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.
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
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 I had an outdated lighting fixture all the years I had lived there.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
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.
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
More by this Author
Proper Face-to-face communication is an important social skill. Clear and precise communication is necessary for success in many human endeavors.
I discuss how the Homestead Act can be used to relocate people to safer areas, after a natural disaster, instead of rebuilding in high-risk areas.
Are you feeling overwhelmed with too much work? Here's how I talked to my boss about it, with positive results.