No one wants their house to sit on the market for a long time. A stagnant listed property raises suspicion from potential buyers and can drive down the price on future offers. If you’re going through financial difficulties, moving for work, have a new baby on the way, or are going through a separation, you might feel especially eager to sell your home as soon as possible. Trying to sell your home quickly presents a special challenge, even in a seller’s market. But use intentional home-selling techniques like decluttering, cleaning, staging, marketing, and pricing, and you can make your home more appealing and inspire a fast sale.

1. Declutter and get rid of excess items

When your home is cluttered and full of items or unnecessary pieces, your rooms can look small and cramped. Clearing the space can make it look more open, set an elegant tone, and help prospective buyers envision their own items there. 


  • Declutter and minimize: Make sure you show your home in the best light by clearing away clutter and mess. Clean and tidy kitchen counters, shelves, bathrooms, and any areas the eye is drawn first. 
  • Clear out your closets and bookshelves: A closet that’s crammed with items will make a potential buyer think that the closets are too small. Keeping some space around your clothes will show how much room is available and lets the buyer imagine their things in the space.

2. Clean and rearrange

Now that you’re rid of the excess pieces that added clutter to your space, the cleanliness and visual energy will be more evident to potential homebuyers.


  • Move furniture in a way that allows for easy movement around the room. Rearrange sofas and tables so that it’s welcome and open to someone entering.
  • Consider spreading out the furniture so homebuyers can imagine themselves eating, socializing, and entertaining in your home.
  • Deep clean everywhere, even areas where you might not expect buyers to look, like inside closets and under the fridge. 
  • Sweep, tidy, and dispose of any old porch furniture at the front of your home, so that you make a good first impression and ensure the property is welcoming. 
  • Mow the front lawn and clean out the eavestroughs to show that you pay attention to detail and you prioritize the maintenance and cleanliness of your home.

Take care of little fixes indoors

If you’re looking to sell quickly you likely won’t have time to do any major renovations to raise your property value. But invest in smaller repairs to improve the aesthetic and functionality of your home to make it easier for a buyer to imagine themselves moving in. Here are some easier repairs that go a long way in making a quick sale:


  • Fix broken door handles
  • Caulk holes or cracks that are visible around doors or on wall
  • Fixing door locks so they lock smoothly
  • Replace door knobs and hinges for a low-cost aesthetic refresh
  • Clean and polish old hardwood so it shines
  • Update light fixtures or add dimmers for flattering light
  • Update old windows so the space looks bright and fresh
  • Give walls a fresh coat of paint in a neutral shade
  • Consider updating old appliances if they’re especially dated
  • Replace carpets if they look spotty, or invest in a deep clean 
  • Add a new thermostat or affordable smart home device for modern appeal
  • Refresh caulking around sinks and tubs and bleach any spots in bathrooms so the space looks clean and new

3. Emphasize what makes your place special

When you’re selling your property, focus on what makes it special and think about what might be appealing to potential buyers. Perhaps a young couple will be excited by the antique features, or a detail-oriented buyer will appreciate the beautiful tiling in the bathroom.
Improve the curb appeal of your home by planting flowers or foliage in front of the house, or trim the bushes to highlight a stunning view. If there’s something that sets your home apart, it’s worth making the most of it.

When you're selling your property, focus on what makes it special and think about what might be appealing to potential buyers.

4. Price your home competitively

You likely have an emotional connection to your home, even if you’re ready to let it go. Use a great real estate agent to help establish a competitive price point that works for you and is aligned with comparable sales in your market. This involves considering the way potential buyers are searching. If you price your home at a few thousand dollars below a popular search amount you might engage more bids than if you ask for an amount that pushes it above a commonly searched number.


For example, listing your home at $670,000 instead of $710,000 to include queries for homes under $700,000. A real estate professional should be well acquainted with your local market and how housing trends are affecting demand. They’ll help you price for a quick sale while maximizing what you can get. Pricing just below a threshold can also be effective; think of the way that toothpaste might cost $4.99 instead of $5.00. A lower tier is psychologically more appealing to potential buyers.


Home pricing tip: If you’re looking for a quick sale, you could also consider selling to an investor who plans to flip the home and resell it at a higher value.

How to price your home for a quick sale:

  • Know the market: rising interest rates and a potential recession are creating some hesitance in most current Canadian markets, even though most provinces are still experiencing a seller’s market. But shifting trends can make it harder to predict the offers you’ll get and how buyers will behave.
  • Hire an experienced agent with a strong track record: A great agent can help you stay on top of local trends and price your property in a way that’s both competitive and reasonable. When you’re considering agents, ask how they’ll establish the price and guarantee a fast and effective home sale.

5. Set the stage

You might have an incredible collection of antique dolls or a pet that makes your house feel like a home, but it’s important to allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. If you can, take your pets elsewhere, because they might distract from the viewings. Also, personal items or strong decor choices like bright colours or furniture that’s specific to another era could make it harder to sell if they clash with the personal taste or vision of the buyer. For example, a vegan homebuyer might be turned off by the deer head you’ve proudly displayed on the mantle. By creating a more neutral space, you’ll appeal to a wide demographic of potential buyers. 


Home staging tip: If you’re trying to sell your home quickly, prioritize features that would appeal to almost everyone; think fresh-cut flowers, the smell of cookies, or open curtains that allow a small room to be bathed with light. 

Prioritize curb appeal for a faster sale

The first impression of your house is often made before a buyer steps inside and might be a quick drive-by. Make sure the exterior of your home looks clean and well taken care of. If you can afford it, investing in some simple landscaping can drive up the value of your home and help with a faster sale. Repaint the front door, stabilize guardrails, sweep or shovel front steps, and leave a warm light on at night in case potential buyers drive by. Buy a new doormat and ensure the front porch is appealing with clean furniture, a pile of freshly chopped wood, or thriving plants.

Should you consider For Sale by Owner (FSBO) for a quick sale?

There are some cases in which a FSBO sale might be right for you, but there are also risks involved and you could lose money and time on all that extra paperwork. If you have a friend or relative who’s looking to buy, you might be thinking about a direct sale or cash offer that doesn’t involve an agent. Here’s what you should consider before you decide to sell your home yourself:


  • FSBO sales are typically faster but result in a significantly lower sale price. If you’re in a real hurry, that cut might feel alright but make sure you consider the costs that you’ll need to cover for closing.
  • You’ll save on an agent commission or listing cost with a FSBO sale, but you’ll still want to hire a lawyer to draft a contract and you’ll need to negotiate, stage, plan, advertise, list, and price the home yourself. 
  • Most homeowners use a real estate agent to sell their home, even when they’re aiming for a quick sale. A selling (or listing) agent can help with all stages of the home selling process from listing, showing, and staging to understanding your home’s value and preparing a counteroffer to maximize the money you make from the sale. If you reach out to a real estate professional and mention that you’re looking to move quickly, you might end up with a faster sale than selling yourself, just because you’ll have someone who knows the local markets and can take care of the paperwork on your team.

Reduce friction in your home sale

Your agent can help you shape incentives that encourage buyers to move forward. Financial and practical incentives could include covering closing costs or needed renovations, agreeing to inspections, flexible schedules for move-in or move-out, including certain appliances and warranties, or making small repairs that you know matter to the buyer. The more transparent you are with your real estate agent, the more they can help you communicate with potential buyers to make a sale seamless and smooth.

OJO can help you sell your home effectively

 OJO provides personalized guidance for your real estate journey. Work with local real estate agents and gain access to financial insights and advice from Royal Bank of Canada mortgage advisors.


Sell your home today.