People are constantly looking to buy houses, regardless of the market. You may be thinking of putting up a “For Sale” sign and just waiting for the offers to roll in. But it isn’t always so easy, and many hopeful sellers begin to feel the frustration as their house just sits on the market for months or even longer. While there is no magic formula that can guarantee your dream buyer offering a dream price, there are some things you can do to help move the process along as best you can.
Define and Depersonalize
Each room in your house has a specific purpose, and if that has gotten away from you, it is time to get back on track if you are selling your home; if your dining room has become the final resting place for the treadmill you no longer use, and the table is covered in mail, clear that stuff out and make it looks like a dining room; if the family room has become a storage room, restore to its original condition.
You also want to depersonalize the space as best you can. You want buyers to be able to picture themselves in the home, and that can be hard with family pictures, your extensive collection of porcelain cats on every surface, and your child’s finger paintings and macaroni pictures covering every inch of the fridge.
Stage Your House
Staging your house can be a great way to sell it; while many people may think that it does not matter what the house looks like now since the new owners will be bringing in their own furniture and are free to repaint the walls, emotional appeal is a huge factor in the buying process. Of course, house hunters are concerned with price, but when it comes down to choosing between the good deals, how a house makes them feel is what will be the ultimate deciding factor.
Make your home feel more spacious by removing extra furniture; your daughter may love her lime green walls, but you might consider repainting for a more neutral tone. If you do plan on doing the staging bit, be willing to invest in the costlier improvements like replacing beat down carpeting—a house that requires minimal investment from the owners and is essentially in move-in condition will be much more appealing. You might consider setting up a consultation with a professional home stager for maximum benefit.
Sweeten the Deal
In a competitive market, you may need to woo buyers with some freebies that offer financial benefit. There are many incentives that you can offer to get your house off the market sooner than later. Offering to pay closing costs can be one of the most effective—these costs, which total thousands of dollars, are something the seller has to worry about right now, and offering to take that off their plate can be very attractive.
You can also offer to pay down mortgage interest rather than dropping the home price by a few thousand dollars—for the first few years, buyers can knock as much as a few hundred dollars of their mortgage payments. Purchasing a home warranty is also a good idea, giving the new buyers peace of mind that they have recourse to address any problems they may experience with appliances or systems in the home. You can also assist them with the down payment—you cannot give them the money directly, but through organizations that assist buyers with purchasing a home.