Sell long, sell wrong. If it takes you a long time to sell your house, and you’re not getting a good price for it, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Here are some tips to help you make it happen more quickly and with a greater return. 

What is the fastest length of time someone can sell their house?

If you sold a house in February 2020, the time it took for you to get from listing to closing could have been up to 4 months. Median amount of time from listing to closing was 80 days, inclusive of a 30 day under-contract period. What takes all that time? 

  • Listing and showing – Your experienced real estate agent will handle multiple showings and open houses and generally market your home as best they can to prospective buyers via the MLS, digital advertising like google and social media, events, traditional media and so on. 
  • Accepting an offer – If you’re in a buyer’s market, your agent needs to be super responsive to ensure that no lead or contact is missed and to guarantee you the best price. If you’re in a seller’s market, your agent is helping you select from the highest and best-guaranteed offer, especially if you have multiple offers. 
  • Home inspection, counter offer and closing – All of this will take place during the closing period between when a prospective buyer goes under contract to closing, which is often 30-45 days. Generally the buyer has a week to 2 weeks to complete a home inspection. Counter offer negotiation will take roughly 48 hours at the most, and then of course closing time is determined once all contingencies, inspections and counter offers are resolved. 

How to pick a selling strategy

Start with a top-rated real estate agent

Hiring a good real estate agent is the most important and first step you should take once you make the decision to sell your house. Your agent will be the main point of contact for both you and potential buyers by creating your listing for public view, showing your house, and marketing it too. 

Consider your selling price carefully

It’s important that you price your house correctly from the start. If you list your house for too high a price, buyers won’t be interested. If nobody makes an offer for your house, it’s eventually going to become an old listing. If your listing gets old without any bids, you’ll either not sell it at all, or you’ll end up getting low bids by people that think you can’t seem to sell it. 

Think about your house’s appearance

There are 2 scenarios in which a home is viewed: non-vacant and vacant.

Non-Vacant

If your house is currently occupied, then here’s a few quick things you can do to give your house a new fresh look and feel:

  1. Replace the carpets
  2. Put new paint on the walls
  3. Update appliances, if you can afford it
  4. Update your light fixtures
  5. Hire a landscaper and get your yard cleaned up

Vacant

If your house is currently unoccupied, think about hiring a professional stager. Staging a home can often be enough to expedite the process of selling your home. Staged homes sell about 87% faster and for nearly 17% more than houses left alone. 

Use current technology

Buyers need to see your home presented carefully on the internet, from professional photography to Google to Facebook. And mobile devices are the most popular way to browse the web – 71% of people in the US use their smartphones and tablets versus any other internet-connected device. When listing a home for sale, note that most people will likely look at it from their mobile device. Also, on average, each Facebook user has more than 200 Facebook “friends” with whom they share photos and information. By sharing your listing, you’re showing it to hundreds of people, each of whom could share it to hundreds more.

Alternative strategies

If you want to go around the preparation it takes to sell your house in a hurry, consider these alternative strategies:

  • Sell to an investor – An investor may buy your house quickly, but you may get less than a fair market price.
  • Sell to a developer – Selling to a developer is typically only an option if your home is a teardown or on a large lot.
  • Sell at an auction – If you sell at an auction, you can sell your house quickly, but again you are likely to get less than a fair market price. 

What is FSBO and does it help selling your house fast?

Selling your home yourself – For Sale By Owner or FSBO – means you can avoid paying around 6% of your equity toward paying your and the buyer’s agents’ commissions. And in the event that you’re putting your house up for sale in a seller’s market, finding a buyer shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. However, if you are in a buyer’s market, this can be an issue selling quickly without professional guidance.

If you are set on selling your own house, you’ll need to educate yourself on all the closing documents you and your buyer will need to successfully complete the sale. And you’ll need to arrange for the title company on your own to help you complete the transaction too. 

And if the buyer has their own agent that can handle the transaction, do you really need your own to help? Well, the buyer’s agent is exactly that—the buyer’s agent. Their best interests are not you the seller’s but their buyer’s, and if closing the transaction quickly isn’t a priority for their buyer, then it won’t be a priority for their agent either. 

Aside from being your advocate, if you hire an agent to help you, your agent will know all the tips and tricks for a fast sale from pre-listing through closing and will help you negotiate everything you need to negotiate with the buyer’s agent too. An expert will keep track of all the intricacies of the transaction too.

And even better, for example, Trelora has five-star rated agents that provide unparalleled service to get you the best price in the quickest amount of time possible. Additionally if you list your house with us, Trelora does this for a low flat fee – so you get the best of both worlds – the savings that FSBO would bring in addition to expert service and assistance. 

Should I consider a short sale? 

Before you get too excited about a quick sale, the main thing you need to know about short sales is that that “short” refers to money and unfortunately not time. Selling short means that your lender will agree to allow you to sell your home for less than you owe on it.

As a general rule, short sales take a lot longer to finalize than a regular sale. Not only will a short sale take a lot longer to complete, most sellers aren’t even eligible to engage in this sort of transaction. Alas, you need to be financially underwater, behind on your mortgage and facing foreclosure. Even if you’re eligible, your lender does not have to agree (and may not wish to agree either) to a short sale.

Repairing, cleaning and decluttering to sell your house quickly

Repairing

Prospective buyers will look at important items like your roof, furnace, air conditioning, foundation, mold, and sewer lines. If you don’t ensure these things are in proper working order with decent warranties and aren’t selling your house “as is,” you might have trouble selling your house, since the inspection will cause your buyer to leave the contract or demand concessions. And this will take you longer to sell your house. 

Cleaning

Clean your house from top to bottom, including things you never think about – inside the lighting fixtures, the baseboards, the front porch, the rusty fence, the appliances, if they are up to date. 

Decluttering

Make sure you declutter everything in your house before showing it. Nobody wants to see all of your stuff, they’re looking at your house to envision what it would be like for them to live there, not rent your junk. 

What is the best time to sell a home?

If you want to sell your home quickly and for the best price, it’s good to know what months in your area have the lowest Days on Market. Days on Market (DOM) refers to the number of days a home is actively listed on the market before an offer is accepted or the agreement between the listing agent and the seller ends.

Looking at the average DOM for your market allows you to estimate how many days it may take to find a buyer. There are many steps to selling beyond connecting with a buyer so this does not indicate how long it will take to complete the transaction, merely how long you may be listing and showing your home.

Keep in mind that DOM can be highly seasonal as well. In some cities, just waiting a couple months to list can be the difference between weeks and months on the market. If you have the luxury of choosing when to sell, you may be able to time the market to maximize your proceeds and minimize the time your home sits on the market.

For example, for Colorado, listing data indicates that the best months to list your house for sale are February, March, and May.