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How to Sell an Orlando Home Fast

Lara ManettaJuly 10, 2024
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You just inherited a property in Orlando. And while it sounds great to have a second home… That's a lot of maintenance, especially if you don't live nearby.

If you are in the position of having to sell an inherited home, know you are not alone. Kiplinger Finance recently shared that 68% of homeowners plan to leave their homes to heirs when they die. Many of these heirs are not in a position to keep the home and will need to sell it, and most of them will have to do it fast.

How can you sell a property quickly — without a lot of fuss? We got advice from Rose Kemp, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association and a Realtor® with over 20 years experience representing both sellers and buyers. Below, you'll find valuable tips from Rose, along with advice from other experts. 

Understand the Orlando real estate market

To have the right expectations and strategy, you need to understand the real estate market in the area where you want to sell. Rose says the Orlando market is finally stabilizing. They're seeing more sellers on the market, but more buyers, as well. According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, the number of new listings has increased by 30% over the same time last year. 

No matter when or where you are selling, consider the current market conditions when listing a home. "[Ask questions like] What are the days on the market for my area?" Rose says. "This can help you get a better idea of pricing. Do you price aggressively? [That depends on] how much time you have."

Choose the right real estate agent

Not sure you know enough about the Orlando real estate market? Rose emphasizes seeking the advice of a qualified Realtor. "Our market moves quickly," she says. "Unless you're in real estate and you're in the trenches and you're out in the fields every day, you probably don't truly understand what our market is doing."

She says that your Realtor is your go-to expert when it comes to everything from general market conditions and competitive pricing to tips on the best ways to present your home. Real estate professionals do hundreds of deals over the course of their careers, meaning they have the experience to help you create a winning strategy. 

What about bulk home buyers? Anyone who's driven down an Orlando road has seen "We buy houses!" signs dotting the landscape. While the idea of trading the house for quick and easy cash can be tempting, at least take the time to interview a real estate agent or two before you commit. Home-buying companies often pay just a fraction of what you can get on the open market. And, a dedicated real estate agent has the resources to get you the quickest sale possible without a lot of effort on your part after the listing goes live.

Price your home competitively

When your goal is a quick sale, it's important to price your home to compete from the first day. Multiple real estate pros say, when buyers see a house linger on the market with multiple price decreases, they start to wonder what is wrong with the home. In some cases, there may be nothing wrong beyond a seller who overvalued the house.

Rose emphasizes that comps are important when pricing, especially if you are highly motivated to make a quick deal. "If there're five homes that are just like yours in your area and they're sitting there for 60 days while you want to sell in 30, knowing that will help you strategize with your Realtor," she says. "Based on that data, if I want to sell quicker than all of them, I might want to price more aggressively."

Utilize professional home staging services

Make it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine themselves living in and enjoying the home by making your home show-ready before you list.

The first step is to do a deep cleaning and decluttering. Invest in small improvements like cleaning the carpets and adding a coat of paint to the front door. Box up any items that need to be donated, moved, or given away. This will make it easier to get the home ready to show on a moment's notice. 

If you are living in the home, be conscious of having to get the house ready to show at any given time. Keep a couple of totes handy so you can sweep clutter off tables and counters when your Realtor calls to say someone wants to come by. 

Professional staging services can help both people selling homes they are living in and homes they have inherited and have to prepare for sale. The stager can give advice to help present the home as well as possible.

If the house is empty, for instance, a stager may advise bringing in a few items of furniture to make the home look warmer and more inviting. Rose says there are also professionals offering virtual staging. A photographer comes into the clean, empty home, takes photos, then digitally adds furnishing and accessories after the fact. 

Be responsive and flexible with showings

If you want to sell quickly, you need to be available when the buyers are. There will be many times your Realtor will need access to the home without much notice. "Buyers come into town, they go to the parks, they decide they want to buy a second home, and they have one day to do it," Rose says. "If the seller goes, 'oh no, I can't show today,' well, the buyer is hopping on a plane tomorrow."

She says she has had buyers who fly into town, look at three or four homes, and then fly back out the same day. If the house you are trying to sell is not available on the buyers' schedule, you may miss the opportunity.

Offer incentives to buyers

Want to stand out? Offering buyer incentives can sweeten the pot and encourage buyers to make an offer. Some sellers motivate buyers by offering to cover closing costs. You can also give credit for an expedited closing to help you move along more quickly. 

Incentives are good for the seller, too. At Redy.com, you have the opportunity to gain a cash bonus just for listing your home. Redy is the only platform that allows real estate agents to compete for your business by offering you a cash incentive in exchange for letting them represent you.

Leverage open houses and private showings

An open house is a great way to generate excitement about a newly available house. Work with your Realtor to determine the best time to have an open house and how long the event should go on. For instance, if you are in an area where many people commute to 9 to 5 jobs, an after-work open house could catch people on their way home from the office.

Your Realtor should also check local event calendars to ensure your open house event won't conflict with other nearby listings. If there are several listings with open houses from noon to 3 pm, your agent may choose to schedule from 1 pm to 4 pm or from 11 am to 3 pm to capture people before or after they check out other homes in the area. 

Get all the paperwork in order in advance

If you want to sell fast, make sure there are no loose ends that can slow down or imperil closing. Rose says she runs title work in advance on some properties to get ahead of closing. "A lot of people don't even realize they might have a lien on their house," she says. 

Other paperwork you should have handy include the deed to the home, any relevant paperwork from the estate if it is in escrow, home appliance warranties and paperwork relating to the HOA, if applicable.

The more complete your planning before you get an offer, the better your odds of moving through swiftly through closing. 

Negotiate offers wisely

Being willing to negotiate can make your house more attractive to a buyer than other comparable houses in the area. This can be especially true when a house has issues that a buyer will have to deal with.

In the Florida market, houses with roofs that are 15 years old or older are likely to need a roofing replacement before they can get the home insured. This can often be required even when the owner thinks the roof is still sound. "Are you going to pay for a new roof? If the roof needs to be replaced, will you monetarily cover that for the buyer?" Rose asks. "Or, are you selling as is with the roof as it is? Now you need to price a little differently, because you know that a new purchaser is going to run into this challenge."

By being flexible and realistic, you can keep a buyer's interest. And, don't just think of price when it comes to negotiation. NAR says, in the current market, most sellers sell for 100% of listing price. If you want to charm a buyer, there are areas besides price that can be open for negotiation. If you need to close quickly, for instance, you can stipulate that in a counteroffer you send.

Summing up

Selling a house quickly can be a challenge even in a highly active market. But, the task can be easier when you are working with a skilled Realtor who is experienced selling properties like yours. Rose concludes with one note for sellers: "It's all about working as a team, listening to advice. You'll get through it all more smoothly and positively, and, potentially, with more dollars in your pocket. And I think that's what all sellers want to do."

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At Redy, we partner with area real estate professionals who are passionate and knowledgeable. Find out what they will offer to represent your house today. 

Lara Manetta is a freelance writer based in Florida. She's written extensively about local and national real estate, including a book for doctors interested in real estate investing. When she's not writing, you can find her kayaking, reading, or sailing.

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