Online real estate company Redfin has been successful during the past couple of years. The company has come up with a short list of suggestions for people who want to sell.
The top priority?
Have a competitive price that generates a frenzy of demand where there are multiple bidders. The only way to get a real premium is to have more than one person bidding on a house. People don't compete against themselves when buying a property, so you need two buyers, says Glenn Kelman, Redfin CEO.
As for the house itself, you can hire a stager or you can save money by doing it yourself.
You don't necessarily need a professional stager, says Kelman. If he comes in, he's just going to pull all of the garbage out of your house. So if you can do that yourself, in the most heartless way possible, then you might be able to save the money. Most people are too attached to their nicknacks and their pictures of mom to take everything down and really have the house be like that Buddhist monastery where people walk in and can project their own vision of what their life will be like.
Kelman says you don't want to clear out your place. Make sure it looks lived in.
I think the only problem with an empty house is if it actually looks desolate. Then people know that you've got carrying costs. If you're not living in the house, that creates some negotiating pressure where people feel like, ah-ha! This guy really needs to sell it so sometimes if I'm looking at a house as a buyer, I'll open some of the drawers to see if somebody's living there and if they're not, I know that the house needs to sell in the next few weeks because every month that it's on the market, somebody's paying two mortgages, said Kelman.
And according to Kelman, you've got to market your house well.
You put it in the MLS. You post it in other places online. You optimize it for Google. You make sure that the people who are looking on the web can find it. Because about 80-percent of the buyers these days start their search on the web, not by opening their mailbox or looking in the newspaper. So that's the first thing I would do, and then I would make that house look absolutely drop-dead gorgeous as soon as somebody drives up, he says.