A few years ago we had made the decision to move from what we thought was our long-term home to a different location. We had considered everything from he school district to wanting a larger home. It was a really difficult decision, and interestingly, as it turned out, we did not go through with it because of a some bad offers and situations with the realtor and otherwise. We actually ended up putting some money into the current home, including a pool!, and we’re still here. However, I would wager than 95% of people that go through a similar analysis end up making the move. Once you get your heart set on a new home, new area, building new construction, etc., it’s tough to go back. Even now and again, my wife has some “stayer’s remorse” when she’s frustrated over the school district or something going on in the neighborhood.
Nevertheless, there were some key lessons we learned when looking to get someone to buy my house fast. We did get offers pretty quickly and like I said, the main thing that killed it was a very aggressive inspection and unrealistic expectations from the prospective buyers. They thought they had a lot of leverage in a “buyer’s market” after all, but not enough to force us to give up another $15,000 in repairs that weren’t needed (in fact, we’re still here years later and these repairs were never needed).
Some key initiatives were undertook were as follows:
- Cost-efficient home upgrades: One thing we did was invest on the exterior of the house and things we didn’t mind investing in anyway if we stayed. Examples include landscaping, ensuring the exterior was power washed and clean, etc.
- Remove Clutter:Not only does your home look larger when it’s clutter free, but there’s something about clutter that just drives prospective buyers nuts. We also removed large objects that were “optional”. This included foot rests, small tables, etc. that we normally have in the family room.
- No Pets, No People: When we got the call that a realtor and buyers were coming in, we immediately cleared out. We not only took the dog with us, but didn’t leave a bunch of signs of having a dog like bones, toys, etc. It’s not like we wouldn’t disclose the pet on a seller’s disclosure form, but buyers are turned off by pets, especially if they think they may be smelling up the house and ruining the carpet, etc.
- Flexibility on Closing Dates, Deal Structure: One thing some buyers were looking for was both the ability to negotiate price and closing date. We had indicated that we were offering his flexibility.
If you’re looking to sell your home in a hurry, hitting this checklist first could go a long way in ensuring your home shows well right out of the gate. You can make further improvements along the way.