If you're wondering how to sell your house fast, you probably don't have a whole lot of time for chitchat. You have zero time to spend researching the current housing market and pondering how it'll affect your home sale. You just want the guidance—plain and simple—that will help you find a buyer as fast as possible. Well, here's the good news: It is possible to sell a home fast, and the experts say it comes down to a few key to-do's to take care of before your home hits the market.
If you're ready to unload your abode, heed the advice of the experts below. Of course, we can't guarantee a quick sale, but putting these tips into practice definitely won't hurt your chances of securing a buyer.
1. Tidy up to make your house stand out
If you're looking to sell quickly, you're going to want to start cleaning, especially before those listing photos are taken.
"Pristine houses are more attractive to a buyer, which will keep the buyer excited," says Debi Benoit, principal and broker at Benoit Mizner Simon & Co. Real Estate in Wellesley, MA. "And an excited buyer always pays more and usually will write an offer quickly."
That means getting rid of clutter both inside the house and in the yard and putting some elbow grease into making everything look its best. Clean from top to bottom in every room of the house. Wipe down cabinets and drawers, remove any scuffs from the walls, give all kitchen appliances a once-over, clean air vents, shampoo your carpets, and then sweep, vacuum, or mop every inch of the house.
It will take you several days of work, but the payoff will be worth it. Trust us.
2. Have your house staged
Want to go the extra mile beyond cleaning? Consider having your house staged, a way of decorating it so it's more attractive to buyers.
"It's best to present the home in its best light," explains Nile Lundgren, an agent with Trent & Company in New York City. He once had a listing—unstaged—on the market for five months without ever getting an offer.
"We took it off the market, staged it, reshot photos, and put it back on the market," he says. "Within two weeks, we got into a bidding war and signed a contract shortly thereafter."
Staging typically takes anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the availability of rental furniture, the movers, and the installers. If you're facing a major time crunch, Lundren suggests focusing on staging the beds, sofas, tables, chairs, and art—items that make a house feel like a home where people can live and get comfortable.
3. Hire a professional photographer to take listing photos
It may feel like hiring a professional will be a waste of money; after all, your cellphone has a great camera, right? But that can be a sale killer, says Rosamaria Acuña, a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in La Jolla.
"First impressions are everything and need to be done right," she says. "A professional photographer has all the tools to capture the right lighting and make everything look brighter and inviting." The pros also have wide-angle lenses to fit the entire room in the photo.
4. Make your home available for showings
Once everything is set up, get ready to spend a lot of time away from your home so buyers and real estate agents can view the property comfortably— without you or your pets wandering around the halls.
Remember: If you want to sell your home fast, you need to be flexible and open with your time and allow buyers to tour it as often as possible.
5. Find the right price
Staging and marketing your home are important components, but at the end of the day, the amount of money you're asking buyers to pay could be what seals the deal.
"Nothing will overcome a poorly priced home—and a well-priced home can overcome many other issues," says Aaron Hendon, a Realtor® with Christine & Company in Seattle. "To sell your home fast, your house needs to be priced to compete with the others currently on the market."
Your real estate agent will help you decide on the right price for your home by looking at a variety of factors: your house's age, any updates, square footage, and the school district. An agent will pull up comparable homes, or "comps," that have sold in the area to evaluate the best price.