4 Ways to Sell Your Home Faster

Looking to sell your home in a hurry? A quick closing may be right around the corner if you follow these tips.

1. Target What Buyers Desire
While buyers’ first priority continues to be location, house hunters may be willing to pay more and make an offer quicker if a home has the right amenities. The key to a faster sale may not be adding the features buyers are looking for, but marketing the features buyers desire that your home already has.

2. Let Your Price Do the Work
Setting the right price can have a significant impact on how quickly you sell your home and is one of the biggest decisions in the selling process. Something as simple as whether you set your price at a round number ($300,000, for example) or an odd price ($299,999) can affect whether or not your home appears in a buyer’s search as well as having a psychological impact. A few simple steps for smart pricing can help you appear in more home searches and help you market your home.

3. Get Ahead of Negotiations
Are buyers responding to your big yard with concern about maintenance? Does the square footage of your home mean lots of time cleaning for any buyer? Instead of letting this be a pain point, be a savvy negotiator and consider offering up landscaping or cleaning services for the year to move the sale along quicker.

4. Always Be Ready to Close
Don’t wait until you’ve received an offer to begin finding the professionals and forms you’ll need to seal the deal. Having a real estate attorney and closing company chosen and at the ready can help speed up the closing process. Compiling all of the real estate forms you need from deeds to contracts will allow you to be ready for closing at any time.


5 Key Questions Home Buyers Forget to Ask

There’s more to a home than the specs and listing details. Whether you work with an agent or talk directly to the owner, knowing the answers to these questions before you make an offer will help you evaluate properties and get to closing faster.

1. “What are the neighbors like?”
Are your neighbors friendly? Are they mostly retired? Are they young with a love of partying late into the night? Knowing if you’re joining a tight-knit community of people in the same stage of life as you or if your neighbors are solitary members of a different generation is just one important step in evaluating your neighborhood.

2. “Why are you moving?”
Asking the home seller why they are moving may give you a better idea of the area. They may tell you that they’re looking to relocate closer to work or that they’ve been offered a new job in a new location. While it’s unlikely that the seller will disclose that their move is due to poor schools or an unsafe community, asking this question can help you read between the lines and determine if you should continue your search for homes.

3. “On average, how much are the utility bills?”
You’ll want to have an idea of how much more (or less) you can expect to budget for your electric, gas and water. If you plan on updating the house after you buy, you might be able to cut your monthly budget with energy efficient home improvements that are eligible for a tax credit.

4. “How old are the appliances?”
Knowing the age of appliances will help you determine if you’re at a greater risk for flood damage due to the failure of an old water heater, dishwasher or washing machine. You may want to purchase a home warranty to cover repair or replacement of the appliances if they break down after you buy the home.

5. “What is your timeline?”
It can be easy to get swept up in a buying frenzy, especially if there are multiple competitive offers for the home. If you aren’t prepared to move quickly on a sale you may be unable to secure a mortgage or may end up with two mortgages while you wait for your home to sell. Knowing a seller’s timeline can give you time to figure out how to clean up your credit, sell your home, or budget for a quick sale.

These basic questions are an important part of purchasing a home. Do you have the tools, tips and checklists to successfully buy a home directly from the owner?


Location Close to Public Transportation Can Help Sell Your Home

Thomas Nyle hasn’t owned a car in seven years. “Not since I was 28,” says Nyle, a computer programmer who specializes in academic material. “I was living in Manhattan in 2007, and I could take the subway everywhere I needed to go. And when I didn’t want to ride the subway say it was really late or the weather was really bad I’d take a cab.”

Although he was renting at the time, Nyle said he made the decision to eventually buy a place that had access to public transportation. “I realized I really didn’t need a car,” says Nyle. “If I had to live out in the country or somewhere in the suburbs, I’d probably need one, but I always wanted to stay within a large, urban area, so the country and the suburbs were out anyway.”

Nyle says his attachment to city living is based on his high school years, which he spent in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. “My parents split up, and my dad kept our house in the northern suburbs, which is where we all lived before the divorce. My mom and I moved in with her sister, who had a three-bedroom condo that overlooked the Lincoln Park Zoo,” Nyle says. “It was incredibly cool. I was this 14-year-old kid with my own room, right in the middle of one of the best neighborhoods in the country.”

Nyle went to Lincoln Park High School and DePaul University before heading to the East Coast for his first job. “I bought a car when I graduated and moved to a small town outside of Philadelphia,” he says. “I was miserable, having to drive to the center of Philly every day for a job I liked, but the commute was awful.”

When the opportunity to transfer to New York City became available, Nyle took immediate advantage of it. “I moved to Queens, then Brooklyn, then I eventually bought a studio in Greenwich Village,” he says.

When Nyle sold the studio last year on his own, he specifically targeted people who didn’t own a car or didn’t want to own a car. “You’d be surprised how many people respond to a housing listing ad if the first line says something like ‘Commuter’s Delight,’ he says. “I used that a couple of places. In other places, I used ‘No car? No problem’ as the headline.”

The idea, Nyle says, was to appeal to people with similar sensibilities, specifically that sensibility that deemed a car an inessential element of daily living. “I didn’t want to show my place to people who would ask about parking,” says Nyle. “I kept my car in a guy’s garage in Queens for $250 a month, but it wasn’t exactly an easy commute to get the car when I needed it. People living in New York pay ridiculous amounts of money for a space in the city, like $100,000 to buy a space. I didn’t want to deal with those people. I wanted the man who preferred the subway over a car.”

Or in Nyle’s case, the woman. “My buyer was a hardcore urbanite,” he says. “She was a teacher, and she told me she took the train, rode her bike and occasionally skated anywhere she needed to go, so my whole ‘No Car?’ message got to her.”

After testing her commute for three days she would start outside Nyle’s building and head to the school she taught at in Harlem, then return to his building after the school day ended the teacher made Nyle an offer. “Exactly what I asked for, which was $389,000,” says Nyle. “She told me she would never have a budget for a car, so she could pay more for her mortgage. Sounded good to me.”

After Nyle moved to a larger place a few blocks from his studio, he thought about the words of the new occupant of his previous place and came to a similar conclusion. “I was paying an obscene amount of money to store a car that I never used,” he says. “I cleaned it up and sold it on Craigslist within a week. Really, I don’t need it. Why bother hanging on to it?”

Read more: 6 Steps to Marketing Your Home

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The New Path to Homeownership [Infographic]

Most property purchases now start on the computer (or tablet or smartphone) screen. Here’s the data you need to know before sharing your home listing with the world.

The New Path to Homeownership

To view, download and print The New Path to Homeownership [Infographic] as a PDF, click here.