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.
How Fast Can I Sell My 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. However, in 2021, time on the market is 35 days faster on average than last year. Still, some may wonder what takes all that time?
- Listing and showing – Your experienced real estate agent will handle multiple showings and open houses. They also market your home as best they can to prospective buyers. This is done 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. Alternatively, in a seller’s market, your agent helps you select the highest and best-guaranteed offer, especially if you have multiple offers.
- Counter offer, Home inspection and closing – These take place during the closing period after a buyer goes under contract, which is often 30-45 days. Counter offer negotiation will take roughly 48 hours at the most. Generally, the buyer has 1 to 2 weeks to complete a home inspection. Then 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. They create your listing for public view, shows your house, and markets it too.
Consider your selling price carefully
It’s important that you price your house correctly from the start. If you list your house too high, 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 may not sell it at all, or you’ll end up getting low bids from people thinking you can’t sell it.
Think about your home’s appearance
Non-Vacant means your house is currently occupied. There are a few quick things you can do to give your house a new fresh look and feel:
- Replace the carpets
- Put new paint on the walls
- Update appliances, if you can afford it
- Update your light fixtures
- Hire a landscaper and get your yard cleaned up
Vacant means your house is currently unoccupied. Consider hiring a professional stager. This 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 empty.
Take advantage of technology
Buyers need to see your home presented carefully on the internet, from professional photography to Google and Facebook. When listing a home for sale, note that most people will likely look at it from their mobile device. With that, each Facebook user has more than 200 Facebook “friends” on average, 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.
If you want to go around the preparation it takes to sell your house in a hurry, consider these alternative strategies:
- Investor – An investor may buy your house quickly, but you may get less than a fair market price.
- 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?
Selling your home yourself, For Sale By Owner (FSBO) means you can avoid losing around 6% of your equity towards your and the buyer’s agents’ commissions. If you’re listing your home in a sellers 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.
Sellers determined to sell their own house need to educate yourself on all the closing documents you and your buyer will need to successfully complete the sale. You’ll also need to independently arrange for the title company to help you complete the transaction.
FSBO vs. Listing Agent
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 as the seller’s, but their buyer’s. Occasionally, closing the transaction quickly isn’t a priority for their buyer. As a result, it isn’t 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. They will help you to negotiate everything you need with the buyer’s agent too. Ultimately, an expert will keep track of all the intricacies of the transaction so you don’t have 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 is that that “short” refers to money, 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 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.
Best Practices to sell your house quickly
Clean your house from top to bottom, including things you never think about. This means inside the lighting fixtures, the baseboards, even the front porch. This is a great time to take a closer look at your appliances as well. Are they up to date, does anything need to be replaced?
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.
Make sure you declutter everything in your house before showing it. Typically, prospective buyers don’t want to see all of your your personal items. Instead they’re looking at your house to envision what it would be like for them to live there.
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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.