Can you sell your house fast today? It depends on your definition of fast. Is it as fast as ordering an Uber or renting a vacation rental on AirBnB? Heck no.
Can you sell your house as quickly as you can get a mortgage to buy a new one? Nope. Unless you want to put your home out there on a fire sale for pennies on the dollar, you can’t sell it that fast by any measure. Today, you need to jump through hoops and hurdles. Endless streams of red tape. Agents. Commissions. And never-ending fees. These are the norm. Not the exception.
But today, right here and right now, there are other ways to sell your home quickly.
Understanding the mechanics of home selling
There are some factors when it comes to selling your home that simply cannot be changed. These impact the speed of the sale. They’re things like location. You hear it all the time. Location, location, location. If your home is in a highly desirable neighborhood or located directly on the water, you’re probably in luck. It will most likely sell fast. Also, market forces. Is it a seller’s market? Or is it a buyer’s market? You can’t really change that aside from waiting it out. But you never know how long each will last.
So how long does it typically take to sell a property? The national average number of days a home spends on the market is 68 days. Of course, that depends on location and whether it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market. But it also depends on the price. If you’re looking for top dollar, expect to wait. And, if your home is in poor condition, don’t expect top dollar.
1. Sell your house to a wholesaler
What most people don’t understand is that nearly 40% of all real estate transactions that happen in this country happen using all cash. That means there are no banks involved. It also means that most of the traditional hurdles of underwriting are gone. But wholesalers do something a bit more unique. They help middle man your house. Not for top-dollar. But you’ll get a fair amount. That’s for certain. They’ve lined up cash buyers on their end who tell them what inventory they’re interested in.
All the wholesaler does is put your house under contract and flip it to a cash buyer. Often, this involves little to no money out of their pocket. So why would you flip it to a wholesaler? Well, it’s fast. Certainly, faster than attempting to list it with a traditional agent. Now, how do you find a wholesaler? That’s a bit more complicated. They often find you. In their search for distressed sellers, they look for signs that properties are ready to sell at a deep discount.
So, what do you do if you don’t want to wait for them to find you? Use one of the cash buyer companies like Wasatch Home Partners or any of the others out there. But keep in mind that you’re going to likely sell that asset at 60 to 70 cents on the dollar.
2. Find the top real estate agent in your area
Okay. There’s a real difference I need to highlight here amongst real estate agents. While I have nothing against them personally, here’s the truth. Most agents are well-intentioned. They certainly have every intention of selling your home for top dollar. And they want to sell it fast. But is that usually case? Not often. Most lament that realtors don’t quite do their job. The whole list-it-and-forget-it complaint seems to take center stage. And rightfully so. You’re giving up 6% of your home price at the end of the day. In the US, there are 2 million active real estate agents. Roughly 1.35 million of those are licensed agents. That’s according to the National Association of Realtors. But a very small portion of those licensed agents actually make money. And the longer they’re agents, the more likely they become top producers. You develop relationships over the years and over time your business balloons. And those are the agents you want to go after if you want to sell quickly.
So how do you find a top real estate agent in your area? Simple. Just do a search online. Something like “best real estate agent in” or whatever area you’re in. Look for realtors with hundreds of positive reviews. Find the top producers and see if they’ll list your home for you. Does that mean you’ll sell it overnight? Certainly not. But going with a top producer who’s already developed relationships is the best chance you have for moving that property faster than the average in your area.
3. Dramatically reduce your price
Look, you can’t change the location of your home. You just can’t. But you can change the price. And depending on the temperature of the market, dramatically altering your price can seriously speed up the process. I’m not talking about a small price shift here. I’m talking about a major change in the asking price. If you’re listed at $400,000, dropping it to $350,000 is a dramatic change in price. Dropping it by $5,000 won’t do much for you here. What most people like to do is to remove the home from the MLS and relist it again. That’s well and good, but there is a history created on your property. Anyone can see the number of days it spent on the market. They’ll also know whether you’re a serious seller or not. Rather than removing it from the market and relisting it, just drop the price. Again, price is a huge motivating factor. Keep in mind that people love to things at a dramatic discount.
Also, understand that your property has to be a great deal compared to other properties in the neighborhood. If you’ve dramatically dropped your price and you’re still pricey compared to the other homes, it won’t make a difference. People want a good deal. They would much rather buy the least expensive home in a neighborhood than the most expensive one. All the upgrades might matter to some people. But if you want to sell fast, it’s mostly about the price.
4. Consider a short sale of your home
Most of the time, when people want to sell fast, it’s because they’re underwater. We call these properties distressed. Why? Because, oftentimes, the debt owed on the property is more than the value of the home. That means that equity is non-existent. Plus, when you’re going through a divorce, the death of a spouse, or bankruptcy and other financial problems, it compounds the situation. And when you no longer have an income to pay the mortgage, that’s when you risk losing your home entirely.
It’s not a good situation. And if the bank has threatened you with foreclosure, there are things you can do. The most prominent? Ask the bank to do a short sale. What’s a short sale? First, it relies on the debt being more than the value of the home. But it also counts on all the lien holders agreeing to the sale. So, if you have 3 mortgages, they all have to agree on a short sale. If you have one, clearly your chances are better to short sale your home.
How do you do it? You have to contact the primary note holder. That’s the largest mortgage holder on your home. If you only have one mortgage, great. Contact that bank. Tell them about your situation. Then, find out who you need to speak to in order to get out from under water. Yes, it’s embarrassing and humiliating. But it’s certainly better than a foreclosure. It’s better than being evicted from your own home.
5. Transfer your mortgage to someone else
Okay, the last way to sell your home quickly might be to transfer your mortgage to someone else. But it also means that your mortgage must be assumable by someone else. You’ll need to read your mortgage docs to figure this out. But if it is assumable, then you’re in luck. This could even mean that you could stay in your home and rent it. Is this a common scenario? No. Yet it is possible. You just need to do a bit of leg work to make it happen. Keep in mind that whoever the new “borrower” is, they need to qualify for that mortgage. And that might take some hoops to jump through. And if you’re truly buried under debt and can’t make your payments, it might not be the fastest way to get out of your home. But it is an option. How long does it take? Again, it all depends. Contact your bank and see if this is even a thing. If it is, you’ll also need to find the person who’s willing to assume the mortgage in the first place. Home sellers have a royal flush in today’s housing market. Inventory is low, home prices are rising and buyer appetite is ravenous. Sellers can essentially plant a for-sale sign in their lawn and wait for the offers to pour in. Although the road is mostly smooth, there are some steps sellers can take to maximize their returns while also avoiding risky buyers whose offers might evaporate. Real estate experts warn against sellers becoming too complacent, which can show up in several ways from choosing the wrong buyer to ignoring potentially deal-breaking contract terms.
Keep Your Options Open
It’s not at all unusual for today’s home sellers to field multiple offers, days or even hours after putting their home on the market. This is an enviable problem for sellers who are left with the job of sifting through offers. It might be tempting to go with the highest bidder right away, especially if they’re willing to go substantially above your asking price. However, this can be a big mistake, by allowing the home to stay on the market for at least two weekends, which will give a larger number of buyers a chance to see the house. The more buyers you can choose from, the better your odds are of not ending up with a high-risk buyer.
A high-risk buyer is someone who:
• Can potentially back out of the deal if there are certain problems with the property.
• Doesn’t have enough cash to cover the difference between the mortgage amount and the home price if the appraisal falls short.
• Needs to sell their home before they can buy.
Since most areas are experiencing a housing shortage, sellers likely won’t be in jeopardy of missing out on a great offer by keeping their options open for a couple of weeks.
Selling a home in one day or one weekend sounds exciting but often induces risks and less money to the seller than allowing a few more days. In today’s hot real estate market, sellers may lose out when buyers make high offers but build in contingencies to get out of the transaction later.
Finally, keep in mind that many buyers are making offers on multiple properties to up their odds of getting a deal in this super-competitive landscape. This can be dicey if another seller also chooses the buyer you choose.
An experienced real estate agent or attorney can help you out the best offers while guiding you through the terms and conditions that work in your favor.
There are a lot of stunts these days, so you need to be legally protected. Not only are sellers receiving multiple bids, but buyers are making multiple bids.
Don’t Slack on Staging
Even desperate buyers are prone to walk away if the house doesn’t live up to the price tag, or at least get close to it. And in today’s world of aspirational real estate shows aplenty, real estate agents say it’s essential for sellers to present their home in the best light so that people can visualize themselves in it. According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey of real estate agents, 7 out of 10 agents said photos, videos and virtual tours were far more important since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Additionally, 23% of buyers’ and sellers’ agents said that staged homes fetched between 1% and 5% more in dollar value than similar homes that did not get a makeover. While it’s tempting to put little work in the repair and renovation of your home due to the high demand prior to selling, buyers will pay a premium when comparing options in this market for homes that provide peace of mind for being move-in ready.
This doesn’t mean you should sink money into major renovations. For sellers who want to juice their profits, the usual suspects will do: a fresh coat of paint, organize, minimize clutter and do a deep clean.
Don’t worry about expensive remodels or renovations right now. Save that money and list the home. As long as it is clean and decluttered, it will sell quickly.
Price Your House Strategically
It’s natural for sellers to want to take full advantage of this unprecedented opportunity that is today’s white-hot housing market. Nobody wants to leave money on the table when buyers are lining up to pay above the asking price. But sellers should keep a cool head when it comes to pricing their home. Rather than list the house at the moon-shot price you’re hoping for, work with your agent to come up with a strong opening price and let the market factors (low inventory, high demand) do the rest.
Getting a Cash Offer for Your House
Yes, Cash Is Still King—But Terms Matter, Too
In the hierarchy of home offers, the cash offer is at the top. Cash simplifies the buying process. Without lenders in the mix, you’ll save time and reduce the risk of the deal not going through.
Cash offers offer several benefits, including:
Sellers don’t have to depend on lender financing for the sale to happen.
• Cash buyers can remove appraisal and financing contingencies.
• The closing is usually smoother and faster.
With a cash offer, a closing can be done in as little as 14 days compared to the normal 30 to 60 days. It also removes the mountain of paperwork that comes with a loan, which removes stress.
The downside of cash buyers is that they might try to negotiate more than someone who is financing the purchase. Beyond how the buyer is paying for the house and even how much they offer, experts agree that sellers should pay close attention to the terms of the sales contract. If a buyer builds in terms (commonly referred to as contingencies) that allow them to back out of the deal when specific criteria are not met, then the seller could end up empty-handed.
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.