Real estate is a game of tug-of-war between buyers and sellers. Sometimes, markets are more favorable to sellers, and bidding competition is high, leading to homes selling faster than average. Other times, it’s a buyers’ market, and sellers could face a long uphill battle to get the price they want.
No matter the state of the market, you won’t need to wonder how to sell your house fast. You also won’t have to worry about losing money with Orchard’s guaranteed cash value — plus, 95% of customers sell for more than market value.
Our experts at Orchard put together 16 tips to sell quicker than average.
A selling strategy gives you a clear road map to the finish line — in this case, a “Sold” sign in your front yard. There are several strategies you can choose from, though some will be better for selling your home quickly than others. Some of the most common selling strategies are:
No matter which selling strategy you choose, it’s important to pick one and stick to it. If you switch how you sell your house while it’s already on the market, you may lose buyers’ trust.
The best time to sell a house is when you’re ready to move on. But it turns out there are times during the year when sellers make more money than average. Buyers who sell in the late spring and early summer months of May, June, and July can see seller premiums above the market average of 10 to 12.6% on average.1
This means that selling a $400,000 home in May might earn you around $40,000 more than selling the same house in October or November.
One surefire way to repulse prospective buyers is by leaving lingering stains and other messes. Deep clean the inside and outside of your house before listing so that buyers get the best possible first impression when they arrive at a showing.
Abigail Keyes, listing manager for Orchard in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, recommends going beyond an ordinary surface clean:
“Your home should smell clean. One of the biggest drawbacks as a buyer is when a home smells like pets or smoke — it’s a huge turnoff.”
Bobbie Schwartz, Orchard listing agent in Dallas, notes that documenting evidence of your deep-clean can help put money in your pocket, too:
“The best return on investment you’ll ever get is hiring a professional cleaner just before taking photos and starting showings.”
If a professional cleaner isn’t in your budget, you’ll still be able to make a good impression on buyers with cleanliness. Focus on the most visible spots where dirt might accumulate, like scrubbing your windows to make sure that ample light can shine through and there aren’t any streaks or smudges taking away from the view.
Aim to make your home as open and airy as possible so buyers can easily figure out where they’ll put their own belongings. Any overly large furniture that makes a room feel cozy to you may make the room feel cramped to someone viewing your home. Keyes says it’s nothing personal:
“Get rid of the clutter. You're moving anyway, so it's the perfect time to start packing.”
To move clutter out of your way, consider renting a storage unit nearby that you can use until your house sells. Even better if it’s accessible via a van or moving truck so you can pack up and head out once your house sells quickly.
Buyers who want to buy your home quickly likely don’t want to see your personality shine through in your home decor. Just like cleaning your house and scrubbing it of any foul odors, plan to remove photos, treasured memories, and other personal touches before photographing or showing your house.
If a buyer can’t see themselves in your home, then it’s still your home and not theirs.
You might’ve seen advertisements for cash buyers that purchase “ugly houses.” If you’d describe your house as ugly, then a buyer likely would, too. This means your home probably won’t sell as fast or for as much money as it would have with a little extra curb appeal.
Brenda Greenhill, an Orchard real estate agent in Atlanta, knows that this doesn’t have to break the bank:
“First impressions are everything. A new front door, house number, or mailbox can change the showing experience. Pressure-wash walkways, patios, and decks. And a nice coat of paint will do wonders to freshen up the property inside and out.”
Landscaping doesn’t need to be over the top for good curb appeal. In fact, too much landscaping can even scare away buyers.2 Features like swimming pools, fountains, and plants that require lots of water can even lower the value of your home. Instead, opt for choices that require less maintenance and cost less, like xeriscaping with drought-resistant plants.3
Curb appeal determines whether a buyer wants to take a look inside a property. Once they’re inside, you need to keep their interest if you want to make sure they make a quick offer on your home. The easiest way to do that is to make your home’s entryway, foyer, or front hallway warm and inviting.
If your budget limits you from making design changes throughout your home before selling, focus on the entryway first. This is a buyer’s immediate impression of the inside of your home, and you only have one chance to make it a good one.
Just like photos and decorations, paint colors can be very personal. When inviting buyers into your home, they should see as few personal touches as possible to make the home feel like a blank slate ready for them to put their mark on it.
Neutral tones are the best paint colors to sell a house because they’re minimal and fade into the background while complementing accessories and finishes throughout a room. They’re also easy to paint over, so buyers can envision their favorite paint on the walls without much effort. When painting a house to sell it, you can rely on:
Earth tones are a great way to still inject a little color without overpowering the room. However, for selling your home the fastest, there’s no question that neutrals are best.
Not many people want to purposefully move into an outdated home, but that doesn’t mean you should look to the Jetsons or Smart House for remodeling inspiration. Repairing, updating, or renovating your home before selling it can help it move off the market faster, but only if you don’t overdo it.
Just like paint colors, design and appliance choices in the kitchen and bathroom are highly personal decisions. Your dream bathroom with a steam shower may not appeal to the next person who needs a soaking tub. Focus on fixing or updating anything that’s visibly broken:
For a full rundown of updates and repairs to make before selling, you can use a home maintenance checklist to make sure you don’t miss any steps.
We’ve already covered depersonalizing your home decor and removing extra furniture and clutter. However, what if you’re not sure about the furniture you already have?
Home staging involves removing and storing your belongings while replacing them with model home-ready furniture. Staging costs money — usually around $1,600 for the average home — but it’s a worthwhile investment to create a flawless viewing experience for buyers.
Staging furniture is selected with the goal of letting the home’s features do the talking, which is important if you want to offload your property fast. And we really do mean fast: professionally staged homes can sell for up to 88% faster and for 20% more money than homes that aren’t staged.4
First impressions are everything, and most people today get their first look at a house for sale when it’s listed online. This means reviewing specifications like square footage and the number of bathrooms, but most importantly, it means looking at photos of the property.
When you think about what to show off, the more, the merrier:
Listings with high-quality photography can sell 32% faster than those with amateur photography or no photos, to begin with.5 That’s a significant time difference when you consider that photographing your home might only take an hour or two.
Your photos shouldn’t be dark or blurry, and neither should the interior of your house. Before showings or anytime you leave the house, make sure your lights are on and your blinds, drapes, shutters, or curtains are all open. This lets potential buyers see how welcoming your house can be to walk up to.
This is another reason why it’s so important to clean your windows. You want to make sure that natural light gets inside during the day, but you also want to make sure that no dirt is visible from the outside while your lights are on. This lends a little transparency to your home’s curb appeal to let buyers know they can expect an inviting atmosphere inside, not just outside.
One way to really differentiate your home’s online listing is by introducing a 3D tour to the mix. Photos give a clear visual introduction to a home, but they don’t always give buyers a clear feel for the amount of space in a room or the room’s orientation.
With a 3D tour of your home’s most important rooms, buyers can insert themselves into the space and get a feel for it before stepping foot inside. This means that they might even be more likely to make an offer without stepping foot inside, saving you valuable time. There’s proof that 3D tours also cut down on listing time: homes with virtual tours sell up to 31% quicker and for 9% more money than homes with no tour on the listing.6
No one likes inconvenience, but a home buyer who’s inconvenienced may walk away from the home altogether. To increase your chances of selling quickly, make yourself as available as possible to prospective buyers, and be flexible with your time.
This might look like making your home available to be shown with little to no notice so that once a buyer is interested, they can check out the property immediately. If you’re anxious to move first, Orchard can take care of showings while you’re already getting settled into your new home, so you don’t have to think twice about flexibility.
Lots of factors go into setting the listing price on a home. Market conditions and location factor in with a home’s size, age, condition, and upgrades with the goal of landing on a price that’s competitive. Setting the right dollar value is an art, and it takes knowing a real estate market and its history to make an informed decision on price.
Everyone wants to make room to negotiate, so you may be incentivized to list your home at a high price out of the gate. However, a home that’s overpriced may not even make it on the radar of qualified buyers, or it may scare away buyers who might otherwise have been interested if the price was slightly lower. Before you sell, use a home sale calculator to estimate how much you might be able to make on your property.
Orchard gives you a guaranteed sale price, so you know your bottom line even if the house doesn’t sell for as much as you initially wanted.
The last thing you can do to speed up the sale of your home is to sweeten the deal for whoever buys it. Buying a house involves lots of additional costs and scheduling, so the easier you can make the process for shoppers, the quicker they’ll be likely to pounce on your listing.
Consider some of the following choices as “add-ons” to make your home more attractive to buyers:
You might not need to make all of these accommodations to sell your home quickly, but if you run into any buyer hesitancy, remember that these negotiating options remain on the table for you.
Let’s look over some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to selling your home speedily.
The quickest time to sell a house is approximately 12 to 18 days, including listing prep, showings, offer reviews and counteroffers, inspections, and time for appraisals.7
The easiest way to sell your house in 30 days is to work with an iBuyer that can help you list, show, and close your home without any extra effort on your part. It will take longer to sell your house without a realtor or FSBO.
The best time of year to sell a house quickly is May through July, when buyers see a 10 to 12.6% premium over the market average.
The closing process takes 48 days on average.8 It can happen in as few as 12 days or it can take much longer.
It’s not impossible to sell your home quickly. In fact, it’s not even difficult to do so when you enlist Orchard’s help. We take care of the preparation and the follow-through so you can take your mind off of preparing to move and instead focus your attention on making your new house a home.
Orchard guarantees your home will sell, so you can buy your next one worry-free.
We provide peace of mind that your home will sell, plus list your home on the market to maximize your earnings.
Use our home sale calculator to estimate your net proceeds.
Our Home Advisors are experienced local agents who know how to sell for top dollar and help win your dream home.
All Orchard Home Advisors are experienced agents who know your local market inside and out. Request a consult today.
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