties in hopes that their property/properties will continue to appreciate in perpetuity, while the willing buyers are trying to catch the “last wave” of low interest mortgage rates before the interest rates ultimately rise once the Fed stops buying mortgage-backed securities and hikes rates.
Needless to say, all the real estate markets are regional by nature, but broadly speaking, there has never been a better time to sell your home.
However, the time to sell your home at a hefty premium (thanks to the years of ultra-low interest rates and the Fed “printing money” like a drunken sailor) might be coming to an end sooner than many expect. In fact, the average mortgage rates have risen to over 3.6% in January, 2022 even though the Fed hasn’t started hiking the rates yet.
As Wolf Blitzer form the WolfSteet.com has eloquently put it, “Mortgage rates beyond the magic level have the effect of cooling the housing market” like the way it happened in 2006 and in the second half of 2018.
Granted, until that “magic level” of mortgage interest rates is reached, it’s going to be the buyers trying to lock in what are still historically low interest rates but once that level is reached the would-be buyers will start to pull back and the market will start to cool.
The long and the short of it is that it’s a lot easier to sell a house in the hot market but wait too long and suddenly, the pendulum might start shifting from the sellers to the buyers. Oh, those lovely market dynamics distorted by the out-of-control Fed.😊
Speaking of distorted markets and an out-of-control buying frenzy, here in Seattle, the market has been on some serious fire in terms of rising prices in an already ridiculously expensive market, with willing buyers wanting to lock those historically low interest rates at any prices.
Unfortunately for the would-be buyers, there has been very little inventory as of late, leading to what looks like a cooling market due to extremely tight supply of available homes for sale.
However, there is no telling how long the euphoria of rising real estate prices can sustain itself. One thing is clear, the trend of rising home prices will not last forever. Neither here in Seattle, nor nationally.
Here is the bottom line; Seattle and many other major cities experiencing booming real estate prices are home sellers’ dream markets and home buyers’ worst nightmares. If your home is in a hot real estate market, it may be wise to sell it while the selling is still hot (for now). 😉
Regardless of where in the US your property is located, if you are thinking about selling it, you may want to move quickly before the market conditions change.
As Warren Buffett famously said, be fearful when others are greedy.
Is Your Home Ready for a Quick Sale?
Unless you want to take a major hit on the sale price of your property or sell it at a substantial discount to the “we buy ugly houses” guys who pay cash and close fast, you will want to do your homework.
The key to a quick sale is to look at the sale process through the eyes of the buyer and their home appraiser. Understand what they want to see, deliver it on the plate, and close the deal, fast!
Note: Obviously, it’s not that difficult to sell a house with “some issues” in a very hot sellers’ market, and some lazy home sellers do just that, but in doing so they are often leaving money on the table.
It may be wiser to address any major issues with your home prior to listing it for sale, so you can maximize the sale price and attract the most buyers in the shortest amount of time.
Pro Tip: The key to a quick sale is to remove as many major obstacles leading up to the sale as possible.
Removing the Obstacles and Getting Your Home Ready for a Quick Sale with Flying Colors:
1. Got Junk in Your Home, Basement or Backyard?
Hopefully you are not drowning in junk, but if you are a hoarder, then it’s time to clean up and rid your home of all the junk. It’s the most critical step to take if you want to sell your home quickly.
Nobody will want to buy a house with junk cars in the backyard, a seriously cluttered basement, or closets filled with stuff that should be in a museum! 😉
Pro Tip: Get rid of all your clutter fast by renting a dumpster.
If you are too busy or feeling overwhelmed to do it yourself, consider calling a junk removal company to help you get rid of all the stuff that you don’t need. Fast!
2. Is Your Lawn Ready to Greet the Prospective Buyers?
Cut the grass, trim the bushes, do whatever you have to do to make sure your lawn looks nice and tidy. — Your lawn, landscaping, and backyard will play an important role in shaping the first impression your home makes on the potential buyer.
A nice-looking lawn will also help when taking great pictures for the listing to showcase your home’s curb appeal.
Call your local landscaping company to cut the grass and help you get any issues in your lawn or backyard squared away. Plan to spend several hundred dollars, depending on the size of your lawn and/or backyard.
3. Your Home Can Probably Use a Thorough Cleaning:
via Okie Home Girl
Make sure your home gets a thorough cleaning. Declutter your home, clean up the closets, and wipe off the dust. Wash the windows, scrub the floors, and get rid of any bad smells!
4. Refinish and Restore the Original Luster of Hardwood Floors
via Mid Atlantic Flooring
Why not give them some quick sanding and refinishing? Refinished hardwood floors will make a great first impression on the buyer and help facilitate the sale! You will also be able to command higher price!
5. Got Chipping/Peeling, Dull, Old Paint on the Interior Walls?
via DIY Network
Why not give a fresh coat of paint to the rooms where it will make the most difference? Once again, a fresh coat of paint will make a good first impression on the buyer, plus it will help with bad, old, musty smells.
6. Are Your Electrical and Mechanical Systems Ready to Pass the Home Inspection?
Make sure the electric and mechanical systems are in good working order and won’t delay the sale or interfere with buyer’s financing.
Fix and replace any broken light switches and electrical wall plugs. Correct any known electrical issues that may get in the way of successfully passing the home inspection — a vital step for getting the buyer’s mortgage approved following the appraisal of your property.
7. Is Your Home Ready to Pass the Fire Inspection? (Some States Require Passing a Fire Inspection Prior to Closing)
Make sure all the rooms and door entrances have properly-functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to meet your local fire department requirements prior to closing, if your state requires it.
8. Roof and Gutters — Are They Ready to Pass the Home Inspection?
Got a leaky roof? If so, it may be a serious obstacle not only delaying the sale, but also turning away the buyers and getting in the way of receiving a good offer.
For the seller, the goal is to remove any major obstacles to make your property as desirable as possible in the eyes of potential buyers. Most buyers will not want to deal with obvious roof issues such as missing shingles, known roof leaks or a roof that won’t pass a home inspection.
If your roof is visibly at the end of its useful lifespan, as evidenced by the presence of many cracked and/or curled up shingles, or there is evidence of roof leaks, then repairing the leaks or doing a quick re-roofing job may be just what the doctor ordered to eliminate the perceived and real risks for the buyer and ultimately facilitate a quicker sale.
If the gutters are damaged or not functioning properly, it will be prudent to correct the issue asap to avoid damage to the property.
9. Got Some Off-Putting, Peeling Exterior Paint and/or Badly Worn Out Siding?
Clean-up and touch up any peeling exterior paint. Depending on the extent of the work, it will cost you anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars to give your home a facelift.
If only a few areas of your home’s exterior have peeling paint, you can achieve a dramatic boost in curb appeal and high ROI for relatively little upfront cost.
If your home happens to have siding that looks dirty and stained, consider giving it a proper cleaning job to present your home in the best possible light.
If your siding is visibly old or damaged, consider replacing it before listing your property for sale.
10. Home Sale Accelerator Upgrades to Consider
Depending on the condition of the property, it might make sense to swap old appliances, refinish a bathtub, install a new countertop (granite, marble, quartzite), paint or replace exterior door, remove the old carpets from the stairwells. — These value-boosting updates are situational and will depend on the condition of your property and your local market.
Do you have a shared driveway? If so, get a document showing clear property lines from your local city-hall. If there are any known easements in place, get some paperwork that makes it clear. — These documents will help facilitate a faster sale.
Complete and provide any necessary disclosures such as any major electrical or remodeling work that has been done without a proper building permit. It’s better to be upfront about it than face a lawsuit later.
If there is something in your home’s history you are not sure about or simply don’t know, then make sure your home seller disclosure documents reflect that.
Work with a competent realtor who has a team of pros to market the property the right way.
Lastly, appropriate pricing, great photography, and a tasteful description can make a huge difference in generating strong interest in your property.