Selling a home is not fun. You have to pack, clean, and list your home for sale. This process can be more stressful if you have to sell your home quickly because you have a new job in another area of the country or you’re buying a new home and don’t want to pay two mortgages. Thankfully, there are 8 easy low cost fixes to help your home sell fast.
Before you do anything, declutter, declutter, declutter. Kitchen counters should be bare. You should put extra furniture in storage. Make your home look like a minimalist lives there. By doing this, your house will look bigger, which can help buyers feel that the house is big enough for them and their possessions.
Besides decluttering, you also want to remove personal photos and decorations. Buyers have a hard time imagining the house as theirs if you have to many of your own personal items. Plus, your home will be photographed and listed on the internet. Do you really want all of your personal family photos on the internet for anyone to see? I know I don’t!
After you’ve decluttered, deep clean. If you’re not going to repaint, take a Magic Eraser, and make sure all of the scuff marks are off the trim and walls. Clean the grout, power wash the deck, wipe down all of the walls and cabinets. Dust and wash light fixtures. If you have a neat freak friend, now is the time to invite her over so she can point out all the areas that need to be cleaned that you don’t notice because you live in the house. If you have the money, consider hiring a cleaning team to do a spring clean of your house so that it’s pristine when potential buyers walk through.
Get Advice from the Realtor First
After you’ve done the basics of decluttering and cleaning, consider getting advice from a realtor. The realtor will know your local market and can help guide you in any minor and major changes that you should make.
Paint Walls a Neutral Color
If you are going to paint the walls, and I recommend it because it makes the whole house look fresh, consider going with neutral colors like egg shell, beige or light gray. Avoid dark colors or unique designs.
When my husband and I were searching for homes online, I didn’t even want to go look at the house that we ended up buying because the living room looked like it had ugly, old fashioned wallpaper on it. When we did look at the house, we discovered it wasn’t really wallpaper, but instead a bad sponge painting job using tan, orange and brown. If the living room would have been painted a neutral color, it would have looked much better online.
Make Minor Repairs
If you’ve lived in your house long enough, you likely have several minor repairs that need to be made. In our house, we have some dry wall that needs to be patched, places where the paint is coming off, a doorbell that doesn’t work, etc. Take all of those small repairs and have them fixed. Your home will look better when you list it, and potential buyers will feel that you’ve done a good job taking care of your home.
Buy a Home Warranty Now
If you don’t have a home warranty, consider buying one now. Then, when you have a potential buyer and a home inspection, if anything major is found, you’ll be able to offset the cost to repair or fix with the home warranty. When you close, the new homeowners can buy the warranty from you if they’d like.
Price to Sell
If you’re in a hurry to sell your home, make sure you price it competitively. Now is not the time to price it a little bit high to see if you can get a greater profit. If time is of the essence, price it around the same price of comparable properties in your area or even price it a little bit lower. Sure, you won’t make as much money. However, in the long run, you can save money overall because you won’t have to pay the mortgage for a house you no longer live in that is still on the market.
My husband and I were in the housing market about five years ago. We saw many houses that were priced too high. Those houses had had numerous price reductions. I immediately thought the sellers were desperate and that I could negotiate with them even further. Other buyers might think something is wrong with the property.
It is better to start with a competitive price and garner interest than to start too high and keep reducing the price.
Allow All of the Showings
One of the most difficult parts of selling a house, especially if you have kids, is to leave your home so real estate agents can show it. However, if you can try to keep your home show ready, you’ll be able to leave at a moment’s notice. Try to be flexible and agree to showings with only an hour’s notice. The more people you can get through your front door, the more potential buyers you have.
A family friend recently had to sell her home quickly because her husband had gotten a job in another state. They only had one month to sell. Even though they had three young children, they were determined to sell quickly. They left the house sometimes two to four times a day for showings. However, they sold the house in just two short weeks!
These 8 easy low cost fixes to help your home sell fast tasks don’t cost much money. However, they can have a serious impact on how long your house is on the market and how much it will sell for.
If you’ve recently sold or bought your home, what else would you add to this list?
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.