I Need To Sell My Home Quickly, What Do I Need To Know?

Alarm clock sitting in the grass with the time 11:55AM on the face of the clock.

Selling your house is a difficult task, one that takes our most precious resource—time. If you’re trying to close the sale and move quickly, it pays (literally and figuratively) to strategize.  There are many reasons a home may not sell right away such as a steep listing price, the lack of maintenance, structural issues, location trends, and poor marketing.

So you’re probably wondering, “If I’m trying to sell my house quickly, what do I need to know?” 

In this article, you’ll learn about home selling mediums and effective marketing methods that will get you out of your old place and into something new.

Consider Your Selling Options

Did you know that you don’t need agent representation when you sell? Selling at auction or to an investor are the fastest options. Read on to determine whether an agent, auction, investor, short sale, or even selling by yourself is the best (and quickest) decision for you.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

“I believe the first step is always starting with a licensed real estate professional,” says Greg Hawkins, a Realtor® with Silvercreek Realty Group. “By hiring an agent, you are bringing someone into the equation that has experience navigating you around some of the pitfalls that arise even in a strong seller’s market. From negotiating and structuring the contract to managing all of the moving pieces to keeping the process on track to meet your timeframes, a reliable real estate agent can help you streamline the process while working to maximize your net proceeds.”

Choose an agent with a history of selling similar home types in your area. You can research the average days on the market and the location of those homes. The more familiarity your argent has with your home, the better chance your home has to sell quickly. You should take the time to interview at least three qualified agents and ask them for their selling strategy for your particular home, as well as solutions to roadblocks in the selling process. The agent you choose should become your trusted advisor.

Speed of sale: In 2020, the average home went under contract in 25 days

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

This option is very quick if you have a buyer already lined up. If you want to sell on your own you would need to do all of your marketing and legal paperwork. Without real estate experience, homeowners aren’t encouraged to sell a home by themselves due to stringent time demands and the chance of losing money on the sale

Speed of sale: 77% of homes in 2020 sold in less than two weeks.

Sell Your House at Auction

According to SF Gate, the top pros at an auction can sell your home quickly. If you are willing to pay auction company fees and have a smaller pool of buyers, it’s worth a shot if you want a quick sale. Keep in mind that you run the risk of your home not being sold.

Speed of sale: Within minutes of your auction

Sell To an Investor

Selling to an investor is arguably one of the fastest options available, but it comes with a cost. You can sell your house, as-is, to an investor for cash. If you’re struggling financially, or on a time crunch, this option will help you avoid costly repairs and real estate marketing. All-cash investor deals will usually cause sellers to leave money on the table and could result in legal issues. An alternative, if your home is in good condition, is selling to an iBuyer, like Zillow or Redfin.

Speed of sale: Within minutes or a few days if you sell to an iBuyer

Short Sale

If you cannot pay your mortgage and need to move, a short sale might be a sound strategy. According to NerdWallet, a short sale will help you avoid foreclosure and sell your home quickly. However, it will sell for less than it’s worth. 

Speed of sale: Usually longer than 30 days

Marketing Your Home for the Close

Whether you work with an agent or prefer the FSBO approach, your odds of selling quickly increase if you make your home attractive and marketable to homebuyers.

Declutter and Clean Your Home

  • Go room by room and sort items to keep, donate, or throw away. Remove any sentimental decor or keepsakes that distract from the room so potential homebuyers can picture their belongings in the space. 
  • If you have bulky furniture that doesn’t seem to fit or is mismatched, either rent or replace the furniture for a more balanced look.
  • Thoroughly clean and wash marks off of doors, walls, shelves, and light switch plate covers. 
  • Dust, vacuum, and shampoo your carpets. You can rent a carpet cleaning machine for about $30 a day and purchase a cleaning solution for around $17. 
  • Polish your hardwood floors after a deep clean.

Opt for Professional Photography

It’s imperative to include quality photos in your home’s listing because it can mean the difference between closing on your home and having your listing expire. While you can save money by taking photos yourself, hiring a professional to create a positive first impression is the best choice. Ask for your agent’s expertise or personalized photography recommendations.

Stage Your Home

When you stage your home correctly, the rooms coordinate seamlessly and potential homebuyers are more inclined to make an offer. If you skip this step, you can leave money on the table. Hawkins, the Realtor®, says, “A good mindset for getting ready for showings is ‘less is more.’ Staging and decluttering should, in most cases, leave a room simple.”

Write a Compelling Real Estate Description

People have short attention spans, and the last thing you want to do in your real estate description is bore someone! Partner with your agent to craft a narrative about the home. Remember to talk up the location, and use descriptive words and phrases designed to capture the viewer’s attention.

Make Your Showings Special

Make the showing about the homebuyer, not you. “Make sure lights are on and the home is well-lit and inviting,” says Hawkins. Create a gift basket from scratch or take the time to print out pamphlets or fliers that help homebuyers remember the home. Include pictures, a list of top features, and some information about the local neighborhood. You might receive an offer because you spent a little extra time making the buyers feel important. 

The Bottom Line

Now that you know your home selling options, you can sell quickly with confidence. Remember that your situation may not warrant a traditional approach using a real estate agent and that none of the options come without risk. If you’re marketing your house for a quick sale, pay attention to the small details to ensure you receive the most competitive offers.

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