It has been three months since we sold our first home and bought a new one. It was a whirlwind to say the least. We started thinking about putting our house up for sale since the beginning of the year. After seven years in the house, we realized it was time to move on and move to an area with better schools and better neighbors. Just as a reminder, we lived in an area where there was high crime, terrible schools, and the neighbors were real a-holes. On top of that, there we so many foreclosures and short sales that it really made it a hard sale for most. Anyway, I digress. As I am finally getting back on track with everything with this blog, I wanted to share how we sold our home quickly in a depressed market. These are the things we did in order to offload our home at a price we wanted and in a time frame we didn’t expect.
You Better Do Your Research
Before we even reached out to any Realtors, I decided to get my research on. I am one who likes to learn as much about a process as I can. Not because I want to run the process, but because I am intrigued about how these things work. I feel it keeps my mind fresh. Anyway, as we looked into listing our home, I went online and around the neighborhoods to see what our competition was. Remember, selling your home is a competition. You need to stand out from the crowd and make your home look better than others. I am a competitive sob, so I needed to get the dirty on the close home sellers.
I researched prices, how long it took homes to sell, listing prices compared to sale prices, and any other factor I could. I compared our home specs to those closely related, but also learned about houses which were smaller and larger than ours. It gave me a better number to think about when coming up with price per square foot. I knew what we needed to sell our home for in order to make money or break even. After the research, I knew we could sell our home.
It’s Not Always About the Price
You might think listing your home is all about the price, but I can tell you it is not. Two months before we listed our home with a Realtor, we decided to get it cleaned up and make it sparkle. Since our home was in a depressed area, we could easily make it stand out with some quality cleaning. My wife and I took care of the lawn, cleaned up the landscape. I power washed the house, the driveway, and the fence. We replaced the carpet downstairs because of the wear and tear from seven years. We repainted the walls and turned our home into something that our neighbors didn’t. We make our home look good. It cost us a little upfront, but I knew we could recover the cost.
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]If you don’t know how to do home repairs on your own, then hire a professional. Check out Angie’s List for qualified contractors.[/box]
We also took some time to stage our home. We didn’t hire a professional, but that is because my mother is a professional interior designer. She gave us some awesome advice and we went to work. Take some time to read my home staging tips as I think they were one of the most important factors in our quick home sale.
Price Is Still Important
Though I think price is not always the most important factor, you still have to price your home realistically. You can’t price yourself above everyone just because you love it or it is your home. Selling your home can be emotional, but pricing it with emotion is going to hurt you. I had our price in my head before we hired our Realtor. I knew what we could sell it for and I had an idea on how we much we could list it for. After we met with the Realtor, I let her give me her price quote and then I gave her ours. She was low-balling the listing price a bit, but I figured she wanted a quick sale. I told her how much I wanted the listing price to be and she obliged.
Remember, you have to do your research on price. This is how people find your home. They are looking at price, features, and location when they search. If you price too high, you will be out immediately. Luckily for us, we priced just right.
We Sold Our Home Quick
Our house sold quickly. We actually had an accepted offer on the first day. Unfortunately, that buyer was flaky as hell and dropped out, but we got to keep her due diligence money. We got offers the over the next few days and we accepted an offer a week or so after we listed. Now, you might not think this is quick, but when the average house in our area was staying on the market for 65 days, I think 8 or 9 is pretty damn quick. After looking at the comps in the area, we sold our home quicker than any other home in that area in the past year. The reason for this was how our home looked, how it was staged, and how it was priced. Our Realtor didn’t even have to market it because we had prepared it up front. This is how you sell a house quickly. Clean it thoroughly, stage it appropriately, price it accordingly, and keep it up when potential buyers look at it. This is the key to success when trying to sell your home.