How to Help Your Home Sell As Fast As Possible
When you’re thinking about selling your home, suddenly every real estate headline can be interpreted as a clue to your future.
While no one can predict the market, or how buyer activity will be in your area, there’s quite a bit in your control when it comes to boosting the odds of a successful sale. Whether you’re on a tight timeline or just want to decrease the odds that your home will be the one to linger on the market, here are a few things you can do now to help your home sell fast. Your real estate agent will thank you later.
Clutter seems easy to define to most of us. You definitely know not to leave out hampers of laundry, cover your kitchen table with piles of papers, or let toys continue their take over of your living room floor if you are going to show your home. However, you’d never consider your gallery wall of tasteful family photos, shelves of gorgeous glassware, or a priceless collection of genuinely interesting items to ever fit the definition of “clutter.”
Yet, to a buyer, that’s exactly what all of this is. Anything that is taking up space, getting in the way of sightlines, inviting strangers to ask questions about your personal life, or filling up cabinets counts as clutter. The harder it is for buyers to get a sense of what it would be like to live in your home, the longer it’ll take for the home to sell. Your realtor will tell you this (tactfully), but save the time and tackle the excess now.
Ideally, you'd get into the headspace where you round up everything you don’t need, toss it all in bags, and send it to the proper donation channels without thinking twice. However, most of us can get quickly overwhelmed by this. Professional organizers can take the emotion out of the decision-making process so you can stay focused on your goals. If you’re truly struggling with getting through all the stuff, look into temporarily renting a storage unit for challenging items (usually sentimental things) until you have the time and space to deal with it.
Stage 1 Staging
While you don't need to handle each aspect of staging a home (we're here to help with that) there are a few things that you can do now that will make the process go faster later.
Here are some things to consider tackling now:
- Painting Walls Neutral Colors
- Replacing Or Removing Worn-Out Area Rugs
- Getting Rid Of Out-Of-Date Bulky Blinds Or Drapes
- Giving Your Entire Home A Thorough Clean (from the ceiling cobwebs to the forgotten corners)
By doing this, you’re giving your real estate agent a blank slate that can quickly get professionally staged or photographed ASAP.
Rounding Up Documents
Head to the office supply store for plenty of folders, an accordion file or two, and perhaps even a small safe. Finding all the important documents you need now means you won’t have a paper chase later. In addition, the more information your realtor has about your home, the more thorough they can be when it comes to protecting your interest during negotiations.
Here’s what you’ll need to find:
- The sales contract for your home (original)
- Anything relating to mortgage and financing
- Tax records
- Proof of homeowner’s insurance
- Proof of any repairs or improvements done (including receipts, certificates filed with your township, etc.)
- All documents relating to your homeowner’s association (if applicable)
- Warranty information (including manuals)
- The original appraisal of your house when you bought it (and any other appraisals you’ve had since)
- Everything relating to the title or ownership of your home
The latter is especially important: Looking up your title may reveal red flag issues that could affect the sale of your home.
For one, there may be an easement on your property that might not have been created properly. For reference, an easement is basically a permission slip for others to access the land on your property. For example, homes on shared private roads may have an easement that allows neighbors to use the road, but there isn’t a road maintenance agreement in place. When this happens, some lenders will reject a buyer’s home loan. Smaller issues can arise when it affects how a future buyer can use a property. If you or the previous owner granted a solar easement to a neighbor so they could install solar panels, a future owner may not be able to add anything to the yard that could block sunlight.