4 proven tips that sell properties fast

Suffering from a stale listing? Sometimes the property you’re trying to sell isn’t moving as quickly as you thought, but agents and investors shouldn’t overlook the power of marketing – regardless of how long their listing has been lingering on the market.

A stale listing can look like a big red flag to buyers, but if you change your approach to the creation and promotion of your listing, you might end up selling your property sooner than you think.

One key to selling your property faster is a greater number of page views. According to Zillow Research, homes with less than 100 page views have an estimated 12 percent chance of selling in 60 days or less, but homes with 280 or more page views have a 36 percent chance of selling in the same time frame. It goes without saying – drawing more attention to your listing can increase your chances of selling nearly three-fold… but how do YOU (as the seller or agent) compose and promote your listing in such a way that will attract more buyers?

If your property has been sitting on the market for far too long, make sure your listing incorporates the following 4 strategies…

1. Be Careful with Listing Language

According to Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, co-authored by Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries, listings with specific keywords tend to sell for more than their projected closing price. An analysis of 24,000 homes showed that bottom-tier homes with the descriptor “luxurious” tend to sell for 8.2 percent above the expected sale price. Sellers of inexpensive properties aren’t the only ones to benefit from enticing language either. Top-tier homes that used the word “captivating” in their listing description tend to sell for 6.5 percent higher than the expected sale price.

RELATED: SOLD! How To Write Real Estate Ads That Sell Properties Fast

The key is providing an accurate description. If you market your low-cost home as luxurious, you should have high-end finishes and amenities to back up the claim. Using the word “impeccable” can help buyers note the move-in ready condition of a property, and don’t forget to include information about any recent renovations. Words like “upgraded” and “updated” helped some lower-priced homes sell for 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent higher than the expected sale price, respectively.

On the other hands, words like “fixer” and “TLC” can be red flags to buyers and should not be included when describing property information. In fact, listings in the mid-price range with the word “fixer” as a descriptor sold an average of 11.1 percent less than expected. Other words to avoid are “investor,” which signals a flip opportunity. Even in high-priced homes, descriptions including the word investor sold for 6.6 percent less, presumably because this type of word caused buyers to assume there was potential for negotiation.

2. Include Multiple High-Quality Photos

The era of the internet has caused most home buyers to become even pickier about their purchases, especially because so many listings completely FAIL to exhibit the best attributes of a property. A buyer scrolling through pictures is less likely to click on a single, fuzzy, dark image versus bright, captivating picture. It’s also worth noting that homes with fewer than nine photos are 20 percent less likely to sell in 60 days, compared to homes with 22 to 27 images.

3. Price Carefully Based on Market Value

Buyers today have unlimited resources for determining market values in the desired region. Homes listed 12 percent above estimated market value are almost 50 percent less likely to sell in 60 days than homes with a list price that accurately reflects the local housing market.

As an agent, it can be difficult to convince a seller to lower their asking price when they’re losing money (or when they simply think too highly of their property). It’s best to show these sellers some comparable properties in the area and provide recommendations beyond marketing tactics that can guarantee them top dollar.

Small renovations like paint and new hardware can go a long way, and the job of an agent is to help sellers understand how they can entice buyers without investing too much of their own cash. Any structural, electrical or plumbing upgrades that might be hazardous to future occupants should be taken care of prior to listing.

4. Share Your Listing

Balloons key on the computer keyboardSocial media is often overlooked as a property marketing tool, but it can be just as effective at getting a buyer’s attention as search engines. Always share your properties for sale on your professional Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account with hashtags to reach interested parties outside of your inner social circle. Be sure to provide a link to the listing itself as many social postings limit the number of characters and photos for every update.

And don’t forget, posting your listings on Zillow with an accurate, well-written description and multiple images is a MUST to reach consumers. Agents can create free profiles and connect active listings automatically, so home buyers searching for real estate agents can review your portfolio before they make the first contact. Be sure that your listings are up-to-par with the strategies mentioned above and you’ll find yourself impressing more leads and closing more deals.

As Andrew with REthority.com says in his article on real estate marketing, Nextdoor has become a new entrant into the social media market. Agents can buy a territory and promote their listings to neighborhoods in specific zip codes.

Territories are limited to a set number of agents, which means you can ensure you’ll reach your target market. Many agents have found success using this platform, as over 75% of users on the platform are homeowners, meaning they’ll likely be buying or selling a house in the future.

jenn_gravatarJennifer Riner studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin and is a contributor to the  Zillow blog and Inman. She focuses on rentals, home improvement, and design. You can find more of her articles here.

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  1. NANCY MACIAS MORALES says:

    Very useful tips for sellers! Choosing the right agent is the biggest challenge in a real estate venture i reckon.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Nancy! I agree – and agent can bring a lot of value under the right circumstance.

  2. Rodney Arrington says:

    Seth, the concept of land investing really is great. I do have one question; if you obtain a loan to purchase a large amount of land, and decide to sell portions of the land as an investment, then how does it work if someone wants to buy a lot from you and wants the deed to what portion they have paid for? I’m just trying to figure out that aspect, if that makes any sense? Thank you.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Rodney, good question.

      Most lenders won’t lend on vacant land like this (not unless you have a well-thought-out plan to develop it ahead of time). However, if you do have a well defined plan and you start selling off chunks of the original parcel like this, as long as the lender was aware of your original plan and they approved it, they would probably expect you to use these sale proceeds to pay off the respective portion of your original loan with them and in return, they would then complete and record a “modification” to their original mortgage, stating that these chunks of land that have been sold off are no longer part of their collateral for the loan.

      Does that make sense?

      1. Rodney arrington says:

        Seth it makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to answer. Take care.

  3. Mkuu Hanje says:

    Very useful information. Thanks.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      You bet! Thanks Mkuu.

  4. Matt Mortensen says:

    I agree with you about high quality photos. I have always been a huge proponent of high quality professional photos. Thanks for sharing this great info!

  5. Pearson Ferrier says:

    Great advice! Various high quality photos is definitely a must and with social media growing at the speed it is, I think sharing your property via social media could really help sell a property quicker.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Agreed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Pearson!

  6. Aniket says:

    I agree with you about high quality photos and about price compared with market price. Thanks for sharing this great info about 4 Proven Tips That Sell Properties Fast!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Aniket! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  7. Kayla says:

    A very valuable piece indeed! I sold my property before really quick because I have done these tips.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience Kayla.

  8. Pancho says:

    You can really find anything on the internet and that even includes property prices. With this people can see if they’re getting ripped on real estate sales or just home sales. If I were to buy a house or condo I would do my research and see if the price of the property is actually the price it should be going for. It’s getting harder to make a profit and I would pay more for a well maintained home so I assume a lot of people would too.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Pancho!

  9. Nash Rich says:

    It’s interesting how the right choice of words can persuade people so well. I wouldn’t have guessed it would matter that much. I’m a photos guy though, I like to see what everything looks like and imagine the lay out in my head, so I can think about it for a while. I definitely believe that the more appealing the photo is, the more we’ll be influenced. There is a saying in psychology on the lines of “what’s beautiful is good.”

    1. Seth Williams says:

      I agree completely Nash. I think different people give greater weight to different things. I’m like you – in that I look much closer at photos than the description… but if you want to reach everyone, it’s important to hit each aspect well.

  10. April Cook says:

    I’m hoping to move this summer and have been excited about a new house, but haven’t thought much about trying to sell the one I’m in now. It’s good to know that being just 12% above market value could lower my chances of selling quickly. I’ll definitely work with a real estate agent to make sure I do all I can to get the most out of this house. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      You bet April! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Judy Wilson says:

    Thanks for these tips for selling properties faster. I need to sell my home before the end of the year, so there are a few things that I need to know to make this happen. I’ve been trying to come up with good listings for my house, so it’s a good thing that this posts explains how listing language can affect whether a buyer would be interested in looking at my home. Providing an accurate description of my home seems like a good way to show that I’m honest about my house to any inquiring buyers. I’ve worked on renovating my house to make it more appealing, so I think I’ll try your tip to include terms like “upgraded” and “updated” to sell my home faster after I post the listing.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Judy. Best of luck with selling your home!

  12. Annie Frances says:

    I am trying to sell my house so I am looking for the best ways to increase my real estate value. I really like your tip to include high quality pictures on the website. 22 to 27 pictures may seem like a lot of pictures, but I need my house to sell. My real estate agent would be happy too. Thanks for the tip.

  13. Lillian Moore says:

    I thought it was interesting that listing language would be such an important part in selling a home. That is really interesting since I would not have thought that the wording would matter so much for a home. Wouldn’t more people just like the home based on if it’s a good home or not? I can see how that could help invite the customer to see the home, though. The description of the home tends to be the first thing you see when searching homes online or in a catalog.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Great thoughts and questions Lillian. For a lot of people, I think they buy into the dream more than the reality – and if a listing plays off of that deeply emotional aspect of the purchasing decision, some properties can and will sell a lot faster than those with a poor or lacking description.

  14. Jorge McMillan says:

    I agree with the point you make about the importance of not overlooking the skill of marketing when putting up a property for sale. Like you mention, the property could like a red flag if approached poorly, but by changing the approach, you could sell it faster than one would think. I’ll have to remember these tips if I ever put my property up for sale later on down the road.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Great thoughts and commentary Jorge. Thanks for checking out the article!

  15. HPREAL says:

    Thanks for Sharing this wonderful information about this great house selling. Looking forward to more details about the same.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      You bet!

  16. Justin Knox says:

    Thank you for the help. I am about to put my home up for sell. I had not thought about quality pictures of the house being so important. Is that something that a realtor could help me with?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Justin, I would think so (and most realtors should be ready to do that – pictures go a LONG way with a listing). Good luck!

  17. Justin Knox says:

    Thank you for the help. I just found a real estate agency to help me put my house up for sale. I had not realized that quality photos were so crucial. Should a real estate agency typically help me get those photos?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      No problem Justin! Photos are incredibly important – and not every real estate agency seems to understand this. One way to evaluate how well your agent understands this is to look at their other listings… if they’ve taken the time to get awesome pictures for their other listings, they’ll probably do the same thing with your property.

      Best of luck!

  18. Amri Wilson says:

    Great advice! Thanks for Sharing this wonderful information about this great house selling. Very useful info.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Glad you found it useful Amri!

  19. Braden Bills says:

    I would love to be able to sell my home fast. It makes sense that I would want to have lots of good photos and share my listings! That way people can know what my home looks like, and the word will get around.

  20. Dave Anderson says:

    I think that using high quality photos to sell a property is a great idea. I think that a picture tells much more than a description of what the property looks like. In addition, now a days most people are accustomed to finding the information they want fast and through pictures and examples, so it would be important to use that to your advantage. I think that with some good pictures you can much more easily market your property.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      I totally agree Dave – thanks for chiming in!

  21. Jalu Sakti says:

    It’s so true that homes with pictures in their listings are much more attractive to the buyer. So many people click on house listings based on the initial picture they see; if there isn’t one, they move along. It’s really interesting that there is an actual tested statistic for this idea, though. Like you said, people with 22-27 images are more likely to sell quickly than someone with less than 9. I’ll keep that in mind for when we start getting ready to market our home.

  22. jresquival says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that ad language had a notable effect on house pricing. I guess it’s true that first impressions matter- even in print. I bet home sellers take that thought into account when writing ad copy.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      You bet – every little bit helps when your goal is to create a compelling real estate listing that moves people to action. Thanks for chiming in!

  23. Jesse Jamison says:

    I understand that it is important to take as many pictures as possible. I certainly spend more time looking at listings with more and better pictures. However, how many pictures would you recommend? Should I stay in the 22-27 range?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Jesse – I think it depends on the property (how many features are there to show off? is it a visually appealing property? what kind of property is it?). If it’s a huge, luxurious mansion – then you could probably justify getting well over 100 pictures. If, however, it’s a small, vacant lot – then you probably wouldn’t need more than a dozen good pictures to give buyers an accurate portrayal of the property. It all depends on what there is to show, and how well you’re able to show it.

  24. John Ferrell says:

    I never knew that homes that are listed 12 percent above estimated market value are almost 40 percent less likely to sell in 60 days. If I had known this when I was selling my most recent house then I think it would have been easier for me to sell. I think that it might be important to check with a professional to see if you are pricing your house at the right value.

  25. Ivy Baker says:

    I know that if I was looking through different house listings I wouldn’t want to look at one that only had one photo. So, I like that you talked about how having a lot of high-quality photos of the home on your listing would get more people to look at it. I would also want to have a professional make my listing for me.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      I totally agree Ivy! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  26. Chris Winters says:

    I can definitely see why you would want to have a professional image when advertising your property. My wife and I are planning on moving and we need to sell our house quickly. I definitely think that we should find a real estate agent that could help to post signs and raise awareness about it.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      An agent can definitely help Chris! Though I will say, not all agents are created equal – make sure you’re getting someone who is really motivated to get your house sold… because they don’t always do a good job of “getting the word out” as you might expect.

      Best of luck getting your house sold!

  27. Ivy Baker says:

    This is some really good information about how to sell properties fast. I liked that you talked about how you should be aware that you need to price the property at market value. It does seem like a good thing to be aware of if you want to sell your home faster.

  28. Marcus Coons says:

    Thank you so much for talking about the importance of considering the local market when selling your property. I can understand that taking the time to do this can help you set up the best prices and advertisements for your land and make sure it is appealing for buying. Personally, I would want to make sure I take the time to consult with a real estate agent and have them educate me on how this process work so I can make wise decisions for my house.

  29. Taylor Bishop says:

    It’s interesting to learn that homes with less than nine photos will sell less. As a person who is very visual, I know I love seen more pictures of a home, especially if it was captured well. It seems like I’m not the only one. I know if I were buying a home, I would want a lot of pictures of a home, just too make sure I know exactly what I could possibly be buying.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      I totally agree Taylor. If a listing doesn’t have lots of great pictures, it’s pretty hard for me to get interested in taking the next step of doing a site visit. It seems like a fairly common sense thing… but there are plenty of people who still don’t get it. Pictures are SUPER important.

  30. Brynne Jones says:

    I like how you mentioned considering your home’s market value as you determine its asking price. It was helpful that you included how homes listed 12 percent above their estimated market value are 50 percent less likely to sell in 60 days than homes that are priced at market value. My sister and her large family have outgrown their small home. They have been wanting to move into a larger home that would better accommodate her family. Finding out her home’s projected market value could be very helpful as she lists her property.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for sharing your sister’s experience Brynne! I’m glad you the article helpful.

  31. Kylie Dotts says:

    It makes a lot of sense that you could use social media as a means of showing that your property is for sale. Considering that you would be able to show your friends what you intend to do you might be able to sell to someone who you already know which could make the transition much easier. If that doesn’t work you could always hire a real estate agent and have them help you do it.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s right Kylie! Thanks for your comment!

  32. Kyle Wayne says:

    I like that you mention how high-quality photos can really affect your property listings effectiveness. My brother is looking to sell his home but isn’t confident in doing it. I’ll be sure to talk to him about finding a real estate professional to help him and also to take good quality pictures.

    1. Robert says:

      Is Craigslist effective for selling properties? Are classified ad sites still effective today?

      1. Seth Williams says:

        I would say so. If the property is desirable, the listing is put together well and it’s promoted to a big enough audience, it’s very effective.

  33. Michael Robinson says:

    I wanted to thank you for taking the time to share with us your ideas on how to sell a property quickly. One thing that struck me as I read was that if you base your prices on market value and even lower your asking price, you can sell your home quicker. My wife and I will keep this in mind when we get older because we will want to buy a very luxurious home. Thanks again for the post!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for reading Michael! I’m glad you got something out of this post.

  34. Property Valuation says:

    I love the idea of utilising any recent updates or upgrades to help sell your house. If people see a list of newly updated appliances or renovations, they will realise the other parts of the house are well maintained as well. This will give buyers confidence and it might also achieve a better price. Thank you for all this amazing and useful information.

  35. I ran over to your site and it was a great tip for me and others on how to sell your house fast. Thank you for posting this guide, Thanks!

    1. You’re welcome Santos!

  36. Fantastic job! What a great post! House sellers and home buyers should see this! Thank you so much for posting this! I will definitely go back for more.

  37. I’ve been wanting to get some real estate listings for our home. I like that you talked about how you should share your listing online, which I think would be good. I’m going to have to look for some help with real estate listings and see what we can find!

    1. Thanks Jordan! Best of luck to you.

  38. My parents want to sell their home soon. They don’t want to have it on the market for a long time because they are close to buying a new home. So, I liked your advice about posting their listing on Facebook and real estate websites.

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