There are several reasons why a homeowner needs to sell fast. First and most likely, you’ve found a home you really love. If you’re like the majority of Americans, that means you’ll have to sell your existing home first if you are going to get approved for a mortgage to finance your next home. That puts you under a lot of pressure to sell quickly, or you risk losing your dream house to someone else. If only you could buy the home you want before you sell. More on that later.
Of course, you may also need to move for a job. Relocating for a new job opportunity often requires you to have to sell with little notice. If you don’t sell in time, you may have to move and try to sell remotely. Not exactly ideal.
There are other reasons, too. Perhaps you’ve lost a job and can no longer afford your home or you’re a recent empty-nester and want to move out of a higher property tax area.
No matter the reasons, selling your home fast may not be easy. The speed at which you can sell your home is dependent on multiple factors, including:
Let’s break these down.
It’s important to understand the housing market in your city to get a little perspective on what you might expect if you put your home on the market. National market data currently has us in a “very hot” seller’s market. That means there is more demand for homes than there are homes on the market, giving you a better chance to sell your home with less inventory for buyers to choose from. But, depending on where you live, your market may differ. It’s important to do your research to find local trends.
In a seller’s market, you’re likely to have more offers faster than in a buyer’s market because buyers know they have to act fast or risk losing the house to others who have offers on the table. This is an ideal situation for you as a seller and may reduce the sales time dramatically. Of course, on the flip side, if you’re in a buyer’s market, you may have to be more patient as offers may be slower to come.
No matter if you are in a buyer’s or a seller’s market, the location of your home within your city matters. Close-in neighborhoods often get more attention from buyers versus more rural neighborhoods. There’s a buyer for every house, but if you want to sell quickly, having a home in a desirable school district and near major employers, downtown areas, recreational areas, and/or entertainment hubs will give you the advantage.
You can determine the popularity of your area by looking at recent sales prices in various neighborhoods in and around your city. Typically, housing prices are higher per square foot in highly-desirable areas than those in other locations. People are willing to pay a premium to be close-in to areas they frequent. Evaluate what houses are selling for in your area and compare them with market data to see where you stand. You can also look at market data to see how long houses are sitting on the market in each local zip code. These pieces of data are good indicators of what you can expect.
There are two kinds of buyers: ones that want move-in ready homes and ones that are willing to put in a measure of work to get a home where they want it. Take a look at your home inside and out. If you were either of these types of buyers, where would your home land?
For most homeowners, you will want to take a little time to make some basic improvements to your home before you put it on the market to decrease the amount of time it takes to sell. Buyers want to see, at the very least:
To increase the odds that your home will attract buyers and not repel them, you can do simple things like thoroughly clean each room of your house and your outdoor areas. Clean out any clutter and furniture that doesn’t absolutely have to be there. You want your home to look open, spacious, and full of light. Buyers want to be able to imagine their things in your home, so the more “stuff” you have, the less likely they can imagine living there.
You may also want to consider staging your home with a professional stager who is knowledgeable about what buyers want to see. Staging your home has been found to help it sell 73% faster. Stagers can help you remove unnecessary items, arrange furniture in a modern way, suggest cost-effective updates, and ensure there is proper lighting. Some real estate agents offer this service or can connect you with reputable companies in your area.
Finally, you can get your home pre-inspected by a professional house inspector to 1) see what repairs you may need to make before you put your home on the market, and 2) eliminate the sometimes time-consuming process of having the inspection done after an offer is made.
Of course, you want to get the most money for your home; everyone does. But how fast you sell your house is directly correlated to your asking price. There is a sweet spot in any market and finding it isn’t always simple. The good news is, however, that you can sell any house quickly if you ask the right price.
If your ultimate goal is to sell your house fast, you may want to consider lowering your asking price to below market average for your area or accepting a “low ball” offer that’s still reasonable. By making your house a “good deal,” you will attract more buyers, even in a buyer’s market, and likely get multiple offers quickly. You can work with a real estate agent to help you find that sweet spot, or you can do your own market analysis with online tools to determine where you should price your home.
If you are feeling pressured to sell quickly because you found another home you want to buy now, you have another option. You can use Homeward to make an all-cash offer on your new home first and then take your time selling your existing home. That way, you can move when you want and get the maximum value for your existing home. This modern way of buying a home is more convenient for you and much less stressful. Here’s how Homeward works:
If you’re looking to buy the house you want now without having to sell first, and maximize the equity in your current home, Homeward is a great option.