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  • Mark Pattison

Hoping for a quick home sale in 2016? Here’s your action plan.

When it comes to timing your home sale, predicting the real estate market can seem impossible. Unless you’re a psychic, you can’t know what the future holds. But you can make some predictions based on what’s happened in past real estate cycles.

For starters, 2016 is an election year. Your strategies for selling, because of those issues and more, might differ this year. Here are five clever tips to learn how to sell a house fast and help your home for sale in Charleston, SC, sell quickly in 2016.

1. Price the home right

If you ask two real estate agents whether you should underprice or overprice your home for sale, you’re likely to get two opposite responses. The overprice camp believes you can get more money by asking for more money. The underprice side believes you’ll pique the interest of more potential buyers by asking less than what comparable properties in the area are selling for. That could start a bidding war, which could drive the price back up.

I am a huge proponent of underpricing just ever so slightly. Buyers are extremely savvy these days and watch the market like hawks. They are well aware of the bloated asking prices we are experiencing currently.

2. Stage your home

It’s always a good idea to present your home in the best light possible before a sale, and doing so becomes even more important during a buyer’s market. Sellers really need to make their properties shine through.

Here are some tips and tricks, many of which won’t cost you anything, except a little elbow grease:

  • Deep-clean from top to bottom.

  • Remove screens from windows to let in more light (make sure the glass is clean).

  • Clear all walkways throughout the house.

  • Make sure all doors, closets, and cabinets can open easily.

  • Put out fresh fruit on the kitchen table and fresh flowers on bathroom counters.

  • Display clean towels in bathrooms.

  • Hide all personal items in bathrooms, including trash cans.

  • Pull furniture away from walls to create social sitting areas.

  • Give each room a purpose, especially oddly shaped or random rooms.

  • Paint the ceilings white, especially in dark rooms, to reflect more light.

3. Prepare for El Niño

The topic of weather is more than just small talk when it comes to selling your home. Extreme weather conditions, such as more rain from El Niño, for example, play a role. But there are ways to make your home more marketable during El Niño conditions:

  • For colder-climate homes: Add gutter heaters, which keep gutters and downspouts running free and clear. Doing so helps prevent ceiling leaks through overflows from increased snowfall.

  • For homes in warmer climates: Keep water at bay by adding weatherproofing tape and new window glazing.

  • For homes with basements: Purchase a sump pump.

You can also appeal to environmentally conscious buyers by installing a water catchment system to harvest rainwater from El Niño.

4. Time the sale

Springtime and early summer are traditionally good times to put your house on the market for a quick sale. And this becomes even truer for 2016 since it’s an election year. Election years mean uncertainty to a housing market. If you are concerned that the election could potentially throw a wrench in the market, spring and early summer will be early enough in the year to get the house sold before wild speculation starts breeding fear in homebuyers.

5. Target millennials

It’s a safe bet that when you sell your home in 2016, your target market will be millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 34. Millennials tend to like backyard decks, gourmet kitchens, open floor plans, balconies with views, and vegetable gardens. If your home has any of those amenities, feature them in your marketing.

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