If you’re thinking of selling your house soon, you may have penciled in an ideal closing date for you and your family. Or you may have decided to go ahead and buy a new house without selling the old one first. Perhaps you’re selling in a buyer’s market or maybe you’re selling in a seller’s market. Whatever the case, selling your house can be both complicated and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.
We all know that selling your house and moving into a new one can create more than a few headaches before it’s all said and done. Whether you sell your house yourself, with a real estate agent, or team up with a company like Offerpad, the timeline can be critical when connecting all the dots.
These tips for selling your house can help you get the most for your home and possibly save you a ton of time in the process!
1. Level Up Your Curb Appeal
“What is curb appeal, exactly?”
Wikipedia defines curb appeal as:
the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property, as viewed from the street – which is used as an indicator of the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers.
Basically, your home’s curb appeal represents its apparent worth. Maximizing your curb appeal like a pro can result in increased “price perception.” You don’t need to break the bank to do it, either.
Whether you’re targeting a first time home buyer or a more experienced buyer on their second or third home, chances are they’ll “judge a book by its cover.” Translation: your home’s curb appeal is literally the first thing a prospective buyer sees. It’s also the first thing that can evoke an emotional response as to whether or not they’d like to see more. As such, it needs to impact and inspire. Big time.
From the moment a potential buyer views your house online, your curb appeal must not only engage them to view the rest of your photos and listing details, but also motivate them to want to schedule a showing. Thus, upgrading and maintaining your curb appeal is absolutely paramount if you’re wondering, “how can I sell my house fast?”
Here are a few basic curb appeal ideas to help you improve curb appeal on a budget.
For starters, consider hiring a local, reputable landscaping company to help you plan some fresh curb appeal landscaping ideas. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy process – all you need to do here is define a theme and stick to it.
Your landscaping crew can also perform routine upkeep services like tree trimming, hedge trimming and shaping, mowing, mulching and leaf removal. They’ll also likely knock out other general maintenance, such as pulling weeds, clearing out debris, or even planting new flowers and shrubs to help give your curb appeal some added “pop.” Consider bright flowers that buyers will notice. They’ll help your home exude vibrance and liveliness.
Another simple step you can take toward improving curb appeal is renting or buying a good pressure washer. They’re fairly inexpensive and can save you time on hand-cleaning driveways, sidewalks, pool decks, and entryways.
Not all pressure washers are created equal, and commercial grade washers can even damage surfaces if used improperly. So take your time, and choose wisely based on your needs.
Getting down and dirty on some DIY curb appeal is not only a great way to boost your home’s price perception, but also a fantastic way to get outside, exercise your creativity, and ensure you’re primed and ready to sell your house fast at top dollar.
2. Make a Few Minor Home Renovations
We’re not saying go crazy on major room remodels here. Instead, sharpen your focus and touch up key areas that increase price perception the most. Minor kitchen and bathroom renovations are two of the best places to start, and they don’t need a floor-to-ceiling remodel to potentially ramp up your home’s value, fast!
Easily upgrade with modern faucets, light fixtures, and even countertops – if time permits. Update the sink and cabinet hardware, hand towel holders, and towels in the bathroom.
You can also upgrade key kitchen appliances, like a stainless steel microwave or refrigerator. They’re a little more costly than the light fixtures, of course, but your home’s kitchen is a huge point of impression on potential buyers.
Feel free to upgrade “curb appeal” areas such as your mailbox, fence, or front door as well.
A recent study by door manufacturer Therma-Tru found that upgrading the front door of a house increased the perceived value of a $190,000 home by almost $8,000.
Not bad for an afternoon’s work!
Even updating your house numbers or adding a new door latch can create a fresh, cohesive look, which can wow potential buyers.
When optimizing your home’s first impression, small touches can add up to major results. So anything budget-friendly you can do to make your home feel more vibrant, cohesive and inviting is likely worthwhile.
3. Minimize + Declutter With Massive Intent
If you’re still living in the house you’re trying to sell, this can be tricky, especially if you have kids or pets. But it can and must be done. The truth is, very few potential buyers will enjoy your unique personal touches the way you do. Why? Because they want a blank canvas. They want to envision themselves living there. It’s time to call upon your home storage skills to make this possible.
Start by storing away personal memorabilia like family photos and book and music collections. Try to keep both childrens’ and pets’ toys out of plain sight as well when showing your house.
Do this in each room. Your end game here is to show each room in your home exactly as it was intended to be used.
Think of it like, “if HGTV was doing a feature at my house tomorrow, how would I want the intention of each room to come across?” Granted this may be a little far-fetched, but it’s fun to dream, right? So focus not only on the overall theme of your home, but also the micro themes that comprise each room within your home.
In the all-important kitchen, stash away free-hanging towels, potholders, and smaller appliances like crockpots, electric can openers, and bullet blenders. Don’t stop there. Pack away hanging pots, pans, and skillets as well.
Minimize drawer space down to bare daily essentials, if you can – that is, the core utensils and dishes you need to function on a daily basis. Potential buyers want to see the amount of drawer space and cabinet storage they’ll have upon moving in. And, again, the kitchen is a key area to focus on to accomplish this.
Minimize, depersonalize, and “intentionalize” to help sell your house fast.
4. Professional Photography is For Closers
We already covered curb appeal, but how great is your “pix appeal”? Does your home’s photographic highlight reel impress potential buyers from their laptop and smartphone screens – so much so they’ll want to jump off the couch and see the home immediately?
If you can’t answer one-hundred-percent YES to this, then you’ve got some work to do.
Taking high-quality photos with your iPhone or Android device can be an effective way to go if you’re on a tight budget. Smartphone cameras have certainly come a long way, and apps like Curb Appeal can take this even further.
Their website states:
CurbAppeal makes it almost impossible to take a bad picture. The built-in HDR technology guarantees perfect lighting, even in challenging conditions. If any editing is required, the built-in tools are fast and easy. The organizer makes quick work of picking and arranging your best shots. Sizing every photo perfectly for your MLS or Airbnb listing is a one step process.
If you’re photographing your home yourself, treat it like a professional real estate photographer would. This involves some light prep work: clear the frame of additional clutter, cars and yard debris. “Prepping the scene” will help create a clean and polished look. Make sure to crop out sidewalks and streets, and shoot both head-on and angled shots of your home.
Don’t forget to dial in photo sharpness and focus on good lighting as well. When in doubt, make it fun! Get a friend to join and offer input on lighting, camera angles, and other creative ideas!
Photograph the rooms with purpose. Show how rooms are meant to look and function, without too much personalization.
So what if you have the budget to outsource your photography and hire a professional real estate photographer? Well, this certainly bodes well for you, friend!
Across all price tiers, professionally shot homes have proven consistently to sell within six months at very high percentages. First impressions are rarely undone, and professional photography is one of the more surefire ways to make your home’s first impression a great one.
So if you’re still thinking, “how can I sell my house fast?” at this point, hiring a local professional photographer could very well help you get there.
5. Spotlight Your Neighborhood
When you’re looking to speed up the sale of your home, don’t just focus on your house itself, highlight your neighborhood offerings as well.
Is the house you’re selling in a great school district? Are there nearby parks, museums, or even historical attractions that may interest buyers?
Just as you would photograph your house to sell fast, make sure you also include photos of those beautiful neighborhood parks, fun nightlife, and great access to shopping and restaurants in your listing. Remember, you’re not only selling your home, but also the lifestyle that comes with it!
When creating your listing, do your research to find the most substantial sources to help support your neighborhood highlights – the low crime rates, clean air quality, and other important factors that can help raise your home’s perceived value.
Use favorable data to your benefit, always.
6. Try a Company Like Offerpad
Let’s get real for a second. It’s 2018, and today you have countless options at your disposal for virtually anything and everything under the sun – including selling your home. You can either sell your house yourself, find a real estate agent, or go with a company like Offerpad. The choice is yours, but you do have options aplenty.
Naturally, there’s a time and a place for each one of the above choices. But if you’re looking to sell your house fast and potentially receive an offer on your house in as little as 24 hours, you may want to take a closer look at Offerpad as your go-to solution to sell your house more quickly and competitively than more traditional routes. Here’s why:
You can pick your own closing date.
Offerpad allows you to pick your closing date and gives you the flexibility to change the date if needed, allowing you peace of mind to know when your home will close.
No showings or open houses.
No more disrupting your life with showings to strangers, inconvenient open houses and ruined weekends.
Free local move included.
Offerpad works with professional movers and includes a free local move within 50 miles.
Stay 3 days after closing with extended stay.
No need to rush or move twice if your new home isn’t ready. Offerpad allows you up to 3 days to move to your new home.
Offerpad is a highly-qualified buyer.
With a traditional sale, buyers can cancel because their sale fell through or they couldn’t get financing because the appraisal came in too low. Offerpad pays cash so you don’t have to worry about last-minute unmet contingencies.
Skip getting your home “market-ready” – i.e., most of the above.
It takes a lot of work to get your home ready to sell. Skip the decluttering, cleaning, staging, curb-appeal fixes, or any of the other many tasks to get your home market-ready in the traditional sense.
Skip the costs of owning two homes.
Sellers who already move into their next home while trying to sell their old one could pay thousands in extra ownership costs. Typical ownership costs may include monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, hazard insurance, utilities and HOA fees.