I am frequently asked, “How can I get my home sold quickly?” I usually answer, “Why do you need to sell quickly?”, since it can affect how much money they get out of the home.
For many homeowners, a home is their greatest source of wealth and pride, however because of a life change, they need to sell. Whether its job relocation, or a need to downsize and recover some of the money that is tied up in equity, getting the home sold quickly is a key to removing stress.
Here are a four tips to get your home sold quickly in Loudoun County.
Hire an Agent to Get Your Home Sold Quickly
I doubt it would be surprising that the first step I suggest is to hire an agent, however it does shorten the market time. For starters, many agents already have the tools to get your home on the market immediately. I can have your home on the major websites within 72 hours and usually have showings scheduled shortly thereafter. In addition, I work with a variety of contractors who can get your home to “show condition” quickly. Since a well staged home is a major key to getting it sold, having someone who does it every day can dramatically shorten the time it takes to get it sold.
Note: While there are websites and other resources that promise to sell your home cheaply, they lack the focus of a local agent who knows how to stage your home. While you might save money in listing fees, if your home doesn’t sell, you have made nothing.
Clean It Up
Many sellers incorrectly believe that a buyer will adjust a home’s value based upon it’s condition, so they assume that they can put their house on the market with “defects”.
The truth is that most buyers won’t consider a home if it’s not well staged because they have so many other options. Many of the buyers I work with are searching for a home over the entire metro region and move quickly through many homes. I have had buyers “turn around” within two seconds in a house because it was cluttered and dirty.
A good way to start cleaning up your home is to go room by room with a friend. Ask them what they like and then use that feedback to make changes.
Example changes include: cutting down on the number of pieces of furniture in a room, removing knick-knacks and minimizing personalization. Also, put away items that cause a buyer to have a strong feeling like religious items and sports memorabilia. While its ok to have a simple cross, having a room full of these items turns off buyers.
Buyers today are looking for a house with neutral colors and a modern look due to shows like “Flip This House”. In the end, by cleaning up your home you are helping a buyer “visualize” what they could do when they own the home.
Take Good Pictures
As the real estate business has become more online focused, buyers have come to expect well lit, professionally taken photographs.
Buyers view on average 100+ homes online before touring, and they usually ask to only see homes whose pictures “look good”. The value of having a professional photographer cannot be underestimated and ensures your home makes a good first impression online.
Price it Right
Homes are sold based upon condition, price, and location. In most cases, a buyer searches based upon what they can afford. As such, having a correctly priced home can be a major key to a quick sale. Buyers often exclude overpriced homes from their tours as they believe the seller is not being realistic about selling.
Another important metric is related to home’s tax value. Tax value is usually very accurate for a homes selling in a normal market. In general, most homes sell for 105-110% of their tax value, due to annual appreciation of 1-3%. Make sure to consider tax value when pricing since a buyer will use that to calculate their offer. Pro Tip: Pricing closer to the tax value usually sells a home faster than comparable homes on the market. In Loudoun County, you can get the value of your home easily by visiting the county site tax site.
One final note, I discourage the use of the automated valuation tools (AVM) to set the price of your home. These tools (e.g. Zillow’s Zestimate) don’t react quickly to the market and have been shown to be as much as 15-20% off the correct value of a home.