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.
Homeowners want to sell their home fast for all sorts of reasons. Whether you’ve inherited a property, are relocating for your career, or just want to save time, there’s no need for your house to sit unsold — especially in 2022’s sellers’ market.
You can sell your house fast for cash or through more traditional real estate methods — you just have to be smart about it. Here are nine tips to sell your house fast — including advice from industry experts.
1. Partner with a top real estate agent to sell your home fast
In order to sell your home fast, you need a partner with expertise in local realty. If you choose to sell your house FSBO, you’re missing out on all sorts of wisdom and resources that an experienced Realtor® can provide.
Selling a house is so much more than snapping some photos and writing a listing for MLS. Here are a few ways that a real estate agent can help you sell your house fast:
- Running comps to see what similar homes in your area have sold for.
- Knowing how to market to your target audience, whether you’re hoping to sell your house fast for cash or prefer a more traditional sale.
- Providing insight into what needs to be fixed, changed, or upgraded in your home to attract your buyers.
- They’re masters at marketing and can draw more attention to your property.
- Helping you avoid hidden home selling costs.
Additionally, Realtors® can handle all of the communication with your prospective buyer. Real estate is a full-time job, so most people choose to hire an agent to help with both a fast sale and a fast purchase. In 2021, 87% of buyers and 90% of sellers used a real estate agent for a home transaction.
It’s also important to find the right Realtor®. Don’t just click the first ad that pops up on Google. You need to find a top agent who specializes in your area — and HomeLight’s Agent Matching platform can help. Based on information you provide about your home and selling goals, we’ll match you with top agents. To help you choose the right agent, be sure to ask these important questions.
2. Clean, declutter, and paint
Your prospective buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your house. Although you probably have nice furniture, knickknacks, and accent walls, your home reflects your taste. Give your house a deep clean, put away the personal clutter, and throw a fresh, neutral paint color on the walls.
“We have to have the property in top-dollar shape,” says top Washington real estate agent Nancy Lee, who sells homes 62% faster than average agents in her area. Sometimes this means decluttering or painting, and “sometimes we have the carpet cleaned…[or] we change the flooring.”
Cleaning and decluttering your home can even increase its value by 3%-5%. A clean house is attractive to buyers because they see it as a blank canvas that they can make their own. Then, you can bring in a professional home stager to tailor the house to attract your ideal buyer.
3. Hire a professional home stager
Like decluttering, home staging lets the buyer focus on the house itself instead of what you’ve done with the place. They need to fall in love with the house, rather than fall in love with your home. In fact, 82% of buyers’ real estate agents in 2021 said that staging helped the buyer visualize living in a new home.
“Staged homes spend less time on the market and result in lower carrying costs,” says Brad Pierce, Creative Director at Haven Home Staging and Redesign. “Staging helps present a property in its greatest potential.”
In addition to helping the buyer envision their new life in the house, staging is more cost-effective than renovating or reducing your listing price. But how do you stage your home?
According to professional home stager Donna Allen, “The objective of staging is to eliminate any distractions for buyers and to showcase the property’s best features along with making sure the house is neutral and current.” She considers the demographics of the neighborhood and the target audience to determine the best way to stage a home so that her client can sell their house fast.
“There are three responses to home staging,” Allen continues. “Yes, no, and WOW. WOW is the one to aim for.” When your buyer has that WOW reaction, you’re one step closer to selling your house fast.
You cannot underprice the property, especially in this market. But if you overprice it, you are doomed.
4. Price your house appropriately
Pricing is key to selling your house fast. The first step is to get a sense of what your house is worth so that you can price it appropriately — and HomeLight’s Value Estimator can help. The next step is to hone in on the perfect asking price for your property.
California agent Cheryl Coleman, who has more than 18 years of experience in the industry, stresses the importance of strategic pricing as a vehicle to selling your house fast. “You cannot underprice the property, especially in this market,” she says. “But if you overprice it, you are doomed.”
Recent statistics from the National Association of Realtors® support Coleman’s statement. In 2021, buyers usually bought their homes for the full asking price, and 29% of them paid more than the asking price.
This all means that buyers are out there, and willing to pay more than your listing price. Just don’t scare them off by pricing your house too high. Instead, draw them in with an appropriate price tag and creative marketing.
5. Market to your target buyer
The more prospective buyers you attract, the faster you’ll sell your house. And how do you bring more attention to your listing? Creative marketing.
Real estate marketing starts online. Recently, 95% of homebuyers used the Internet to help them find their next home. So you have to write a creative real estate listing that your target audience will see—and that they’ll want to read.
Thanks to the increase in online access to home listings, Lee and her colleagues focus on digital marketing. Real estate agents nowadays use tools like 3D real estate tours, social media marketing and Facebook Live to garner interest. Then, after your listing is marketed across the Internet, you can really wow your audience with an open house.
6. Host open houses to sell your home fast
Open houses are the bane of many sellers, but they can really speed up your sale’s timeline. In Coleman’s experience, open houses just work. When she holds an open house Friday through Sunday, she gets about 100 visitors per day and starts taking offers on Monday.
Coleman recalls a recent experience in which a local home had sat on the market for months. She convinced the seller to let her work her open house magic. “We had 200 people at the open house, and it sold three days later,” she said.
An open house might seem like a pain in the neck, and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made real estate more challenging. But things are opening up, and open houses are making a huge comeback. If you want to sell your house fast, listen to your real estate agent and hold an open house.
7. Incentivize prospective buyers
We are in a sellers’ market. In January 2022, existing home sales rose 6.7% from December 2021, and the quantity of for-sale homes has hit an all-time low. Even with a lot of prospective buyers out there, providing incentives can help you sell your home fast.
“There’s a lot of back and forth right now on commissions and closing costs,” Lee says. And although houses generally get multiple offers, you can expedite the sale by paying the buyer’s Realtor® commission or reimbursing some closing costs. Sweeten the pot a little bit and see how quickly your house sells!
8. A cash offer can sell your house fast
Another way to expedite your home sale is to request a cash offer. Selling your house fast for cash might sound too good to be true – but it’s actually more common than you might think. In fact, cash sales are on the rise in various markets throughout the United States.
Although you might get less money in a cash sale than you would in a traditional agent-assisted sale, cash buyers like house flippers and property investors are always seeking out properties for sale. And they prefer quick transactions, helping motivated sellers save a lot of time. You can sometimes sell your house for cash in days or weeks as opposed to months, so a cash offer is a great option if you’re really motivated to sell quickly.
If you’re not sure how to request a cash offer, start with HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. Just answer a few simple questions about your home, and we’ll make a competitive offer in as few as 48 hours. You can close on your timeline – sometimes as quickly as 10 days.
9. Stay positive — and be ready to move!
Selling your home can be a stressful life event. Just stay positive and flexible so you can accommodate a buyer who wants to buy your house quickly. And before you put your house on the market, make sure you’re ready to move and go through with the sale!
If you as the seller back out of a real estate contract, there could be legal repercussions, delaying your sale even further.
If you’re dedicated to a fast sale, start decluttering, downsizing, and packing now. It’ll save you stress as you approach your closing date. So be ready, and keep a positive and flexible attitude. You’ll be passing the keys off in no time!
Header Image Source: (Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock)