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Ways to increase property value and shorten the market time when selling a home.

In today’s fast and competitive real estate market, it is important to use all possible opportunities to increase property value and shorten the market time when selling a home. Although it can feel like an overwhelming and uphill battle with grim statistics, take heart! American Equity Funding recommends the following advice and simple steps to improve property appeal, boost sale price, and minimize time on the market in the current real estate climate. 

Preparing to sell.

Home improvements such as remodeling, updating, and outdoor renovations will strengthen property value. The following are some easy ways to enhance buyer appeal.


  • Declutter, depersonalize, and deep clean
  • Clean and tidy attic, basement, and garage 
  • Refresh paint
  • Let in the sunshine


  • Pressure wash/paint
  • Spruce front entryway
  • Check walkways for trip hazards
  • Manicure lawn area

Home staging is also an excellent choice. This may involve redecorating, rearranging furniture, cleaning, and other aesthetic strategies to present the home in the best way possible. 

Professional pictures and posts.

Professional pictures and frequent posts are critical for a quick sale with top prices. Due to media availability through the internet, images are now used to sell a property more than any other way. ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ rings true in real estate! 

About four years ago, American Equity Funding listed a home for $270,000. Despite the right price, there was little interest and few shows. We asked several real estate agents outside our market for suggestions on how to generate more interest. The unanimous answer was that we needed better pictures. Our wonderful agent hired a professional photographer, and the property sold in three weeks! 

Real Estate Agents

Knowledgeable, trustworthy, and caring realtors are worth their weight in gold! Surprisingly, 5% of the agents sell 95% of properties.

  • Interview a variety of agents
  • Inquire who is selling properties in the area
  • Find the average time on the market
  • Ask questions

American Equity Funding purchases mortgage notes nationwide on a regular basis. We work with over 200 real estate agents in different geographical areas and trust them to be our eyes and ears. 

A free, user-friendly website specializing in REO (real estate owned) that we recommend is Experienced and vetted agents and their bios can be found according to address and zip code.

Market Trends

The present real estate market is decreasing and becoming slower than in 2021 and early 2022. 

During that time, American Equity Funding would get multiple offers on a listed property, sometimes within hours and at a higher price than asked.  

For instance, one of our clients got a new job and needed to move to Phoenix, Arizona. She sold her home locally, generating a sizeable down payment for a future purchase. The homes on the market in her new location within the price range of approximately $400,000.00 were going for $100,000.00 over the list price. It was a feeding frenzy due to lower rates and a lack of inventory. 

Our advice was to be patient and rent a home until some sanity returned to the market, which it has. To her advantage, she waited and can now take the time to reasonably buy a home. The real estate market is slowly but surely leveling out.  

Towards the end of 2022, the Fed began raising rates to curb inflation, possibly the highest it has ever been in the modern history of the United States. In April 2023, American Equity Funding listed a property in Texas and received three offers by the second day, and under contract within five days. Although we still need to get the above list price, the real estate market is gradually returning to normal. 

With currentage challenges, the market is still better than most I have seen. As the owner of American Equity Funding, I received my real estate license in 1979 and sold property for several years before morphing into the note business. At that time, we would list a property, do comps (real estate comparables), and offer sellers three options based on how fast they needed to sell; a higher listing for 180 days (about six months), lower listing for 90 days (about three months), and finally a 30 day (about four and a half weeks) quick sale price. At times, even the lowest selling price would take longer. 

Despite rate increases, properties often stay in need for only a brief time. This trend could change as new construction continues and people move out of certain areas perceived as needing a healthy economic or political atmosphere. 

It is also wise to construct a competitive pricing strategy appealing to market trends at the time of sale. Home warranties and seller financing may also encourage buyers.       

There are many strategies homeowners and buyers can use to increase property values and shorten market time. Adequately preparing to sell, using a qualified realtor, and understanding market trends will maximize real estate investments or sales, even in this highly competitive market! 

American Equity Funding buys owner-financed mortgage notes and welcomes all inquiries. If you are 

Steve Whitelock

Owner/American Equity Funding


Other information you may be interested in is Six Steps to Selling an Owner-Financed Mortgage.