Browsing Category

marketing a home

How to Sell Your House Fast: 5 Must-Know Tips to Move Your Property

December 12, 2019

MarkCoffeyPhoto/iStock

If you need to sell your house fast, you probably don’t have a whole lot of time to research the current real estate market and ponder how it’ll affect your home sale. You just want sales guidance from a real estate agent or other pro that will help you find a buyer as fast as possible.

Well, here’s the good news: It is possible for you, as a seller, to offload your home quickly. The experts say selling comes down to a few key to-do’s that you should take care of before your property hits the market.

If you’re ready to unload your abode, heed the selling advice of the experts below. Of course, we can’t guarantee all homeowners a quick sale, but putting these tips into practice definitely won’t hurt the chances of securing a buyer.

1. Tidy up to make your house stand out (and sell!)

If you’re looking to sell quickly, you’re going to want to start cleaning, especially before those listing photos are taken by your Realtor®.

“Pristine houses from sellers are more attractive to a buyer, which will keep the buyer excited,” says Debi Benoit, principal and broker at Benoit Mizner Simon & Co. Real Estate in Wellesley, MA. “And an excited buyer may pay top dollar to the seller and will usually write an offer quickly.”

Fast selling means getting rid of clutter both inside the house and in the yard and putting some elbow grease into making everything look like a brand-new home (yup, you might need a storage unit for maximum curb appeal).

And selling fast means cleaning from top to bottom in every room of the house. Wipe down cabinets, light fixtures, and drawers, remove any scuffs from the walls, give all kitchen appliances a once-over, clean air vents, shampoo your carpets, and then sweep, vacuum, or mop every inch of the house.

It will take you several days of work to declutter, but the payoff (making a sale!) will be worth it for a potential buyer. Trust us—this is a major part of selling a home quickly.

2. Have your house staged to sell fast

Be the best seller you can be, and go extra mile beyond cleaning. To do this, consider having your house staged, a real estate term that means decorating your place so that it is more attractive to buyers.

“It’s best to present the home in its best light when you’re selling,” explains Nile Lundgren, an agent with Trent & Company in New York City. He once had a real estate listing—unstaged—on the market for five months without ever getting an offer to sell.

“We took it off the market, staged it, reshot photos, and put it back on the market,” he says. “Within two weeks, we got into a bidding war and signed a contract for a sale shortly thereafter.”

Real estate staging typically takes anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the availability of rental furniture, the movers, and the installers.

If you’re facing a major time crunch to sell, Lundgren suggests focusing on staging the beds, sofas, tables, chairs, and art—items that make a house feel like a well-maintained home where people can live and get comfortable.

3. Hire a photographer to take listing photos for a quick sale

It may feel like hiring a professional will be a waste of money. After all, your cellphone has a great camera, right? But that can be a sale killer, says Rosamaria Acuña, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in La Jolla.

“First impressions are everything, and need to be done right,” she says. “A professional photographer has all the tools to capture the right lighting and make everything look brighter and inviting.” The pros also have wide-angle lenses to fit the entire room in the photo.

4. Selling quick means making your home available for showings

Once everything is set up, get ready to spend a lot of time away from your home so buyers and real estate agents can view the property comfortably—without you or your pets wandering around the halls. Selling fast is best done when homeowners aren’t there for an open house.

Remember: If you want to sell your home pronto, you need to be flexible and open with your time, to allow buyers and real estate agents to tour it as often as possible.

5. Attract a buyer with the right price

Staging and marketing your home are important components, but at the end of the day, the amount of money you’re asking buyers to pay could be what seals the deal.

“Nothing will help sell a poorly priced home—and a well-priced home can overcome many other issues,” says Aaron Hendon, a Realtor with Christine & Company in Seattle. “To sell your home fast, your house needs to be priced to compete with the others currently on the market.”

Your real estate agent will help you decide on the right listing price for your home by looking at a variety of factors: your house’s age, any updates, square footage, and the school district.

An agent will pull up comparable homes, or “comps,” that have sold in the area to evaluate the best sale price.

The post How to Sell Your House Fast: 5 Must-Know Tips to Move Your Property appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

How to Throw a Halloween-Themed Open House That’ll Scare Up Buyers

October 17, 2019

Halloween open house

Katja Rovinowicz/iStock

Selling a house with Halloween on the horizon can be tricky. Maybe you want to decorate, but you’ve been told over and over again to keep your space neutral, so buyers can picture themselves in your home.

It’s good advice. But before you give up your grand plans for carving jack-o-lanterns and start stuffing the scarecrows back into storage, know this: There is a way to indulge in the holiday and make your home stand out from the crowd at the same time.

To the rescue: a Halloween-themed open house! Read on for expert tips on using this holiday as a marketing tool that’ll help you scare up potential buyers.

Don’t actually scare the buyers

Although it’s tempting to make your home the spookiest on the block, the experts advise against it.

Take it from Benjamin Ross, Realtor® with Mission Real Estate Group in San Antonio, TX, who has a graveyard with an animated pumpkin head and a zombie coming out of the ground.

“My granddaughter came over and was afraid to get out of the car,” Ross says. “Luckily for me, I’m not selling my house.”

When it comes to decorating your home for the big event, the best thing to do is keep it simple.

“Keep it tasteful and light,” says April Struhs, Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co. in Key Largo, FL. “For example, a couple of pumpkin spice candles would be a great idea; then the buyers would remember the house that smelled like pumpkin spice.”

Of course, you can always stock up on the pumpkins, fall leaves and wreaths, Halloween throw pillows, and orange twinkle lights. You can even add in a Halloween doormat and some themed music. Jon Tetrault, partner and Realtor with the Nick Slocum Team in Warwick, RI, even recommends giving your buyers a laugh by writing “Not Haunted” on your For Sale sign.

But the creepy decorations? Consider skipping those this year.

“I would strongly stay away from blood and gore decorations,” Struhs says.

“My advice is to keep it fun-scary, not deathly scary,” Ross adds.

Keep it kid-friendly

Halloween ring toss
Set up activities to entertain the kids while parents tour the home.

gpointstudio/iStock

One of the best ways to make your event memorable is by having some fun activities prepared for the kids who might be traipsing along with their parents to your open house. Simple games that are easy to win (for a modest prize, of course), like a pumpkin corn-hole or ring toss, are always a hit.

But something even better? A game that keeps kids engaged—while also ensuring that their parents can see the entire house.  For instance, you could set up a mini-scavenger hunt, says Seattle-area real estate broker Valerie Burmester.

“While the parents look around, the kids will be on the lookout for those painted pumpkins, fall pillows, photos of a pet in a costume in the bedroom,” Burmester says. “It will be well worth the effort, because both parents and kids can get in on the games while still looking at the home.”

You might also consider having a small arts and crafts table where kids can entertain themselves while parents have a look around. (Struhs recommends Halloween-themed coloring books with crayons.)

And be sure to make up some small goody bags, or stock up a “treasure chest” of prizes that kids can pick from after every game. If your prizes include candy, get the parents’ permission before handing them out.

Stock up on the snacks

Halloween open house snacks
Spooktacular snacks

jenifoto/iStock

Speaking of treats, it’s an old adage for good reason: The way to buyers’ hearts might just be through their stomach.

“A lot of time kids get bored looking at houses, which can mean the parents don’t get a good viewing,” Struhs says. “One way to keep them entertained is with food.”

While candy is fine, chances are kids will get plenty of it while trick-or-treating. Opt instead for fresh and homemade treats.

“Fall-themed cookies, homemade pumpkin bread, and apple cider all give a home warmth,” Burmester says. “And they’re delicious for adults and kids.”

Pick the best room in your house to set up a snack table. Be sure to stage it with some fun Halloween decorations and a few pumpkins. If you have a coffee maker, brew up some java for your buyers. Most likely, yours isn’t the only home they’re visiting that day, and you’ll stand out even more by making it a fun and relaxing experience for both them and their children.

And if you needed another reason to feed your guests, consider this: “Giving the buyer something to drink and eat will help them stay longer at the house, which gives the real estate agent more time to really talk up the property,” Struhs says.

Don’t overdo the decorations

The goal of any open house is to sell the home—so just be sure to keep this top of mind when planning your event. Costumes, games, and decorations are all fine and good, as long as they don’t detract from the house, or negatively affect your buyers’ experience while they’re visiting it.

“Stay away from anything satanic or demon-inspired, and any race-appropriating costumes, like Native American or geisha,” says real estate agent Regine Nelson of Wealthward Realty in Austin, TX.

And always avoid anything political—during Halloween or any other time of the year, Ross adds.

No matter how you choose to plan your spooktacular event, stay focused on why you’re doing it.

“You want to make sure the buyer is focused on the correct things, like the house,” Struhs says. “Not how great you decorated for Halloween.”

The post How to Throw a Halloween-Themed Open House That’ll Scare Up Buyers appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

What Is a Broker’s Open House? A Smart Way to Market Your Home

September 24, 2019

Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock

If you’re trying to sell your home, it’s likely your real estate agent has suggested hosting a broker’s open house. But, what is that, exactly? Long story short, it’s an open house not for home buyers, but for their real estate agents so they can determine whether your property is right for any of their clients. Here’s how to decide how to make the most of this marketing opportunity—and maybe snag a great buyer for your home.

How a broker’s open house is different

The biggest difference between a broker’s open house and a standard open house is who ends up on the invite list. While standard open houses are quite flexible about who can stop by—and might include anyone from potential buyers to curious neighbors—the guest list for a broker’s open house is strictly limited to other real estate agents and industry professionals.

Time is another differing factor for this real estate open house. Usually, standard real estate open houses are hosted on Sunday afternoons, because the vast majority of potential buyers have weekends free for house hunting. On the other hand, because a broker’s open house caters to real estate agents—whose weekend schedules are often packed with home showings for clients—it is often held midweek, when agents are more likely to be available.

What happens at a broker’s open house?

At its core, this open house home-selling tactic is another tool that real estate agents use to help market and sell a property. In addition to internet marketing systems like the multiple listing service, it’s a method of debuting your listing to real estate professionals in your community. Once your agent schedules a broker’s open house, he will advertise it to his network of real estate industry contacts. Usually a free lunch is also offered as an incentive to show up.

On the day of this real estate event, the other real estate agents will be given a chance to tour your home, enjoy the free lunch while catching up with colleagues, and offer your agent their opinions on the property.

Typically, broker’s open houses are held within the first few days of a home being put on the real estate market in order to capitalize on the initial burst of interest that often accompanies new listings. But if there is ever a dramatic adjustment to how your home is being marketed—such as a significant drop in price—your agent may suggest hosting another broker’s open house to spread the news to potential buyers and clients.

The benefits of a broker’s open house for sellers

If you’re the type of seller who doesn’t relish the idea of opening your home to crowds of looky-loos who’ll tramp through your outdoor property, the garage, and all of your rooms—plus open every closet and medicine cabinet—then a professionally targeted broker’s open house may be appealing.

If all goes according to plan, the real estate agents who tour the house will go through their mental Rolodex to see if your property would be a good fit for any of their current buyers. If so, they’ll likely bring those possible buyers back for a private showing in the near future, especially if the broker’s open house was well-attended.

“It creates a sense of urgency”, says Stephen Marchese of Re/Max Central in Blue Bell, PA, “and, a higher-perceived value of the house.”

However, even if an offer doesn’t come directly from the broker’s open house, it can offer a valuable critique of how your home looks in comparison with other properties currently on the market in your area. Since real estate agents regularly have the chance to view a variety of homes, they have the ability to give your agent feedback on how your home is being perceived by other agents and homeowners—and how to better attract buyers and help it sell.

The post What Is a Broker’s Open House? A Smart Way to Market Your Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.