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Overcoming the Impossible: How to Sell a Home in 10 Days

At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.

Ten days? You want to sell your home in ten days? Here’s why that’s crazy: in Colorado Springs – one of the hottest real estate markets in the country – even the fastest selling agents average about a month and a half for a home sale.

That’s a far cry from ten days.

But if you really need to sell your home in ten days, don’t panic just yet – it’s not impossible. Sure, it’s a tall order, but with some planning, a top-tier Realtor, and a lot of work, you might be able to pull it off.

We talked to a top real estate agent and put together a roadmap that lays out everything you need to do, in order, to get that home ready to sell, on the market, and under contract in just ten days. Here’s an overview:

  1. Hire a Top Agent
  2. Research Your Property
  3. Find Quick Fixes
  4. Craft a Marketing Plan
  5. Trust Your Agent, Be Calm, and Stay Flexible

1. Hire a Top Real Estate Agent

Your first step should be to hire the best, most successful real estate agent you can find. These agents have the teams, infrastructure, and resources to get your home listed and sold quickly. Use an online tool (like, say, HomeLight) to find the agents in your region who have sold the most homes, make some calls, and hire someone quickly.

Top selling agents offer resources like marketing plans, pricing strategies, and features like drone videos and 3D photography – benefits that help them stand above the competition. A one-person operation likely won’t have the bandwidth necessary to market and sell your home in such a short amount of time.

What’s more, many top realty agents and teams are also investors who may offer to buy your house, which gives you more options in a quick sale.

research property real estate agent
Source: (Helloquence / Unsplash)

2. Research Your Property

How much do you really know about your house? How old is your refrigerator? When was the last time the roof was remodeled? What’s the condition of the foundation?

“Age and condition of major big ticket items are things the seller needs to know,” says Andrew Duncan, Tampa’s #1 single-family home seller. Duncan, who sold 742 homes last year said, “If you know those and can document as much of that as you can, that will save a lot of time for you and it also helps educate the agent on the condition for features they have to factor into pricing the home”

This information is important not only for pricing, but marketing materials and mitigating concerns buyers may have. If you’re selling a home in Phoenix, for example, you can bet the buyers will want to know how old your A/C is.

In most cases it would be ideal to bring in a professional home inspector to quantify these items, but with only ten days, your options are limited. If you can’t get an inspector in your home right away, here are a few online guides to help you determine the age and condition of a few important aspects of your home:

3. Find Quick Fixes

“Ten days isn’t enough time to get a contractor to do a whole lot,” Duncan explains. “In our market, there’s a labor shortage.” This is true in many places, as most of the country is in one of the strongest seller’s markets ever. Which means that any improvements intended to appeal to buyers will need to be DIY.

With a week or less to stage you have limited choices, so pick projects with the biggest potential impact. In the yard, a few bags of mulch can breathe life into an old garden and patching bare spots in the lawn with sod will look great after a few days. Here are a few more impactful, quick landscaping projects.

Inside, you should focusing on cleaning and de-cluttering; wash windows inside and out and make sure the rest of the home is spotless and ready to stage.

If you do have a little extra time or can find a contractor to help out, here are a few quick improvements you can consider:

  • Fresh coat of paint – if you don’t have time to paint, clean the walls with a rag and some warm soapy water – clean walls can go a long way.
  • Attic insulation – new insulation not only has an excellent ROI but also lets you market your home as safer and more energy efficient.
  • New front door – as the first thing buyers see, a new door gives a great first impression with a relatively low cost and easy installation.

Make sure to consult with your realtor as well. They likely know which aspects of a home matter to buyers in your area so you don’t waste your time on something that won’t help sell your home.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you can still handle the project amidst the rest of your to-do list. The last thing you need is a half-painted room when you should be showing the home.

dollar sign sell for cash
Source: (NeONBRAND / Unsplash)

4. Figure Out a Pricing Strategy

Pricing is extremely important when selling a home and even more vital when trying to sell a home quickly. That’s why a pricing strategy is a vital part of your 10-day plan. And unless you are a local real estate expert, you should rely heavily on your agent to help you flesh out your pricing strategy.

“Listen to your agent on pricing,” Duncan says. “It’s what agents do for a living.” Many homeowners assign value – sentimental or otherwise – that doesn’t translate to the real world, which can lead to overpricing.

Overpricing your home is usually a mistake. It will deter buyers and by the time you arrive at a proper price, buyers will wonder why the home has been on the market for so long. Conversely, in a seller’s market, aggressive pricing can lead to a bidding war and an ultimately higher price.

So what should your strategy look like?

Duncan suggests you “have a pricing strategy that makes the action happen quickly.” This depends on a variety of factors – a buyer’s vs. seller’s market, local real estate trends, the condition of the home – but ultimately you should look to and trust your real estate agent’s pricing strategy, especially under a time crunch.

Drone shot mountain view
Source: (asoggetti / Unsplash)

5. Craft a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is where your top real estate agent can really shine. Duncan says to look for agents that are paying for premium features across multiple real estate platforms because they can get your home more exposure. “Not just on there,” he adds, “But on there the right way.”

Look for sexy, standout features like drone video, 360 photography, and strong listing copy. “If you don’t do a great job marketing the home it doesn’t matter,” Duncan says.

Like your pricing strategy, developing a marketing plan is going to fall heavily on your real estate agent, which is why it’s essential to hire the best. Are you marketing the home for first-time buyers? Retired couples? Young families? This will impact what projects you prioritize over the next few days.

Experienced real estate agents will often have checklists or processes to help simplify things for both of you.

Trust Your Agent, Stay Calm, and Be Flexible

Very few people, even the most experienced Realtor in the world, could sell a home in ten days without help. And if you aren’t the most experienced realtor in the world you’ll likely need a lot of help.

“Be selective about the agent you meet with,” Duncan suggests. “Find somebody who has the marketing power to get it out there but also could buy it themselves potentially.”

If you’ve done everything else on this list, you should be ready to sell. But this doesn’t account for the stress and emotional toll such a quick sale will have on you. Be sure to expect long nights, late showings, and potential bidding wars so you’re not caught off guard. Plan for the worst and remember – it should all be over soon!