Ever hear the stories about the people burying statues of St. Joseph (the patron saint of house and family) underneath their “For Sale” signs in hopes that it would help generate a faster offer? It may sound ridiculous, but it’s true! In fact, when the housing market is slow, people turn to all kinds of less-than-rational things to get a deal done. While we don’t advocate going THAT far, here are 4 creative things you can do to (hopefully!) help move your house off the market a little faster:
1. Get your friends to help
If you’re trying to sell your house on your own, offer your friends an incentive (like a $500 gift card, for example) to find you a buyer. Who knows? They might have a friend-of-a-friend or a distant cousin who’s looking to buy a place just like yours! $500 may seem like a lot to fork over for a friend’s help, but it’s much less than you would spend on a realtors commission!
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2. Do some historical digging
Just because your home doesn’t qualify as a historical landmark doesn’t mean there isn’t a good story behind it! By doing a little bit of homework at your local library or down at City Hall, you may be able to find an interesting tale that will have potential buyers salivating. Like what? Maybe your neighborhood sits on an ancient Indian burial ground. Or, maybe your sleepy little town was once featured in a movie. Or, maybe Elvis once ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich in the café down the street. Whatever quirky facts you can dig up, they just might be enough to set your house apart from the competition!
3. Write a letter
Want potential buyers to know just how great your time in your home has been? Tell them! Instead of sticking around for an awkward face-to-face conversation during the showing, leave a handwritten letter that goes over some of the highlights – like why you fell in love with the house in the first place, what it was like to walk through the front door with your son when he came home from the hospital, and how great it felt to host your first Thanksgiving dinner in the formal dining room. By putting pen to paper, you can bring out a “human” touch that other sellers aren’t, which may be enough to bring your home to the front of the line!
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4. Forget the open house
Let’s party! Hate the thought of a bunch of strangers wandering through your home during an open house while you silently beg one of them to make an offer? Why not make the open house concept a little more enjoyable, by turning it into a party?! Some sellers are doing just that. One Las Vegas-based realtor hosted a Cinco de Mayo party, complete with tacos and margaritas, while a San Jose realtor brought Santa Claus in for a family-themed holiday party. One word of advice, though – make sure your party complements your home’s high points. Just because you love margaritas doesn’t mean you should have a real estate fiesta. Or, just because it’s December doesn’t mean you need Santa Claus to put in an appearance. For example, if you’ve got a great backyard, host a barbecue or an outdoor brunch. Or, if you’ve got a great media room, host a football-themed party with the game on in the background. That way, potential buyers will feel more relaxed, and you’ll get to show off your home’s best features all at the same time.
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