If you've ever sold a home before, then you already know how frustratingly slow it can be. From house viewings that need organizing, potential buyers who ghost, and even global disruption: lots of things can slow down a sale to a snail's pace.
While buying and selling a property isn’t something that can happen overnight, it doesn’t have to be as slow a process as you think. There are a few ways that you can accelerate the sale of your home, and you don’t have to break the bank either.
If your house has been on the market for a while and just won’t shift, or you're about to list your property and don’t want to hang about, here’s what you need to know. Follow these five tips and your home could be sold faster than you ever believed possible.
1. Cover the Admin
The first step is to ensure that you're always on top of your paperwork. As you can probably imagine, the amount of admin that you have to do when selling a property can seem never-ending. It’s all too easy to cram all of your paperwork and signed documents into a bag and hope it goes away.
Of course, that’s not a practical option, and every mislaid piece of paper is going to slow down your property sale. That’s why it's so important to have a place for everything and everything in its place at all times. The more proactive you are with your admin, the faster your sale can go through.
Don’t forget to let everyone involved in the house sale know the importance of this. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as being 100% prepared yourself, only to find that the people buying your property have mislaid important documents. Get prepped, but make sure others are too.
2. Think about Price
It’s not as easy to price a property as people think, especially if they’ve never done it before. While a realtor will always be available to help you set your price, it’s always worth doing your research. Look at the properties in your area that are currently for sale. This can be a useful guide to setting your own price.
However, don’t forget to do a drive around the neighborhood looking for visual price clues. If the average property in your area is 200k, but you have an extension and a driveway that other homes are missing, then you can afford to go a little higher.
It’s also worth remembering that whatever price you end up setting for your property, it doesn’t have to be your final price. If you really want to accelerate a property sale, offering a cash discount can dramatically reduce the time it spends on the market. Don’t forget that while it’s frustrating to leave money on the table, setting too high a price means that your property may never sell.
3. Prepare the Property
While it makes sense that you want your property to be presentable, high levels of competition mean that you need to go further than just tidying up your clutter. For a faster sale (and a higher price), make sure that you have a house inspection carried out and passed before your property goes on the market. You should also:
- Check your neighborhood: If there are piles of abandoned furniture at the end of your street, organize its removal. If there’s a great park over the road, but it’s suffering from high winds and litter, get over there with a rubbish bag and some gloves.
- Make improvements: If your kitchen is a little worse for wear and hasn’t been decorated since the 90s, it might be time for a little spruce up. You don’t need to go all out with a full renovation, although having a new kitchen can increase your property value. Tighten up wobbly wardrobe doors, replace broken light fittings, and slap some paint on your worn-out window sills. You’ll be surprised how much these changes can speed up your sale.
- Think about smells: It’s not just the visual appearance of your property that matters. If you've been baking fish pies all morning and you have an open house event in the afternoon, those smells will linger. From cigarette smoke to the odor coming from your kitchen bin, get rid of the nasty smells and replace them. Coffee and freshly baked bread are commonly used before an open house for that reason.
- Think curb appeal: Realtors are always going on about the importance of curb appeal, but for good reason. Most property buyers will decide on a property within just a few seconds of seeing it. That’s why first impressions are so important. So trim your front yard pathways, add some front door planters filled with fresh greenery, and make sure that those first impressions are positive.
From a fresh coat of paint in your hallway to getting more strategic with your lighting (get rid of those dark shadows!), preparing your property is essential if you want to sell faster.
4. Be Ready with the Finances
If you’re taken by surprise by the costs and fees that come hand in hand with a property sale, then things can fall apart quickly. Like your admin management, money management is vital. You need to know exactly what every cost factor is going to be and when it’s expected to be paid.
Even a small fee that you didn’t know about can skewer the whole process, especially if you're on a budget. The faster and easier you can pay what’s expected, the faster your property sale will be. Mismanage your finances, and everything will slow down, and you may even lose a sale.
Top finance tip: Only ever use secure payment methods to transfer funds. Whether it's to your solicitor, your decorator, or your bank account, always send money safely. If you're paying someone for the first time, start with a smaller payment as a test. If any red flags show up, losing a small amount is much less stressful than losing thousands of dollars.
5. Go Chain-Free
Chain buying, where someone wants to buy your property but has to wait until the sale of their property goes through, can seriously slow down any sale. Property chains are sometimes fantastic, and many buyers wouldn’t be able to even get on the ladder without them.
Unfortunately, they can have a massive impact on the speed of your property sale. If your buyer suddenly has their buyer drop out or ghost, then you're left stranded. So there is a risk with chain buyers. You have to weigh up what works best for you. However, if speed is the priority, chain buyers should be avoided. If they can’t be, ensure that the chain is kept as short as it can be.
Accelerate your Property Sale
Selling any kind of property can take time, and some sellers find their properties are on the market for years. If you don’t want to risk that, get as much ready beforehand as possible. Consider everything from the paperwork to the knee-jerk reaction that potential buyers will have when they see and explore your property.
The more prepared you are, the faster you can find a buyer and close the sale. Don’t ever play it by ear when you're doing something as big as selling your home. Take the time to get it right, and your home could be taken off the market with a big cash boost in your bank account before you know it.