Do you need to sell your house in Phoenix quickly? Perhaps you’ve just landed your dream job in another city and must move as soon as possible, or you’ve found the perfect home across town but need the equity from your current house to make a down payment. Even if you’re not under time pressure, you might just want to speed up the selling process, so you don’t have to deal with months of keeping your home spotless and show ready
The Phoenix real estate market can fluctuate and often be hard to predict. Selling your home quickly isn’t as easy here as it is in cities like New York City, where a red-hot seller’s market guarantees multiple bids within days of listing.
In fact, in 2016, the average Phoenix home took about 2-3 months from listing to sell. So what can you do to speed up the process? We’ve collected knowledge from 3 years of experience selling homes in Phoenix to put together this guide on how to sell your home fast. We have tips on speeding up every part of the process from preparing to list, getting your home show ready, and listing on the market.
1. Aim to sell in the spring or early summer
If you’re looking to sell fast, list your home in the spring so you can come on the market right as buyer activity is heating up (but the weather hasn’t become too hot yet). Buyers are more likely to be shopping during this time of year due to a mixture of warm weather, longer days, and if they have kids, a desire to finish moving before the school year starts. Though this seasonality is especially noticeable in cities with harsh winters like Boston, our analysis of MLS data shows it still holds true in Phoenix as well.
While home sales still occur in the winter, you can expect to wait a longer time on the market if you’re selling in the months of November through March. But, if you need to move in the winter and don’t have the flexibility to wait a few months, you can always sell your home to a direct home buyer like Opendoor.
2. Do research to price your home
One of the most certain ways to slow down the sale of your house is to overprice it. While some sellers mistakenly believe this is a smart strategy to get their desired price after negotiation, in reality, it usually leads to months wasted with zero offers. If you’d like to sell your home fast, make sure to put in the time to do your research.
Start by looking up how much your home is worth using online valuation tools like Opendoor’s home value report. Online valuation tools usually look at recent nearby home sales (realtors call these “comps”) to determine the price of your home. Take a look at the comps these tools are using for your home, and make sure you agree with them.
Comps are usually homes close in distance to yours, but sometimes a few blocks can make a big difference, like in Verrado, where homes within close proximity can range from $200,000 to $600,000. Home features can also make a big difference—make sure to adjust the value of your home up or down based on factors like how your home’s square footage, garage spaces, and backyard size differ from the comps.
3. Improve your home’s curb appeal
Curb appeal, or how attractive your home looks from the street, is one of the most important factors to getting it sold. Realtors nationwide will tell you this, but it’s especially true in Phoenix, where summers are no joke. In those peak summer home hunting months, temperatures here can easily hit 100 degrees and higher.
When a prospective buyer drives up to your house and looks out the window, you need to make enough of a first impression to convince them to leave their air-conditioned car and step into the sweltering heat to enter your home. A house with chipped paint, an overgrown lawn, or dilapidated awnings can be enough to convince a potential buyer to keep on driving.
To improve curb appeal, we recommend these projects:
- Landscape by mowing your lawn, trimming shrubs and hedges, and planting fresh flowers to add some color.
- Pressure wash the exterior of your house, clean windows, and clear gutters.
- Apply fresh paint: Phoenix’s weather conditions, especially the extreme heat, rain, and wind of the summer can cause paint to bubble and fade faster than in more temperate climates. Many factors like maintenance and materials affect how often you need to repaint your home, but use your judgment: If it’s been several years and the paint is dull or chipping, it can really affect how a buyer sees the home.
4. Depersonalize and declutter your home
When a prospective buyer comes to see your home, they are trying to picture themselves living in it. “We’ll put the couch there and set up the bookcase next to it,” you’ll hear them say, or “that will be little Billy’s room, and this will be Sara’s.” If your home is filled with pictures of your family and personal belongings, it can get in the way of their imagination.
So take down those crimson and gold Arizona State banners you have hanging up on the walls because you never know if your visitors are on the other side of the rivalry! While you’re at it, declutter and put most of your things away in storage. Less clutter will make your home look bigger. Also, if you’ve painted your walls in bold or bright colors, you might repaint them in a neutral color so that buyers with different taste don’t see this as yet another item they’ll have to change if they purchase the home.
5. Know what features Phoenix home buyers desire
When creating a listing, it’s important to focus on unique features your home has that will be most desirable to buyers. It’s especially useful to think about how your home compares to other homes for sale in the area since those will likely be your competition.
Go to open houses in your neighborhood and take note of how your home differs– do you have more bedrooms, updated appliances, or more garage space? Be sure to advertise these unique features in your listing. Also, certain amenities like a private pool for those hot days or a large, landscaped backyard for entertaining are highly desired in Phoenix, so if your home has one or both, be sure to describe them and add pictures to your listing.
6. Highlight what people love about your neighborhood
Not only are your home’s features important to buyers, but the neighborhood it’s located in is a key factor as well. Be sure to include nearby local highlights in your listing like proximity to hiking, golf courses, and entertainment and sports complexes.
To start, it can be helpful to think about the kinds of buyers that might want to live in your home. For example, if you own a large home with several bedrooms in a good school district like the Scottsdale Unified School District, families will likely be interested in your home, so be sure to advertise family-friendly features of your neighborhood like closeness to hiking trails. You can reference the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department’s website to see hiking trails near you that are family-friendly.
7. Consider selling to a direct buyer like Opendoor
Following the tips above will help you put your best foot forward when selling a home, but even so, the housing market can be unpredictable. Your house might end up sitting on the market for months because other neighborhood homes go on sale at the same time, or for some reason there aren’t many buyers looking in your area when you need to sell. Even if you do find a buyer, there are always risks like the buyer’s financing falling through at the last minute, forcing you to put your house back on the market.
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