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Sell Your House In Less Than 60 Days

By Erik Folgate

Do you have what it takes to sell your house in less than 60 days? Do you believe that it can be done? Many people begin to wonder about houses that stay on the market for longer than 90 days. They start assuming that something is wrong with it or the seller is unwilling to negotiate. The ideal time frame would be to spend 4 – 5 weeks of very aggressive marketing and then the next 3 to 4 weeks working out the mortgage qualification, negotiations, home inspection, and closing. I think that your house can be sold quickly if you keep a proactive role in the selling process. So often we hire a realtor and say those famous words, “set it, and forget it”. In a perfect world, the real estate agent cares only about your property and is doing everything he or she can to sell your home. But this isn’t a perfect world, so you have to stay active in the selling process. After all, YOU are the homeowner and it is ultimately your responsibility to get your house sold. The real estate agent is merely a professional to help you sell it. I think you do need a quality agent to sell a house quickly and for the most money possible. For sale, buy owner always sounds like a good idea but it’s only for those who aren’t serious about selling their house quickly. If you need to get your house sold quickly because of a job relocation or a sudden change in finances or a family situation, then I would always use a top-quality real estate agent.

Hiring A Real Estate Agent

Whatever you do, don’t close your eyes and point at the phone book to find an agent. A bad agent can make the process a very unenjoyable situation. You’ll end up doing all of the work, and they will still get their commission. Ask your friends, co-workers, or congregation at your local church for a referral. I love being referred to sales professionals like real estate agents, insurance agents, and investing brokers. Usually, any good friend or honest acquaintance will give you a good referral. However, be weary of the friend whose brother or cousin is an agent. They may just be trying to help out their family to get some more business, and if that guy or gal needs their family to peddle business for them, then they probably aren’t that good at their job.

Interview potential agents before you sign a contract with them. Ask them how long they’ve been in the business, how long they’ve been in the area, what types of things they will do to make your house stand out from the others. You can be fairly invasive about their professional careers. Just don’t ask them what their sales were last year. That’s sort of like asking someone about their salary. Once you have a high-quality agent nailed down, you need to start putting together a marketing plan for your home.

Getting the word out about your sweet pad

The real estate agent will list your home with the multiple listing service, and this will get your home a ton of exposure to other agents and brokers. Look into getting your home on Realtor.com, and make sure that you pay the money to put the six photos on the site. If your agent’s company has a website, make sure your house’s listing is easily accessible on their site. Get a classified ad in your local newspaper. People still do look at the classifieds for listings. Also, for FREE you can create a real estate post on Craigslist.org. Simply find the city you live in or the closest one to you and post in that city’s craigslist. It allows you to write a summary of the home and post four photos for ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Make sure you have an open house once per weekend. People love being able to do a walk-through of the home and open houses make the potential buyer feel more comfortable, because they know they aren’t barging in on your family unexpectedly. You need to clear out as much junk as you can on the interior of your home. Buyers like to visualize their own stuff in your place, so make sure that you get rid of all of the clutter, maybe even some old furniture that you don’t want anymore.

Create fliers and put them up wherever it is permitted to do so. If you work for a large company, post a flier by the water cooler or in the break room. Make it known to your local church or other organizations that you are involved in that your house is up for sale. You will be surprised how the word spreads among your network of friends and acquaintances. Also, don’t forget the sign in front of your yard!

Now that you’re marketing the heck out of this place, the buyers are going to start rolling in with their offers and demands. This begins the negotiation and closing phase.

Negotiation and Closing The Deal

This is hopefully where your top-notch real estate agent will show their expertise the most and get you what you want and need out of the home sale. A lot of the negotiation phase depends on how desperate you are to get the house sold and what kind of real estate market you are in. If you aren’t desperate to sell the house immediately and you’re in a seller’s market, then you will have more leverage to get what you want out of the sale. You’ll be able to stay somewhat firm on your price, and you’ll be able to sell the home “As-Is”. But if you need to sell the home quickly and you’re in a buyer’s market, get ready to compromise some of your price and making some repairs out of pocket to satisfy the buyer’s needs. If it all possible, I would throw in stuff like paying some of the closing costs or replacing flooring/paint/appliances before you start coming down on price. If a buyer comes in with a lower bid, you could always counter offer with paying for a home inspection, paying half of the closing costs, or replacing the carpet or appliances. When you originally price your home, don’t overprice it much beyond the market price, but build in a little bit of negotation room. If the home is worth $175,000, you may want to go with $179,900 or $185,000 and then if the buyer negotiates you down to $175,000 then you’re getting the fair market value, and they feel good about knocking off 6 – 8% of the asking price. It’s a delicate process, just make sure that you aren’t rejecting everything. At some point, you’ll have to concede something if you want to sell the home within 60 days.

Some Miscellaneous Tips For Making Your Home Stand Out

  1. Curb appeal is very important. Spend a lot of time making your landscape look nice. No one likes the look of an overgrown yard or dead grass and dirt piles in the front yard.
  2. Remember, get the clutter out of your house. Make sure your house is well lit don’t just straighten up. Do a deep clean with dusting, scrubbing, and the whole nine yards.
  3. Stainless steel appliances are becoming the staple for nice houses. The younger 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s crowd love the look of stainless steel in the kitchen. You can buy an entire package of kitchen appliances for less than $2,000 and it makes your kitchen stand out TREMENDOUSLY.
  4. Bathrooms are great rooms to upgrade. You can make a bathroom look much more high-end with new wall tile and a new vanity. Find a friend that is handy with that stuff and you can bust out that home project in two weekends. Visit Do It Yourself for more tips on upgrading your kitchen, bathroom, or exterior.
  5. People love their back yard is much as their front yard. More and more people are entertaining at their home and the back yard is the perfect place to do it. If you have a hot tub back there already, include in the sale of the home. Consider installing a wood deck. Plant some more bushes or flowers in the back yard to complement your front yard.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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