When You Have to Move Quickly (and You Aren’t in Witness Protection): How to Sell Your Home Fast

Layoffs, RIFs, transfers, family illness or just getting the heck out of Dodge sometimes make it necessary to sell your home quickly. You bought it for an investment, but it could easily become an albatross if it stays on the market very long. Here are some tips for selling your home quickly.

Get an agent

Movie stars, writers and athletes all have agents who represent them. Don’t be arrogant and assume you can sell a house all by yourself. From the legal paperwork processing to pricing to publicizing your listing to other agents, you most likely do not have the ability (or the time) to do everything yourself. Let a real estate agent take care of it for you. The process definitely requires more than simply putting a sign in the front yard.

Make sure the house is move-in ready

If you want to sell your house quickly, listing it as a “fixer-upper” is not going to do the trick. People looking for houses that need work are usually not in any hurry to buy. Many simply look at buying and flipping houses as an investment. Get the repairs done. Paint the walls. Replace the light bulbs. Take the time to make the house ready for potential buyers to move in as quickly as you want to move out.

Staging

The best way to sell a house is to allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. To do that, you need to remove all the family photos. The portraits remind those looking at the house that someone else lives there, and that’s a distraction. Staging is a way to help homeowners envision what it would be like to live in your house. Keep the house clean, mother-in-law is coming to visit clean. Straighten closets so that they look spacious and tidy; people will look in them. Make the landscaping look as easy to maintain as possible, removing weeds and trimming trees if necessary. And put all your valuables in a safe or box them up. You don’t want a showing to become a preview for thieves. If you’re not sure if your house is properly staged, ask your agent if you need to hire a professional stager, especially if time is a consideration.

Hire a professional photographer or videographer

Once your house is move-in ready and staged, hire somebody to get it all on film. If necessary, ask your real estate agent. Denver homes, Atlanta homes, Boston homes as well as San Diego homes are more likely to sell if potential buyers can preview the house online. Try as you might to take pictures yourself, professionals are better equipped to deal with lighting issues and favorable shot angles to show your house at its best.

Online publicity

Agents have databases, websites and other online means of advertising your home. This is a faster, and often more effective, way to get the word out than metal signs or open houses. The more potential homebuyers and agents there are who see your house online, the greater the likelihood that one of them will make you an offer.

About the author:

Tiffany Marshall had a contract on her house 24 hours after it was put on the market using these tips and the help of her real estate agent. Denver area housing markets were in a slump at the time, but it didn’t matter. She is currently a freelance writer posting on behalf of www.automatedhomefinder.com.

Photo Credit to John Picken and Images_of_Money on Flickr

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