You have very little say as to the kind of housing market occurring when you put your house up for sale. However, when it’s time to move, there’s often no other course of action available other than putting your house up for sale. Ideally, you’ll sell your property in a seller’s market, where you’re able to increase the asking price and get in return much more than you paid for it. Should this not prove the case you need to do everything you can to move your property in a down market and make it more attractive to those who are interested in making a purchase. To do that, here are seven tricks to selling your house in a down market.
1) Price Your Home to the Market
Everyone wants to make as much money on their home as possible. You’re no different. However, you need to take a hard look at the market and then decide how long you’re willing to wait on the market to turn around before you need the house to sell.
If you’ve already moved out of your current home, or if you have a set move-out date you need to be in a new place by, you have a definitive timestamp on when the house needs to be sold. Chances are, you don’t want to pay two mortgages, or a mortgage and rent, every month. This adds up quickly and, eventually, it won’t even be worth waiting out the market.
The reality is, it doesn’t matter what you paid for the house, what you believe it should be worth, or what someone paid for a similar house two years ago. The market dictates the price, so you need to price your home to what similar houses are selling for in the current market. Failure to do so will likely equal failure to sell your home.
2) Clean Out the Mess
When potential buyers visit your home, either for a private showing or for an open house, you need to clear out the clutter. It’s important for potential buyers to visualize themselves within the property. The best way to do that is to clear out as much clutter as you can. This not only opens the home up and makes it feel larger, but it lets them picture their own lives within the house, and not someone else’s.
One way you need to clear out the clutter is to focus on pictures and other objects that are specific to your family. This includes photographs and other items that will instantly take someone out of visualizing their life in your home.
It’s also best to remove bulky furniture or large items hanging from the wall. Instead, minimize what you have in the house and even consider adding some items that might make a room feel larger, such as mirrors and sheer drapes over windows to allow in natural lighting.
3) Think Outside The Box
In a buyer’s market, an interested homebuyer wants to be wowed. They have a number of options out there, which means you need to go the extra mile to bring them in and pay attention to your house.
Sometimes you’ll need to go above and beyond repairs and improving the physical appearance of the house. You may want to offer to pay closing costs or offering to cover a year’s worth of HOA fees (if you pay a home owner’s association monthly fee). All of these expenses are minor in the grand scheme of things, but in turn, it helps tickle the buying bone of those shopping around for a house. When you’re wondering how does selling your housework in a down market, it’s often about making your property more attractive than the competition, and this might mean tossing in some incentives.
4) Don’t Be At The Home Showing
There’s nothing more awkward than going to an open house and having the home’s current occupant there. You might not see it as a big deal but some individuals who are interested in the house might feel strange. They might hold off on asking certain questions or they might feel pressure to purchase the house. There’re really no benefits from being there when the house is being shown and yet plenty of downsides. So, do yourself a favor and try your best to not be around during a home showing.
Additionally, if you have pets or anything else living in the house, make sure these are gone (unless you can’t move something, such as a fish tank). If someone who is allergic to cats sees a half-dozen cats roaming the house because you didn’t take them with you, it almost certainly will end any potential of a sale right there.
5) Don’t Try To Sell It On Your Own
One of the biggest mistake’s homeowners make is attempting to sell the house on their own. They think it’s nothing but taking a few pictures and listing the property online. If you were to sell the house on your own, you would be able to cut out the agent’s selling fee. However, the average house listed and sold by the owner remains on the market longer and often sells for less. So, do yourself a favor and hire an excellent agent.
Just like any contractor or other professionals in the area, make sure to investigate these individuals to determine who will work best for you and who delivers results.
6) Fix the Obvious Problems
The best way to sell your home quickly is to fix the most obvious problems you have with the property. These are the glaring issues that are more likely to prevent potential buyers from placing an offer in your home. When you want to know how to sell a house fast in a slow market, this is one of the most important tips you must follow.
Big problems include fixing critical appliances, such as the furnace or hot water heater. If there’s a hole in a wall, don’t just leave it sitting there with a picture over the hole. Spend the time and resources to repair it. You may need to install new carpeting or paint over a room color that you like but other’s may not like (or that black paint your teenager wanted badly but now makes the room look small and less than desirable).
If there are other major problems, such as a damaged roof or leaking plumbing, make sure to have these problems fixed as well. When it comes down to two homes, one without major problems and one with these issues, a potential buyer will almost always go with the house with fewer problems, even if that means paying more for it.
7) Curb Appeal
If you’re really looking at how to sell your house fast you need to make it as attractive as possible. It doesn’t matter how great the inside of the house is if nobody wants to walk in. While the old saying of “don’t judge a book by its cover” might ring true, the fact of the matter is without a pretty cover people won’t stop to inspect it.
The more attractive you make the exterior of your house, the more walkthroughs you’ll have during an open house, and the more walkthroughs you have the better the chance is of you selling your home. All you can ask is for people to come to see your house. If the outside is ugly, you’re cutting your property short.
There are a number of ways you can boost the curb appeal. First, look at minor upgrades you can perform around the property. This includes such tasks as painting the front door, fixing loose shutters, repairing siding and performing lawn maintenance and all the little things to spruce up the house. If you have extra money to spend consider paying a professional landscaper or even put money towards new windows. These small upgrades go a long way in improving the curb appeal. Plus, these outside upgrades look great on the one-sheet of a for sale house.
You can’t always pick when to sell your house or have the ability to wait out a down market. Sometimes you just need to put it up for sale and hope for the best. While you have little to do with the actual market, you can make your home more attractive and increase the potential of selling your home quickly by taking advantage of these tips and tricks to selling your home. It doesn’t take much extra work, and yet you’ll reap the benefits of a faster-moving property, regardless of the market.