How To Sell Your House Fast

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 09 May 2018 11:55
Choose right realtor Choose right realtor

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I want to show you how to sell your house fast. This article will explain pricing strategies, how to prepare your home for showings, should you have your home pre-appraised, how to find the right real estate agent, and even how to sell by owner.

Wondering what the value of your home is? Get your 

There are 4 components that must work together to get any home sold in any market.  Those factors are PRICE, CONDITION, LOCATION, AND MARKETING. All four are not "created equal" as we will see.

The Price is Right

seller in love with house


The primary factor in selling your home is price.  Who determines if the price is right? Would it surprise you to learn that it is the buyer? In order to sell a house, it must be priced to meet the buyer's criteria. How do buyers come up with the price range that they might be willing to pay?  They shop and compare.  So, we have to think like those buyers.

The first thing you will need to determine the right asking price is a comparative market analysis.  We have to look at houses with similar amenities, size and location that have recently SOLD, those currently on the market, and those that were marketed for sale that did NOT sell.  If a house sold, we know a Buyer and Seller agreed to that price for that home.  Those currently on the market will be your competition, and those that did not sell were priced too high for what they were offering.

BLINDED BY LOVE Sellers often overestimate

the value of their homes for emotional reasons.
Sol Linero

The "Goldilocks Effect"

We all know the story of The Three Bears and the very discriminating Goldilocks. Too big, too small, "just right." Too hot, too cold, "just right." Your home needs to be priced "just right" in order to get the most potential buyers interested. Thanks to the internet and HGTV, today's buyers are pretty savvy when it comes to pricing. Take a look at the chart below. We can see that overpricing will drive away potential buyers before they even view the home.

asking price to property appeal

Another important strategy for pricing your home is to always price it in terms of round numbers. Never list for $xxx,900 or $xxx,999. People don't search for homes that way! If you are looking for a $200.000 home and the home is listed for $199,900 or $199,999, guess what. They aren't going to find your home even though you are basically asking $200,000.

The National Association of Realtors® compiled a short list of tips for correctly pricing your home.

Tips for pricing your home

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact me.

Setting the Stage

In today's market, we are in a pricing war and a beauty contest.  When a buyer walks through your home, they are looking for any reason they can to offer you less than what you are asking. Staging will help you overcome those objections before they ever see them.

You need to maximize that beauty of your home so that you stand apart from your competition. "Paint in a can is worth $100.  Paint on the walls can be worth $1,000's of dollars." The colors you choose can have an effect on how people feel when they enter the home.

Choosing neutral colors in lighter shades will make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves in the home. In the past, everyone painted their walls white. Then we moved to off-white and beige. For 2017, gray is the new beige. By the way, if you have wallpaper that is outdated, be sure to remove it. NEVER paint over wallpaper.


Top 3 Colors


Here's a great article by Tori Toth, home staging expert, author of Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell,  Founder of The Stage 2 Sell Strategy, and Owner of Stylish Stagers, Inc. a NYC based home staging company.

She answers many questions sellers have about how to make their home stand out in their market.

Article "How to Stage a Home to Sell"




Another big piece of the staging puzzle is cleaning. Make sure to give your home a thorough, deep cleaning before you have photos taken and begin showings. Nothing makes a buyer want to run through the showing more than unpleasant odors. I'm sure you've seen the commercials about being "nose blind" to odors in your environment. It happens to all of us. So, even if you don't notice any odors lurking, others might.

De-clutter and depersonalize. Closets should be half full, not overflowing. Too much furniture in a room can make it feel small. It may be necessary to rent a storage unit or a "POD" storage for those things you don't need right away. Remove all photos of your family. Your goal is to make it easier for the next homeowner to see their family living in the home.

Once you have staged your home, it's important to keep it looking sharp for showings.Here's a quick video to help you get ready for those last minute showings.

The Real Estate Staging Association, recently released their 2016 Home Staging Statistics Report, based on home staging statistics self-reported by professional home stagers nationally. Homes staged before listing sell 90% faster than homes listed on the MLS unstaged. Unstaged homes spent an average of 184 Days On Market (DOM). That’s more than 6 months! Yikes! Once those same homes were staged, they sold, on average, in 41 days. However, homes that were staged prior to listing sold, on average in 23 days!

Choose the Right Agent

How do you choose the right agent to sell your home fast? For most of us, buying and selling our home is the biggest financial transaction of our lives. Finding a skilled, well trained, and honest agent to represent you is of the utmost importance.

In today's world, consumers have many ways available to them to learn about agents. Probably the best way to find out what an agent has to offer you is by interviewing them. It may seem obvious, but many people don't take the time to do it.

Here are some questions you may want to ask your agent before signing a Listing Agreement:

  • * Do you have a marketing plan for my house?
    • Most agents do the "3 P's" of marketing. They Put it in the multiple listing database, the Place a sign in the yard, and they Pray that someone comes along to buy it. Ask them if they do the 4th "P", Prospecting. If they don't do all 4 P's, they're not the right agent.
  • *Do you work full-time?
    • A full-time agent is likely to give you more time and attention than a part-time agent. A part-time agent may not be the right agent for you.
      • * How will you communicate with me?
        • According to the National Association of Realtors, the biggest complaint that sellers have is that they don't hear anything from their agent. Once the Listing Agreement is signed, they disappear and become "Secret Agents." If they don't have a plan to keep you informed, they're not the right agent.
      • Is your Real Estate License in good standing?
      • * Do you have any client complaints against you?
        • There are websites to check an agent's license. Ask the agent to provide it to you.
      • * Can you provide me with references who are not relatives?
        • Talking to past clients is a great way to find out if the agent will do what they are telling you they will do.
      • * Can you help me with staging my home?
        • You are in a pricing war and a beauty contest when it comes to marketing your home. The right agent will be able to help you with making your home look it's very best.
      • * Who takes the photos of my home?
        • Does the agent come in with their cell phone and snap some pics? You only have one chance to make a first impression. This is especially true online. Home buyers look at pictures! If your pictures are blurry or poorly lit don't expect to get many showings. You've worked hard to get the house ready to show. The right agent will hire a professional to take photos that will showcase your home in its best light.
      • * What documents do I need to sign?
        • These should include, of course, the listing agreement and sales contract. If the listing agreement does not have a cancellation clause, ask if you can cancel if you are unhappy with the services. If you have the free right to cancel, the length of the listing agreement does not matter much. Read all documents and ask questions if you don't understand anything.
      • * Do you have a website and/or blog?
        • Virtually all agents have a website. Visit it to get a sense of the agent and the brand. Not many agents have blogs so don't hold it against them. But if they do have a blog, visit and read their posts and comments. In my (biased) opinion, you will get enormous insights into the agent's personality & local expertise, among other things.
      • What past clients have to say about Teresa:

        Thank you so much Teresa Litz for all your help finding me a house and finding it so fast. Doing it on my own was scary enough but having all you help made it so much easier. Couldn’t of asked for a better realtor. Kate T.

        Please know we highly recommend you! Putting us in touch with all the right people and being such a good communicator is a winning combination. Your expertise had everything go so quickly and smoothly for us. We never expected the transition to go so easily. We truly appreciated having you as our realtor and just wanted to say, "Thank you Teresa"! Hubert and Cynthia K.

        The office as well as my agent Teresa Litz did a great job helping me in purchasing my first home. Thank you Teresa. Darnell C.

        You might also like Questions To Ask When Choosing a Realtor - Realtor Magazine.

        To set up an interview with Teresa, call or text 302-353-9032. If you want to send me a message, click here.

        Should You Have Your Home Inspected and/or Appraised?

        Selling a home is really a series of milestones that have to be completed. You and your agent will do a lot of hard work to get your home to market. Pricing it right, getting it looking its best, and marketing it to potential buyers are just the beginning. There are two milestones that can make or break the deal. One is the Home Inspection and the other is the Appraisal.

        What's the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal?

        Simply put, the home inspection concerns the house's systems while an appraisal concerns the house's value. Of course, the condition of the home affects the home's value so doing repairs will definitely help you get a good appraisal.

        Here in Delaware, buyers want a home inspection performed (usually at their expense) and then the seller is asked to perform necessary repairs. Getting a pre-inspection can save you, as the seller, a lot of heartache down the road. Finding a major defect can derail a sale if the seller is unprepared to complete the repair.

        Choosing an Appraiser

        When having your own appraisal done, you get to choose the person who will perform it. In Delaware, all appraisers are licensed.  The Council of Real Estate Appraisers website can provide information about licensed appraisers. When choosing an appraiser, it is important to choose a local appraiser. A local appraiser will be familiar with conditions in your market  Click here to find a local appraiser.

        Prep the House

        Make list of all the problems with the house and fix as many as you can afford. Some of those items may include:

      woman fixing faucet
      •                       *Stained carpets
      •                       *Loose woodwork
      •                       *Torn window screens
      •                       *Chipped paint on the walls or loose wallpaper
      •                       *Faulty locks and broken hinges
      •                       *Faulty heating and/or cooling system
      •                       *Faulty appliances
      •                                                                                            *Leaky roof
      • Once all of the repairs are completed, give the home a thorough deep cleaning. A dirty and/or cluttered house suggests that there may be other problems with the home. Wipe down all surfaces inside the home, including windows and doors. Make sure to clean up the garage and yard as well. De-cluttering makes rooms look larger. Get rid of things you no longer need. Consider a storage unit for things you want to keep.


Talk to the Appraiser

Share any information you may have about other homes in the area that have recently sold. For example, if your neighbors were going through a divorce and lowered the price for a quick sale, the appraiser may not be aware of that information. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions.

Here are some benefits of having your home inspected and appraised:

  • Get higher offers - a pre-home inspectionand home appraisal will lead to higher offers. The buyer knows the home has been recently inspected for termites, repairs, and problems. This also makes you more honest as a seller (in the mind of the buyer) because you will have a report for them regarding the findings of the inspection and appraisal. This gives them a sense that they are getting exactly what you say you are selling, and they do not feel you can be dishonest in such circumstances. This often leads to higher offers due to the fact that buyers believe what you are saying more since there is an appraiser’s signature to back it up.
  • Get more offers - Just as doing a pre-inspection and appraisal leads to higher offers, it can also often lead to MORE offers. As word spreads that you have had the home inspected, repaired, and appraised, it will increase the number of people who are interested in your home. This is why you will want to place this in a prominent location in your ad once you have had this process completed, so that people will know that you have taken the extra steps to ensure that your home is up to par before listing it.  This will also lead people to trust you more and that leads to more offers too.
  • Smoother closing process - The ultimate goal is to get to closing. You can do all of the work to get the home under contract and have the deal fall apart at the last minute because of problems with the home inspection or appraisal. Having the home appraised and inspected eliminates the element of surprise.
  • Give potential buyers the whole picture - The appraisal gives them the market value according to a certified appraiser, and the home inspection ensures the buyer that the home has been checked out from the inside out and meets up to standards. Both of these pieces of the puzzle are important as you prepare to put your home on the market.  These two together, along with a record of whatever repairs or additions you have done, will add greatly to the value of your home and increase the likelihood of closing the sale with buyers in the final analysis.

    Nothing is guaranteed, but getting your home inspected and appraised puts you head and shoulders above the crowd in terms of presenting your home and yourself with the highest standards and allowing potential buyers to feel that they are getting a straightforward approach to your real estate offerings.


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Teresa Litz

Teresa Litz enjoys helping people and what better way to accomplish that than to assist them in finding the perfect home. Customer service is her first and highest priority. Teresa doesn’t believe in high pressure sales tactics. She DOES believe that honesty and integrity are the best policies and she will give you the best experience possible and offer my expertise at every step of the way. Teresa is constantly aware of today’s market and loves working with buyers and sellers. Teresa has been a Delaware resident since 1985 and loves the small town atmosphere of Dover. Her past work experience includes secretarial positions, lab technician, and owning her own decorating business. Teresa says, "I’m an animal lover. I have 2 cats, Tara and Kisses. Both of them are 'rescues', not from the shelter, but from less than desirable situations. And I have 2 grand-dogs named Shelby and Chloe. My 'happy place' is anywhere that involves water. I love the ocean, boating, and swimming. When I 'grow up' I want to live somewhere tropical and be a beach bum."

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