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How to Quickly Sell Your Home

Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you immediately start hoping for a qualified buyer who will submit a signed offer and stick with the home-buying process all the way to closing. However, a smooth deal doesn’t simply happen. It takes effort, and homeowners often hold the key not only to their home but also to the secret for selling it. You can sell a house quickly. Here’s how.

  1. Rent a storage space. Your entire property needs to look as big, roomy, fresh and glossy as it can. That often means removing some furnishings and rearranging others until you’ve created a house full of magazine-cover rooms that will stand up to the photos and video tours potential buyers use to screen listings. What you don’t want is a packed garage or dark crowded room that screams, “This is where all the stuff is that we don’t have room for.” Instead, start packing, and take items to the storage unit. You’ll more than make up the cost of one month of storage with a quick sale.
  2. Declutter, clean, and keep it pristine. Keeping a home tour-ready can be hard, but it needs to be a top priority. Remember those pictures and videos that you’re going to need for your listing? Prospective buyers want everything to look just like it did in the listing—long kitchen counters gleaming and unobstructed, the laundry room without a speck of dirt, bathrooms that you can smell the clean and living rooms ready for guests to arrive. Because they’re such personal spaces, bedrooms especially need to be neat and clean.
  3. Depersonalize your spaces. Potential buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in a house. That can be hard to do if every space has a face that belongs to someone they don’t know looking back at them. If you have a valuable formal portrait, for example, that can stay, but most family photos and mementos need to go into storage. Having that recommended storage unit gives you a safe place to store personal items so they won’t suffer damage.
  4. Make sure your property has curb appeal. Your home’s exterior needs to be photo-op-ready because the cover photo for your listing will feature it. Prospective buyers will often do a drive-by to get a feel for the neighborhood and evaluate a home’s setting and condition. They’re looking for qualities like well-maintained exteriors and outbuildings, sparkling windows, welcoming entryways and attractive landscaping. If you’ve let things slide, now is the time to spruce things up.
    13 Curb Appeal Renovation Ideas
  5. Choose a real estate agent or selling method and a realistic price. In some areas, homes sell by word of mouth and little more than a sign displayed in the front yard. In others, you really need a savvy real estate agent to sift through inquiries and guide everyone through the complexities of the process. At the very least, you’ll need an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that the sale is valid and that everyone honors their contract responsibilities. Keep in mind that your home must be able to appraise for the selling price and that the longer your home remains on the market, the greater the likelihood of having to reduce the price.
  6. Be choosy in choosing a real estate agent. Details are important in real estate deals. If something isn’t specified within the signed contract, it’s not going to happen. So, if you decide to list your home with a real estate agent, ask what they’re going to do to earn their half of the 5- to 6-percent commission.
    • Will they be hiring a professional photographer to take photos or a videographer experienced in creating virtual home tours?
    • Will they put together a pamphlet highlighting your home’s features or arrange agent tours to increase exposure?
    • How have they handled home inspections and potential buyers’ requests for repairs in the past?
    • What is their approach to lowball offers and difficult buyers?
    • What is their availability if a problem arises?
    • How do they defuse conflicts?
    • Do they return your calls or texts promptly?
    • How long will they have exclusive listing rights on your home?

 A responsive, skilled real estate agent can save a potentially testy transaction while one less experienced or inept can create or magnify conflict.

  1. Be willing to make needed repairs. One couple sold their home to a buyer who’d walked away from two prior homes because the sellers had refused to make simple repairs. The buyer offered full price but needed the home to be move-in-ready for her family. In most cases, repair requests are the result of either obvious faults or a structural, mechanical or electrical issue that a home inspection reveals. Chances are, the requested repairs may be issues for other potential buyers as well.
  2. Include all details in the contract. Whether you decide to make requested repairs or agree to set aside a certain amount of money for them from closing, all agreed-upon requests need to be written up as part of the contract. If you agreed to replace non-GFCI receptacles in the bathroom with GFCI ones, for example, or have the house professionally cleaned once you’ve moved out, those things need to be in the contract. Carefully documenting repairs and conditions for the sale protects both the seller and the buyer and establishes realistic expectations for a successful final inspection prior to closing. If something doesn’t make it into the contract, it doesn’t count.
  3. Know where you are moving to. Buying, selling and moving can be a balancing act. You have to have a destination in order. Buyers may want to move in as soon as possible, or they may offer a contract with a contingency that they must be able to sell their own home prior to buying yours. In either case, you need to be able to vacate the house you’re selling because your buyers could literally do the closing to sell their home one day and do the closing to buy yours the next. Delays can be deal-breakers because once your buyer locks in an interest rate, the mortgage lender will expect a closing within a certain timeframe. If the buyer is unable to close on schedule, the lender may levy penalties or points on the original, more favorable mortgage terms.
  4. Show, show, and show again. Keep your house picture-perfect so that you’ll always be ready for a showing. Yes, you can tell your agent you want only scheduled showings, but are you really going to pass on the out-of-towners whose agent can only show early tomorrow morning? Be ready to turn on every light and ceiling fan in the house, light the fireplace, pack up the kids and pets, leave some light classical music playing, and vanish for an hour or so—longer if you’re lucky enough to have back-to-back showings. For that little bit extra, leave a few bottled waters and a bowl of fruit on the kitchen island along with the sales pamphlet for the house and a handwritten note welcoming your visitors to tour and enjoy your home.

When you’re able to sell a house quickly, you can rest assured that you’ve set a realistic price and gotten a good offer. You’re able to move on and enjoy your new home without worrying about how you’ll afford two mortgages or other complications. If you’re considering selling a home, buying a home and keeping the process stress-free, make speaking with one of our home financing experts a priority. La Capitol Federal Credit Union has helped thousands of Louisianans buy their houses quickly. It’s just a part of what we do, and we can do it for you.


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