Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks

When you're ready to sell your home, there's no reason you can't sell like a professional. People who flip homes for a living know what makes a difference for a quick sale at a great price. Take advantage of their insight and tips for a better home-selling experience.

1. Invest in your curb appeal

You might be super-proud of your hardwood flooring or custom cabinetry, but what's the first thing a potential buyer sees? Your lawn. Those scraggly trees. The flower beds, or lack thereof. The front door with its faded coat of paint. All these outdoor elements create a first impression, and a good first impression sets the selling stage.

House-flipping pros know a fresh coat of paint on the doors, shutters, and exterior trim can have a much better impact on potential buyers. It's a good idea, too, to invest in a new, stylish mailbox that matches your home's exterior.

Other curb appeal updates can be accomplished with a little spare time and hard work. Clear out any outdoor clutter; ensure that the roof, entry, and sidewalks are clean. Clean outdoor lighting and replace any burned-out bulbs or broken fixtures. Update the landscaping by trimming trees, adding in some annuals for a punch of color, and putting down fresh mulch over all beds. (See also: 6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing)

2. Know your neighborhood

Pro flippers know how important it is to make sure a home for sale fits well into its surroundings. If your home is noticeably shabbier than its neighbors, it will stand out, and not in a good way. You run the risk of people seeing it as rundown or neglected.

Conversely, if your home has too many luxury upgrades to fit into the price point of the surrounding area, you might price yourself right out of a sale. Potential buyers want to know they'll be able to resell the house in the future; if it stands out as too costly in an area that doesn't match, you're likely to scare them away.

3. Do renovations right — and highlight them

The 2016 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends found that homeowners who tackled a major renovation before selling their home tended to sell for up to 2 percent above the asking price. So if there's a big, obvious project you need to take care of, whether it's a dated bathroom or a sagging roof, it's worth the time and cash to do it.

Just make sure you do the renovations right! Skimping on materials or trying to DIY a project that's beyond your capability can reduce your home's value, not increase it. Hire the professionals you need and pay for good materials. Then highlight the work you've had done, so potential buyers see the care, thought, and cost that's gone into it. (See also: 10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves)

4. Make minor upgrades for a major difference

Experienced house flippers know that minor upgrades can make a huge difference in how a home's value is perceived. For example, replacing contractor-standard light fixtures, cabinet hardware, and faucets with premium and custom fixtures can make your home stand out. The custom upgrades are noticeable and differentiate your home from comparable ones on the market.

Consider replacing kitchen appliances with used, high-end models, as well. You can score great deals on a used stove or refrigerator. Homebuyers don't know or care that it's been used by someone other than you; they just notice and appreciate the quality.

5. Stage for a quicker sale

You can stage a house yourself, or you can hire a professional stager. Since staging is somewhat of an art form, it can be worth the price to hire an experienced pro. It's hard for some potential buyers to picture themselves in a home that's already lived in. The magic of staging is that the home looks just lived in enough; it's appealing, stylish, and comfortable, but not too personal.

Professional staging is a relatively small investment, typically costing around 1 percent of the home's listing price. You might be able to pay a little less for a one-time consultation with a professional stager who will give you ideas you can implement yourself.

You might think that staging isn't really necessary, but you'd be surprised by the difference it can make in your home sale. According to a 2015 profile by the National Association of Realtors, many realtors have found that staging can raise a home's value by up to 10 percent. And according to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged houses sell 73 percent faster than non-staged homes.

6. Do some modern marketing

The final expert tip is to use technology to put out some great marketing for your home. Social media is easy to use, and you can approach your ideal buyers as a group instead of waiting for them to come find you. Take (or hire someone to take) great photos of your house, write up a smart description, and spend a little money on targeted advertising on Facebook or Twitter.

Social media advertising can be very inexpensive. Even a couple of dollars a day will put your ad in front of several thousand people in a targeted group. After they see that curb appeal, upgrades, and staging, you'll be selling like a pro flipper in no time.

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Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks

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