Real estate markets fluctuate – sometimes they are really hot and there are so many buyers that sellers will list a property and it gets snapped up the same day. Sometimes markets are kind of soft, which means a house might stay on a listing for weeks or even months without getting any offers!
Homeowners who are selling their homes in a soft market are often surprised and dismayed to discover just how long it can take.
That duration can be disruptive to your life, especially if you have to wait on the sale of your own home in order to buy another home or move to a different city when relocating for a job that has a start date.
Whether you’re choosing to sell your house fast in Atlanta yourself, or you’re using the services of a real estate agent, here are some tips to help you sell your house as quickly as possible.
Here’s how to sell your home fast in Atlanta Georgia!
First Impressions Capture Attention of Buyers
Selling your home is a SALE. And in every sale, you need to start by capturing the attention of potential buyers. This means making your home stand out, or doing something that makes someone stop and look. Sometimes it’s a red-colored door in a neighborhood of bland doors. Maybe it’s a weird price that makes people look twice. Maybe it’s a funny title in a marketing brochure.
Admit it: First impressions matter. So a house with chipping paint, overgrown bushes and patchy grass won’t make a good impression. When we sold our last home, we painted the exterior of our house (because some paint was chipping). We weeded, trimmed bushes, added new mulch and put new flowers in the planters in the front of the house. We actually had sod installed in the spring, so the grass looked good when we decided to sell in the fall. Yes, you might have to spend some money to make the exterior of your house more appealing, but it’s money well spent if it gets potential buyers in the door. Plus, if your house is in good shape on the outside, buyers will see it as one less thing they have to spend money on once they move in.
Differentiate Your House From The Neighbors
To draw in a potential customer, you should try to make your home memorable. Consider putting colorful designs such as high grade windows, landscaping and even a new roof. These things will improve the look of your house and raise it’s value.
In order to attract attention and to make your home more memorable, consider custom designs or additions, such as landscaping, high-grade windows or a new roof. This can help improve the home’s aesthetics, while potentially adding value to the home. Any improvements should be practical and use colors and designs that will appeal to the widest audience. In addition, they should complement the home and its other amenities, such as building a deck or patio adjacent to an outdoor swimming pool.
However, while it can pay to spice up your home, don’t over-improve it. According to a 2013 article in Realtor Magazine, some renovations, such as adding a bathroom or putting new shingles on a roof, might not always pay. The data suggests that the nationwide average amount recouped for a bathroom remodel is about 58%. For a new roof, it’s even less. If you’re going to invest in home improvements, do your research and be sure to put your money into the things that are likely to get you the best return. In addition, if you have added any custom features that you think buyers will be interested in, make sure they are included in the home’s listing information. More than ever, in a down market you should take every small edge you can get.
Making your home a place that people don’t want to leave and must buy is the goal. As intrusive as it is to your life when people view your property you have one shot at making an impression. Take a play from the hospitality industry and make the showing experiential by stimulating all of the senses during a visit from potential buyers. Your home should be clean—that means no dirty fingerprints on doors or hair (human or otherwise) left behind for potential buyers to see. Your home should be uncluttered, and staged with fresh flowers, fresh paint, fluffed pillows, thoughtful décor, and overall be visually appealing. Turn on the music if you have surround sound. Light the fireplace. The small touches show that you care about your home and are often good indicators of how well kept the home is in less visible areas of the property.
Your home should smell appetizing too. No one wants to smell that you have three stinky dogs or like cooking venison stew in the fall. You could bake cookies, light candles, or run a diffuser with a clean smelling essential oil blend—whatever you decide choose something neutral and universally liked. Also don’t underestimate curb appeal. First impressions set a prospective buyer’s expectations before they even walk through the front door.
Fix Everything Before The Inspection
Inspections aren’t just due diligence—they are re-negotiation leverage especially in a buyer’s market. Fixing everything before you list your property may sound like a daunting task with some houses but to every reasonable extent repair anything that’s broken especially the obvious eye catching ones like rotting wood on the exterior, peeling paint, stains on the floors and carpets, running toilets and dripping faucets, broken lights, cracked windows, electrical switches to nowhere, old termite damage in the attic, and leaks in your foundation or crawl space.
Any issues with the home will eventually be discovered by the buyer or during the inspection process and will most certainly cost you one way or another. If you are not handy or are unaware of the inspection process it might be a good idea to have an inspection before you list your property so there aren’t any big or expensive surprises. You don’t want to risk a deal falling apart over issues that could have been fixed right from the start.
Remove the Clutter
It is crucial to eliminate all the clutter from the house before showing it off. This is because people need to picture themselves in that space. Therefore, you might want to get rid of some furniture to create a larger space, and also removing all your family photos and other personal belongings.
You can hire an expert to clean the clutter on your behalf.
It’s hard not to accumulate stuff after being in a home for a few years. But, most people don’t have the vision to see past things like ill-sized furniture and clutter that makes the home look smaller then it actually is. And no one wants to step into a house that appears to be messy or disorganized. If you want to sell your house quickly do yourself a favor and clear out your space so the flow and square footage of the home is easily seen and highlighted. Also, remove personal items like photos or any highly valuable items since people want to envision their new lives in the home—not yours.
Clean everything out of the basement, the attic, and organize closets and pantries. What doesn’t go to storage either donate it or give it the heave ho. I know from very recent experience that a 10’ x 20’ storage unit will cost you less than $125/month (not including the sweat equity of moving everything out). It’s money well spent. Look at the exercise as an opportunity to streamline your life—believe me it will make your life easier when you actually move.
Sweeten the Deal
You want to sell your home fast in Atlanta Georgia? Another way to make the home and deal more attractive to buyers is to offer things or terms that might sweeten the pot. For example, sellers that offer the buyer a couple of thousand dollars credit toward closing costs, or offer to pay closing costs entirely will in some cases receive more attention from house hunters looking at similar homes. In a down market, buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feel they’re getting one.
Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which can cost $300 to $400 for a one-year policy and will cover appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that fail. Depending on the policy, other appliances and house gadgets may be covered as well. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing that he or she will be covered against such problems, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.
Price Your House Right
We had our house appraised before selling it, so we knew its market value. We set our price slightly above the appraisal value — but below the prices of comparable homes nearby that were for sale. And we were selling our house by owner, so we didn’t have to factor a real estate agent’s commission into the price. Our goal was to sell quickly — not make a big profit — because we had an offer on another house and it was contingent on the sale of our home.
It’s important to know what your competition looks like when you’re selling a home and setting a price. View listings in your area at Realtor.com, Zillow.com or Trulia.com. If most of the homes that are comparable in size, age and location to yours have hardwood floors and granite countertops and yours has carpet and formica, you’ll need to set your price lower (or make updates to fetch a higher price). If the reverse is true, you might be able to set your price a little higher and point out to potential buyers that your house has more features than comparable properties. Most importantly, though, you need to be willing to negotiate.
Market Your House Everywhere
As you promote your house, be sure to market it everywhere you can. Use social media, websites, blogs, video, and anything else you can think of to get the word out about your house. Even if your real estate agent is marketing the property, you should do your own marketing to promote the property too.
This was the key to selling our second house before we even put up a “For Sale” sign. I posted on Facebook that we would be putting our house on the market soon. I told other parents as I waited outside my kids’ school that we were selling our house. I even mentioned in a Parent-Teacher Organization meeting that I needed to sell my house because the offer I’d made on another house had been accepted. A day after that meeting, I got a call from the mother-in-law of one of the other PTO board members. We showed her the house three days later, on a Friday, and got an offer — right at the appraisal value — on Sunday.
Even if you hire a real estate agent, you should let as many people as possible know that your house is for sale. Someone who isn’t even in the market for a new house (and not checking real estate listings) may have secretly been longing for your home and might jump at the chance to buy it.
Here’s another way to sell your house fast that you might not know about…
Did you know that there are real estate investment companies out there that buy houses for cash?
At Breyer Home Buyers, that’s what we do! We find properties and buy them for cash… we’ll even buy them as-is and we close very, very quickly (often in as little as a week). If you want to market your house yourself hoping to get the highest offer possible, go ahead — we’ve given you some great strategies in this blog post. But if you want to act really fast and sell your home right away to us, get in touch at (423) 463-7269.