Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Ways to Sell a Home Fast

Do you ever wish you could go back and change something or do something differently?  I try not to dwell on the past, but when it comes to this certain house that I bought I kick myself every time I think about it.  

The first house that I bought with my own mortgage was this tiny little thing in the center of Provo, Utah.  I bought for around $130,000 in 2006 when the market was just shy of the peak.  I was so excited to be a home owner because I worked for a company that taught how to invest in real estate and I thought I was so stinking smart to buy a home (#1 reason to kick myself).  

I got a great conventional mortgage and then I was talked into refinancing to take out equity (since the market value was still increasing like crazy) and invest in other properties.  I did the refinance and the new loan was this "super cool" option ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) where you can choose to pay the entire amortizing payment, the interest only, or a smaller portion and have the rest tacked onto the loan acquiring interest.  And I kick myself again.  I didn't end up putting money into the other thing, thank goodness, but still.  Kick, kick.  

(oh why didn't I paint the cabinets white?  WHY?!)

I had owned the house for about 6 months and got engaged to Hubsters, who owned his own (much, much nicer) townhouse in the Salt Lake area.  Obviously after we got married I moved in with him and rented out my house.  We put it on the market and it didn't sell.  Then the renters moved out.  And it didn't sell.  Then we got more renters who couldn't afford it but wanted to be in a house so badly (another kick for letting them rent -- rule: when someone is increasing their rent payment a lot but not their income, you won't be paid so don't do it... I don't care how desperate you think you are).  And it didn't sell.  We left it empty to try to sell again.  Nothing.  Finally we lease optioned it and that fell through.  In the end, we tried selling it with 4 agents and in 3 years it finally sold for $125,000 ish.  We lost a lot of money in mortgage payments, price drop, and a lot of heartache from stress.  It was all my fault for not being informed by the right people (enter Dave Ramsey -- more about that in another post).  KICK!

Oh, you want me to get to the point of this story?  Well fine.  Here are a few tips on how to sell your house quickly.  And believe me, I've learned from experience.  I wish I would have known these things from 2006-2009.  Kick.

1. Get a good real estate agent.  Do your research!  Your friend might be good, but please don't hire your friend just because he is your friend.  If there is someone better, hire that person.  It may be hard to not choose your friend at first, but I promise it will save your friendship (in most cases).

2. Get a marketing/action plan in writing from the agent.  What are they going to do to sell your house?  What is the advertising schedule?  Etc.  This should be very detailed.

3. Have your home professionally staged (by an APSD home stager! -- okay, they don't have to be APSD certified, but we do a great job!).  This is one of my biggest reasons to kick myself about my house.  I thought staging was paying for a whole bunch of expensive furniture to be put in the house.  Home staging can be done on any budget.  There is no excuse.  Besides, home staging costs less than your first price drop and usually less than your first empty house mortgage payment!

4. If you are able, offer an incentive such as a Home Warranty.  Tip:  don't offer a carpet allowance.  It is better to just have the carpets replaced prior to putting the home on the market.  It will look nicer to potential buyers and sell for a higher price.  

Alright.  Four tips is good.  I don't want to overwhelm those of you who are still reading this novel.  But I hope it helps at least one of you!

One last picture.  This is a side view from the cross streets.  The house/duplex on the left was my first investment duplex (that one turned out well).  The one in the center was my house.

If you are interested in becoming a home stager, click here for your free APSD CD.  You know I have to throw that in.  :)  Muaahhh!


  1. we are buying a house next spring and I will take all the tips I need! Hopefully we won't be selling a house anytime soon :-)

  2. That's a shame! But thanks for passing on your tips!

  3. So helpful! We're not ready to sell yet, but someday.

  4. Hmm... Looks like I need to get a marketing plan with my realtor.

  5. Man there are so many things we wish we could go back and do differently. We are in the process of trying to sell our house in Las Vegas because our renters suck. We are also doing the Dave Ramsey classes. Gary's work recently offered it to us. We have done the first four classes and they have really changed our thinking. We are now just trying to get on a plan and stick to it. I am sorry that your first house ownership did not work out too well. I guess we live and we learn.

  6. Hi, I am your newest follower. Love your blog! Wow, I wish I had those tips when we were trying to sell our home. We were in homeowner hell trying to sell for two years! Talk about learning a huge lesson! Thanks for the post.

  7. Great tips! All the houses I have ever staged have sold~ even in this tricky market. It does indeed work!

  8. So sorry the blood, sweat, and tears didn't have a better outcome. :( I'll never forget how deep and ugly those bruises on my body were after the first weekend of renovating...haha Oh least I wasn't the one responsible for getting you into that silly pick-a-pay loan that put things in a bit of a tailspin ;)


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