Homeownership8 min read

How to Sell Your Home Fast

By Noah - November 19, 2020

Moving homes can involve delicate timing. Homeowners may find themselves in a time crunch to sell their old home, either to minimize double mortgage payments or for other reasons. Let’s talk tips to make your home as attractive to potential buyers as possible during the selling process, so your home spends less time on the market and draws strong offers quickly.

How to Get a House Ready to Sell Quickly

Preparing effectively before putting a listing on the market is part of how to sell your home fast. Start with decluttering and deep cleaning the interior and exterior. A clean, neat presentation appeals to buyers, and may even be good for your home appraisal.

Don’t neglect the utilitarian nooks of your home if you want to get your house ready to sell quickly. Buyers often want to inspect storage space. They can see themselves in the house more easily if they see empty closets, clean cabinets, and a tidy laundry room. You might want to consider renting a storage unit to hold some belongings while you get ready to move.

If you’re keeping most of your furnishings and belongings in your home while you show it to buyers, do your best to make it a relatively neutral space. That means clearing away family photos, religious symbols, and as much daily clutter as you can.

It’s hard to overstate the power of cleaning and organizing. Other things you can do to your house before you sell it include taking care of small repairs like chipped paint or broken tiles, so the next owners don’t come in facing a “honey-do” list. Easing the move for the next owners can be key to how to a quick sale in a slow market.

Decide if Selling Is Your Best Option

If you’re ready to sell, the prep work will put you in the best position to list and show your home. Sometimes, though, cleaning and fixing up a home reminds some homeowners how much they love their place. If you’re hesitant to sell, run through some alternative options.

To start, review how much equity you have in your home. How does your home value and equity measure against the market value of another home you might plan to buy? Sometimes, even if you have high equity, the combination of closing costs, moving costs, and your current housing market can mean you won’t be left with a lot of cash after a sale.

In some cases, homeowners may decide buying a new home isn’t necessarily the best financial move at that moment in time. If you're in need of cash but would prefer to stay in the home you love, you may not sell it to meet your financial obligations. Opting for a home equity investment from Noah instead allows homeowners to pay off debt or complete necessary renovations without the hassle and expense of moving. Accessing a portion of your home equity can help you take care of financial responsibilities, and possibly give you more freedom to time selling your home on your terms.

How to Sell Your House Fast

Your next big decision is how to go about selling your house quickly. Any option comes with pros and cons:

  • For sale by owner (FSBO): You’re in control of everything, from timeline to pricing. You can pour in as much time as you want, rather than rely on a real estate agent’s schedule. But you won’t get an agent’s resources and expertise, including making sure your home appears on more popular listing services.
  • Work with an agent: A real estate agent can make sure your home gets on the MLS, where Realtors share information. This may help attract more interest than FSBO. Agents can help set and negotiate the sale price, which can work in your favor. You’ll have to pay an agent’s commission, which cuts into the funds you ultimately get from a home sale.
  • Sell to investor: Investors buy properties with the intention of selling them (as opposed to traditional buyers, who want to live in the home). Investors often move quickly, so this helps solve the issue of how to sell your house fast. Investors also want to turn a profit, so you may get lower offers than from traditional buyers. Be wary of possible scams with investors and iBuyers.
  • Sell to developer: This option may be best for homeowners with houses in poor repair, and in neighborhoods where the landscape is changing to multi-tenant homes. The house will be destroyed, but in some cases this is a more viable option than repairing and reselling a home that needs tens of thousands of dollars of work.
  • Auction: Selling by auction is typically faster than putting up a For Sale sign, because anyone who attends is ready to buy. If selling a house fast in a slow market is top priority, this may be an option to consider. Auctions set higher fees than real estate commissions, and you’re bound to accept the highest bid, even if it’s not the amount you hoped for.

Do You Need a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal can be one of your best tools to sell your home, or a waste of hundreds of dollars. It depends on your situation.

If you’re comparing asking prices from different real estate agents you’d like to work with, an appraisal value of your home can give you the most accurate estimate. Appraisals are based on multiple sources of data, including public records, comparable home sales, a home inspection, and an appraiser’s subjective opinion (meaning you could get different values from different appraisers).

For a seller, the market conditions in your area are likely the most important factor to determine your listing price. An appraisal is generally a more helpful tool for buyers to assess whether an asking price is fair, and the buyer’s lender will generally not use a seller’s appraisal figure.

Ultimately, an appraisal value of your home is mainly useful as a tool to find the right Realtor or real estate agent to work with. Otherwise, local market conditions may be more helpful in terms of guiding a competitive asking price.

Home Listing Tips to Attract Buyers

When you’re ready to list your house, use these tips to make a strong first impression before the buyer even arrives at your doorstep.

  • Use a professional photographer’s services for pictures. A real estate agent may offer a professional photographer, or hire one on your own if you’re handling the sale solo.  Make sure to declutter before they arrive and listen to any tips they provide on home staging.
  • Use strong, descriptive words in your home listing. Don’t neglect neighborhood attractions, either — mention great restaurants, parks, or shopping nearby. An agent may help write a strong listing.
  • If you’re doing FSBO, post your home to sites like Zillow, social media, and in high-traffic spaces like a community bulletin board. You can also pay an agent to post your home to the MLS.
  • Be as flexible as possible about showings, even last-minute if you can. If you’re using an agent, ask them about steps to show your home safely in a pandemic, such as limiting numbers of people inside at an open house, or making sure prospective buyers use masks and hand sanitizer before the walk through.

Selling a home fast, especially during a pandemic, can be a major challenge. Getting your house in order and following smart tips to attract buyers can help. But even if you’re struggling to attract offers, you’re not out of options. If you're selling your home to meet financial obligations, keep other financing possibilities (like a home value investment) in mind as well so that no matter what happens in the market, you have a solid plan for your home.

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