Sell Your Home Without Headaches: Tips and Tricks for Anyone

Do you want to learn how to help your home sell faster with fewer headaches? Rely on these tips to get started.

Start Small, Start Easy

When you’re looking to finally part with your home, the process can seem downright overwhelming. Late nights searching for the perfect real estate agent, multiple articles on “how to help your home sell faster” and wondering if you need to paint the front door or just a handful of concerns that prospective home sellers face. It’s worth talking to an accountant to help get your finances in place before you get started. But instead of making it complicated, remember that it’s just like any other process: go one step at a time and eventually everything will line up.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is how exactly you want to sell your home. Do you want to sell it yourself (and reduce commissions), go through a real estate agent or make multiple listings online before handing off the property to another middleman? The process in selling your home can mean the difference between saving or parting with thousands of dollars in fees, closing costs and other associated expenditures that are either mandated by your area or part of the business model you’ve chosen. Once you’ve decided how the property will be transferred upon sale, then you can start to focus on the other aspects of your home.

The second thing you’ll want to consider is whether you want cash, equity or another type of trade for your property. The vast majority of homeowners that sell want cash (so that they can purchase another home somewhere else), but negotiating is a fickle art that can yield all sorts of possibilities. One only has to look at news stories to see people trading homes for exotic animals, rare automobiles and raw land withe possibilities (such as gold mining) attached. Sometimes it can also be arranged to sell your property for equity in a company, in which case you may have traded a relatively stable asset (a house) for an appreciable asset (stock in a growing company). Consider what you’re looking to get out of the trade and then follow suit.

A Decent Inspection Is Worth its Weight in Gold

After you’ve decided how your property is going to be transferred and what you’d like to get out of it, remember the old realtor’s adage: a decent inspection is worth its weight in gold.

Even if no realtor has ever said that, it’s still an amazingly true statement. Without a decent inspection, your home may have been festering issues for years that will significantly reduce its value or simply scare off potential buyers when found out. When you’re trying to figure out how to help your home sell faster, this should be a major consideration. It’s worth starting on small issues (such as getting a hard water test) before moving to larger ones. That way you fix foundational problems that affect other areas of the house, and don’t pull your hair out and consider burning it down for the insurance money (which is fraud).

Once you’re done investigating the small issues inside, begin to look outside, like on the roof and exterior walls. You might think that roof inspections are not necessary, especially if the roof looks perfectly fine, but it’s what lies beneath that can be the real danger. If a roof is rotting from within or damaged in a way that allows leaks, debris or other harm, the cost to repair it can be substantial. In fact, the average cost of a new roof is somewhere between $5,000-10,000. That’s no laughing matter, especially when you’re on a tight budget. In matters such as these, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’re wondering about how to help your home sell faster. Fix things when necessary, before they’re a problem.

Be sure to look at commonly neglected areas, like the garage door, exterior hoses, lights and driveway. Nobody wants to pay for a garage door installation (which can be costly) or replace cracks in the driveway, but it’s necessary to keep the house looking tidy. And if your house passed the hard water test you can rest easy, unless one of your exterior hoses is leaking underneath the foundation of the house. Make sure to go around the whole exterior multiple times during the day and night to make sure you understand how it’s holding up. There’s nothing worse than discovering that a bunch of owls nest in your chimney and leave “gifts” only for them to fly away at dawn with little trace other than your frustration.

The Little Things Count Too

So far we’ve mentioned the big-ticket items on your home: water, living areas, roofs, etc. But what about all the little things that make your home worth living in? Aren’t those worth of consideration, even if they aren’t directly affecting the electricity bill or how high the ceilings are? Most people don’t want to live in a cookie-cutter house that reminds them of their grandparent’s World War II-era property purchase. They want their own slice of heaven that is customized to them, not just custom sheds for their lawnmower outside of a house that could be picked off an assembly line.

When dwelling on how to help your home sell faster, consider whether you can make minor additions to your house that convey luxury and uniqueness. For example, a sauna is consider a “high class” or “luxurious” addition to a home, despite the fact that it only costs a couple hundred dollars to install a decent one. They are relatively small and can be placed in basements, bathrooms and other areas of the house that are out of the way. Similarly, consider replacing old bathtubs or showers with tile editions of the same style. They will look higher class and luxurious despite being inexpensive for a craftsman to produce, and will command a higher dollar amount at the eventual sale.

Little perks, when combined with technology, can “wow” consumers and make them think that they are buying a “smart” house, even if the rest of the dwelling is relatively low-tech. With a good wireless internet system, many features can be added onto a house that convey a high-tech feel and provide the future consumer with valuable service that saves them time, money and headaches. Consider replacing the thermostat with its “smart” equivalent, or the doorbell with a video functionality. While you may have to call a specialty service to provide installation, it should be a quick and painless process.

How Your Home Could Be: An Introduction to Staging

Another tool in the arsenal of how to help your home sell faster is called staging. Don’t worry, it’s not hosting a Broadway play on your front lawn or constructing a movie set in the backyard. It’s when a professional company (usually a decorator or interior designer) comes to view your home and then “dresses” it up to be the perfect model home so that future buyers can see its true potential. This might involve visiting bathroom furniture stores and buying cabinets to showcase each room’s potential or offering snacks when your potential buyers arrive. This is especially convenient if you’re ready to move (or have purchased another house) and have items in storage.

When staging your home, an experience designer will also be able to recommend painting professionals, contractors to fix errors that will come off badly to buyers and all sorts of cleaning services. They might also use old tricks, like baking cookies and having them out in order to entice people into a “home buying” type of mood. Remember, they’re experts in how to help your home sell faster. Usually the furniture and fixtures they bring in will be rented or owned by the designer, but for a fee you can include them with the house if a potential buyer loves them. Staging gets a lot of grief from homeowners who think that it’s falsely presenting your home, but it’s anything but. It’s the first impression that most buyers will get, and you want it to go well.

Highlight the Assets Around Your Home

It’s easy to get caught up in how wonderful your home is as a structure when you’re trying to figure out the easiest way to part with it. And if you’re genuinely wondering how to help you home sell faster, you might be scratching your head at what you’re doing wrong. “I don’t get it,” you might say aloud in a coffee shop to a stranger, “I emphasized the hardwood floors, heated tiles, breakfast nook, and luxurious space for a high-def TV. What am I doing wrong?” Before the stranger considers throwing their coffee in your face for an invasion of personal space, they might inquire: what’s around the house?

In fact, what surrounds your home can be as important (if not more) than what’s inside of it. One only needs to travel to a “bad area” of town to see historically beautiful houses that many people choose not to live in. Whether they’re looking to move into a more urban area with senior housing (to be near their parents) or private elementary schools for their growing children, buyers have unique needs that you need to cater to as a seller that cannot just be neglected.

If you’re wondering how to help your home sell faster and can’t think of anything interesting around your home, then it’s time to do some deep research. What are the restaurants and shops that surround you? Do they have good ratings, have you tried them? With so much information available online now, you don’t actually have to order the local steak and potatoes to see whether it’s good. A common review site will do, and it may lead you to other local attractions such as museums, history centers, art galleries and cultural spaces. Finding good art can be hard no matter where you go in the world, so if you have even a couple places with decent art access, highlight them in your listing so that you catch all the artsy folk’s eyes.

The Final Sale: Discounts, Deals, and Negotiations

You’ve got a buyer on the hook, they’re more than interested and an offer is on the table. But is it a good offer? Can you afford to sell for this much? Should you offer a discount in the form of cash, carpet cleaning or cheese crackers? That last one was a joke (unless they’re interested), but all are worth considering when you’re juggling advice on how to help your home sell faster. Sometimes potential buyers are tough negotiators and will offer a substantial price cut in their offer to buy a house. Others will refuse to commit and use the standard “we’re looking at multiple houses in the area” to try to force your hand. Whether this is acceptable to you or not depends on a variety of factors that you should consider with caution.

When taking offers and advice on how to help your home sell faster, you are forced into juggling multiple options. Make sure to find out whether you home has appreciated enough to accept discounts and not incur a loss, or if this is even legally allowed in your area. Sometimes potential buyers will be extremely picky, and will refuse to even discuss an offer until you’ve provided them with a home inspection, appraisal, repair record, and much more. Once again, it’s up to you to decide whether this is worth the hassle of haggling back and forth or if there are other buyers out there that aren’t so demanding. The beauty of a free marketplace is that there are many people who want to buy what you have to sell, but the trouble is finding them.

The End Is the Beginning (Movin’ On Out)

It may seem a bit sad when the ink finally dries on your contract and someone has purchased your home. As the money is released from escrow and you hand over the keys, a sadness may come over you. Remembering all the memories and joy that came from your dwelling that you forgot when you were trying to figure out how to help your home sell faster, it can be overwhelming. But far from having to make excuses about a lemon squirting in your eye, be honest with people that it is an emotional moment in parting with a large part of your life. Not just a large asset, but a basket full of memories.

Lest you breakdown in front of your new buyer, remember that you made this decision some time ago and that it’s for the best. There are plenty of new things to do, places to see, and homes to buy (or build). Your story is not over, in fact it is just beginning. There are many more flower beds to tend, skylights to bask under, and a home with a new wine cellar with your name on it. Now is the time to sell your home and look for the best option that suits your lifestyle.

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