Time’s ticking. Maybe it’s a job relocation, fire damage, bad tenants, divorce, costly repairs, or a late tax bill that got you to this point. Whatever the case, you’re looking for the fastest way to unload your property and sell your house in 7 days.
A week is a short amount of time to accomplish any major project, let alone a task as complicated as selling a house. However, you aren’t the first seller to need a housing market express lane, and you do have options to improve your shot at a quick sale. Here’s an in-depth look at how you can sell your house in as few as 7 days.
Option #1: Sell your house in cash
Selling your house for cash is a creative way to land a quick sale. By eliminating lender involvement, you open up sales to non-traditional buyers, such as house flippers, buy-and-hold investors, and iBuyers.
With this route, you don’t list your home on the market. You skip the process of staging and showing your home and go straight to requesting an offer. However, the drawback is that you’ll probably take a hit on the price. After all, investors are buying the property for business reasons, so their profit margins are usually top-of-mind.
Myles Daniel, a real estate investor in Greenville, South Carolina, says he sees sellers decide to seek cash offers for a few reasons:
- They don’t have time to wait for an offer.
- They need quick cash.
- They don’t want to deal with repairs, showings, or traditional selling logistics.
If you want to sell your house for cash, here are some steps to take to secure a cash offer:
Step 1: Get a home value estimate
It’s smart to have at least a ballpark idea of what your home is worth before you get a cash offer, and you can get an estimate conveniently on the web in just a few minutes. Opt for a platform like HomeLight’s free Home Value Estimator that uses specific details about your home to get a more precise estimate of value.
Step 2: Request a cash offer
Finding a cash offer can save you loads of time. Here’s how to use HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform to secure a cash offer and sell your house in as little as 10 days:
HomeLight’s Simple Sale Can Speed Up Your Sale
You can dramatically speed up your sale with HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform, where you can grab an offer on your home in as few as 48 hours. Just enter your address and answer a few questions about your property, and we’ll recommend our best matches for cash buyers seeking homes in your area.
Compare against an open market sale
We let our network of cash buyers compete for your home, so you can choose the best deal. Alongside your offer, you’ll also get an estimation of what you could fetch on the open market with a top real estate agent’s help, so you can decide if the price is to your liking.
Close in as little as 10 days
You have no obligation to accept the offer, but if it looks good to you, you can pick your moving date and get money in your bank account in as little as 10 days. Keep in mind, different buyers will offer different amounts of money for homes. When you use HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform, the final buying amount usually depends on unique factors, such as how much maintenance your house needs, your location, and current market trends.
Step 3: Review the terms of the deal
Daniel says it’s important to comb through your contract to make sure there aren’t any terms that could leave you in the lurch. He says, “The best advice I can give is this: read through the contract and ask for an explanation on anything you don’t understand.”
Step 4: Coordinate on lien searches or inspections
Selling a house with a lien (besides your mortgage loan) can be another obstacle to prepare for. The following are the most common types of liens that can disrupt a deal:
- Materialmen liens for unpaid contracting work
- HOA lien fees related to broken rules or overdue payments
- Department of Revenue Liens for overdue tax payments
Be sure to discuss your buyer’s policies on lien scenarios, as well as inspections. While many cash buyers purchase homes as is, others may request a credit for repairs found in an inspection.
Step 5: Communicate your preferred move-out day
Cash investors tend to be more flexible with the move-out date because they don’t plan to live in the residence. That means you can probably negotiate your move-out day if you need more time. If you’re ready to jet, you may be able to hand over the keys as soon as the ink dries.
Ready to sell for cash? Know the pros and cons
The convenience of selling your house quickly for cash can come with tradeoffs. For instance, some cash investors may tack on a service charge for a fast sale. Selling fast for cash may also cut into your final sale price, since investors are usually hyper-focused on striking a profitable financial deal when they buy with cash.
Option #2: Recruit a top agent and make your home irresistible to the market
If the cons of a cash sale appear to outweigh the pros for you, don’t worry. The tried and true approach to selling your home fast on the open market with a top agent is still a viable option — especially if you’re in a hot area for real estate.
According to HomeLight’s 2022 Housing Market Preview, 83% of agents expect this year’s housing landscape to be a seller’s market overall. And selling with an agent can be relatively quick and easy, depending on your area. For instance, Aimee Anderson, a top agent who sells homes 52% quicker than the average agent in the Raleigh area explains that for one listing she had “over 90 showings, 24 offers, and one that was $33,000k over the list price.”
All of this is great news if you’re ready to sell quickly. However, if you aren’t in a hot market, selling fast may take extra effort. Here’s how to sell fast on the open market:
Step 1: Find an agent who has a low days on market average
When you’re pressed for time, finding a top agent who has a laser-focused strategy, precision pricing skills, and negotiating superpowers is all the more important. In addition to knowledge of local market conditions, agents know how to speed up your home’s sale.
Here are three tactics an agent like Anderson uses to get her clients a fast offer:
- Planting “Coming Soon” signs to generate buzz ahead of time
- Targeting strategic advertising times
- Holding buyers to swift deadlines to convey a sense of urgency in the timeline
To spot a fast-selling agent, check their record for typical days on market (DOM). DOM tracks the time between when a house is listed and when it’s sold or taken off the market. If an agent’s average DOM is lower than average, it’s a good sign that they price homes correctly and know how to attract quick offers. HomeLight can also introduce you to a top real estate agent in your market with a track record of fast sales.
Step 2: Get a pre-listing inspection to get ahead of repairs
A pre-listing inspection is an inspection the seller voluntarily obtains and pays for prior to the listing. This option lays your home’s inspections issues out early on, so you can still sell quickly if issues pop up later on in the selling process. This step can decrease your odds of running into closing surprises that delay deals, such as lingering repairs, requests, and re-negotiations.
A pre-listing inspection allows you to either tackle necessary repairs in advance or account for any larger problems with the home into your initial price by disclosing them upfront to buyers. Also, if last-minute problems do pop up, and you still want to sell quickly, your agent will already have a general idea of issues laid out in the pre-listing inspection. That means they’ll be more prepared to adjust pricing, make concessions, or quickly rally professionals to help make a repair.
Step 3: Clean and declutter your house
Adopting a deep-clean, minimalist mentality is crucial to boosting your home’s appeal if you’re looking to sell your house in 7 days. Here are a few tips to get your house ready for the market:
- Declutter and make your house a blank canvas. Decluttering can add more than $2,500 to your home’s value, on average. In addition to getting rid of the clutter, it’s important to focus on depersonalizing your home so that potential buyers can see themselves in it.
- Deep clean from top to bottom. Consult HomeLight’s deep cleaning checklist to get every room in the house sparkling. You’ll need to scrub, sweep, dust, and vacuum floors and surfaces to whip your house into selling shape.
If you’re overwhelmed with home prep, hire someone to help you. Many cleaning services offer deals or coupons to help you with your deep clean.
Step 4: Amp up your curb appeal
Making simple improvements to the exterior of your home will increase your chances of attracting an offer quickly. Here are a few of the top curb appeal items to tend to for an instant upgrade:
- Freshen up your front door with a new coat of paint.
- Complete some simple landscaping.
- Wash dirt and grime off your home’s exterior.
Step 5: Price aggressively to sell you house in 7 days
With your agent’s expertise and analysis of market data, you can devise a pricing strategy that will boost your shot at getting an offer within your 7-day deadline. Without much breathing room to let your house linger on the market, your agent may recommend pricing the property slightly under market value with the goal of attracting multiple offers.
Step 6: Prioritize offers with fewer contingencies and faster closing dates
Anderson explains how “you need to look at every part of the offer” to identify the least complicated and contingent-dependent deal. The fewer the contingencies, the faster you will likely get to closing day. If you receive a cash offer during this process, it will probably be your fastest bid. However, it’s important to remember that if your buyer has a mortgage, the sale timeline still depends on the lender involved.
Talk with an agent to sell your house in 7 days
Your strategy for successfully selling your house in 7 days will depend on your circumstances. If your timeline and needs indicate that selling for cash is the right route for you, be sure to properly vet your prospective buyers to get the best value possible. And if listing on the market seems like your best bet, communicate your goals to your real estate agent so they can tailor their strategy toward speed. Selling your home in 7 days is no easy task and could require some sacrifices, but you do have options.
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