Whether you’re selling out of want or necessity, why wouldn’t you look for a few quick ways to sell your house?
When your home languishes on the market, you’re not only continuing to absorb carrying costs like mortgage payments, landscaping, and insurance, your home is also developing a stigma that can be hard to shake. When it’s time to say goodbye quickly, here are some surefire ways to sell your home fast.
1: Partner Up with a Professional
To truly speed things along, it’s important to partner with a local real estate agent who knows the market and has the connections, network and marketing savvy to get your home in front of the widest pool of potential buyers. In fact, it also pays off financially.
For sale by owner (FSBO) homes typically sell for less than the selling price of agent-assisted homes. A recent study shows FSBO homes sold at a median of $210,000 (up from $208,700 the year prior), yet lower than the median of all homes at $245,000.
If you really want to find a real estate agent with the experience to sell your home in a flash, you should consider their track record of success – specifically, take note on how they’ve done selling similar properties in your neighborhood.
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You can use HomeLight’s real estate agent matching engine to compare all of the top selling real estate agents in your city and in specific neighborhoods. You can even get detailed data on how each agent compares to the average in terms of home sales, sale price, and the type of house they’re used to selling. Just answer a few questions about your property and we’ll pair you with a great real estate agent.
2: Compare cash offers on your house from competing investors
Most sellers’ top priority is fetching the most possible money for their house. As such, the vast majority of homeowners list their property the conventional way—on the open market with the assistance of an agent.
But certain circumstances leave you no time to declutter, put out a social media marketing campaign to attract buyers, or rearrange the furniture for better feng shui. In the event that a fast sale trumps selling to the highest bidder—whether it’s due to sudden life change such as a new job across the country or financial hardship—getting a cash offer on your house that could help you close in weeks or even days becomes an attractive route.
If you sell to an instant buyer, however, it’s in your best interest shop around and make sure you get the best offer possible for your house when it comes to pricing and terms. While one instant buyer might offer you more money, another could orchestrate a faster closing. Some are in the market for tear-downs while others want homes of a certain price point in good condition.
You can start by comparing cash offers from a list of pre-approved iBuyers using HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. With this tool, you can also compare cash offers against an estimation of what you could get for your house by listing it with an agent. Know your options inside and out, and then go from there!
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3: Time the Local Housing Market
Although your location and local housing supply plays a role in the best time to sell your home, most sources agree that Spring ranks among the top. In fact, homes have been known to sell faster – and for more money if they’re listed during the spring months. This buying behavior often continues into the early summer and can peak in June as families get settled in prior to a new school year.
While Fall and Winter typically see noticeable drop-offs in purchase activity, it also means that individuals that need to buy during this time are highly motivated to get the deal done. To sell your home as fast as possible, speak with real estate agent who understand local price trends, weather fluctuations, and can let you know which months the hottest seller months in your area.
4: Prep for the Big Reveal
It’s part of the real estate vernacular for good reason. Home staging can play a crucial role in nailing the all-important first impression. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 81% of buyers find it easier to visualize the property as their future home if it’s staged. What’s more, 37% of sellers’ agents believe staged homes increase the value buyers are willing to offer by 1-5%. If you want to sell quickly, the facts on home staging speak for themselves.
5: Declutter, Depersonalize, Debut
“Most owners aren’t seeing bidding wars the way they were a few years ago,” says professional home stager Deborah Gould. “But with the right staging, you can get close to your asking price.”
For the quickest sale and to see the highest value for your home, she recommends decluttering to make the home feel bigger, depersonalizing to make it a blank slate for potential buyers, and then debuting your home with its new look.
6: Be Easy Going and Available
Nothing will bring a real estate transaction to a crawl faster than an agent’s inability to access the property for showings. If you’re serious about selling quickly, make it easy for potential buyers to tour your home. Be available so your agent can show the property at a moment’s notice (within reason), and keep your home in “showing” condition so you’re ready when buyers are.
7: Google Your Listing
The National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers tells us that 42% of home buyers begin their search by looking at properties online. Can your property be found? Ask your real estate agent if they’ll be posting your home on the local MLS, then Google your home’s address to ensure you can find it on all the popular listing portals. If you can’t find it – buyers can’t either. And, that will surely stop a potential sale in its tracks.
8: Make it a Neighborhood Affair
Seth Williams, founder of REtipster, describes reaching out to the neighbors – whether by mail, email or in person – as one of the best ways to sell your home quickly. He suggests creating a “neighbor letter” that covers the following about your listing:
- Brief Personal Introduction to Explain Who You Are
- Explain Your Intentions
- Information About Your Property (What’s Interesting or Unique About it?)
- Explain Why They Should Take Action
- Lay Out The Consequences Of Not Taking Action (They’ll Miss Out!)
- Reiterate Why This Is A Deal They Can’t Refuse
- Call To Action (Give Them Your Contact Info)
Although his example is primarily for investment properties, the idea translates to traditional sales as well. Your neighbors are familiar with the neighborhood and likely know someone else who would be interested in living in the community. They may also be motivated to convince their friends and family to move within shouting (hopefully not literally) distance.
9: Sweeten the Deal with Incentives
Leaving a flat screen television behind? Are you willing to pay a portion of the buyer’s closing costs? When you sweeten the deal, you make your home stand out from the crowd. Figure how the items that you own that carry little extrinsic value on the open market, but may have significant intrinsic value for a potential buyer. Talk to your real estate agent about what’s legally allowed in your market. This is a tried and true quick-sale tactic, as 37% of all home sellers offer incentives to attract buyers. That black leather couch may not fetch much on Craigslist, but may mean the world to a harried buyer.
10: Price it Right
Top Massachusetts real estate agent Bill Gassett who ranks #3 for homes sold in Hopkinton, reminds us that in real estate, “time is your enemy.” There is an ideal time frame for selling your home, and it usually falls within the first few months the home is on the market. When you fail to price your home competitively from the get-go, there are many damaging effects – including missing the sale altogether.
If you are able to price your home just below market comparables in your area, you may be able to trigger a bidding war that drives your final closing price well above listing. One final tip: stack your open houses to ensure that you find multiple competitive buyers in a short period of time and ensure distribution of your listing to all of the local buyer’s agents in the area.
Bonus Tip: Write a Love Letter to Buyers You Like
It’s not uncommon for a buyer to submit a letter with their offer telling the homeowners why they’d be a great fit for the house. To get potential home buyers on board quickly, sellers can use this tactic, too. To avoid getting into fair housing hot water, you’ll want to avoid targeting any specific type of buyer for your property. However, you could create a list of amenities and features you love about your home – everything from the corner bakery that sells the best blueberry muffins to the under cabinet lighting you installed in the kitchen. Focus on the property highlights and you can’t go wrong. Give this to your real estate agent so they can share it with potential buyers when they tour your home.
Say Goodbye to Your Old House, Fast
Lastly, remember this is business, not personal. The home you lived in was a place with memories to be cherished, but the house you are selling is meant to get you the best financial outcome possible. By putting these tips into practice, you’ll be on the right path to selling your home and moving on to your next exciting chapter.
Here’s to a happy—and quick—transaction!