There’s nothing more exciting than the adventure that is military life. We also know there’s sometimes nothing more daunting than said adventure – especially when it involves a Permanent Change of Station, more frequently uttered as a curse word: “PCS.” Whether you have plenty of time to sell your home before your move or you have quick turnaround orders, here are our top 6 pro-tips for selling your house quickly.
Trust the experts
Don’t get us wrong – there are absolutely advantages to selling “by owner.” While you forgo the agent commission fees (which can be as high as 6%), you also relinquish the knowledge, convenience and connections of a trusted real estate agent. Finding a military-friendly agent to help you navigate this process will be one of the best investments you make in selling your home. Agents know the market better than anyone – they have access to listings before they’re public, can help pull comps (comparable sales) in order to price your home to sell, and are a wealth of knowledge in negotiations.
Set the stage
Staging your home is one of the most important elements of the selling process. We know real life is messy and filled with collectables, baby swings, “treasures” from grandparents and 100 cookbooks. But isn’t it so much more appealing to walk into a home that looks like a Restoration Hardware catalogue? When it comes to selling a house, less is definitely more. You want potential buyers to picture themselves in your home. Make it easier for them by decluttering. This is a great time to prep for your move by downsizing. Have a yard sale, donate unwanted items and if necessary, rent a storage unit to stash extra furniture and unnecessary items.
Listen, we’re here for making a home your own! But never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. We agree – the pink and white polka dot walls in your daughter’s bedroom and the underwater mural in your son’s are darling… but unless your buyer has the exact family composition and similar tastes, you might be inadvertantly turning away buyers. Choose a neutral color like a light grey or a light beige and paint throughout. The walls will look clean and the home will look more move-in ready than if you leave the red accent wall.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Whether you’re listing your home yourself or you’re hiring a military-friendly real estate agent, professional photos are your friend. Spend some time looking at for sale sites and you’ll immediately see the distinction. Well-photographed homes are more likely to get people in the door than ones without. If you don’t have this in your budget, be sure to photograph during the day – open the blinds, let as much natural light in as possible and experiment with different times of day. Find photos of homes you like on the internet and try to mimic those angles. Don’t be afraid to stand on a chair in the corner and point your camera down to capture as much of the room as possible. Just don’t fall.
Curb appeal is a thing
Just like great photographs, a first impression makes an impact. If you have a green thumb, use it; if you don’t, outsource it. Mow your lawn, trim the bushes, pull the weeds, power wash, touch up any exterior issues, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, have some hanging baskets or flowers to add a little color. You want buyers to pull up to your home and be excited to walk in.
Fix what you can
A home inspection will reveal anything major that has to be done before you can close – you know, awesome things like sinking foundations, radon gas, termites, all the biggies. Get ahead of the game and make as many minor repairs as you can. Use wood filler on gaps in the floor, plaster and touch up any exposed nail holes, make sure your appliances are cleaned and in good working order, fix the hanging gutter, replace the broken tiles, etc. The less buyers walk in and think, “I’ll need to touch that up, we can probably repair that, we’ll have to replace this,” the less the running money tally in their head amounts to, which means the closer to their budget (and your asking price) the home will be.
We know selling your home is an emotional process, but use our tips to make it as seamless as possible. When you’re ready to sell your home, PCSgrades can connect you with military-friendly real estate agents who are trained in all the challenges of a PCS move.