By Susan Jones – Ask Susan
In a declining housing market where supply outshines demand, an individual can generally sell a house faster by reducing the price. However, there are other ways to improve a property’s attractiveness besides lowering the asking price. Here are tips to sell your house quickly in a difficult housing market.
Choose your target market
It’s only natural that any prospective buyer will want to picture himself or herself living in your house before they make an offer. The first step therefore to sell your house quickly is to consider your target market. For instance, if you think a young family would be ideal, clear out the spare room of any junk and maybe consider putting a bed in it so potential buyers can think of it as a children’s bedroom.
Conversely, if you think a professional couple would be most interested in your property, it’s advisable that you turn a spare bedroom into an office.
Get the pricing right
Today’s buyers are well informed about the comparable sales in the area, which greatly influence the fair market price of your house. Buyers also know that they are in control of the entire process. To make your property competitive, get the sale prices of the three most similar properties that have sold in your region in the last month or so, and then try to go ten of fifteen per cent below that when you set your house’s list price. The properties that look like a great deal are the ones that get the most visits from potential buyers and, on occasion even receive several offers.
If your house is worth about 130,000 pounds and you spend 19,000 pounds to renovate the kitchen. Several individuals mistakenly believe that the house is now worth 149,000 pounds. That’s very wrong.
While a renovation certainly adds some value to your property, it’s like purchasing a new car that depreciates in value the moment you drive it off the trader’s compound. So, while it’s important to make some small upgrades, such as replacing the kitchen sink faucet or updating an old water heater, it’s recommended that you avoid any major remodels. If you have an out-dated bathroom or kitchen, you will generally come out ahead by discounting the asking price, so a buyer can choose his/her own finishes.
Depersonalise your house
The best way to get your house ready to show potential buyers is to depersonalise it by removing family photos, quirky art and collectibles. Your goal is to create an attractive space that allows prospective buyers to picture their own family in the home- not yours. Make your house like a clean, welcoming, empty canvas that any potential buyer can visually paint their own dreams upon.
Bright colours, like reds, oranges and pinks are usually personal and buyers will be put-off if they think they have to refurbish the whole property as soon as they move in whereas most individuals can live with neutral colours.
The Bottom Line
Selling a house quickly in a difficult housing market requires a little extra work. Do everything you can to get your house in perfect condition and be prepared to make some necessary discounts at closing.