No one enjoys selling a house, except for maybe real estate agents or home flippers. It’s a long, arduous, and incredibly stressful process; even if you’re able to sell the house without a hitch. You may even find that the ordeal gives you a few extra gray hairs and for some that’s the best case scenario.
Selling a property is a complicated process that can quickly turn into an agonizing one, especially if the house sits on the market; where it can sit, and sit, and sit some more. The real question is, how can you make sure that this doesn’t happen to you when you sell your house?
Understanding the market is one thing, but also knowing how to sell a house is another. To help you prepare, here are a few tricks to help you sell your home so that you’re not stuck in the real estate lurch.
Pick the Right Price
The number one reason a house doesn’t sell is because of an excessively high price tag. Starting at a high valuations may seem to make a lot of sense to most homeowners, but there are certain lines that once crossed, are an immediate deterrent to buyers.
Figuring out where those boundaries are is a critical step to any successful sale. So you can’t rely on guesstimates or simple comparisons to other properties in the area – as there’s a full range of free valuation tools available to homeowners. I strongly recommend using at least a few of these tools or even a professional, to help you gain an accurate idea of your home’s actual value.
I see way, way too many sellers get caught up in the “flipping” fad. People who flip houses successfully know how to manage a massive renovation and sell it to drive the home’s value through the roof. Here’s the thing: unless you’re a professional renovator or at least know what you’re doing, you’ll most likely reduce the home’s value. Don’t believe me? Here’s our 2015 list of the renovations that can decrease a home’s value. A last minute, large-scale renovation is a risky proposition. Screw it up, or exceed in your timeframe or the budget, and you can put yourself in a bind that can prohibit you from even selling your home. Let alone, the costly additions may not make the house more enticing to buyers.
Instead, when you’re making fixes, think like a landlord. Make sure everything works, install lights (they’ll make the house appear bright and airy for touring buyers), repair leaks, and clean like the entire sale depended on it. Ditch the new rooms and the conversation pit and update the faucets for the kitchen sink, replace brass hardware with nickel or copper and even decorate the space to give it a staged look. Look for low-cost and functional aesthetic fixes. These additions will cost less, and will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
Make Your Home a House
It’s important to remember that anyone coming to look at a property doesn’t want to see how you’ve lived, but rather wants to envision how they could live in the space. It can be painful, but you need to depersonalize the property before you sell it. Keep it furnished and minimally decorated, like a hotel (personality neutral), and remove the artifacts and photos that make it unique to you.
This last tip is a crucial one, as it’s an integral part of the selling philosophy, which is: Do not share your personal feelings or memories of your home. We all have fond memories that we’ve made in our homes, but buyers don’t care about them. Potential buyers need to be able to envision their families in the home, not yours. When you meet with potential home buyers, recognize that you’ll be much closer to getting the deal done if you feature your home as a product, rather than your sacred place
Stick With It!
Even if you’ve been having a rough time to date, don’t despair. Very, very few people see their houses sell immediately – it’s normal to have to tinker with prices and maintenance before you get a bite.
One thing you shouldn’t do? Wait inactively. If you are currently burdened with a hard-to-sell house, don’t just wait around. Try a few of these fixes. Even the simplest of these can give your house an immediate boost in curb appeal, driving up your odds of making a sale.
John Miller loves home improvement and design. He’s a regular writer for a number of blogs and publications on both topics.
Photo via: unsplash.com