4 Tips for Selling Your Home When the Military Hands You Short-Notice Orders

Man with moving boxes

Post from MilitaryByOwner

You’ve just received short-notice military orders and find that you don’t have months to plan for your move, much less the sale of your home. You already know that military life doesn’t always unfold predictably, but rest assured, there are still a few things you can do to get your home ready to sell, even with this shortened window of time to prepare.

When it comes to home selling, regardless of the timetable, it’s a comfort to know that the basics don’t change — they’ll just need to be sped up a bit. With 2019 continuing to be a sellers’ market, use these tips to help bring in your highest offer.

1. Know Your Priorities

Home buyers are looking for “move-in ready,” so getting your home in immaculate condition and any repairs completed will be important before you take photographs or post your online home listing. Since you likely won’t have the luxury of spreading your to-do lists over several months of Sundays, set some priorities to accomplish this goal:

  • Tackle repairs and touch-ups. Look at your home objectively. Are there missing blinds, dings on walls or baseboards, or repainting that needs to happen? And don’t ignore the outside. Stand across the street from your home and focus on curb appeal, including needed lawn maintenance, trees or bushes that need to be trimmed, touch up paint on trim, railings, and doors, missing shingles and window screens, and any deep cleaning or powerwashing that needs to happen.
  • Declutter and depersonalize. The less of your belongings a buyer can see, the better they can visualize the space as their own. You may want to rent a short-term storage space to stow excess furniture or items crowding the house’s closet and storage rooms, since every nook and cranny will be opened up during a home tour.
  • Stage your home to sell. Whether you hire a professional stager or DIY, buyers’ agents agree that home staging increases the dollar value of a home.
  • Get amazing photos. If you’re snapping photos yourself or working with a photographer, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
    • Take photos in landscape orientation at the highest resolution possible.
    • Plan for the photos during the brightest part of the day or under good lighting.
    • It should go without saying (unfortunately, it doesn’t!), but people and pets should not be visible in photos. Check mirrors for unintended reflections, too. Other no-no’s for your home listing photos include groceries on the counter, clutter, or trash.
    • Get a great front exterior shot of your house along with accompanying photos that show a brightly lit interior. Use photos to showcase amenities such as a walking trail or community pool.

2. Connect with an MRP (Military Relocation Professional)

Military Relocation Professionals are REALTORS® who take the time to earn a special certification to better assist home sellers and buyers with a military affiliation. An MRP must be in good standing with the National Association of REALTORS®, go through training that includes an understanding of VA Home Loan benefits and other military life specifics, and pass an exam.

These real estate agents should understand the compressed timeframe of selling a home due to an impending PCS. Learn more about how an MRP can help in Why You Should Consider Using a Military Relocation Professional.

3. Do Your Part to Promote Your House

Even if you’re using an agent to help sell your home, you’ll still need to do your part to help publicize your listing.

  • Create a virtual tour and share it along with your home’s listing on social media and in any groups you belong to. Ask your friends to reshare. You never know if the friend of a friend is home shopping in your area.
  • Place easily viewed signage in front of your home, as well as at your neighborhood entrance if you can. While most home buyers start their home search online, you still want to reach potentials who are already passing by your house.
  • Plan for at least one open house.
  • Create your listing on MilitaryByOwner. MBO reaches transitioning military families all across the country. If your home is near a military base, you can add your home for sale or rent listing whether or not you’re also using a REALTOR®.

4. Have a Back-Up Plan

Since you don’t have the luxury of time, you’ll need a good back-up plan if your home doesn’t sell before you PCS, which may include renting out your home. Even if you’re using the services of a property manager, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that go along with renting a property, how to manage a home from a distance, and communication with renters.

Learn more in the Landlord/Tenant Ebook, a guide specifically designed for military landlords.

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