We see it frequently — houses with accepted offers shortly after listing and others in multiple offer situations. How are some houses selling quickly while others are just idling among all the other house traffic?

Anyone who is selling has likely been advised of these steps to get their home sold quickly by their listing agent; but even so, they need to be repeated.

So — here we go — let’s go over how to rev it up and get your home sold and over the finish line in record time.

• Accurately set the price. Your listing agent will prepare a comparative market analysis with comparable sold, pendings and active listings. Establish a realistic range and set the price at the lower end — what you may want to get for your house based on what you paid, Realtor’s commission, improvements you have made etc., may not be what the buyer wants to pay. The buyer will determine the price using comparables as a baseline and will make adjustments for condition and features accordingly. Remember, the most attractive house on the market is the newest and the cheapest. Get it priced right.

• Get the house “show ready.” The house needs to be sparkling inside and out and ready to show on the very first day of the listing. Get home staging advice if that is within budget. Buyers don’t want to hear that the seller is going to finish painting or intends to steam clean or replace the carpeting. Get it done prior to listing.

• Leave the house for showings and be flexible about making appointments. Develop a plan to have the house tidy, available and ready to be seen at a moment’s notice. Make sure there are no pets wandering the house. Yes, there will be buyers who just happen to be in the area with their agent and want to see the house right away. The more people who see your house, the more quickly it will sell. Be prepared.

• Get ready for an offer. This can happen on the first day. Are you ready to respond? Do you know what your bottom line price is to accept? Do you understand the meaning of all possible terms and contingencies that can be presented? How much time do you need to move out and vacate the home, which will determine the closing date? This should all be decided and understood ahead of listing — not when the offer comes in.

Oh, and if that offer comes in very quickly? Don’t get overconfident and think you will have plenty of others in short order. Historically, that first offer is the best.

• Listen to the feedback. If the orange bathroom is turning off buyers or the buyers detect pet smells that perhaps you don’t, go neutral in paint colors and invest in some furniture and carpet deodorizer.

• Be prepared to reduce the price if the house does not have an offer within 30 days. The first few weeks are the hottest time for a listing. After that, interest wanes, days will build up and the listing goes stale. Buyers think, “well if it’s been on the market for that long and no one bought it yet, it must not be worth seeing.” Address any feedback issues promptly and then lower the price to attract more buyers.

• Get yourself a listing agent who is an ace at Internet marketing. More than 90% of buyers begin their search online. Your listing should be plastered on hundreds of sites. Want to check and see? Google your property address after the first week. Your house should appear on multiple sites and occupy several pages on Google. Be sure your agent is communicating with you according to the plan you set up and is keeping you informed of the pricing activity on all the active and sold comparables.

• You can sell your home quickly if you follow the professional advice of your agent and the steps above. Be realistic. Today’s market is today’s market. It’s time to get over the past, put your sales plan into drive, get over that finish line, and speed off to your next destination.


For more information contact Barbara Altieri at RealtyQuest, 30 Huntington Street, Shelton, 800-656-4993 or visit realtyquest.com.