6 Tips for Selling Your Home

for sale sign in front of house
(Teresa J. Cleveland/DVIDS)

We told you everything you need to know about buying your first home. And, now that you’ve received your PCS orders or decided to move, it’s time to talk about selling your home fast. Here are a few simple steps that will help you sell your home quickly, and for the best price.

1. Price your home correctly

Since service members relocate every few years, you want to sell your home for the highest possible price. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should hike up the asking price. Overpricing your home will increase the time on the market, and pricing your home at fair market value may ultimately net you more money.

Online real estate sites offer appraisal services and tools designed to help sellers appropriately and accurately price their homes. Once you learn exactly how your home should be priced, you've eliminated one major obstacle.

2. Get your finances in order

After having your home appraised, you’ll want to review your options for financing. Service members automatically qualify for a Veteran’s Administration (VA) Loan guarantee, which means they can buy with virtually no money down. Ask an expert in the mortgage department of your credit union or bank for the details.

You’ll also want to get pre-qualified for a certain loan amount before you go house hunting. You should contact a local lender in the community you’d like to live in or use one of many online services to get pre-qualified online. By getting pre-qualified, the sellers will take you seriously as they know you can afford the property and are ready to move fast.

3. Be a smart marketer

Find as many ways as possible to market your home. Along with an internet listing and an open house, you may consider a 24-hour real estate hotline dedicated specifically to your house. Listings on the Internet, of course, offer comprehensive information to prospective sellers around the clock.

Additionally, giving buyers the signs they need to locate your home is increasingly important. Potential buyers may have a hard time finding your house no matter where it’s located, and using directional signs to ensure that your home will be seen is imperative. Count how many turns it takes to find the main street. The number of turns you make is the number of signs you’ll need.

4. Find a fixer-upper to increase value in a short time

As a service member, you may sell your new home in the next three to five years and you should treat it as an investment property. Buying a fixer-upper is a great way to increase your home’s value in a short amount of time.

Small changes you make now – such as replacing outdated appliances, applying a fresh coat of paint inside and out and replacing hardwood floors or carpeting – can help raise the asking price when it’s time to relocate at the end of your assignment.

5. Do your research before relocating

Moving to a new part of the country can be overwhelming, especially if you have children in school. Check the details on school districts, neighborhoods and even find contractors online such as plumbers and electricians before you arrive.

6. From Curb Appeal to Your First Open House

Curb appeal – the impression buyers get when they first pull up to a home – is crucial in showcasing a home. Make sure hedges, bushes and the lawn are trimmed, flowers are abundant and fences look brand new.

Once you’re ready to schedule an open house, you’ll want to create a warm atmosphere inside that will attract buyers – and make them feel like they’re at home. Make your home seem as spacious as possible by taking clutter off dressers and countertops and removing oversized furniture. Make sure every room is spotless, paying special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Open all drapes and window blinds, and replace any burned-out light bulbs.

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