You can count on the real estate market to be consistent in one area: constant change. One day your house may be one of the most sought-after properties in your neighborhood. The next day, it’s no longer on top. You don’t have to rely on the invisible hand of the market to control the fate of your home sale, though. A few unconventional ways to sell your home in 2022 can help, even in a sluggish housing market.
While posting your house for sale on real estate apps is as standard now as putting a sign in your yard, one old school way of selling a home just might give you the edge in today’s market: enlisting the help of your neighbors. Whether you walk the blocks and knock on doors or put a handwritten note under the corner of the welcome mat, reaching out to your neighbors and letting them know you’re going to sell is a great way to elicit community effort. Do this a few weeks before you list the house to give neighbors time to spread the word to people they know in search of a new home. The prospect of moving friends or family closer could motivate people to market the listing by word-of-mouth and bring in the right buyer for your house and your neighborhood.
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2. Online Marketplaces
If you’re looking for some great exposure for your home, it may be a good idea to market it where many people are searching daily. The more places where you share information about your house with potential buyers, the greater the chance you’ll have for attracting the right one. After listing your home on the best real estate sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com, you could try something a little unconventional to attract online buyers. Options include auctioning your house on eBay, listing it on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or even using a permanent house swapping site to trade your home for someone else’s house.
Always practice safety when posting on these platforms, and engage an attorney to protect your rights during the contract phase, even if you choose not to hire a real estate agent.
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3. Open House Party
You’ve been to those open houses where the real estate agent hands you a business card and asks you to sign the register, right? It’s fun to see potential homes, but the atmosphere can be a bit like the library. What about livening things up by throwing an open house party? Successful sellers and agents are employing this tactic to create an atmosphere of fun and relaxation. Alternately, you could create a sophisticated, elegant, luxury, or homey atmosphere—whatever suits the style of home you’re selling. Allowing potential buyers to munch on hors d’oeuvres and mingle with their competition could light a fire under them to make an offer.
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4. Vacation Rental
We all like to try before we buy, but what if you’re buying a house? One unconventional way to allow potential buyers to try your house before they buy it is by opening it up as a vacation rental. Not only will you allow people to get a glimpse of what your house feels like firsthand, but you’ll also make some money that can help you market your listing. As with regular rentals, you can work with a property management company that specializes in vacation rentals to properly screen clients and ensure payments.
Depending on where you’re located, there may be regulations in place that prohibit this tactic, so do your due diligence with the state and county where you live. Also keep in mind you may need to pay for additional insurance and taxes. If you run into obstacles, an alternative would be to offer serious buyers a free night’s stay in your home.
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Another out-of-the-box idea is to offer potential buyers a freebie. Maybe you could provide a one-year home warranty, like one from our best home warranty companies list, or pay for six months’ worth of lawn care services. Another option could be to help with moving expenses or offer one year’s worth of cleaning from a home cleaning service. Some homeowners throw in kitchen appliances, furnishings, and even tools or lawn equipment. You could also give online interior design services like those from Havenly to help new homeowners set up house. Offering useful freebies can be incredibly helpful to new homeowners and might help you sell the home.
Be sure to put a deadline on the freebie offer to motivate buyers and protect yourself from protracted negotiations over something other than your house.
6. Creative Staging
While the consensus among real estate pros is that staging helps the sale of a home, not every homeowner has the money or time to rent furniture or hire a stager. That’s where virtual staging comes in. Apps can add rugs, furniture, decor, and even lighting effects to the professional photos of your rooms.
If you budgeted for staging but want a new twist, try staging with flow in mind using feng shui principles, or stage for a certain type of buyer, such as home cooks in your fabulous kitchen or big families with themed kids rooms.
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7. Cash Buy
There is a small segment of sellers who don’t have the budget necessary to do even the little things you can do to help sell your house. If you’re such a homeowner, selling your house to a cash buyer may be a good idea. Many iBuyers and home-buying companies can purchase your home at market value and provide a full offer in cash for your house as-is.
Keep in mind that although you may get a fair offer, the lack of competition from buyers may not allow you to get as much money as possible for your home. Additionally, the fees they charge could be higher than the cost of paying a real estate agent. But if you’re struggling to sell and need to get out quickly, a cash offer could be the right move.
With special reporting by Mel Childs