It's a question that all sellers ask, yet, many are still searching for answers. At one time, houses flew off the market but today's market conditions have changed.
With the flood of foreclosures, short sales, and excess inventory, some houses sit for a long time on the market. It could take years to move some of those properties and see the excess supply diminish.
However, if you take action and you have a plan, there's a good chance that your home will sell faster.
The first important action step is to bring in the most qualified expert to help. Finding the best agent to guide you through the real estate transaction can be the difference between a real estate dream or nightmare.
Make your home stand out. In a sea of homes for sale, you have to highlight and advertise what makes your home stand out. The upgrades, the location, the amenities, the curb appeal, the well-maintained landscape, the outdoor living space you've created, the "aging-in-place" remodeling you've done... you get the picture.
Take a pad of paper or your iPad and do a walk-through of your home. Look for all the things that a buyer would see as a benefit and list them. When you meet with your agent share these details. Your agent will be able to tell you which features are most important to highlight.
Get real on your pricing. It's hard to deal with this next action step but it's among the most important. Let your agent guide you to the right pricing. I've written columns in the past about how pricing a home too high and how it is a painful, humbling lesson. Your home will sit on the market and, in many cases, not even get walk-throughs, if it's not properly priced.
A qualified, experienced agent, studies the market and understands realistic pricing. The agent isn't emotionally vested in the price and therefore can help you compare your home to others that have sold or are currently on the market so that you can see how your home should be properly priced.
Then when an offer comes in be sure to give careful consideration to it. If it's reasonable take it. If the home is priced right, you will see offers come in and you must be ready to take action.
Depersonalize and declutter. You must realize when you're selling your home, that buyers want to see the home as their own. That's really hard to do when you have your personal mark all over it. Sellers often say, "But I live here." Yes, that's true, but you're now trying to sell the home.
So, pack up your personal belongings and declutter the areas so that the true value of your home can be seen. The rooms will look larger. Buyers will appreciate being able to see each room without getting lost in your pictures, memorabilia, and other stuff.
Also, some items that sellers have in their home might actually offend the buyer, such as game hanging on the walls. Professional stagers or agents, who also have a staging background, can help you easily decide which things should stay and which must go.
In the end, a little inconvenience for a faster sale is really worth it. Take the action steps needed, make your home stand out, and sell your home faster, even in a market that's saturated with homes for sale.