Motivated sellers appear in every market whether large or small, hot or lukewarm. New jobs crop up that require a transfer or family changes mean it is time to move sooner rather than later. Whatever the reason you have for a quick sale, here are seven incentives to make your home more enticing to buyers and get them to make an offer.
The absolute best first step to attract buyers and garner a quick sale is to stage your home well and price it right. Whether you need to close in two weeks or a month, you will need to put some effort into getting your home ready to show.
- Declutter and depersonalize. Clear the refrigerator of family photos and school drawings and pack away all memorabilia and the majority of your knickknacks. You’ll need to box these things up anyway, so think of it as getting a head start on your move. Turn a critical eye on your furniture, too, and try to get extra pieces or those that look a bit rough around the edges into storage. The goal here is to give a feeling of spaciousness that lets buyers easily imagine themselves and their own things in the space.
- Repair, repaint, and clean. Once you’ve got all that extra stuff out of the way, decide what needs to be repainted and repaired. A pre-inspection helps pinpoint which areas to prioritize, too. Your agent will be able to help you find contractors and other local professionals to expedite this process. Once that is done, bust out the carpet shampooer, cleaning materials, and get to work.
- Hire a home stager. This might feel a little bit over the top, but if you are in a hurry to sell, a professional eye can make the difference between selling sooner rather than later. A home stager brings a professional and objective perspective to your space and can offer advice on how to make it more attractive to potential buyers. They will help draw out the best parts of your kitchen and bathroom, two places buyers often pay the most attention to, and help you further declutter and depersonalize.
- Get good photos. The majority of potential buyers do the bulk of their research online before deciding which places to visit in person. Beautiful photos of your sparkling clean, professionally staged home lets people do a virtual walk through. This is an especially effective way to attract out-of-town buyers who may also need to move quickly and have limited time in which to visit potential new homes. Having plenty of good photos to showcase your home raises the chances that they will make a point to stop in for a look.
Buy Down Their Interest Rate
This may be the most effective tool for a fast sale after Staging Well and Pricing Right. Buyers have an interest rate for their mortgage. For a fee, it is possible to get a lower one. When this happens, it’s called “buying a point” or “buying down the rate.” For example, if the interest rate is four-percent, paying the fee can bring it down to 3.75-percent. Sellers can do this for buyers, and it represents substantial savings because it is over the lifetime of the mortgage. This is much more powerful than a one-time reduction in the sale price. If you are considering this, talk with your agent about whether or not to make it part of the marketing or your home or save it for the negotiating table.
If you really need to move your house quickly, consider underpricing. Take a look at the prices that homes similar to yours are selling for and see what the range of prices are. Choose a price near or at the bottom of that range that is still affordable for you. A somewhat lower price will make your home more attractive and one that buyers may battle for by the end. Who knows? There could even be a bidding war, and you may end up with a higher price after all!
Disclose Up Front
Another value of the pre-inspection is the option to share the results with potential buyers from the very beginning. Normally, this kind of information would be shared only after an offer is made and accepted and the property is in escrow. However, there is no hard and fast rule that says you can’t do it beforehand. This has a few different effects, all of which can work in the seller’s favor.
It lets buyers know you have nothing to hide. It also eliminates the difficulty of unexpected issues or problems being discovered during the inspection and delaying the closing process or, even worse, causing headaches later for everyone.
Depending on what the pre-inspection reveals, you may want to consider pricing the home to reflect the cost of whatever work might need to be done. Regardless of which angle you choose, potential buyers will feel more informed and subsequently more confident, which increases the possibility that they will be faster to make an offer.
Offer a Credit for Close-By Date
It may be that you definitively need to be out of the house and closed on it by a particular date. This could be because of employment, school start dates, another closing date on the home you’re moving to, or for tax reasons. For example, you may have claimed residency in a different state and need to show proof of closing by a certain date in order to avoid penalties. Offering buyers a credit if they are willing to close by a particular date can be very enticing. This may make your home especially attractive to those looking to transition from renting to owning as they are a bit more flexible.
Include Furniture and Window Coverings
Buyers are often making some kind of transition. Whether it is to something larger or smaller, or from an apartment to a house, they may not realize that one of the first big expenses of home ownership are furniture and window coverings. These somewhat hidden expenses can be an additional layer of stress, particularly if your home has custom windows or was recently redecorated in a particular style. Offering these items up as part of the deal may be just the right sweetener for the pot.
Offer to Cover Home Owner Association Fees
If your home is part of a Home Owner’s Association, consider offering to cover the first three to six months of fees for your buyer. This will help the new owners settle in and alleviate concerns or hesitations they may have about that additional monthly expense. Be sure, though, to check with your association that this is possible and won’t cause any difficulties for you or the buyer further down the road.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Taylor Kolon, Cole Metcalf, and Galen Buchanan are ready to help you make a timely sale that meets your goals.