10 Tips On How To Sell Your House Fast And Get Top Dollar For It

This week would make the fourth week in my real estate series and if you haven’t had the chance to check out the first three weeks you check them out below.

This week however I’m going to go in another direction and talk about 10 tips on how to sell your house fast and get top dollar for it.  The thing is before I could even think about building a house like I am right now I had to get my house sold first.

In fact it took me nearly a year get my house sold and boy did I learn a lot of things during this process.  In fact I faced a lot of ups and downs in this process, so read on.

1# Get A Real Estate Agent

One of the first things I did was contacted my local real estate agent.  Now I know not everyone is on board when it comes to real estate agents but going with a local agent who really knows the area could be a huge benefit to you.

In my case I knew my real estate agent had a list of people he could call right off the bat which could result in a quick sale for my house.  Which could be worth it’s weight in the 6% commission he got.  In the first month he was able to get several people to take a look at the house and even get me an offer.

So before you discount real estate agents talk to a few.  Look for one that especially knows the area and value.  A lot of times it’s agents like this who can find you a buyer fast.

2# Stage Your House

The thing you’ll want to do if you want to sell your house fast is to stage it.  When it comes impressing someone who checks out your house it’s so important stage the house to look good.

For example, your living room should look like a living room, not an exercise room or a toy room for the kids.  Make it look comfortable and inviting to the eye, like it was made for them.

My brother recently sold his house and he had a really nice home theater system in his basement and one thing he did when the real estate agent was showing his house is he had a movie playing so when people came through the house it would really give them that wow factor of the sound and the picture.

So take some time to stage your house and make it look good.

3# Kill The Clutter

The next thing you should do is kill any and all clutter around your house. When people come to look at your house things should feel wide open and spacious.  On top of that eliminate any place where  the clutter seems to pile up the most.

One place this happened a lot for me was the kitchen table.  Since the house didn’t have a lot of counter top space we removed nearly everything off of them from mail to appliances to make them look more open.

So look for the places where clutter is building up in your house and remove them to make things feel more open.

#4 Do Some Landscaping

Another thing to consider is the outside appearance.  Face it if you want to get buyers in your house to check it out you need to impress them with on the outside first.  This is were landscaping can help you big time.

A few things I  added were some new mulch, flowers, and trimmed the shrubs.  These things can make your house really stand out and on top of that they are incredibly cheap to do.  Another thing I did was mowed the lawn very regularly so the lawn looked sharp.  In the end these things will make your house look a lot more inviting.

So take the time to do some landscaping on your house before you put it on the market, that way when the for sale sign is in your front yard buyers will be more enticed to take a look.

5# Fix Things Up

Number five is pretty much a no brainer to fix things up around your house, but one thing I want to point out is that you’ll be amazed at what some buyers will bring up when they look at your house.

Shortly before I sold my house one of my buyers asked to have a property inspection done and he found several things for me to fix from a few pieces of cracked siding, to a loose bolt on my garage door.

So take some time to fix not only the big issues with your house but also the little ones because you never know what buyers will like to nit pick about.

6# Initiate The First Offer

Next thing you can do is a little trick I learned when all the buyers dried up.  The truth is most of your interested buyers are going to show up to look at your house the first month it’s on the market.  After that things are going to slow down a bit.

When this happens you may have to try some different tactics to get people to come back for a second look.  This is were I initiated the first offer by calling the real estate agent back and asking him to contact the prospective buyer back and give him a lower offer.

By doing this it will hopefully get the buyer to make an offer back thus opening up some sort of negotiation.  In my case it never worked but it’s at least worth a shot.

7# Hold Onto Bank Approved Buyers

This next tip is huge and if I wouldn’t have made this mistake I would have sold my house within 2 weeks, and that is to hold onto bank approved buyers like gold.

If your real estate agent tells you a buyer is bank approved that means they can make an offer right on the spot, whereas most buyers may still have to go talk to their bank yet.

In my case I had a buyer who was bank approved but was just under what I really wanted to get for the house.  As a result I didn’t take the deal and ended up waiting an entire year to get another offer.

When it comes down to it don’t be afraid to take an offer when it comes up.

8# Understand Your Buyers Motive

Then next thing to consider is what your buyers motive is.  Ask yourself why does that person want to buy your house.  Is it because of a job, the neighborhood, the school system.  In my case I was looking to sell my house so I could buy a house with more space.

By knowing your potential buyers motives you could use it to help you get your house sold.  For example,  if you know the buyer is looking for a bigger house you can try to open things up more showing that your house has a lot of extra space.

9# Offer Incentives

Another tactic I used to get buyers looking at my house was to offer incentives.  For example, when I was selling my house I offered to add the stove and deep freezer in with the deal at no extra cost.

By adding in the few extra appliances it sweetened the deal for those who still needed to buy the appliances yet, saving them a few bucks in the process.

So take some time and walk around your house and see what you could offer as an incentive to sell with your house.

10# Consider The Market

The last thing you want to consider is the market itself.  The market is probably the most important piece to this puzzle.  To start start looking at just how many houses are for sale in your town.

If a lot of houses are for sale you may have to be more willing to drop your price to get it sold.  However, their are hardly any houses for sale your town and the neighborhood you live in pretty nice you may want to stick to your guns and not drop your price much. Negotiation training may come in handy when selling a house as to secure top dollar.

This recently happened when my brother sold his house.  After doing some quick research he found his house was the only house for sale in town and it was a decent size house a lot of people were looking for.  On top of that he also found out that their were only a few lots for sale in town as well which means he had a pretty good sellers market.

So take some time and consider the current housing market in your area.  What kind of houses are more commonly being sold right now and what competitive edge can you bring to the table that others are not doing?

So what kind of tips do you have on how to sell your house fast?  Feel free to share your thoughts, comments, and tips below.

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12 Comments

  1. Staging the house is a great idea! I remember when I was looking for a home I liked the ones where they either still living in it or it at least looked like they did. The ones that weren’t kept up or completely empty just didn’t have that “feel” you want.

  2. I agree John a house that is being lived in can give a greater feel as to what it might be like when you live there. On top of that when I moved into my first house I was amazed at how many nail holes were in the wall after they took all of their pictures and decorations down.

  3. These are awesome tips, which we are going through right now. Since I plan on getting the house on the market at the end of this year or beginning of next, I am fixing many of the things and will be working on removing clutter soon. It is going to be a long process, but hopefully it will pay off.

  4. You’re defiantly right about that Grayson selling your house can really be a long and daunting process. I would of had my house sold in about 2 weeks but I turned the deal down. Thinking back on it I wish I would have taken the deal because the whole house mess would have been behind me. On the other hand I’m building a brand new house right now and I’m getting exactly what I want. Anyways I wish you the best of luck selling your house when you plan to do that.

  5. Thanks Chris, these are great points, we are getting ready to sell our house and will certainly take note of these tips!

  6. Thanks Jim I’m glad they helped. I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. That’s awesome Laurie. When my house was up for sale their were a lot of other houses on the market at the time and all them seem to be a bit nicer than mine, that was one problem. The other was that you had take at least 3 steps to get into the house which pretty much meant that anyone in their older years weren’t going to be interested. However I stuck to my guns an got is sold a year later. Thanks for the comment.

  8. When I sold my house a few years ago (during the “big recession”) I wasn’t very optimistic that it would sell. Surprisingly, it sold within the first month of being on the market because I spend time staging it, decluttering and fixing up the landscape. It’s amazing what a little clearing out can do! I also had a really good real estate agent, so with all those things combined, it was a relatively painless process. 🙂

  9. It’s amazing what all those little things can do to sell your house fast. On top of that having a great real estate agent makes a big difference as well especially one that has a lot of connections and will work with you to get your house on the market and push it out to the masses. On great thing about our real estate agent is that he would constantly run our house in the local paper as well so it wasn’t one of these deals were they just list it and forget about it. Thanks for the comment Carrie.

  10. We recently sold a house, reaching a sales agreement within a week, for full price. We were in an older small house, but found via the local real estate listings & zillow that move-in ready homes in our price range were nonexistent. Browsing comparable listings really helped us figure out what we could do to help the sale. I also recommend watching the house-buying and home renovation TV shows as a good way to see what people are probably looking for.

    We made ours move-in ready with a little paint & very simple added landscaping touches (some flowering plants around the front entry & keeping leaves swept up). The nook for the fridge fit ours exactly, but new ones are generally larger, so we included the fridge with the house. We did some really deep cleaning throughout. We went ahead and packed up a lot of our stuff & put it into storage, and got some more modern inexpensive art prints, fresh towels, etc. When we had updated the kitchen a few years back we intentionally put in one lower cabinet that could be easily removed to add a dishwasher (which we didn’t want).

    Our best move was that we also interviewed a couple of agents & found one who was a local motivated salesman (as opposed to someone doing the job because they love houses) whose other listings showed us he knew how to take the photos and write up a place. He actually usually works as a buyer’s agent, which turned out to our advantage because he looked at the house from the buyer’s perspective. We went ahead with one fairly costly upgrade at his advice (instead of our plan to use it as a bargaining chip) and recouped double what we had to pay out. We took care of all the little details before even contacting the agent or allowing him to post the listing, so people were seeing the final product.

    We also strategically set our asking price (which was higher than we’d dreamed we’d be able to actually sell for) so the house would be in the correct range our potential buyers would probably search for online – at the high end of a lower range rather than just over that range. We also wanted to be competing with lesser houses, not better ones.

  11. It’s amazing what a little work can do to spruce up a house. It can be a lot of work to get a house on the market with all the cleaning but it seems the work paid off since you got it sold within a week. Thanks for the comment Ellen.

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