Improving Selling Time for Your Home

How to Improve Your Selling Time

What factors influence the time it takes to find a buyer?

     When listing your home for sale, ask your Realtor® for the average sale time for homes in your neighborhood.  Let’s say the average for your area is 120 days.  What can be done to speed up the time it takes to attract a buyer?  The answer is “plenty.”  There are really three main factors that affect the actual marketing time on a home:

  • price

  • condition

  • terms

     Price is probably the biggest factor.  If the condition of your home is equal to others currently for sale in your area, and you’re offering comparable terms, you can expect that it will sell in about the average amount of time your Realtor® gives you.  If you want or need it sell it more quickly, you may want to consider adjusting your price downward slightly to present “a better value” to a buyer.  Buyers do some comparison shopping before deciding and they will perceive greater value in your home if it is priced even just slightly below the price suggested by a Comparative Market Analysis.

     Terms offered are another factor which may be adjusted to attract buyers.  If your home is priced at its “market value”, consider offering to pay a portion of the buyer’s closing costs.  Another option might be to make sure it will qualify for FHA or VA financing, even if that requires you to make minor changes or improvements.  By doing so, you will reduce the amount of down payment a buyer will have to make and attract more first-time buyers.  Your Realtor® can suggest other “terms” which may also help attract buyers in your specific locale or even a whole new group of potential buyers.

     The Condition of your home alone can sometimes prompt a fast buying decision from an anxious prospective buyer, concerned that it may be “snapped up” because it is so desirable.  Consider investing in attractive and currently popular upgrades and cosmetic improvements before putting it on the market.  A good place to start is the outside; its “curb appeal” — a fresh coat of paint, a flawless roof and some neat landscaping can do wonders.

     Inside your home, the biggest payoff is often in the kitchen and baths.  Consider replacing “tired looking” kitchen appliances, flooring and countertops.  Make the baths extra attractive with modern wallpaper, a new countertop or tile flooring.  Scrub the tub and shower stall until they sparkle.  A home that sparkles displays the previous owner’s pride of ownership. That alone can instill confidence in a prospective buyer and trigger a quick sale.

     The key, then, to a shorter selling time on your home is to offer a unique set of benefits to your prospective buyers.  While Price, Condition and Terms are not the only factors, they are surely among the most important factors.  Ask your Realtor® for advice if a quicker than average sale is your goal.

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