Resources for House Sellers

realtor handing keys to the new homeowner

In any given year, around 5 million homes get sold. Some homeowners sell a home because they find their dream home or just need a bigger space for their families.

In other cases selling a home may be needed due to a job transfer or family issues.

In these instances you may find yourself worrying about selling your house fast.

While you might worry about loan origination fees and finding a home to buy where you are going, right now you might be more stressed about how to sell your existing home fast.

If selling your home is on your list of things to do, this guide should help you know what to do – or not to do to move it quickly.

real estate Open House signs


What To Do To Sell Your House Fast

There are a lot of pieces of the puzzle to get a house to sell quickly. Right price, right time, right location and appeal of the home to buyers. Some of these items you have control of, some you do not.

Whether your home sells fast will depend in large part what the current real estate market dictates in your local area.

But there are many things you can do to improve the chance you will sell your home faster. From simple home improvements to creating a proper listing price, the below can help sell your house faster.

Clean Up the Interior

Selling your home fast will depend a lot on how well the showings go with prospective buyers. That means the buyers must be able to picture how their things will look in the house. When you make your home a “clean slate” for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there it greatly improves the chances of selling the home quickly.

A cluttered/disorganized space makes that very difficult for potential buyers.

If your home is filled with knick-knacks and too many “things” that can detract from a buyer envisioning themselves living there, then a storage space might be what you need. Moving excess things from your home into some type of storage unit will make your home cleaner and more organized which will add to the appeal.

Remove family photos from the walls and tables. Remember, the home selling process is about helping potential buyers see themselves in your home. It will be hard to do that with pictures of your family everywhere.

Be sure to dust, clean and vacuum as well before you even list your home.

Clean Up the Exterior

Ever heard of the term curb appeal? In simplest terms, curb appeal is how attractive a stranger will find your property from a sidewalk point of view. Do not underestimate the value of this first impression.

Even small issues can make a potential buyer decide they do not want the property before they even step inside.

That doesn’t mean your home needs a complete makeover. But, it does mean you should take some pride in the exterior of your home. Homes that have well manicured lawns, trimmed shrubbery and swept sidewalks can make a big impact on a potential buyer.

If you have the time and energy, consider freshening up the paint on your shutters and other high-visibility areas on your home. Your front porch is another high-impact point that should get some fresh paint or stain.

If you want to sell your house fast, make it appealing from the street. Look at other homes in your area that are for sale on the open market and see what the competition looks like from the outside. If you want to sell fast, you will want to make your exterior equally presentable – or better.

Do the Easy Fixes

Every house has a few problem spots that you can fix with minimal effort. Maybe the bathroom sink faucet leaks or the hardware on your kitchen cabinets is dated.

These kinds of minor fixes can go a long way toward making the interior of your house more appealing and help to increase the market value.

If you want to take it a little further, you can consider repainting high-traffic areas like a kitchen and bathroom or hallway with a fresh coat of paint.

This fresh coat of paint often gives the space a renewed look which in turn can lead to a better offer. A cash buyer may not care as much about these types of fixes, but for traditional home buyers, it can make all the difference and bring a sales price more in line with the current market.

a family painting their house before selling

Pick a High-Performing Real Estate Agent

Like most professions, real estate agents come in all talent levels. While you can wait for an average agent during a normal selling situation, a fast sale means you need an above-average agent. Find an agent with a proven track record of selling homes quickly to help improve your chances.

Ask your friends and family what listing agent they used and see if they were happy with the sales process and how long the home was on the market for.

A good real estate agent should provide you with some fairly detailed information about their performance so you can determine if they can help you sell as quickly as you would like at a sales price you can happily accept.

Many agents will also try to sell a home as a “pocket listing” sometimes. This means they will promote your listing to other agents before it officially is listed on the market. This could potentially bring in a sale much quicker if another real estate agent has a buyer waiting for a home like yours. This is particularly popular in an area that may be having a hot real estate market.

Agents often have social media followings that can also be valuable to you since the homes they promote can reach a large audience of buyers.

While for sale by owner is also an option, it is not one we would recommend if a quick move is needed.

Stage Your Home

Selling a home fast has a lot to do with helping a buyer envision themselves living there. Cleaning the interior and exterior of the home are just the beginning.

Staging your home is the next step in the process. A study by the Real Estate Staging Association has shown that homes that are professional staged can reduce your home’s time on the market. They found that homes that were staged had offers within 23 days on average.

A stager can re-imagine your home in a way that buyers want to see it. They may bring in furniture or decor to help improve the aesthetic of your home which in turn can result in your home selling faster – and possible for a higher price.

They may rearrange your furniture so that it maximizes the open space. That lets a buyer imagine their own coffee table in the living room or art on the wall. Hiring a stager can help improve your chances of selling quickly, but it comes at a cost.

Your real estate agent should be able to make a recommendation for a stager in your area.

Get Professional Photos Taken

Unless you have professional photography experience, it’s almost always a bad idea to take your own pictures.

Taking good pictures of interior spaces requires some experience and skill. Many homes for sale have such poor photos that even just doing this can help improve your chances of selling your home faster.

Bringing in a pro means that you’ll get high-quality images that will show well online. Since most of your potential buyers will get their first look at the house online, those pictures will prove a good investment.

In other words, good pictures can help deliver a fast home sale.

Price with a Fast Sale in Mind

It’s a tough pill for most people to swallow, but a fast real estate sale almost always means you get less than you want for the house. Regional differences and the state of the local real estate market can alter this a bit but you should assume you’ll lose a little value.

Pricing to sell a house fast typically means you will need a pricing strategy that brings the listing price a little below the average for homes like yours. The lower price can help draw in buyers faster – and there is always the opportunity it may bring several offers which will drive the price up to what the market value is for the area.

If the price of your home is right, there might even be the chance to find cash buyers who often bring some of the fastest closing sales. Because there is no need for approvals and bank loan documents closings can typically happen much faster.

Cash buyers are always looking for homes for sale that are under market value so they can make a cash offer. Some might be investors, others may be flippers – but either one is a great option for selling your house fast at a sale price you may be happy with.

There will need to be a balance to pricing your home properly to sell fast. While you do not want to price your home too low, you will need to be competitive if you want to get the sale done quickly. The faster you need to sell, the lower the sales price you will be able to command.

What NOT To Do When You Want to Sell Your House Fast

Don’t Get Emotional About the Sale

If you want to sell your house fast, you cannot become emotional about the sale. Yes, the house was your home for years and you may have many amazing memories there, but that is irrelevant when you are selling a home.

Once you make the decision that you need to sell your home, you must divorce yourself from the idea of my home or our home.

You must think of it in terms of selling the property or the house. That distance lets you remain rational as the sale process continues. It also helps you avoid turning down an offer because of emotional reasons.

Remember, a buyer isn’t going to pay you for your emotional investment in the property. They are paying you for the real estate itself. If the buyer offers less than the asking price, you need that emotional distance to think of it in terms of a business transaction.

Don’t Sell Around the Holidays

If at all possible, don’t sell around the holidays, especially Christmas. Even among people in the market for new homes, the holidays put extraordinary demands on people’s time and typically the market may be less active.

Some people will still squeeze in an open house or arrange for a viewing of a home, but may not be committed to buying a house fast. During the Christmas season, many buyers may be considering a move in the new year and may wait to make an offer.

Instead, spend those holidays packing and preparing your home for open houses and viewings for when the holidays are over.

While traditional wisdom suggests selling in winter is a bad idea, it can also mean less competition overall.

So, you might find an ideal buyer during this time, but the real estate transaction may not happen as quickly as you would like. Selling a home over holidays can be difficulty with so many banks, real estate agents and other real estate business taking some time off. Selling your house during this time is possible, but just understand the home may not close as quickly as you would like it to.

Don’t Forego Insurance

While most people carry a homeowner’s policy on their home, not everyone does. It’s time for a fresh policy if you fall into this second group.

You’ll have complete strangers walking around in your home and on your property. What happens if someone falls or injures themselves during an open house?

At best, you’ll find yourself on the hook for some kind of medical bill. At worst, you’ll find yourself facing a lawsuit. The last thing you need as you try to sell your home fast and likely move somewhere else is a lawsuit.

Insurance helps protect you from a lawsuit since the insurance company will try to settle the matter before it ever goes to trial.

Without the insurance policy in place, you’ll need a lawyer who may or may not come to a settlement agreement. If your lawyer reaches an agreement, you must pay the entire amount.

Play it safe and get the insurance policy.

Don’t Hide Significant Problems

In point of fact, you likely can’t hide significant problems. Any decent home inspection will reveal the problem to the buyer so you need to make sure you are open and honest about those issues. Beyond that, many states legally mandate that you reveal problems prior to any sale.

Disclosing problems at the outset spares you some problems. You’ll drive away some buyers, but you’d lose those buyers anyway. Anyone in the market for a turnkey property was never a real buyer for your home.

Anyone that can handle the prospect of some initial repairs will take it as a sign of good faith. At worst, you might end up lowering the price a little to make up for the cost of the repairs. But, this might bring a cash offer from a cash buyer which ultimately will be a faster closing process in the end.

Don’t Make Costly Renovations

You may think that since you always planned on a big kitchen or living room remodel, you should do it before selling. That’s a bad idea for several reasons.

It eats into your cash reserves, for one. You’ll need that money later for moving.

While a renovation may make a room look great to you, you can’t know what a potential buyer will want. Let’s say you sink $20,000 into a kitchen remodel. If a buyer hates the look of the room, another renovation will top their to-do list.

You spend all that money for nothing. You should absolutely fix broken things or update fixtures, but don’t spend on big renovations.

Don’t Skimp on the Lighting

When it comes to a fast sale on a house, darkness is not your friend. Think about the last time you walked into a dimly lit home.

Was your first thought about how much you wanted to own the place?

Probably not.

Before any daytime showing, open up the curtains all through the house to allow natural light in.

If your home is being shown when it is getting dark a little artificial light will be needed. Make some strategic use of 75-watt or 100-watt bulbs for rooms that normally feel a little dark to you. The extra wattage will throw light into the corners and make the space feel bigger.

Other Homeowner Options For Selling Quickly

Although the above focuses on the more traditional home selling strategy, there are many others you can consider as well. If you are looking to sell fast, then the options below can also be considered as an optional strategy for a quick sale.

Most of these home sale options will bring in lower offers than a traditional real estate transaction, but if the goal is to sell fast and not make the most money, they are great options.

  • If you do not need to maximize the amount you sell your home for you can try to sell it an auction. You will likely get a much lower price offer than what the market average is, but it should be a quick sale.
  • Sell to an investor. For example, cash home buyers can usually give you an offer within a day or two and it’s one of the fastest way to sell, though you will likely trade speed and convenience for a price that is slightly less than market value.
  • Look into an iBuyer company where you can receive offers on your home from investors.

Want to Sell Your Home Fast? Embrace Planning

Selling your home fast will not always work! While this guide offers some great ideas and ways to improve your chances of getting a faster home sale, there is a chance it just may not move that quickly.

Even with the best of planning and intentions, the market just may not be strong enough to sell your home quickly and you may need some other options.

Do you need to sell your home fast and have not had much success? Reach out to us today–we specialize in buying houses fast and paying cash.

Need to Sell Your House Fast?

Call us at (504) 356-8000 or fill out the form below and we'll make you a cash offer within 24 hours. And you will never pay any fees, realtor commissions, or closing costs.


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