I Need to Sell My House Fast, What Can I Do?
Looking to sell your Harford County, MD and surrounding areas home in a hurry? Even in today’s hot seller’s market, it typically takes a little over two months to sell a house from list to close. That doesn’t account for any pre-listing preparations such as cleaning, decluttering, and staging the property.
If you don’t have the flexibility for this timeline, including the average 50 days you’ll spend waiting for a financed buyer’s mortgage to be processed, you’ll need to get creative with your plans.
Thankfully, you do have options:
Request a full cash offer from a cash buyer like Easy Outs Homes, slashing your closing timeline to as little as 10 days or the move-out date of your choosing.
List your property with a top real estate agent who can help secure a quick offer and, as much as possible, create a clear path to settlement.
This guide provides a complete overview of the top ways to get a quick offer, sign a deal, and get out of a house that’s no longer serving you.
Sell your house in a matter of days, not months. When you sell through Easy Outs Homes, you don’t have to worry about additional repairs, prepping your home for listing, or showings. Request Cash Offer
Option 1: Request an all-cash offer for your home
When it comes to “sell my house fast” solutions, cash is king. That’s because when listing a home, the process is almost always slower and you face a number of unknowns.
When will you get an offer?
Recent statistics from NAR show that homes sat on the market an average of just 18 days in March of 2022. But in a more typical year, your typical days on market could be more like 35-40 days. A house in rough condition will also take longer than average to sell. A traditional buyer who’s planning to live in the home will prefer that it be move-in ready, and they may need the house to meet certain minimum property standards in order for it to appraise.
How cash solves this: You can request an offer online and get a response in as few as 24-48 hours. Some cash buyers make a preliminary offer subject to change after an assessment. Others make firm offers on the spot.
Will the buyer pay cash or be prequalified for a home loan?
Data from 2021 indicates 87% of recent buyers financed their home purchase, according to NAR. Even if you do zero home prep and attract a buyer in record time, a seller has little to no control over when a buyer’s loan will close. Expect this step to take 30-60 days before you get paid.
How cash solves this: When you request an offer from a legitimate house-buying company, you expect to receive a full cash offer without a need for lender involvement.
Will the inspection, appraisal, or loan underwriting cause delays or worse?
According to NAR’s 2022 Realtors Confidence Index Survey, the top three recent causes for delayed settlements include issues related to the buyer’s financing (22%), appraisal issues (20%), and home inspection issues (11%). These issues can also be the reason that contracts get terminated, leaving the seller to secure a new offer.
How cash solves this: Cash nixes potential problems that could arise with a home loan (there is no loan!) as well as eliminates the lender-ordered appraisal. Your home may be inspected by a buyer whether you sell for cash or not, but direct home buyers typically purchase homes “as is” (at a discounted price) and typically don’t expect sellers to make repairs.
How does selling for cash work?
When you sell your house for cash, you can expect the process to go something like this:
Make contact: A seller contacts an investor or company that buys homes in their area and provides some basic information about their home. However, some companies will proactively reach out to sellers about buying their home.
Receive a preliminary offer: In as little as 24-48 hours, the seller will receive a preliminary offer that may be subject to change after a house assessment.
Have your home assessed: The company schedules a walkthrough or exterior inspection of the house to evaluate its condition, usually within a few days time.
Get a firm offer: The company makes a firm offer, which you can accept or decline. Most of these companies will not alter their price, so negotiations are off the table.
Closing begins: If you accept the offer, you and the company will each sign the contract and closing will begin.
Title clearance: The cash buyer will wait to ensure that the seller is able to convey a clear title before paying for the property. If any liens are discovered, some house buying companies will assist sellers through next steps.
Payment is disbursed: The seller receives payment quickly, typically within seven days to a few weeks. This can vary by company, and sellers who work with a house-buying company often enjoy flexibility in selecting a move-out date that works for them.
For further details, we recommend reviewing our complete guide on the process of selling your house for cash.
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Who buys houses for cash?
Some cash buyers are individuals with sufficient funds to pay for a home with cash. But when you list your home, it’s hard to predict whether your offer will come from a cash buyer or a buyer prequalified for a home loan.
For the certainty of cash, consider working with a house-buying company (think of these as your We Buy Houses / cash-for-homes operations).
Where can you get a cash offer?
Not sure how to find a cash home buyer in Harford County, MD? If you’re looking for a fast, easy home sale, consider Easy Outs Homes. Fill this Simple Form, and Easy Outs Homes provides you with an all-cash offer for your home.
You can skip the repairs, prepwork, and open houses and go straight to receiving an offer.
Common reasons people sell for cash
When your goal is to sell as quickly as possible, you could be facing any one of these common scenarios where a lengthy sale process could cause enormous stress and financial strain.
Foreclosure Even if your mortgage company has already initiated the foreclosure process, you can still sell your home independently prior to your scheduled auction date. But depending on how behind you are on payments, you may only have a month or two to get the job done before the house is auctioned.
Need to move Maybe you weren’t actively looking, but then your dream house hits the market. Or perhaps you are suddenly faced with a relocation and time is of the essence. If you need to act fast to snatch up a new property or switch ZIP codes but can’t afford to take on two mortgages indefinitely, achieving a quick sale is a must.
Bad tenants Bad renters can turn an investment sour. In a recent purchase of a home “wrecked by tenants,” one landlord describes how “the home would not qualify for any type of traditional financing, so that eliminated the majority of the owner’s buying pool.”
Inheritance If you inherited a property in Harford County, MD and surrounding areas from a relative. And maybe thinking “I don't have any need for the property, don't want to make a trip up here to sell the house, and just wanted to get rid of it in the quickest and easiest way possible.” We can close fast and you as the owner will be very happy to not deal with the property anymore.
Foundation issues A major foundation repair that requires a fix involving hydraulic piers can cost an average of $8,000, but can easily exceed $10,000. Rather than let a problem like that fester and threaten your home’s structural stability over time, you could sell the house quickly to someone who can afford to address it. Keep in mind, though, that a large problem such as foundation cracks will raise red flags in an inspection, resulting in a price discount.
New job Even as remote work increases post-pandemic, many companies are still asking their workers to come into the office part-time. When you need to sell your house fast for a job relocation, the pressure of adhering to a start date and straddling two locations can make the process tricky.
Divorce Selling a house is often a big step toward a fresh start after a divorce. Until the home is sold, mortgage payments will come due and the home will need to be maintained, which can cause additional tension and financial strain. As such, many people going through a divorce are looking for a fast way to sell their home and move onto the next chapter.
Water damage Water intrusion and flooding inflict catastrophic damage on a home, and a home with a history of water damage can be harder to sell. It’s also expensive to fix, with the average water damage insurance claim exceeding $11,000. For someone who doesn’t have the cash to make costly repairs, selling the home quickly with the proper disclosures may be the best option.
Fire damage Similar to water damage, destruction caused by a fire is difficult and costly to undo. A significant fire will destroy your home down to the ductwork and Sheetrock. The average cost to restore a home that has experienced fire damage is $11,900, but can be as high as $50,000 or more. If you don’t have adequate homeowners’ insurance or the upfront money to make repairs, the only type of buyer willing to take on your property may be an investor who can pay cash and plans to gut it.
Job loss/loss of income In the event that your primary source of income has dried up, you may find yourself unable to cover your mortgage and other house-related expenses, at which point a quick sale seems like the best way to dig yourself out of a financial hole.
Tax liens If you’ve incurred unpaid property taxes or income taxes, the government may place a tax lien on your property, which means they can lay claim to your home until the debt is paid. If you don’t have the liquidity to pay the tax burden, you may need to sell quickly to get the cash to cover the balance.
Bad location Maybe you love the look and layout of your home, but the surrounding area has made it a less than desirable place to live. For instance, if crime rates have skyrocketed or a high-traffic commercial building is under construction nearby, you might be eager to unload the property and move on.
Option 2: Work with a top agent to speed up your sale
Maybe you need to sell fast, but don’t love the idea of sacrificing any of your home value to do it. At the end of the day, listings represented by agents sell for more money. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2021 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, homes recently sold with the assistance of an agent went for an average of $318,000, while the average price of homes sold by owner was $260,000.
The same study showed that homes listed with agents sell for a median 100% of their asking price. So despite the benefits of selling for cash, 90% of sellers choose to work with a real estate agent to maximize their home value.
Even if a seller opts to go the FSBO route, nearly all prospective buyers will be working with an agent anyway.
In that case, the non-represented homeowner is at a disadvantage. he explains. The buyer’s agent will negotiate, and the homeowner may not know how much their home is worth or about all of the pitfalls that may happen. With an agent on your side, you’ll be protected throughout the negotiation and inspection process.
However, if you choose to work with an agent, you’ll need to accept that the buyers you attract aren’t guaranteed to pay cash. In addition, you should find an agent who can and will do everything in their power to execute a speedy sale. In that case, experience and a history of successful sales are must-haves.
What do you need from your agent?
If you’re on a tight deadline, it’s reasonable to have concerns over whether a real estate agent will work at a fast enough pace to sell your home. That means not just any real estate agent will suffice. To give yourself the best shot at selling quickly, partner with an agent who has a track record of selling homes like yours quickly.
Days on market (DOM) tracks the time between when a house is listed and when it goes under contact with a buyer. If an agent’s average DOM is lower than the area average, it’s a good sign that they price homes correctly to attract quick offers and come out of the gate with a strong marketing plan for their listings.
You need Experienced agent in Harford County, MD and surrounding areas
An agent with hyperlocal expertise will be able to better highlight the perks of your home to interested buyers. They’ll also have heightened familiarity with real estate in the area and what types of upgrades would help your house sell for more (and which ones would be a waste of money).
The best way to tell whether an agent’s experience aligns with your locale is to look for a concentration of past transactions close to your home.
More tips to sell fast
Even if your agent is a total superstar, there’s a lot you can do as a seller to boost your chances of a fast sale:
Declutter — and be ruthless about it
If you’re going to show a messy house, you might as well request a cash offer, because you’re not going to get the best price. Create the illusion of space by removing shoes, boxes, and stacks of items from your floors. Relocate bulky furniture and move any clutter that won’t fit into storage spaces. If it won’t fit in a closet, the basement, or the garage, send it to storage. Countertops should be clear of anything not intentionally placed. At the very least, your home needs to be tidy and organized when the showings start.
Hire a cleaning service
Don’t skip this step, even if you’re in a hurry. If you don’t have time to mop the floors, vacuum, dust, and get your surfaces sparkling, then hire a service to do the job. For an average investment of $200-$400 to clean a three-bedroom home with two baths, you’ll likely see a sizable return on investment. Our home prep study from 2019 found that a deep clean results in an average $2,000 home value increase.
Spruce up your curb appeal
Buyers will pay an average of 7% more for a house with great curb appeal compared to one with a neglected exterior. Agents estimated that spending $3,467 on curb appeal improvements will boost resale value by around $11,718, a 238% ROI.
Follow these yard care basics to help your house sell faster:
Mow the lawn and edge around your driveway and plantings.
Pull large weeds and apply weed killer to any unwanted plants sprouting up through cement cracks, being careful to avoid healthy flowers.
Spread fresh mulch around any plant beds that need it.
Clean up your front entryway with a bucket of soapy water to remove cobwebs and grime from your door, entry lights, and mailbox.
In summary, skip any excessive projects that would cost you time, but don’t neglect your outdoors.
Pick the right time to list
Timing can have an impact on how quickly a house sells, and will vary depending on the location. Some housing markets see intense seasonal changes based on when parents start looking for homes, popular times for vacation house-hunters to arrive, or shifts in the weather. In Harford County, MD and surrounding areas market, the fastest time to sell is mid-March through August, while the slowest-selling period is during the winter holidays.
Let’s say you don’t want to prolong the sale process, but you have a bit of flexibility as to when to put your house on the market. Contact the local expert agent for advice.
Watch out for these 3 ‘sell my house fast’ options
Certain routes to selling your home may sound like a shortcut, but aren’t what they seem. Here are a few options to avoid:
The main thing you need to know about short sales is that the “short” refers to money, not time. Selling short means that your lender has agreed to allow you to sell your home for less than you owe on it. As a general rule, short sales take a lot longer to finalize than a regular sale.
Not only will a short sale take a lot longer to complete, most sellers aren’t even eligible to short-sell their homes. You likely need to be financially underwater, behind on your mortgage, and facing foreclosure. Even if you’re eligible, your lender (or lenders, if you have debt on the property with multiple entities) does not have to agree to a short sale. So if you want to sell your home fast, a short sale is definitely not the way to go.
Selling your house solo is possible — but it’s not very common. According to NAR’s 2021 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, a mere 7% of recent sellers went the FSBO route. It tends to be an option people choose when they already have a buyer lined up.
Of those who did go it alone, 51% already knew the buyer of their home before the transaction, and 30% sold their home to a friend, relative, or neighbor. If this sounds like you, you could strike up a deal with your buyer with the help of an attorney to draft and finalize the paperwork.
Keep in mind, though, that you could sacrifice price by doing this. According to NAR data, the typical FSBO home sold for $260,000 compared to $318,000 for agent-assisted home sales, indicating that the expertise real estate agents bring to a sale often more than makes up for their cost.
If you think auctions are only an option for desperate sellers and banks unloading foreclosure homes, you’re mistaken. Any homeowner can sell their house at an auction. However, there are trade-offs.
While you will know the exact date your home will sell, the auction route may not be as quick as you’ll think. A home can be sold at auction in as little as 21 days, but it can take as many as 45. If you'd like to explore auction style sale contact us for more details
When you need to sell fast, you do have options
Selling a house has a reputation for being overwhelming, stressful, and time-consuming. But fast? Not so much. That said, you don’t have to leave your selling fate to chance. Whether you decide to request a cash offer or work with a top agent who can meet your deadline, you now know your main options for selling a house fast. All that’s left to do is pick a path.