In a big hurry to sell your home? Even in today’s hot seller’s market where homes attract offers in as few as 16 days, it takes around 2-plus months to sell a house from list to close. And that doesn’t account for the weeks needed to clean, paint, and tidy up the property for its market debut. If you don’t have the patience for this timeline, including the 49 days you’ll spend waiting for a traditional buyer’s mortgage to wrap, you’ll need to get creative with your plans. Thankfully, you do have options.
For one, you could list your house with a top real estate agent who knows how to get your house sold in a snap. Alternatively, you could request a full cash offer through a platform like Simple Sale, slashing your closing timeline to 10 days or the move-out date of your choosing. With this guide, you’ll get a complete overview of the top ways to get a quick offer, sign that deal and get out of a house that’s no longer serving you.
Common reasons people need to sell fast
• Foreclosure: Losing your job unexpectedly could mean you’re no longer able to afford this particular home. Even if your mortgage company has 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 goes to the courthouse steps.
• Bad tenants: When a landlord has trouble attracting tenants, they may resort to loosening their application standards. Unfortunately, bad renters will easily turn an investment sour. In that case, it makes more sense to unload the property as soon as possible.
• Inheritance: It often makes no sense to hold onto a property you inherited, especially if you live far away. When you add up the costs of maintenance, utilities, and property taxes, the sooner you can sell this home, the better.
• Foundation issues: A major foundation repair that requires a fix involving hydraulic piers can cost upward of $10,000 alone. 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 item such as foundation cracks will raise red flags in an inspection, resulting in a price discount.
• New job: An exciting new job opportunity opens up but there’s only one problem — it’s across the country and you’ve got this ball-and-chain called a house weighing down your mobility. 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 a start date and straddling two locations can make the process tricky.
• Divorce: Selling your house can help you get a fresh start after a divorce. In addition, until the home is sold, at least one party will need to pay the mortgage and keep up with the lawn, 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 totaling $7,000. 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 decent fire will destroy your home down to the ductwork and Sheetrock. Without 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.
Tips of How You Can Sell Your House Fast
Selling a home can be stressful, but if you are under a serious time crunch, it can be even more nerve-wracking. Whether you need to sell quickly for a new job, for financial reasons or because of a personal situation, there are a few tactics you can use to increase your home’s marketability, decrease your time on the market and attract strong offers. Here’s how to sell a house fast.
Clean and declutter
There are many strategies for selling a house fast, but when you’re short on time, one definite must is making your home’s interior appeal to as many buyers as possible. Get a storage unit and pack away any extra belongings or large furnishings that are making rooms look crowded, small or messy.
Organize the closets. Buyers are looking for storage space, so they’re definitely going to peek in closets, storage areas and pantries. Don’t cram extra belongings into closets leave enough open space to give the impression that the home has plenty of storage. After all, 64 percent of buyers surveyed for the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018 said that ample storage was extremely or very important. Personal belongings, like family photos, keepsakes and religious items, distract buyers and prevent them from picturing themselves living in the home. Do a deep clean on every room of the house, including baseboards, kitchen cabinets, bathroom tile and carpets. Since you’re short on time, consider calling in some professionals.
Pick a selling strategy
When deciding how to list your home, there are two conventional sales options selling for sale by owner (FSBO) or with a real estate agent and a few alternatives.
One of the big benefits to selling on your own is that you save on the commission (you’ll save the 3 percent you’d pay your own agent, but you’ll still have to pay 3 percent to the buyer’s agent). But if you want to sell fast on your own, you’ll have to be prepared to negotiate like a pro. Be ready to negotiate escrow timelines, juggle contract paperwork, and consult an attorney to make sure all forms are filled out correctly. Knowing the ins and outs of the process is especially important if you need to sell your house fast.
Hire an agent
The upside to hiring a professional real estate agent is that they know what it takes to get a house sold quickly in your area. They’ll streamline things like contract prep work, negotiations, signing and closing. Of course, you’ll have to pay them a 3 percent commission for their services.
Alternative ways to sell your house fast
If you want to completely bypass the preparation it takes to sell your house in a hurry, consider these alternative strategies:
• Sell to an investor who plans to flip the home. You will sell quickly but may get less than market value.
• Sell to a developer. This is usually only an option if your home is a teardown and/or on a large lot.
• Sell at an auction. You can sell quickly by auctioning off your home, but you are likely to sell for a lower price than on the local market.
Price to sell
According to the Zillow Group Report, 21 percent of sellers said that their biggest challenge was selling within their desired time frame. Even if you’re selling in a sellers’ market, where there are many buyers competing for fewer homes, selling your house fast isn’t a guarantee. One thing that can really speed your selling process is pricing your home competitively. Overpricing will lead to more time on the market, and ultimately, you may end up selling at that lower price anyway it’ll just take you longer to get there.
You may even want to price your home a little lower than comparable homes in your area to drum up interest and cause a bidding war. The effectiveness of this strategy depends on the state of your local real estate market and how homes are selling in your area. When setting a price, you also may want to consider the price points that the majority of buyers search for within in your area. For example, if you list your home for $399,000, it’ll show up in search results for anyone that’s looking for homes under $400,000. But price it at just $405,000, and it’ll never show up in their search results.
Set a timeline for a price reduction
Before you list, take a hard look at your timeline and decide on a day to lower your price if you haven’t received any offers. The amount you discount can be decided later, because it might change based on feedback you receive from home tours, but you should at least have a date in mind. And if that time comes, it’s best to act quickly. The longer your home is on the market, the lower your odds are of selling it for listing price.
Consider sales incentives
If you know your home is going to be a tough sale, either because of some unusual feature or because you’re selling in a slow market, it can sometimes be worth offering incentives to potential buyers to sweeten the deal. Examples include upfront repair or improvement credits, paying the buyer’s closing costs, or offering to include things like appliances, which aren’t always included in a sale.
Handle any quick repairs
While you don’t have time for major renovations, it’s still important to take care of any easy fixes that might deter potential buyers:
• Patch up spots where paint is peeled or scratched.
• Fix loose tiles.
• Repair loose door handles.
• Tighten leaky faucets.
You may also want to invest in a few minor upgrades that will make your home show better:
• Apply a fresh coat of paint inside.
• Install new hardware on kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
• Swap out old or outdated light fixtures.
• Purchase matching (newer) appliances.
Stage and add curb appeal
No matter your timeline, every seller can benefit from a weekend spent sprucing up their home’s interior and exterior. After all, making a good first impression with buyers is crucial.
Pack up and hire a stager
Staging is a common tactic in real estate sales, especially if you’re looking for ways to sell your house fast. Staging helps define spaces and makes rooms look larger. If you want to speed up this process, you’ll want to put all of your belongings in storage. A professional stager will bring their own furniture and decor, arranging it in a way that highlights your home’s best features and makes it feel warm and welcoming.
Create curb appeal
Your home’s exterior is the first in-person glimpse potential buyers will have of your home, so it’s important that it looks welcoming, well-maintained and tidy. Here are some tips to make your house sell faster with good curb appeal. And when speed is key, consider hiring a professional landscaper to make quick work of these tasks:
• Trim hedges, shrubs and overgrown tree branches.
• Clear walkways and paths.
• Clean windows and doorknobs.
• Sweep away spider webs and debris from the front porch.
• Replace broken lights or mailboxes.
• Paint the front door.
• Plant flowers.
Hire a professional photographer
It may seem faster (and cheaper) to snap a few pictures of your house on your phone, but poor listing photos could make your home sit on the market longer. In fact, a whopping 77 percent of recent buyers said that viewing professional photos was extremely, very or somewhat important to their home-buying decision.
Professional real estate photos only cost a few hundred dollars, and if you’re using a full-service real estate agent, they may even include the photos as part of their services. Before images are taken, make sure your home has plenty of light. Open the blinds, replace old light bulbs or update fixtures, and let in as much natural light as possible. This is also a best practice for listing appointments!
Write a great listing description
Once you have chosen a listing price and your house is in order, you’ll want to create a listing description that will help you sell your house faster. This is especially important if you’re selling on your own. If you are using an agent, they will probably write the description for you, but it’s still important to know what makes a good listing description. Highlight your home’s best features in the listing description, using effective keywords that’ll stand out to buyers. Include anything that makes your neighborhood desirable, like the school district, proximity to public transportation, or local restaurants and parks.
Time your sale right
The best time to list your home is in the first half of May on a Saturday. Homes listed during this time frame sold six days faster than average and for an average of $1,600 more. The peak selling time varies a bit based on your local real estate market, so check out info for your local area if you need to sell your house fast.
Be flexible with showings
When selling your home quickly is the goal, it’s important to be as accommodating as possible with showing requests. Yes, last-minute showings can cause a scheduling scramble, but nobody can buy your home if they can’t see it for themselves! If you aren’t willing to accommodate buyers’ schedules, your home is at risk of sitting on the market for a long time.
Hold an open house
A well-timed weekend open house is a must for selling your house quickly. It’s the easiest way to get multiple buyers through the door. Make sure to prepare accordingly — clean the home, arrange fresh flowers, offer a few treats, and prepare flyers that buyers can take with them after their tour.
Buyers requesting a private showing may have never seen your home before, or they could have attended your open house and are returning for a closer look. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to be as accommodating as possible in showing your home, even if it means keeping your house tour-ready around the clock. If you’re listing your house FSBO, be prepared to host your own tours. If you’re working with an agent, they should either do a tour for you or leave a lockbox for the buyer and their agent. If at all possible, the seller should avoid attending the showing it can make buyers uncomfortable.
Avoiding foreclosure? Facing divorce? Moving? Upside down in your mortgage? Liens? It doesn’t matter whether you live in it, you’re renting it out, it’s vacant, or not even habitable. Wasatch House Partners have a history of helping owners who have inherited an unwanted property, own a vacant house, are behind on payments, owe liens, downsized and can’t sell even if the house needs repairs that you can’t pay for. And yes, even if the house is fire damaged or has bad rental tenants.
Basically, if you have a property and need to sell it. We’d like to make you a fair cash offer and close on it when you’re ready to sell.
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