How to Sell My House Fast
A Guide for Homesellers
Life can come at us pretty fast. Divorce, job change, financial stress, health, or just leaving town, can all be a catalyst in the decision to sell your home fast. Regardless of the reason, the reality is that home equity is often our single biggest asset. The world has changed and there are now more ways than ever to quickly sell a home. Seller beware! There are billion dollar marketing companies poised to pounce on your hard earned equity under the guise of efficiency and ease. You need to know all of your options before you make the next move. Let’s discuss them now.
I’m looking to sell my house fast. What should I know?
The desire to sell a home fast can be fueled by a multitude of factors. Whether it’s financial pressure, life changes, or simply based on convenience, it is worth researching a few things before you pull the trigger. Start with these questions: What is the current supply vs demand in my local market? How much inventory, that is similar to my home, is available? How quickly can my home sell through traditional channels? How much would I have to give up to sell it through an IBuyer like Zillow, Open Door, or Offerpad? Could I sell my home to an investor? Could I sell my home through an auction? If I owe more for my home than it’s worth is there an option for me? Are there ways to stop a foreclosure? Is there someone who can help me navigate my options without charging me?
Click here for a quick down and dirty analysis of your home value.
How can I sell my house quickly regardless of the market?
The answer to this question depends greatly on the home, the property it’s on, the location, and the amount of money you need to net from the sale. Remember, there is a price at which almost any home will sell quickly. The real question is are you willing to accept that price? Let’s take a look at some quick home sale tips and tricks that can be used in almost any real estate market.
Understand the options. In the post-Amazon world, consumers are accustomed to having a litany of choices for every decision. Why should selling a home quickly be any different? The truth is, it’s not. Today, sellers can find buyers through traditional channels, Ibuyers, auctions, investors, and can choose to represent themselves in a For Sale By Owner transaction, or hire a licensed Realtor.
Hire A Real Estate Expert: In a tight housing market, a home could be prepped for sale, listed, and under contract in 72 hrs or less. If the seller hired a top notch licensed Realtor. In many cases a cash offer can be obtained for full retail value on the first day on market, and the sale could close in as few as 10 days later. In this instance, a quick home sale can be achieved via a traditional Agent who understands the market and your home value, and has a database of interested buyers who are ready and willing to act.
Auction Your Home: Auction companies like Auction.Com, Conciergeauctions, Williamsauctions.com are also quick sale options. While most auction companies specialize in selling distressed property. Concierge Auctions is an example of a company specializing in the sale of extremely high-end and luxury properties. In general, auction companies will market your home to a pool of interested buyers for a predetermined time. Typically the marketing window is 30 days. They will then open the property up for live and online bids. The highest bidder who exceeds your minimum acceptable bid will purchase and close on the home. The auction company will generally perform this service for a fee of up to 10% of the sales price. The auction fees are only charged on the successful sale of the property so the risk is minimal to the seller. This service can sometimes yield decent results but primarily for distressed properties and the extreme high end of the luxury market.
How to sell my house myself?
For Sale By Owner? With the free flow of information and technology today more and more homeowners are trying to go it alone when it comes to selling their home. A FSBO, or For Sale By Owner is a process that has been around for a long time. It typically involves putting a FSBO sign in the front yard, putting together some marketing, like an ad on Facebook, and working with a local title company to handle the escrow, title insurance, and contract processing. Since only about 10% of these sales actually close and usually result in an extremely long marketing time, (over 200 days), it is not recommended to attempt this method when in need of a quick home sale.
Is it a good idea to sell my house to cash home buyers?
Consider An IBuyer: By now everyone has heard the term Ibuyer. These are essentially high tech marketing companies that offer a quick cash transaction with a flexible closing window. This option has become more popular recently due to a booming market and a diverse array of ways to sell a house. While every service has some unique features, essentially the process is the same. The company pays cash for your home. When you move out they market and sell it for more money. Obviously, they are only able to do this if they pay you less for your home than it is worth on the open market. There are many automated services currently offering to buy your home, and many can do so quickly and efficiently. Just remember that they are not bound by a code of ethics and are not representing your best interests. They are working on behalf of themselves, and only make money when they pay you less than they can sell it for later.
How to sell my house fast for cash?
Sell To An Investor: Like Ibuyers, traditional investors are looking to make a profit on your home. However, a long term investor will typically pay more for a home than an investor looking to make quick cash on a flip sale. While an Ibuyers model is to buy and sell immediately, a rental property investor is in it for the long haul. They will often not only pay you cash and close quickly, but they will often offer you the ability to rent the home back for a period of time to give you the flexibility you need to make arrangements for the next stage of your life. An experienced licensed Realtor will often know investors that might be interested in your home.
A short sale is when you need to sell your house but the property is no longer worth as much as is due on the mortgage. Often referred to as “being underwater on your house”, can be stressful, especially if you need to change your life situation quickly (hence the sale). In this instance, the buyer of the property will have to be a third party, and the proceeds go directly to your lender. Similarly, the lender must agree to forgive the difference of the house note since the proceeds will be less than the outstanding debt. If the bank is threatening to foreclose, obtaining a short sale contract to sell your home can provide quick relief.
A licensed realtor, who is an experienced short sale expert, is required in this type of transaction. The Agent will quickly list the property, typically below market value to ensure an immediate offer. They will then negotiate on your behalf with the lender to accept a short sale for the home. Once the bank agrees to consider the short sale, they immediately postpone the foreclosure. This gives you much-needed time to plan for the future. A bank is typically willing to proceed with the sale if you can prove financial hardship and inability to pay the remaining balance. This makes sense for the bank as the foreclosure process is costly. Once they foreclose on a property they have to insure, market, maintain, and sell the home to someone else. If those costs exceed what they can net from a short sale they will approve it and move on. Remember: A short sale is a lengthy process, but it can quickly provide relief from foreclosure.
Can I sell my home if it’s in an active foreclosure?
It is possible to sell your home up until it is repossessed by the bank or sold at auction, though it is difficult. In pre-foreclosure, you will have to settle your debts with the lender, and this is achieved by selling the house to net enough to pay what you owe.
In turn, you will no longer own the property, but you can avoid serious damage to your credit. In a time like this, having a quality real estate agent who has experience in negotiating with both lenders and buyers will be extremely helpful. A sense of urgency in dealing with both parties, and getting the most out of each negotiation is imperative.
What is the process for selling a house?
We’re glad you asked. We’ve put together this 10 step, never fail, sure way to sell your home faster than the market average and for more money!
Sell Your House Fast – Century21 Northwest
Step 1: A Real Estate Pro Will Sell Quick!
We understand that selling your home as fast as possible may sound like a nightmare, but that’s why we’re here. Century 21 Northwest has been working with quick sales in every market for decades. We pride ourselves on creating integrity-laden opportunities for our clients that give them a better chance to get their dream home in the future by getting all of them money for their home today. One of these awesome Century 21 Quick sales programs is perfect for you: Century 21 Instant Offer, Century 21 Investor Sale, or Century 21 Lightening Listing.
Read more to learn about how we can make that a reality for you.
Step 2: Homes That Look Great Sell Fast!
Home condition is second only to price as a driver of time on market. Start with curb appeal and make sure that the arrival experience puts the home in its best light. Tiddy the landscaping and trim the plants and trees. Paint is the highest return on investment for any home improvement. Consider freshening inside and out to make the home look and smell like new. Fix what is broken and clean what is dirty.
Step 3: Staging For That Model Home Feel.
Model homes always feel so much nicer than our own homes because they’ve been meticulously designed to do so. You can make a big difference in your home by remembering to do these simple things; make it feel bigger, make it feel brighter, and make it feel like a canvas for their personality not yours.
First, clutter is the enemy. Only the elements that enhance the beauty of the home are decorating it. The perfect example is the kitchen. You will never see a bunch of papers, a toaster, a blender, or any of the common items we keep in all of our kitchens in a model home. You can also remove all of the extra furniture that clutters walkways and makes the space feel cramped, and empty the closets of all but the essentials. (Pro Tip: Put all of the xtra items in the garage. People overlook a cramped garage, but a cluttered kitchen is a deal breaker).
Second, Make your home sparkle by opening every blind and pulling back the drapes to let in as much natural light as possible. Consider removing the screens, storing them in the garage, and cleaning the windows. Make sure every light in the home functions and is using the same natural light bulb throughout the home. When a showing is scheduled be sure to turn on every light in the home.
Step 4: Priced Right, Equals Sells Fast
Price is the single greatest driver in speed to sale. There is no shortage of people who will offer cash and a quick close if you are willing to sell your home for less than it could bring on the open market. If you want to sell your home quickly, set its price at a point where it is attractive to the highest number of buyers. If you are not an expert in home valuations find a local expert Realtor to assist you. A Realtor has access to market data that nobody else has. The best Realtors are experts at interpreting the data. They might even be able to suggest a price that is above the current comparable sales if the home is unique and the market is hot.
Step 5: Speedy Sales With Great Home Pics
Your photography is the bait that will bring buyers to the home. Do not cut corners here. A good photographer will know how to present a home in its best light. These pro’s avoid taking pictures of things that detract from the home value; like power lines, busy streets, and cluttered areas. He will use lighting and angles to make things appear more open, and wide lenses that give the home a more open feel than can be obtained via normal cameras. Remember, these photos are going to be published all over the internet. A good photographer can be hired for less than $200 and will pay for himself in the amount of traffic his photos will generate.
Step 6: List Your Home For Sale
Step 7: Robust Marketing For Rapid Sales
The Multiple Listing Service or MLS, is a portal utilized by professional Realtors to market the listings they’ve been hired to represent. It remains the single greatest tool to access the biggest buying pool since most buyers are working with an Agent. However, when you really want to sell your home fast, you’ve got to utilize every tool and trick available. Social media is an excellent place to tell millions of people about your home. Make sure your agent has a large facebook audience and will agree to market your home on his page. Make sure his brokerage and brand have the same tools. Ask him to list the your home on Facebook Marketplace, and advertise it on all of the social media platforms. Then share it on your own social media platforms and ask all of your friends to do the same. Don’t discount other options like Craig’s list and youtube. The idea is to cast the widest net possible to attract the most attention. More eyes equals more showings, equals more offers, equals a faster sale!
Step 8: Make Showings Easy And Sell Quick
Since homes sell after buyers tour them, the more people that get to see a property the more likely you are to sell it fast. Flexibility is key. By making the showing schedules based on the buyers convenience and not your own, you increase the total number of buying prospects. Since most buyers like to tour on weekends, consider making plans to be somewhere else during that time. This will allow prospective buyers to have total flexibility for when they can view the home. Also, insist that your Agent hold open houses to drive additional visits. Make sure the Agent markets the home and the open houses to all of your neighbors as they are excellent referral sources for prospective buyers.
Step 9: Negotiate With Buyers
Now that you’ve taken all of the steps to attract the buyers, next come the offers. Be prepared to negotiate quickly, by understanding your bottom line and what is really important to you. Remember that greed kills deals so if speed is a strong motivation don’t be afraid to accept an offer that gives you what you need. The old adage “a bird in hand is better than two in the bush” is so applicable in this case. When a strong buyer, who is willing to meet your terms, will make a great partner in a quick close. When you beat a buyer up on his offer price, expect him to return the favor during the inspections and repair requests. If you go into that phase with soured feelings deals will often blow up. Keep your eye on the prize when you want a fast home sale.
Step 10: Close It!
No matter what type of home, listing, and offer you’re receiving, the closing date is the official end point of your quick sale journey. Your realtor should be the one negotiating this with real estate investors or home purchasers, but if you’re looking to sell your home as fast as possible, make sure to create a timeline early. The best agents should be able to create a timeframe within a window that you both agree upon.
In a cash transaction the amount of work required to transfer ownership is minimal. The title company just performs the research necessary to prove transferability and gets a title insurance company to write a policy to protect everyone. This can be done in as few as 10 days. When a loan is required the process is more arduous. The lender will require a 3rd party appraisal. The appraisal company typically takes between 7-10 days to submit their findings to the lender. When complete, the lender submits the file for underwriting which can take an additional 7-10 days. If the loan is approved it will take another 3 days or so to draft loan docs and submit them to the title company. Here a final settlement statement is prepared and the parties are scheduled for signing. In total, a loan backed sale will typically take about 30 days to complete. That’s why it’s imperative to do everything with precision on the front end, if speed to close is the motivating force.
At Century 21 Northwest we move with haste.
We’d love the opportunity to discuss the process and options of selling a home quickly with you. Please call or drop by anytime for a no obligation consultation.