Contingent Buyers: 10 Tips for Selling a Home More Quickly

Whereas in previous generations people purchased a home expecting to live there until they became old and gray, as technology and transportation have evolved, that is becoming a rarity. Home buyers employed by the military and other Puget Sound area jobs necessitate regional and national moves for their employees.  And home owners often decide to move based on changing needs of their household, whether they need more room or less, work from home, have extended family who will be living with them, and a number of other factors.

10 Tips for Selling a Home More QuicklySoundbuilt Homes home buyers in King, Pierce and Thurston County sometimes find themselves in the position of needing to sell their current home in order to buy their next new home, whether they need to move to a new area due to a job transfer, change of career or promotion or even if they are moving within the local area.  Selling a home is one thing, selling a home quickly, to ensure you can buy the new home of your dreams, can be a stressful proposition.

When a current home owner places their own home up for sale (and sometimes even before they do so) they often need to identify the home to which they’ll be moving immediately after the sale of their own home.  When a home buyer is trying to sell their home but places an offer on another home, it’s often done on “contingency.”  This means that the offer they’re making on the new home they want to buy is contingent – or dependent – upon them selling their existing home (sometimes within a given period of time).

This can be scary for the home owner / new home buyer as it is possible for another buyer to come and make an offer on the home that they want to buy. Home owners in this situation are especially motivated to sell their existing home as quickly as possible; the good news is that there are things which are within the seller’s control to do that will help their home show better and (hopefully!) sell more quickly.

10 Tips to Help Contingent Buyers with Selling a Home More Quickly

For contingent home buyers and other motivated home sellers, here are 10 tips that can help with selling a home more quickly:

1. Prior to choosing a real estate selling agent, screen local real estate agents to identify selling specialists and interview them as to how they would price your home and what they would do to promote the sale of your existing home.

2. Listen to the advice of your real estate agent, remodeler, renovator, repair persons, friends and others that you trust when it comes to the pros and cons they see in your existing home – fix anything that you can.

3. Pare down all clutter and edit your artwork, photos, shelf decorations to a minimum.  Rent a storage unit if possible (rather than stacking the garage full of your un-displayables!)

4. Think “first impressions” and drive up to your existing home as if you were a buyer, not the seller – what do buyers see first?  Is there anything in the first impressions which helps to draw them in or impress?  Do they see a lot of work to do in the front yard and exterior of your home, or is it ready to become a “real home?”

5. Replace window treatments and linens with modern, neutral ones; ditto for bedding and furnishings which might be too individualistic in taste (you want buyers to be able to imagine themselves and their furniture and décor in the home, not worrying about whether or not they like yours!)

6. Write up a list of the things that you’ve loved most about living in the home – your own “Top 10 Reasons to Live Here” list. Frame it and place it on your kitchen counter or in another area where a potential buyer might stop to read it and leave a couple of copies out for buyers to take with them.

7. Treat potential buyers like guests.  Show your appreciation for their visit by leaving a thank you note out for them and their agent beside a bowl with candies or mints.  Make sure that the bathroom is uber-clean, supplied with soap, toilet paper and disposable hand towels so that it’s ready for use in case a prospective home buyer decides to test the plumbing!

8. Remember that potential home buyers will be opening cupboard doors and pulling out drawers.  Contents should be neat, tidy and un-embarrassing (for both of you!) and interiors of cabinets and drawers need to be not just cleaned out, but clean.

9. Give new meaning to the word “clean.” Don’t forget blinds, ceiling fans, vents and other areas which often go unnoticed when you’re living in a house but become deterrents to new home buyers when they’re inspecting available homes for sale. When you’re selling a home, put yourself in the prospective buyers shoes; a super-clean home is reassuring to buyers that their move-in will go smoothly.

10. Get involved in promoting the sale of your own home.  Just because you’re working with a selling agent doesn’t mean that you can’t help with the process. Give agents something to work with by telling them about the best “selling points” of your existing home or the features that you want to make sure buyers notice. Tell them about repairs and improvements you’ve made or might be willing to make as part of a negotiation.  Identify where you have room to negotiate ahead of time.  Relate the feedback of friends and family to your agent. Take fliers to work. Ask friends to mention the availability and desirability of your home to their friends and family. Take fliers to your neighbors who may have friends or family who they want for neighbors.

Selling a home fast won’t happen by accident. The more you can do to prep your home for sale and to assist with its promotion, the more likely your home is to sell and to sell more quickly.

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