Days on market (DOM) is a crucial number in any real estate transaction. Defined as the number of days that it takes a home to progress from listing date through closing date, this number is one that sellers need to take seriously.
When real estate markets are relatively stable, homes that can compete well with their competition might reasonably be expected to successfully sell within the time frame of the average DOM figure for their area and their particular segment of the market. In some cases, however, sellers may want or need their homes to not linger on the market or sell more quickly than average.
If you are preparing your home for sale and want or need it to sell as quickly as possible, here are six things you can do to help make that happen.
1. Eliminate the Potential for Wasted Transaction Time
Inspection issues can slow an otherwise good real estate transaction or even bring it crashing to a halt. To help avoid this kind of problem when you really need a fast sale, consider hiring a professional home inspector for a pre-listing home inspection. To get the most from this experience, make sure that you can attend the inspection and take notes along the way.
Be candid with the inspector about your plans to list the home and your hopes for a fast sale and ask them help you come up with a list of repair issues that you will need to attend to before listing the home for sale. While there is no guarantee that any buyer's inspection will not find something later, taking the time to have the home pre-inspected in this manner and then making any needed repairs can help you prevent negotiation issues during the buyer inspection phase and help to keep your transaction moving along.
2. Clean, Freshen, and Enhance
Clearing away clutter, deep cleaning surfaces, and refurbishing your home - inside and out - is a necessary part of the process for selling any home. Sellers who want their homes to show well might also consider sending any seasonal clothing, stored items, and excess furnishings that they plan to keep to an offsite storage facility. Doing this will help to ensure that buyers are able to see spacious, well-organized closets, garages, and basements instead of wall-to-wall clutter.
3. Remove Potential Issues That Might Cool Buyer Interest
As you look around your home while preparing it to sell, take note of anything that might be a turnoff to a potential buyer.
Some examples might include:
- the presence of pets
- a dying tree or bush in the yard, or areas of weeds or brush
- rooms that are not being used for their intended purposes
Look for potential remedies for any potential issues you have found, even if it means taking the dog to a friend or relative's house while the home is on the market or having that special, but wind-damaged tree removed. In most areas of the country, buyers have plenty of homes to consider so it makes sense to make your home as appealing as possible to each prospective buyer.
4. Get the Price Right on Day One of the Listing
Correctly pricing your home from the start is one of the best possible ways to get your home in front of the maximum number of qualified buyers and increase your chances for a faster sale.
Your real estate professional will use verified sale and listing information from your immediate area to help you come up with the correct price for your home. Too often sellers try to price too high at the start in hopes of making more profit on the sale. However, doing this usually only succeeds in less interest from buyers and an increasing number of days on market.
5. Offer Something Extra
If your home is located in an especially competitive listing market with too many good homes being offered to a smaller number of qualified buyers, you may want to do something special to help your home stand out from the crowd. Offering something of value to potential buyers can help you offset this type of problem.
Some ideas might include:
- offering to pay for a portion of the buyer's closing costs
- offering to include value added items in the sale, such as lawn equipment, furniture, appliances, etc.
- offering a redecorating allowance for carpet or paint
- offering to pay points for the buyer's mortgage
6. Hire a Proven Real Estate Professional
Sellers who really want or need their home to sell faster than the average DOM in their area need to hire the best possible real estate professional for the job. Make it a point to find very active agents who are known for listing and selling homes successfully in your immediate area. After talking with them and checking with some of their past clients, choose one that offers a high energy, proactive marketing plan and the ability and desire to be responsive to you, as their client.