In a slow housing market, selling a duplex can take a lot of time, especially because there are fewer buyers for these units than for single-family homes. Still, with a bit of effort, you can make some changes that will help potential buyers to view the unit favorably, resulting in a quicker sale. Most of the time these changes are simple, they don’t have to cost a lot and are often things you can do yourself, but they can make all the difference to a potential buyer.
Pricing is generally thought to be the number one consideration when it comes to selling your duplex quickly. A property that is overpriced may get few lookers and ever fewer offers. Base the price of your property on the sales price of other, similar properties in the area. These comparable properties will give you a realistic idea of what you can expect your property to sell for. To get a quick sale, drop your price below market value, and be willing to be flexible if you get a solid offer that is close to your asking price.
Fix as many things as possible in the duplex, so that the new buyer gets excited about the possibilities rather than being concerned about the problems. Make sure all sinks, toilets, tubs and showers work. Fix any doors that don’t open and close smoothly, and pay particular attention to the front doors, since that’s the first thing the buyer sees in each unit. Patch walls and replace broken screens as necessary, and fix or replace small things like cover plates for light switches and wall sockets, light fixtures, doorknobs and faucet handles.
Make the duplex as visually appealing as possible by increasing its curb appeal, the term used to describe how the residence looks from the outside. Trim hedges, mow lawns, plant flowers and haul away any junk from the yard. While the front is very important, you should also tend to the backyard since a messy, cluttered backyard can detract from the duplex’s overall appeal. Paint inside and out, as needed, and remove any clutter that is in the units. Stage both units by strategically placing furniture to help buyers see what each room is for, but use a minimum of props, since the less that is in the rooms the bigger they look. Add fresh flowers and make sure the duplex smells clean, since a bad odor will often turn buyers away almost immediately. Baking cookies right before someone comes to look is a quick and easy way to give the place a homey, inviting smell.
Use a Specialist
Work with a real estate professional who is familiar both with your geographic area and with selling duplexes. The process of selling a duplex is not necessarily the same as selling a single-family home, but an experienced professional will be familiar with the differences and will have all of the appropriate forms on hand. Such an agent may also have interested buyers already lined up to look at duplexes the moment they become available, potentially resulting in the quick sale of your property.