Grand Strand Real Estate News

The 5 Keys To Selling Your Home In Two Months, or thereabout

October 5th, 2016 1:49 PM by Ben Guyton

In a Real Estate Market that has ample supply of properties for the current demand a homeseller must find a way to stand out beyond just their asking price.  There are many important things to do to showcase your property correctly.  Many times we know the standard staging tricks like fresh flowers, new couch pillows, and a few rooms of neutral white paint won't cut it. Sometimes we have to learn the painful way that these are the five things that you absolutely must do to get your house sold in any market in the shortest possible amount of time, and keep it at the top of buyers’ minds. Prepare yourself. None of these recommendations are easy, fun, or for the casual, uncommitted seller.

1Get A Storage Unit: Your favorite old magazine collections and the family shells from your last trip here to the beach don’t mean a thing to a potential buyer in a still supply saturated housing market. Get over the memories, pack them up in boxes, and get it all out. Clean everything out the garage, the attic, and the top shelves of every closest that you won’t need in the next two months. Move out your mother’s old furniture, as well as anything that even remotely conveys the words “clutter” or “hoarding”. The ten-year, built-up excesses of typical 2-3 bedroom house will fit in a 10’ x 20’ storage unit that will cost you less than $125/month (not including the sweat equity of moving everything out).

Fix Everything: Inspections in a buyer’s market aren’t due diligence; they are re-negotiation leverage unfortunately. Fixing everything may sound like an impossible task with some houses but to every reasonable extent repair everything that’s broken especially the obvious, obsessively eye catching ones: peeling paint, rotting wood on the exterior, stains on the floors and carpets, running toilets and dripping faucets, broken lights, cracked windows, electrical switches to nowhere, old termite damage in the attic, and leaks in your foundation or crawl space.

Also don’t underestimate curb appeal. First impressions set a prospective buyer’s expectations before they even walk through the front door. Case in point: A 10 year old driveway was marred with paint and oil stains, and long scratches from pallets of field stone being delivered when we built new patios and retaining walls. Though the driveway was only 25’ long it was the first thing buyers saw when pulling up. the Seller spent $450 having it recoated to look brand new, and it was arguably the most impactful improvement made to get it sold.

3. Spend $1500-$2000 To Upgrade Your Bathroom(s):
 Many Buyers would sum this up by saying of buying a new house: “No one wants to inherit a used bathroom.” So true. At minimum buy new toilets, retile the floors and shower walls if they are out of date and grungy, and upgrade to an aquarium shower head ($100) or better yet a “full body” shower panel ($400). Make sure all of your hardware matches between the lighting, the faceplates, and the plumbing fixtures (i.e., all rubbed bronze or satin nickel). Throw in new, fresh towels, a steam-loving orchid, and some boutique skin care products and your bathroom will look like a private spa in less than a long weekend.

4. Get Over Your Pride And Price It Right:
 Nothing kills a real estate deal faster or rots a house on the market longer than a realtor who lets their seller’s ego factor into the listing price. Regardless of what other sellers sold for nearby, or whether your fireplace mantle was imported from Paris, a house is only worth what a particular buyer at a specific moment in time is willing to pay for it. It’s still a buyer’s market in most of the country, and the bidding wars are long gone. So whatever the number is that’s going to get buyers in the door quickly with real motivations to own your house get over it. Or don’t sell. It’s not worth the emotional pain and personal lifestyle disruption if you’re not willing to take the financial mentality to get it sold

5. Move Out Temporarily: I’m totally serious. Keeping your house Ritz-Carlton clean and show ready at all times while still living your life are often incompatible especially if you have children or pets—or both!  It’s completely possible if not odds-on likely that your perfect buyer will want to show up in the middle of a Tuesday and look at your house just as you’re getting ready for a conference call and your dogs have just come inside from the rain. If you have a second home and your work schedule permits it, consider moving into it temporarily so you can keep your house looking perfect and your realtor can show it at a moment’s notice without you having to alter your schedule at the last minute. AirBNB, VRBO, and other vacation sites rental sites offer weekly and monthly rentals for far less than you’d think. Or pack your bags and just take a long vacation. Your mom or dad might also might just love to have you move back into their house for a month or two. I've tried it and it works!

Understandably, some of these are stretches for most homesellers, but if you take one or two, in addition to the most important #4, then you'll be on your way to the closing table in no time!

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