Seattle Washington is a beautiful place to live. Its attractions entice people from everywhere to come settle in and be part of the community. Downtown holds cultural experiences like Chinatown-International District and the Marketplace. You can visit Seattle’s birthplace, Pioneer Square which is known for its Renaissance

Revival architecture or sit atop the Space Needle and look out at the splendor of the city.  You won’t have a shortage of interested buyers.

Seattle is a great place to raise a family so if you are moving on, selling your home here in Seattle should be a breeze.

There’s a process

You’ve made the decision to sell your home. You have doubts, concerns, fears, and “what-if” questions running through your mind. The process of selling your home does not have to be stressful. Before you begin, here are some questions you need to answer to guide you in the right direction:

  • What are the current market conditions in Seattle?
  • What is the average time it takes to sell a home in my area?
  • Will it cost me to sell my home? How much?
  • Should I sell my home myself?
  • If choosing a realtor, how do I find a good one?
  • How do I get my home ready to sell?
  • How much is my house worth?

Checking the real estate market in your area will give you a starting point from which you can determine how your home should be listed. Determining the market value of your home is done by looking at the last three months of home sales in your development. You then adjust for the amenities in your home as well as the condition it is in.

If you are selling your home in the city it is a little different because you aren’t dealing with track housing but rather all the homes are different. In this case, you should look at what homes similar to your style and size sold for in nearby neighborhoods.

How long will it take to sell your home?

The answer here, of course, depends on several factors, but the average time a home stays on the market is between 30-90 days. If your home is overpriced it will likely take much longer and you will probably end up selling it for less than you listed it for anyway.

Selling your home yourself is a lot of work and although you may save on the commission you pay your own realtor, you will still have to pay the buyer’s agent a commission.

A home that is “for sale by owner” is often a slower, more complicated process. If you work then the times you are available to show your home is limited. Another drawback is that you will be present during the showing. It is always better and more comfortable for prospective buyers if the homeowner is not present. If you are selling yourself then you are the contact person. You will be getting calls from people wanting to see your home or have strangers knocking on your door at all hours asking for a showing.

It is difficult when you are acting as your own agent to not get emotional when problems with your home are pointed out to you. It is also very difficult to not take offers and negotiations of your home personally.

Finding the right guy/gal

It is difficult to find a good realtor. You want someone who has a good sense of the market and knows its quirks and how it fluctuates. Finding a realtor with at least 4-5 years’ experience is a good place to start.

Guidelines suggest that when interviewing realtors, you should interview a minimum of 3 before deciding. You want someone who will not only work well with you but who also has a knack for dealing with the buyers. When choosing a realtor, make sure you are comfortable with him/her. You should be able to speak freely and express any concerns you may have. Selling your home is a big decision. You want it done fast but you also want it to be a smooth process. Check the track record of the realtor you choose. If they have a proven track record than you are headed in the right direction.

Getting it all together – making your house a home people want to buy

Getting your home in the right condition so it will sell at the best price will take a little work and a little creativity. A potential buyer gets their first impression of your home when they pull up to the curb and walk up to your door.

Make sure the area is clean and neat, not overly cluttered. The lawn should be cut and the bushes trimmed neatly.

Entering your home should bring a cheerful, feel-good feeling to people. Open all the blinds to allow natural light into the area and turn on lamps to light up shadowed corners.

It is a good idea to have your windows cleaned and if possible a fresh coat of paint to spruce up dingy walls would give a crisp impression. If your carpets are dirty, go ahead and have them cleaned.

Again, walk around your home and remove any items that make the space feel small and cluttered. Less is more. You want your home to feel spacious and inviting, not cramped and dark like a jail cell.

How to sell your home fast

How fast your home will sell is partly in your control, which means there are also things you can’t do anything about. The real-estate market, area growth, the economy, these are areas in which you will have no say but can hope for the best. However, there are things you can do if selling your house fast is your goal. You can always cut the price of your home to far below what it is worth.

Companies that pay cash for homes look for houses that are bankruptcies, in probate, in foreclosure or being sold by owners trying to evict unruly tenants. They also buy homes that have been sitting vacant or houses that have been trashed and need to be cleaned up.

Many investment companies will buy your home for cash, but know that you will be selling it at 40-50 percent below market value. These companies will then keep your home as a rental or they will remodel it and sell the renovated property. There are a few advantages to selling this way if you are in a hurry:

  • You get to close on your schedule
  • The sale is guaranteed
  • You don’t have to pay commission
  • You sell your home as is
  • You don’t need to hold open houses
  • You get cash within several days rather than several weeks

If you want to sell your home as is, without repairing things that would normally be considered your financial responsibility, this may be the path for you. Investors often buy homes “as is” and skip inspections and appraisals.

Investors who know what they are doing pay cash for every home they buy, and it is possible to make to sell your home for a large profit. There are also savvy scam artists waiting to take your money.

Some simple red flags include:

  • A buyer who wants to buy without seeing the house
  • All communication is done by email
  • A buyer renders a check but later asks for a refund. (before the check has cleared)
  • The buyer has no interest in negotiating the price

Remember, the downside to this option is that while you walk away with cash in your pocket, the investor will not be paying you market value for your home even if it is in great condition.

Up the odds of a fast sale

Another way to up the odds of selling your home quickly is to present it at its best. Aside from the tips discussed above, how your home looks on flyers and in brochures can affect how long it takes to sell. A nice looking high-quality photo will have many more interested buyers that a cheap black and white flyer.

Take a picture of the front of your home during the time of day that it looks most appealing. You should also photograph rooms based on the time that they are brightest from natural light. Again, if you have especially dark areas, strategically place lamps or mirrors to brighten the shadows.

Make it easy for the real estate agent or broker to show your home. Use a key box and allow short notice showings. Be prepared to leave the home for about a half hour. Run some errands or go enjoy a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop. Potential buyers need to envision the house as their own with their own décor. They also need to feel free to express opinions and ask questions. Buyers who look at a home with the home owners present take half the time to view it and seldom ask questions. They are also more likely to put it on there “not interested” list.

Ultimately, whether you use an agent, sell your house yourself, or do a quick cash deal, the amount of time it takes to sell your home is largely up to you.