You have a great property in a great location, but it’s not getting any interest. Or maybe you are getting a lot of interest, but no offers even though your place has been on the market for weeks. Here are nine tips to help drive up interest and get an offer on your home or investment property.
1. Find the right real estate agent
Finding the right real estate agent may seem like an obvious tip, but it can be more complicated than simply picking someone with a good sales record. It’s important to hire someone with knowledge of your area so that you can price your property correctly and have an idea of how long it may take to sell. Additionally, if you are selling a fixer-upper or multi-unit property, finding an agent who is well-informed about these things will really help answer the questions of potential buyers as well as your own.
2. Price it right
Pricing your home correctly right out of the gate is key. While it may be tempting to list at a price higher than other comparable properties in hopes that someone will make an offer, it’s not always worth the gamble. The longer a home stays on the market, the lower the price will have to drop to attract buyers. According to Redfin, homes in Chicago sell within two percent of the listing price—which means if it’s priced too high, many potential buyers might not even look at your property, much less make a lower offer, so it’s important to price your property as competitively as possible.
3. De-clutter and de-personalize
It’s important to create an environment that allows potential buyers to picture themselves living in your home. For example, if you have too many personal items around the house, such as walls of family portraits, it might make it harder for a single person to view the place as anything other than a “family home.” In addition to packing up the personal items, you should also store any items on countertops, tables, and other surfaces, as well as anything else that may make the property feel cluttered. Moving out extra furniture can create a feeling of extra space as well letting buyers picture their own furniture pieces in the rooms.
4. Add light
Even the largest of spaces can feel cramped when the lighting is poor. Try to get as much natural light into each room as possible. Replacing dark curtains with sheer or light-colored panels can make a big difference—if that isn’t in your budget, make sure to open the curtains during showings. While we’re on the topic of windows, make sure they are clean. Surprisingly, dirt and dust can really filter a lot of light out of your home. If the rooms do not have many windows, you can create the illusion of natural brightness by painting the walls with light colors and replacing dim light bulbs with those of a higher wattage.
5. Professional photos
Most experienced real estate agents will have professional photos taken of your property. We live in a digital age where most buyers will first shop for homes online before making appointments for showings. If your photos are dim, blurry, or non-existent, it will definitely affect the number of showings you have.
6. Keep it clean
Not only is it important to keep your property clutter-free, but you should also try to keep it as clean as possible. Try to picture yourself as the buyer and note any areas that might be dusty or in need of cleaning. Booking a professional deep cleaning will address those issues and will make it easier to keep up even if you can’t afford to hire cleaners on a regular basis.
7. Curb appeal
Think of the exterior of your property as its first impression to buyers. Making sure the landscaping is neat and adding a splash of color with a doormat or potted plant can really add a sense of hominess to the entrance. If you are planning on hosting open houses, a welcoming exterior can mean the difference between potential buyers stopping in for a look or passing by in their cars.
8. Flexible showing schedule
It can be a hassle to make sure your property is tidy and to make yourself scarce (that is if you are living at the property you are trying to sell), but keeping your schedule as flexible as possible will help get as many showings as possible—not all buyers are available to tour homes during weekday work hours and often make appointments in the evenings and on weekends.
9. Ask for feedback
Even if potential buyers decide not to make an offer, they can still provide a valuable resource: feedback. Realtors often ask buyers what they liked and didn’t like about a property, why they decided not to make an offer, and if they think the price is right. If enough of the buyers are saying the same things, then it might be time to make a few changes.