24/7 Wall St. recently asked real estate experts and several real estate organizations to weigh in on how sellers can get their house sold at the best price and in the shortest amount of time.
Here’s what they had to say as some of the best ways to get the “sold” sign out this spring:
- Pay attention to “curb appeal”: First impressions are critical, and homes with inviting landscapes and exteriors tend to sell better, agents say. Pay attention that the driveway is in good condition, lawn well-kept, and the house looks freshly painted.
- Set the right price: Real estate professionals know how to set the price and prepare a home for sale. Agents use comparable sales of homes sold in the last 60 days to help set the most realistic price for the sales price of a home. By setting a realistic price from the beginning, sellers should be reminded that this will prevent having to drop the price of the home several times before getting it sold and having it linger on the market. If no recent comps are available, some experts recommended sellers get an appraisal, which will also offer a realistic price that the bank may be willing to take when a buyer tries to qualify for financing the home.
- Talk about energy efficiency: Many buyers don’t fully understand “green” homes but they understand savings. Sellers should point out any features in their homes — such as energy-efficient windows or appliances — that could save buyers money with utility costs.
- Give the home Web appeal: Good photographs make a home stand-out online and help lure more potential buyers to the front door. Realtor.com says that more than 6,300 photos are viewed per minute on listings posted at its site.
- Make it move-in ready: Fix any needed repairs, such as water stains, creaky doors, and windows that don’t shut. Flaws in the home — even if relatively minor — can distract buyers, and should be fixed before the home is even listed. Some agents recommend that sellers get a home inspection prior to putting the home up for sale, which can help sellers be proactive in identifying any potential problems that could potentially derail a sale later on. Once a problem is uncovered, sellers are obligated to disclose it or fix it.