4 quick tips for marketing and selling a home in a hurry

Without taking the first offer that comes along
  • List price is the most important aspect of selling a home quickly.
  • Provide your clients with the best quality photographs and videos available -- no excuses.
  • Homesellers in a hurry need someone who has plenty of time to devote to the listing. Show that you are capable of the job.

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Sometimes a homeseller needs to move fast. It happens. All sorts of extenuating circumstances can prompt a hasty departure, but whatever the reason, the goal remains the same: a quick sale.

However, sellers do not just want to give their home away.

It’s still important to get a fair market price. Sellers should leave the deal feeling like they gave it their best shot and didn’t accept the first offer that came around the pike, especially if it was a lowball.

So, how do sellers and their Realtors organize a quick, efficient sale while still getting a good price?

Here are four ideas to do just that — and none of them take a whole lot of extra work.

1. Price it right

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Pricing is by far the most important piece of the process, even for those in a hurry to pack up and move.

Homes typically sell for 98 percent of the listing price, and 43 percent of sellers report reducing the asking price at least once.

There are no two ways about it. Agents must advise sellers to keep their emotions out of the mix and carefully consider a reasonable must-have number for their house.

Sellers should also be aware that they may not get every dollar that they put in for upgrades and renovations back when it’s time to sell.

After evaluating comparable homes in the local area, as a seller’s agent you can discuss these findings, including the sale price and how long each house was on the market, with your client.

Together, the agent and seller can arrive at a number that makes sense.

Both money and time are crucial elements to consider in this scenario, so sellers may need to make a few concessions, such as helping with closing costs in return for a quick settlement or throwing in the appliances that they would have rather have kept.

Help your seller weigh all the pros and cons before they make a decision.

They certainly don’t have to take the first offer that comes along, but they should give all offers some serious thought and see if there’s an agreement that will benefit both parties.

2. Be serious about staging

If you watch HGTV, you’ve probably seen house flippers and other homeselling celebrities talking about the importance of staging a home for sale, but maybe your sellers think that what’s inside their home is good enough to attract a buyer.

That could very well be. But even though a fast sale won’t allow much time for renovations, just about every seller can do something to make a home look more welcoming.

Buyers should be able to see the house as the appropriate vessel for their own life, so a good place to start is decluttering.

Have sellers take down the family photos and lose offbeat or subject-specific artwork.

It might be a good time to pack up the 150 Hummel figurines in the dining room and remove all the baseball paraphernalia from the walls. Homesellers should make their decor as neutral as possible so that anyone can envision living there.

That said, if sellers have the luxury of a free weekend before they put their home on the market, consider painting areas that look particularly tired or add a neutral coat of paint to that bright red or dark blue wall.

However, don’t do it unless you have enough time to do it well or can hire a professional painter. A sloppy paint job can be worse than old and dingy paint.

Make simple suggestions to your client, such as moving furniture around to improve the flow of the home or remove heavy curtains to add more light.

Open the blinds for maximum sun exposure or and take down children’s artwork from the refrigerator.

Sometimes the services of a professional stager might be to your advantage. If so, gather some prices and present them to your seller.

If your client needs proof, the Real Estate Staging Association maintains in a recent report that professionally staged homes sell 90 percent faster than those that sit on the market for awhile.

That sounds like reason enough to consider this option.

3. Use quality photos and video to advertise

Most buyers will look at a home online before they come to see it in person.

For that reason, provide your clients with the best quality photographs and videos available. These marketing materials need to look professional and show the home in its best light.

Have samples of your listings at the ready so clients can envision your game plan. Make sure your portfolio features a variety of photos that highlight each of the rooms and the exterior. If you have video samples, include them.

Many Realtors have begun to shoot drone video, which can also include aerial photos of the neighborhood.

Drone photography has taken off (no pun intended) over the last few years and in most luxury listings it is expected to be included.

4. Show you’re the right person for the job

Homesellers in a hurry need someone who has plenty of time to devote to the listing.

As an agent, prepare your elevator speech for how you’re going to get the home sold fast. Clients won’t settle for stock answers such as “I’m going to put it in the Sunday paper or “I’ll hold a few open houses.” Provide specifics.

Show that you’re a high-energy agent. That energy should be present in your presentation at the listing appointment.

Even sellers in a hurry shouldn’t feel pressured to hire the first agent they meet. So show you’re the one with the number of homes you’ve sold in the last year and their time on the market.

Be well-versed in the particular neighborhood and leverage what you know — perhaps you already have some buyers in mind who might be interested in this listing.

These are just a few of the tips that will help agents (and homesellers) sell homes fast.

The need to sell a home quickly can make a sellers’ life stressful and can impact their entire family. Your expertise and experience can help as clients head to a new location — and the next chapter — without the bumpy ride.

DJ Morris is the is the owner of Springbok Realty in Jupiter, Florida. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Email DJ Morris.