The busiest time of year for real estate is right around the corner, so thousands of Americans are getting ready to put their homes on the market. If you plan on selling, here are five ways to make sure your home sells fast and the closing goes as smoothly as possible.

Be realistic on the price
The absolute worst thing you can do when trying to sell your house is pricing it way too high. Many sellers list their home for an ambitious price, figuring they can always reduce it later.  However, bear in mind that by doing so, you'll turn off a lot of prospective buyers before they even take a close look at your home. For example, let's say your house has a realistic market value of $260,000, so you price it for $305,000 to see what you can get. Well, the people who are searching in the $250,000-$275,000 price range (your target market) aren't even going to look. And, most people who do look at your listing will expect to see a lot more "house" for the listing price.  Studies have shown that homes that sell quickly tend to sell for more than their original listing price, meaning they were priced aggressively and appropriately right from the start. In contrast, homes that sit on the market for four months or more sell for an average of 11.5% below the original asking price.

The first two to three weeks after listing are the most crucial time, so if you want to sell fast, it's important to go after your target buyers by pricing your home realistically right from the start. In the above example, a $275,000 listing price would be a better starting point. Or, better yet, defer to the Tom Smith Team of real estate agents, who can perform a thorough analysis of your local market and recommend a good listing price.

De-clutter and de-personalize
When trying to sell your house, clutter can be your worst enemy, especially if your home is on the small side (or "cozy" in real estate language). A major goal when showing your house is to allow buyers to picture themselves living there. If your rooms are full of random stuff, it may look like home to you, but prospective buyers might have trouble picturing where all of their stuff is going to fit.  No decluttering advice would be complete without a call to streamline your closets.  If your closet is crowded, I’m going to think my stuff won’t fit.  Wow buyers by showing them how much space there is for stuff—not how much stuff there is in the space. 

Make your house look good... virtually
The majority of homebuyers today do at least some of their house-hunting online. According to a joint study by Google and the National Association of Realtors, 90% of homebuyers searched online during their buying process. So, it's important to give them something worth looking at.  Your listing photos should only be taken after you've completed the de-cluttering step I mentioned earlier. And even then, don't just snap some pictures with your phone and upload them. Many real estate agents are skilled at taking good listing photos, and there are professional photographers in every major market that specialize in taking good listing photos. This could end up being well worth the investment, especially if the home you're trying to sell is at the higher end of your market, or if there is an abundance of comparable homes on the market in your area.

Think Like a Buyer
Set the table, re-arrange the furniture and cleaning your home for home showings is common sense. But many folks underestimate just how important these steps are.  This isn’t your run-of-the-mill weekend tidy-up. Think of it as spring cleaning on steroids. You’ve got to think about what buyers look for and get down to the nitty-gritty so that even the smallest details shine. Don’t forget to get your windows squeaky-clean.  There needs to be as much light coming in as possible.

Bring the Outside In
Make your house feel like home by taking advantage of what’s in full bloom right outside your door.  Fresh flowers warm up a room and send the message that this is a really nice space to be in.  If plucking decorations from your yard isn’t an option, stop by your local grocery store and pick out a fresh bouquet that’s already been prearranged. If you run short on vases, display your finds in an antique pitcher or Mason jar for a touch of vintage charm.  And flowers don’t have to be the only star of the show. If you grow your own fruits and veggies, entice buyers with a bowl of fresh produce on the kitchen counter.

According to some experts, potential buyers make up their minds about whether or not your house is worth a closer look before they even walk through the front door. Making the effort to do all of these things will make sure those 15 minutes are as positive as possible.

Contact Kristin Vincelli for assistance with these or any other real estate questions.
Tom Smith Team
Over $100 Million Sold!