Aug. 15, 2006 — -- Real estate agents say that selling a house in today's market is all about price and adequate exposure, not to mention patience.
It takes an average of eight showings to get one bid on a house. But what if you need to sell faster than that?
Listing your home on the Internet, updating the listing frequently, and making major price reductions rather than small, incremental reductions are all techniques that sellers use to sell a home quickly.
For many sellers, however, eight showings, or even eight days, is too much time.
For this group, there are means for accelerating the process.
For those looking to sell a home in the shortest possible time, "Good Morning America" contributor Barbara Corcoran, founder of the real estate company The Corcoran Group, offers tips on how to sell a home in five days:
1) Remove your listing for five days.
Touch up your ad. When your property is listed again, it will appear new to the market.
2) Price your house at 5 percent less than the last sale in your neighborhood.
Pricing is obviously critical, and when it's too high people shy away. To make sure that the pricing is below neighborhood values, you'll need to research recent sales in your area. Web sites like Zillow.com offer prices for many addresses in the United States. Just plug in the address of neighborhood homes that have recently sold, and you'll get the sale price.
3) Offer a "One Day Only" sale.
Take the same steps you might take to announce a garage or yard sale, with the only difference being that you are marketing your home. Post 100 fliers around your town, "One Day Sale, 12 Maple St. Sunday 9-5" -- much like you would for a garage sale.
Advertise the sale on www.craiglist.org -- one ad costs $25. Placing the ad in more than one category will guarantee more viewers, so list in as many as you can to get the most exposure.
As people come through to see the home, collect sealed bids on day of sale and at 5 p.m. look through and choose a winner if the bid is appropriate.
4) Offer financial incentives
Create a reason outside of the home's amenities or the neighborhood or the sale price that makes the house attractive to buyers. For example:
- Prepay house taxes for two years
- Prepay the mortgage for two years (not just the home warranty)
- Offer to pay for closing costs
- Offer broker commission bonus
5) Consider creative incentives.
If you're really desperate, you may have to take the incentives to an even higher level. Some incentives work and some don't, but everyone will talk about them so get creative and offer things like a free vacation, a new patio, or even a new car.
6) Make the right first impression.
Buyers decide whether they want your house in the first eight seconds, so it's important to make sure your home is ready to sell and ready to make a good impression on potential buyers.
To do this, pay particular attention to the most noticeable areas. The big payoffs on the outside are the front door, the shrubs, and the condition of the paint.
On the inside, you can find a big payoff by ridding the house of clutter, deodorizing, and making sure the bathroom and the kitchen are spotless.
If you're going for a quick sale, keep in mind that small reductions in price rarely speed the process along. Price reductions work if done in big steps, especially if it brings the listing below a new $50,000 or $100,000 search-engine threshold.
Keep in mind, too, that one home in three homes today are sold on the Internet.
Make sure the house you have posted has a floor plan, really good photos, and clear, positive information on your home.