In a way, it’s a competition: you and your neighbors are essentially competing for the same buyers. It’s anyone’s game, but there are things you can do to gain an edge over the other listings in your neighborhood.
To help put your home in a superior position over the other homes on the block, here are some tips to follow to stand out from the crowd.
1. Boost Your Curb Appeal
You’ve literally got seconds to make an impression on a buyer, so you better make sure it’s a positive one when buyers pull up curbside. Take a good look at your home’s exterior, landscaping, driveway, and any other component that contributes to its overall curb appeal. Having a meticulously landscaped front yard, clean exterior walls and windows, and a welcoming front entrance can go a long way in making prospective buyers feel compelled to continue with their showing.
Statistics dictate that buyers will develop an emotional attachment to a home within minutes after viewing a property, and curb appeal is the first contact they make with your home. You can bet that your neighbors will be tending to their home’s exterior, so make sure you match their efforts – and go the extra step – by enhancing your home’s esthetics with amazing curb appeal.
2. Make it Look Like Nobody Lives There
The average buyer has a tough time seeing themselves living in a home that looks like it’s obviously being occupied by another family. Given this fact, it’s important to completely depersonalize the space to make it look as if it’s a model home.
Take down your family photos and political or religious accessories, and replace them with more neutral pieces. Pack up any collections or pieces that would only be meaningful to you and not necessarily to the average buyer.
Creating a neutral space can help buyers visualize themselves as owners of the home, which is exactly what will entice them to put in an offer.
You’ll be more likely to attract buyers if your decor is neutral in color and style as opposed to eclectic and off-the-wall. The best and easiest way to neutralize your home is to give the walls a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color, like gray or off-white. Sure, these hues aren’t exactly the most exciting colors of the rainbow, but they will definitely be more pleasing to a larger pool of buyers.
4. Make Minor Repairs
If you think buyers won’t notice those little scuff marks on the walls or chips in the tiles, think again. As a seller, it’s easy to overlook these minor items, but fixing them can go a long way at improving the overall look and feel of your home. Go through every room with a fine-tooth comb and make note of any little issues you come across. Bring your real estate agent along to help you spot these flaws, and be sure to fix them before you list your home on the market.
5. Invest in Home Staging
It’s been shown that professional home staging can help homes sell faster and for more money compared to properties that are not staged. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 81% of homebuyers find it a lot easier to see the home as their own if it’s staged. If you want to plant a “sold” sign on your front lawn before your neighbors do, one of the best things you can do is have your home professionally staged.
Home stagers study the type of buyer looking in your area and will identify what they’re looking for in their next home. Armed with this information, stagers will then furnish and decorate your home in such a way so as to accommodate these needs and tastes. When you give buyers exactly what they’re looking for, you’ll increase the chances of getting a decent offer sooner rather than later.
While home staging might feel like something only luxury sellers could invest in, it can sell your home faster when you’re competing with your neighbors. Of course, staging is a service that will come with a bill, but consider it an investment. You will most likely make back all of that money – and then some – if you sell at a higher price tag.
6. Highlight the Best Features of Your Home
Not every home is perfect, but if you can pinpoint something about your property that would be considered a selling feature, make an effort to highlight it. Whether it’s a large stone fireplace, extra-high ceilings, or original hardwood flooring, be sure to showcase these features in the best light possible.
Playing up positive features of a home can help downplay any negative aspects that might turn buyers off. Focusing on certain characteristics can help set your home apart from the others on the block.
7. Go All Out on Photos and Videos
Forget about snapping photos of your home with your smartphone or tablet. Now is not the time to take amateur pictures of your home. Instead, you want the images to be as high-quality as possible. When your home is in direct competition with your neighbor’s, first impressions online are incredibly important.
It’s at this point that a buyer will decide whether or not to book a showing, and the photos can make the difference between buyers choosing to see your home or the others.
Ideally, photos should be taken by a professional photographer. The images should be crisp, clear, bright, and be taken from specific angles that make your home seem as spacious as possible while showcasing all the positive features.
You may also want to consider having a video taken of your property to give buyers a “virtual tour” while they’re browsing online. If your home has an amazing property or is located near attractive amenities, getting some aerial footage with a drone can help capture images and videos that show off the scope of your home’s entire property and location.
8. Price it Competitively
Coming up with the right price for a home is an art and requires careful consideration of the current market. When you price competitively right out of the gates, you stand a better chance of selling more quickly.
Failing to price your home appropriately can have several negative effects, including a stale listing and a missed sale. You could consider listing your home just a hair under market value in order to attract more buyers to your home and potentially encourage a bidding war that can drive your price much higher.
Price will always be the first thing that buyers notice, and if you can offer your home at a price that’s considered fair according to today’s market, you stand a better chance at selling within a reasonable amount of time.
9. Use an Experienced Real Estate Professional
There’s no denying the fact that having a seasoned real estate agent by your side can exponentially increase the odds of selling your home quickly.
These professionals have the experience and the know-how to position your listing in such as way that it attracts the majority of buyers looking in your area. They’ve got their eye on trends in the local market and can use that information to their advantage – and yours – to help sell your home before any of your neighbors do.
The Bottom Line
There’s no reason to let your neighbors win the home selling competition if you tackle a few tasks and make your listing more attractive than the others in the area. And if you do so with a real estate agent in tow, you stand the best chance of selling quickly – even faster than your neighbors.