How Do I Sell My House Fast?
If you need to sell your house fast, any of these options can help speed up the process.
Even in a hot market where "for sale" signs don't last long, you might need to be sure your house will sell quickly. There are several approaches you can take to sell your house fast; the right one for you may depend less on your exact timeline and more on what you prioritize in addition to speed. Here are four ways to accelerate the home selling process.
Sell to an iBuyer
An iBuyer is a company that will buy your home directly with a cash offer. The "i" isn't just to sound like an Apple product; it stands for "instant." With most iBuyers, you fill out an online form, upload some photos of your home and receive an offer within days. One big caveat: iBuyers don't operate in all parts of the country, and they only buy certain types of homes. Usually, when you enter your address, an iBuyer site will immediately tell you whether your place is eligible.
iBuyers let you choose your closing date. This can be helpful if you're simultaneously buying and selling, but it also allows you to go for speed. Without a mortgage involved, you may be able to close with an iBuyer in as little as 7 to 10 days. Minimum time to close depends on the iBuyer, your location and details of the home sale. You'll also have to pay a service fee to the iBuyer, which generally ranges from 5% to 12% of the total offer value. The cost of any repairs the iBuyer has to do will also be deducted from the final amount that you receive.
The downside of selling to an iBuyer? Since you're getting just the iBuyer's offer, you don't know how much you might have received for your home on the open market. But if moving as quickly as possible is your priority, you may be willing to trade potentially higher profits in favor of a predictable timeline.
Find a top-notch listing agent
Want to close quickly but also looking to maximize profit from your home sale? A top-shelf listing agent may be your best bet. They'll help accurately price your home, stage scroll-stopping photos, write a killer listing description and be your advocate when it's time to evaluate offers and negotiate.
A sellers' real estate agent could cost you a pretty penny, since real estate agent commissions can vary. You'll generally expect to pay about 6% of the total home sale price in commissions, split between the buyer's agent and your listing agent. However, an experienced agent may cost more (say an 8% commission, with the buyer's agent receiving 3% and the listing agent 5%). It's something you'll want to ask about when you're interviewing potential listing agents. There are some good experienced agents that can offer you full service at a reduced cost.
Go the FSBO route
Selling your home without a listing agent — more commonly known as for sale by owner — might help you make a faster sale. Though selling to a relative or friend is one reason FSBO homes tend to move fast, some data from the National Association of Realtors shows that FSBO homes' median time on the market was just one week, versus three weeks for agent-assisted sales. (For FSBO sales where the seller knew the buyer, the median time was zero.)
The downside of selling your house without an agent? If you don't already have an intended buyer, you've got to find one. Putting out the word to your network could get you a ready buyer, but they might expect to pay a "friends and family" price rather than market value. You'll also take on listing agent tasks like marketing (whether that's a yard sign or an online listing), buyer walk-throughs and negotiating.
And while FSBO homes spent less time on the market, NAR data shows they also sold for lower prices. The median price for agent-sold homes was $295,000 in 2020, while the median price for FSBO homes was $217,900. Though this may be partially due to differences in the types and locations of homes sold — FSBO sales were more likely to involve manufactured homes and be in rural areas — that $77,100 gap is worth a second thought.
Choose a cash buyer
You can list your home for sale as-is — meaning you aren’t going to do repairs or updates on it, even if it’s not in the greatest condition. In return, you ask for less money for the home.
Obviously, selling as-is saves you time in getting the home listed. But also, the lower price tag on an as-in home tends to attract people who can pay in cash: Not just flush individuals, but real estate investors and professional flippers looking to buy a fixer-upper. All-cash offers save a considerable amount of time, because the buyer doesn’t have to go through the whole mortgage approval process — one of the key factors that makes closings take so long.
Along with individuals, there are home buying companies — they often have names like “Cash for Homes” and “We Buy Homes” — that specialize in snapping up such properties. (They’ll purchase homes that aren’t “as-is,” too.) With them, you’ll generally close in just a few weeks. There’s little back-and-forth negotiating on price (if any), and you don’t pay any agent’s commission, either.
On the downside, these firms tend not to make the highest offers in town. After all, they want to turn a profit when they sell your home. Their big pluses as buyers are the fact that they move fast and they’re a sure thing.
And you might not be leaving lots of money on the table, depending on the current local real estate scene. If it’s a strong sellers market, that means less inventory, so you’re not likely to lose as much as you would in a buyer’s market with lots of properties to choose from. The same applies to homes in desirable neighborhoods with infrequent listings. Cash buyers may be willing to pay a higher price, even for as-is properties, if it’s a rare opportunity.
Whether you're working with a listing agent or selling your home on your own, opting for a buyer making a cash offer can also accelerate the closing process. The buyer simply has the money, so there's no need to worry about whether their financing will fall apart or how long mortgage underwriting will take.
Some steps of closing, like the title search, should still happen. But taking buyer financing out of the equation can dramatically drop the time it takes to close a home sale. With a cash offer in hand, you could be ready to close in as little as two weeks.
On the other hand, cash buyers who aren't iBuyers (in other words, regular people) can be pushy. Thinking cash is king, they may also try to lowball you. Then again, if selling your house fast is your bottom line, you may be willing to leave some money on the table for the convenience of a mortgage-free transaction.
It is best to contact a local, honest cash homebuyer like Easy Outs Homes if you want to avoid doing repairs, cleaning, showing your house to multiple people and just want to sell As IS.
Get your no-obligation cash offer for your house here.
More tips to sell your house fast
No matter who you choose to sell to or how you end up selling your house, before it's time to sell you can also take some basic steps that allow you to hit the ground running.
Do a deep cleaning. You don't necessarily need professional home staging; just a thorough cleaning and some decisive decluttering can work wonders. Removing personal items makes it easier for buyers to envision the home as theirs and can also help avert potential discrimination. Cutting back on clutter (even storing a piece of furniture or two in a friend's garage) can help a small home appear larger. A deep cleaning can make your home more appealing to potential buyers. Hiring a cleaning company can give it that extra boost to help you get more offers, faster.
Create demand. A "coming soon" period, where your property appears on the Multiple Listing Service but isn't yet shown to buyers, could help you gather offers more quickly when your house officially hits the market. It's not the same thing as a pocket listing, which is when a property is for sale but kept off the MLS. The "coming soon" period generally lasts no more than 30 days — and when it wraps up, you'll hopefully have buyers eager to see your place in person and make an offer.
Price your home to sell: Try to price your home at or just below its value. That will get people interested in making offers right away — and may even help you get a better price by starting a bidding war.
Offer seller concessions: These incentives are an ideal way to attract potential buyers, especially if you’re in a rush to sell. Consider offering to pay a portion of the buyer’s closing costs to make the deal more affordable. Or you could include a home warranty to give the buyer peace of mind knowing certain repair costs will be covered if issues arise in the near future.
Make minor repairs: Many buyers are looking for a turnkey home that has few issues that need fixing. If there are minor repairs that need to be made or small updates that you can do to make your home more appealing, getting them done before you list can help you sell more quickly.
Boost the curb appeal: The exterior is the first thing that buyers will see, so don’t neglect it. Instead, you can improve the curb appeal by mowing the lawn, adding foliage and flowers, and pressure washing the walkway, driveway and front porch. Also, consider applying a fresh coat of paint on the front door if needed and cleaning the windows. Most of these fixes only take a day or so to do.
Consider home staging: Effective staging helps buyers see themselves living in your home and can help you earn more money on the sale. The average cost of an extensive staging (cleaning, re-decorating and renting furniture) is $1,743, according to HomeAdvisor. But it could pay for itself: In 2021, many agents reported that sale prices of staged homes rose by 1 to 5 percent, and more than 53 percent also noticed that staged homes stayed on the market for shorter periods, leading to faster sales, notes the National Association of Realtors “2021 Profile of Home Staging” report.
Selling your house fast
When’s the best day to sell my home fast? If you’re in a hot market, listing your home on a Wednesday or Thursday can help you sell quickly, according to Redfin data. It gives people time to find your listing and add it to the list of homes to view over the weekend. You can then request offers early in the next week, meaning you would ideally move from listing to accepting an offer in as little as a week. In terms of seasons, spring and summer are traditionally the best times of year to sell a house. However, if you really have to move fast, don’t write off mid-winter: You’ll find fewer, but often more motivated, buyers wanting to come in out of the cold.
How much money do I lose selling my home as-is? It depends on market conditions and where the home is located. Sometimes the difference is minimal; just 5 to 15 percent less. It also depends on the type of buyer. Some “cash for homes” firms, a common type of as-is house buyer, pay as little as only 50–70 percent of a home’s after-repair value. Looking for an easy way to sell without repairs? Get a no-obligation cash offer by filling the for here.
What’s the quickest way to sell my home? A cash buyer is the fastest way to sell your home. Many provide cash offers in as soon as 24 hours and fast closing times, but you’ll likely receive less than your home’s fair market value on the sale since the buyer's aim is to maximize profits from fixing and flipping the property. If you need to sell house fast and close on your timeline - Get a no-obligation cash offer by filling the for here.
What should I not do to sell my home fast? Avoid overpricing it, which can cause buyers to delay offers — or not make them at all. If you want to sell your home quickly, you should also try to limit the number of contingencies on the sale, both from your side and the buyer’s side, to reduce the grounds that would let a buyer back out of the deal.
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