Sell Your Home Best Price Shortest Amount Of Time

Dated: 01/11/2018

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Most homeowners about to put their place on the market are most concerned with two things: getting a good price and unloading their property as quickly as possible. After all, time is money, right? The last thing you want is for your home to sit on the market for months without any viable offers.

Below are six shortcuts you can take to make selling your house easier and faster. None of 'em will break the bank. In fact, some of these efforts don't require any cash at all.

1. Shrink your staging costs

Staging your home, which entails hiring a decorator to make your house aesthetically appealing to a prospective buyer, usually pays off big-time. On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20%more than unstaged ones. But staging can be expensive.

Stagers typically charge $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per room. Most professional stagers also require a three-month minimum contract, even if you sell the home in 24 hours, says real estate professional Crystal Leigh Hemphill.

So, if you were sellinga 2,000-square-foot home, staging itcould cost you over $7,000—ouch!

If you’re on a budget, there’s a cheaper alternative.Virtual stagingis a service where tech-savvy professionals take photos of empty (or poorly furnished) rooms and then use photo-editing software to add pretty couches, tables, and other furnishings. These doctored photos can make your online listing more appealing to home buyers. The best part? Virtual staging costs only around $100 per room—and there’s no extra charge per month, becauseyou’re not renting furniture.

Whether you opt for real or virtual staging, make sure you don’t overlook the foyer, because80% of prospective buyers said they know if a home is right for them within seconds of stepping inside, a recentsurvey by BMO Financial Groupfound.

2. Boost curb appeal

Home buyers form their first impression whenthey pull up to your house. It’s no surprise, then, thatcurb appeal—how your home looks fromthe outside—can boost your property'ssales value by up to 17%, aTexas Tech University study found. Yes, primping your home'sexterior can set you back, moneywise. For example, professional landscaping (which can include installing a stone walkway, planters, shrubs, and trees) costs anaverage $3,219, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

To cut costs, you can opt for a less-intensive standard lawn care treatment—including six applications of fertilizer and weed control—which costs on average $330 but yields a whopping 303% return, according to the National Association of Realtors®2016 Remodeling Impact Report. Or roll up your sleeves and tend to the front yard with your own two hands. (Pro tip: Many cities offer free mulch to residents, says Sarah Hutchinson of LandscapingNetwork.com.)

3. Forget about snail mail marketing

While somereal estate agentsstill recommendsellers send mailers to people in the community to announce their new listing, direct mail costs money. A free alternative is social media marketing—promoting your listing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.You couldeven create a Twitter account for your house likethissavvy real estate agent in a Chicago suburb.

To increase how many shares your listing gets, includea video tour, floor plan, andprofessional photoswith your listing.

4. Brightenup the living space

No buyer wants to walk into a dark, dreary house. Fortunately, there are several low-cost ways you canimprovethe lighting in your home. Wall mirrors amplify light, so install a few throughout the home (for example, over the fireplace, behind the dining table, in the master bedroom). Swapping out lightbulbs for ones with higher lumens can also "up the intensity of light in the room,” says New York CitydesignerJack Menashe. And make sure you remove or push aside heavy drapery in order to let in more natural light.

5. Promote energy-efficient upgrades

Making your home more energy-efficient—say, by insulating the attic,installing a programmable thermostat, or weatherstripping doors and windows—can be a huge selling point to home buyers. After all, a typical American family spends nearly $2,000 ayear on their home energy bills, according to Energy.gov; much of that money, however, is wasted on air leaks and drafts.

So, if your home’s energy bills are considerably low, you can provide prospective buyers with anenergy audit—a $200 to $400 report from a professional that shows just how energy-efficient your home is. In fact, home buyers are willing to pay more for a home that has lower utility costs; on average, they’ll shell outan additional $10,732 upfront to save $1,000 a year in utilities, the National Association of Home Builders reports.That mightexplain why 94% of home buyers recently surveyed by NAHB said they want Energy Star–rated appliances.

6. Build buzz in advance

You need to doeverything you can to get people talking about your house before it hits the market. This includes promoting your home on all your social media channels, sendinga mass email to your network, and knocking on neighbors’ doors. Another clever way to build buzz is to have agarage sale, where you can drum up interestandsell some of your old "junk." (Bonus: Clearing out your housewill make it easier for you to move later.)

Meanwhile, your real estate agent should be spreading the word that your home is coming on the market soon to clients, investors, developers, and other agents. Who knows—you might even receive an offer before your scheduled listing date and avoid the hassle of putting your house on the market altogether.


Karen Zaczkowski sells Real Estate in the South Denver Metro Colorado area, including the cities of Centennial, Littleton, Englewood, Cherry Hills, Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, Parker and Aurora.

Help her help you with all your Real Estate needs, contact Karen today at Karen@exitrealtycherrycreek.com or 303-961-5246 or visit her website exitkaren.com

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Karen Zaczkowski

Karen is an award winning full time Realtor who has been making her clients dreams a reality since 2000. She has worked with and learned from some of the industry’s top agents and couches to enhance....

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