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How to Sell Your House Fast

How to Sell Your House Fast

In some real estate markets, the number of active listings dramatically increases every week. As a seller, how do you plan on making your home stand out among the thousands of available properties? Don’t fall into the category of stumped sellers whose properties linger on the market for months to come. Check out these helpful tips and get the fair selling price you desire!


Cleaning Up the Appearance of Your House

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    Make the first appearance of your house impressive. If the appearance of your property is not good, many potential buyers will not even walk through the door. The front of your property is critical. Front gardens should be well maintained all doors and window frames newly painted if necessary. Hanging baskets and window boxes always make the front of a property more presentable.

    • Even though you may have cleaned up the front of the property don’t ignore the back. In a competitive market, the garden can often be the factor that seals the deal. If you are not a gardener, now is the time to start — at least for the time that you are trying to sell your property. If you don’t have the time or energy to garden, hire someone. It will be money well spent when the house is sold.
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    Clean up the inside of your house — small improvements matter. Buyers are nosey — after all they have a right to be — because they are about to part with hard earned cash and take on a long term loan to buy a home. The last thing they want to be faced with is dirty kitchen cupboards and carpets that are caked with dirt, dust and grime. Remember they are trying to imagine themselves living in your property. Make sure it is pristine.

    • Take the time to replace a ripped window screen, add a fresh coat of paint or colorful flowers to a family room. Simple touches like these can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.
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    Neutralise. Buyers will generally be looking for a blank canvas on which they can impose their own personality. If your personality is stamped all over your property, especially in the form of extreme bright colours, the potential buyers will only see this as more work they have to do. Neutralise your rooms with creams and whites in order to provide that blank canvas.
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    Declutter. Clutter discourages potential buyers by making rooms seem smaller and a lot less appealing. Again, it’s hard for buyers to imagine their own possessions in your property when faced with a mountain of mess.

    • Depersonalize your home. Items like family photos or personal collections should be packed away. As much as they add flourishes to a drab room, it’s the drab room that actually sells the home fast.
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    Stage the home. Staging the right way can have a dramatic effect on how quickly you sell your home. Put on neutral music like classical or jazz low in the background.[1]Bake cookies or burn scented-candles so the smell emanates into the most trafficked room. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms — “added value” here can have a more pronounced effect on the price people are willing to pay.


Pricing Your House

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    Don’t overprice your listing. Everybody seems to value their own property above the market value. If you want a quick sale, you should be realistic. Look at other properties in the area and get the opinion of a reputable real estate professional. Be prepared to lower your expectations if you genuinely want a quick sale.

    • The key to selling quickly is positioning. You must identify your competition and then price your home so it’s obviously the best value. Some questions that you can ask your real estate agent are:
      • What other properties will the likely buyer of my property also give serious consideration to?
      • How does my property compare to these properties in terms of price and attractiveness?
      • Where do we need to price my property against the competition to make mine stand out as the best value for money?
    • Sometimes, a lower-than-expected price on a house can be a good thing. A low price can spark a bidding war, causing the price of the house to go up.[2] A bidding war isn’t guaranteed, but it’s a lot more likely to happen when the price is lower than it is if the price is higher.
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    Look at comparables when arriving at a price. Comparables are what other similar houses are being listed for in your neighborhood. If you have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, look out for other 3 bed, 2 bath homes in your area to get a good idea of how to price for a quick sale.
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    Be scrupulous in arriving at a specific number. What’s your final number actually going to be? There’s a little bit of science and strategy involved in figuring the exact price of the listing. Here are two big things you can keep in mind as you arrive at the magic number:

    • Use charm pricing and “under a century” numbers. Instead of choosing to list your house for R407,000, consider listing it for R399,000 so that it fits just under the psychologically important century mark. You see retail shops and businesses using charm pricing all the time, and for good reason: People favor these numbers because they have the allure of not tipping a certain scale they have in their heads. R399,000 sounds so much more intriguing than R400,000, even though they are functionally the same.
    • On the other hand, often buyers will set an even R100,000 mark as an upward boundary when searching for homes in MLS. For instance, some buyers might search for homes from R100,000 to R200,000 and others might search for homes from R200,000 to R300,000. If your home were to be priced at R200,000 then both groups of buyers would see your home in their results, but if you listed it at R199,000 only the first group would. So there are some cases where pricing at an even R100,000 level might get more eyes on the listing.
    • Use price banding to good effect. Price banding is separating your home from the pack by picking a listing price that’s distinct enough from all the other listings. You may find a group of homes all selling in the R260k – R270k range, and then another cluster selling in the R290k – R299k range. Price banding would be to price your home in the in-between range of R270k – R290k range so that it stands out more.
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    Put it on the market in the spring or fall. Spring and fall is prime buying time for many house hunters. It’s still warm out, the kids are either just finishing the school year or just starting to go to school, and everyone either hasn’t gone on vacation yet or already come back from vacation. Pricing it in the right season will allow you to time it just right, avoiding bad times during the rest of the year. (In summer, many people take vacation. In winter, weather conditions are often harsh.)
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    Give yourself a timetable for lowering the price. A lot of the time, homeowners stubbornly cling to a price that’s too high and refuse to budge. Then it takes months, sometimes years to produce a sale. Set a date on the calendar, before you price your home, by which time you’ll lower the price if you haven’t gotten a buyer. This will take emotion out of the pricing and help you sell your house faster.


Going the Extra Mile

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    Get an inspection. Pre-sale inspections aren’t extremely common, but what a way to show hesitant buyers that your home is in top form, especially if the report is made available during open houses. On the other hand, discovering potential problems ahead of time will allow you to handle them without scaring off your potential buyer.
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    Use the power of the internet. The internet changed the way that houses were bought and sold. No longer did prospective home buyers need to physically visit the house to find out what it was like. Today, many potential home buyers weed out listings they don’t want to invest time in online, and then visit the ones in person that look intriguing. Promoting your home’s unique qualities online is a great way to generate more leads.

    • If you can, borrow a nice DSLR or rent a wide-angle lens on the cheap for a couple of days. It should cost you something like $20 – $50 to rent for a couple days.[3]Take pictures of your house on a bright and sunny day, after all your clutter has been cleared away. Pictures of a bright room on a sunny day will make your house look bigger and more inviting.
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    Choose the right, licensed agent. Choose wisely! Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they have any references for top agents. Do your homework, visit websites, and find out which agents know your community best. The agent you choose should not only have extensive market knowledge, but should also be honest and personable.
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    Offer an extra to the home buyer. Everyone likes a little goody bag. It makes us feel special and reassured that the person we’re buying the home from is looking after us. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to do. However, don’t offer anything before looking at the market. If you are getting multiple offers on your house, there’s no need to offer something extra. Here are some ideas of small extra things that you can do to incentivize buyers to pull the trigger:

    • Offer a little bit of credit to cover the closing costs, or — better yet — offer to pay them entirely. For a buyer who is financing the home this is usually between 3.5-4% of the asking price. A buyer who is not financing the home could have considerably lower closing costs, since this would only have to cover the title, escrow, reporting and possibly inspection and appraisal fees.
    • Transfer your home warranty for appliances over to the buyer. If you and the buyer agree to include any appliances in the sale, transferring the warranty will give them peace of mind that they won’t have to pay for a malfunctioning washer or dryer.
    • Offer them the chance to move in quicker than normal. If you can guarantee expedited closing on the home, allowing the new homeowner access to the home within 30 to 60 days, it may clinch a deal. Homeowners who see their dream house often want to move in right away.
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    Don’t be afraid to spread the word.[4] Even if you have a real estate agent, it can’t hurt to tell people you know about putting your house on the market, even though you might feel it’s embarrassing. Update your Facebook, talk to people in your local PTA, ask trusted friends to spread the word. These small blasts can make a big difference when your house is finally sold.

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