A Personal Story of How I Sold My Home Really Fast

I learned from my Realtor the trick to selling a home quickly only involves a few inexpensive improvements. Here's my personal story of my experience.
My home that I sold.
My home that I sold. | Source

When I recently sold my home, I followed the guidance of my Realtor who pointed out minor upgrades that I should do. These simple and quick changes helped me sell my house really fast.

Homebuyers are always looking for a nice clean place where it's obvious that it has been taken care of over the years.

When selling your home, keep in mind that buyers want a move-in condition so they don’t have a lot of work to do right away.

Buyers want to be sure that nothing is going to break after they move in. They are willing to pay a premium when they see that the value is there, and they will want to reach an agreement fast before someone else beats them to it.

This is a personal account of each step I took towards successfully selling my home. I wanted to be successful with a fast sale before prices dropped any further in the down market that began in 2008. So I was very willing to follow my Realtor's advice.

Inexpensive Upgrades and Improvements that Increase Home Value

Update Lighting Fixtures

Lighting Fixtures are the first things people notice. And they are inexpensive to replace.
Lighting Fixtures are the first things people notice. And they are inexpensive to replace. | Source

The first thing my Realtor told me to do was to replace the chandelier in my dining room. She explained that a good-looking replacement is not expensive, and the investment for this would help attract buyers.

I knew she was right. I had an outdated lighting fixture all the years I had lived there.

I found a beautiful and expensive-looking chandelier at Home Depot for only $350 and installed it that same day. I didn’t want to wait for anything. I knew my Realtor was ready to start showing the house. Looks great, doesn't it?

Paint all Neutral Colors

One bedroom in my house had blue walls. My realtor told me to repaint it with neutral colors.

So once again, I listened to her and quickly painted it. I used Linen White for the walls and Dove White for the trim. Simple. Anyway, that’s what I had used throughout the rest of the house. So it was a no-brainer, and now it all matches.

I knew it worked since neutral colors make it easy to furnish a home. You never have to worry about mismatching furniture colors with the rest of a room.

I painted it myself at a cost of around $100 for the paint and supplies.

Getting Rid of Old and Shabby Things

My breakfast-area with an open view, now that the shabby shades are gone.
My breakfast-area with an open view, now that the shabby shades are gone. | Source

I had some shades on the windows in my kitchen breakfast-area that had yellowed over the years.

My Realtor explained that no shades are better than worn shades to show the house well. It made the room brighter, while eliminating the eyesore of the old shades.

She was right-on with that suggestion too, as you can see in the picture above. I wish I had removed the old shabby shades years ago. I would have enjoyed many years of a nicer open view of the yard.

There was no need for shades there anyway since it was the rear of the house and I had a secluded yard.

Maintenance Prior to a Sale Pays Off

Besides the few things my Realtor asked me to do, I had always taken very good care of everything. Throughout the years I had maintained the heating and electric systems; made minor repairs to keep up with normal wear and tear; and replaced the roof.

I even bought a new dishwasher and refrigerator shortly before selling the house. The cost of these things really comes back when selling the house.

Responding Positively to a Buyer's Requests

Due to the fact that I had a well maintained home, and also made the minor adjustments that my Realtor brought to my attention, I found it was easy when I decided to sell.

I quickly had several offers and had accepted one of them. Along with the offers, there were always requests included. People would make an offer contingent on my performing certain tasks to fix things that are important to them.

I recognized the feeling behind it and had no problem as long as they were reasonable requests. I know, I made similar requests when I looked for a new home.

As an example, my buyer asked me to replace three windows that were hazy. They could never be cleaned since the haze was between the panes. Taking care of that was a no-brainer to sell the house.

A local glazier gave me a very reasonable quote that he promised to honor at a later date, since I had to wait until I knew the buyer was ready to move forward. Of course I got that in writing.

How Long Was My House On the Market?

I had a signed contract in three weeks.

Homebuyers look for a nice clean place that has been taken care of over the years.
Homebuyers look for a nice clean place that has been taken care of over the years. | Source

There are so many homes on the market that are in poor shape that buyers are willing to spend more money when they find a gem. Homebuyers look for a nice clean place that has been taken care of over the years.

Some might say I was lucky in this economy. But as a businessman I know what works to appeal to buyers: Give them what they want.

Little things that the buyer requested were a no-brainer. If it didn't cost much I realized I may as well do it, to hook the buyer into a purchase.

Due to the fact that I priced it right and had listened to my Realtor about the upgrades, I had a signed contract in three weeks.

When the buyer had their mortgage approved, we closed with the sale and the purchase of my new home on the same day three months later.

© 2013 Glenn Stok

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Comments 14 comments

Rock_nj profile image

Rock_nj 2 years ago from New Jersey

Good advice Glenn, and definitely useful information for anyone looking to sell their home. The small and relatively inexpensive fixes can make a big difference when it comes time to sell a home.

I did something similar in 2010 when I sold my townhouse. I knew in the real estate market at that time I would not get top dollar, so instead I focused on upgrading the kitchen and the furnace, and painting walls that needed fresh paint, so I could sell it quickly. It is a similar story as yours. Within 3 weeks, I had a buyer and was able to move on to my new home when the deal closed a couple of months later.

Other townhouses in the area that were in poor condition sat on the market for years. When it comes down to it, buyers realize that they may pay $20 to $50 more per month on their mortgage for a home that is in move-in condition. However, it is a small price to pay to move into a home that doesn't need a lot of work. Renovating a home is not much fun, especially when you first move in and just want to enjoy your new home.

Voted Up and Shared!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 2 years ago from UK

We're hoping to move house soon - if we can find a place we want to move to that is! We've been repainting and tidying and dong minor repairs and your suggestions regarding light fittings and shabby things will now be next on our list. Thank you!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Rock_nj - Yes, your experience sounds very similar. It goes to show that anyone who puts their attention to these simple upgrades can reap the rewards with a quick sale and a higher sales price. Thanks for your comment and for sharing.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Melovy - I'm glad I was able to help with those suggestions to include in your list of things to do before selling your home. As I learned from doing it, it really pays off well. Best of luck to you with your move. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

This is such a cute house and it does indeed look like it was taken good care of over the years -- I would buy it!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Efficient Admin - Thanks for your kind comments.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Great article! You not only told us how but showed us. Great presentation and also a teaching tool. Voted Up!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

MsDora - That was indeed my plan - to show by example. I find your feedback helpful, knowing that I succeeded. Thanks for your comment.

CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

These are really great tips and ideas. In my neighborhood currently, there are two houses that have been for sale for the past year. This used to be a very popular neighborhood. It's definitely a buyer's market and with right reasons, buyers are picky. The homes that are for sale have the original carpets and very little upgrades from the 1950s. With a little effort, paint, new appliances and a good outdoor cleaning these homes would stand out and may sell quicker.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

CraftytotheCore - Those houses might sell better if the owners upgraded a few things. As you said, easy things like painting and making the outdoors more presentable go a long way to attracting buyers. Thanks for your comment.

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Glenn - You made good choices in your updates for your home. The house shines with the updates and colors. Your idea to use the realtor with her expertise were wise decisions. We sold a home once in three days. It makes you feel like a new expert in the field. Your ideas should assist others in selling their own homes. Blessings, Audrey

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

brakel2 - Thanks, Audrey, for your comment on my success with selling my home so quick. Sounds like you did similar things since you sold your home in three days. When I tell friends what they need to do to sell their home fast, some of them don't want to bother and they end up getting a lot less money for it. I guess that's their choice!

Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 17 months ago

Location, location, location!

These are good general tips for metropolitan areas,but in a rural area with many homes on the market, I'm finding it difficult to sell mine. It definitely is a buyers market and they want everything, for very little money! LOL

Good news on selling your house Glen!

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 17 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

Stacie - No doubt "Location, location, location" is the key to value, and being presently a buyers market does make it difficult. I wish you luck selling your home.

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