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The current global pandemic has thrown the job market into disarray, and a lot of us are finding it difficult to get by. One of the things that a lot of people are doing to get by these difficult times is selling their homes. But it’s very difficult to keep your head straight when you’re dealing with the stress of a distress sale. So how do you sell your home in a hurry without getting the short end of the stick? Here’s a seller’s guide on how to sell a home quickly to help you do just that.
Decide How You’re Going to Sell
The first thing you need to decide on when you’re looking to sell your house fast is how you’re going to sell. Here are your selling options.
- Choose a real estate agent with a proven track record and enough experience with quick sales.
- See if there are any iBuyers, or instant buyers looking to invest in your area that will make you hassle-free cash offers on your property. Compare multiple offers before you settle though. Selling a house for cash often means settling for a lower selling price.
- Choose to do everything yourself and choose FSBO (For Sale by Owner). But remember that for this to work, you will need to have a lot of time on your hands. And while you will not be paying a seller’s agent commission, you will still need to pay the buyer’s agent commission and other fees.
- Set up an auction for your house, and sell to the highest bidder. However, your home needs to have at least 25% equity for you to be able to make any money this way.
- Sell to an investor who is likely to flip your house. A word of caution if this is your choice, While this may be a fast way to sell, you will have to settle for a lower sale price.
- If your home is on a large piece of land, see if a developer would be interested in buying it. They will most likely bring your house down and build a new structure in its place.
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Among all these options, the one with the least risk and that will get you the highest returns is choosing an experienced real estate agent. Here’s why.
- For starters, a professional agent will be able to get your house a strong online presence through the Multiple Listing Service, thereby making it visible virtually to thousands of potential buyers. Without sufficient visibility, your home may sit on the market indefinitely.
- Agents who have considerable experience with real estate transactions have been known to sell homes 20% faster than FSBO sales.
- Next, let’s address commissions. If you sell a house on your own, you’re going to have to pay a fee only to the buyer’s agent. So it may look like you’re saving money by not having to pay a seller’s agent fee. However, a recent study by the National Association of Realtors shows that the value of an average home sold by a professional agent in 2019 was around $280,000 as compared to $200,000, which was the average value of a home sold FSBO. That difference in price alone ought to be enough to convince you to use the services of a real estate agent.
- Add to these reasons the fact that an experienced agent will be able to lessen the burden of everything from inspections and paperwork to showing your house both virtually and in person, it’s really a no-brainer why you ought to use the services of a professional.
Decide on a Price
Obtain a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) report to help you compare what homes of a similar size and with similar features are being sold for in your area. This should help you arrive at a selling price for your home.
Since you’re looking at a fast home sale, we’d advise you to quote a rate a little below the market price. This will not only sweeten the deal for potential buyers, but it will also draw a lot more interest in your property.
For example, if your home’s value is $500,200, quote a price of $499,999. While the amount you lose is negligible, your home will show up in searches for homes within $500,000. Quoting more than that puts your home in the next price bracket, and won’t show up in online searches for a lot of home buyers.
Clear the Clutter
Next, you need to start preparing your home for visits from prospective buyers, both in-person and online. Begin by clearing your home of all unnecessary clutter. Stow things you do not need in a storage unit.
Take Care of Repairs
If you can, we’d suggest you get a pre-sale inspection done by a qualified home inspector. This will throw up any potential red flags in your home’s condition that might adversely affect the sale.
Get as many major issues fixed as you can. Areas of focus ought to be plumbing damage, HVAC functionality, roof integrity, structural integrity, water damage, how well your electrical systems work, and if you have a pest infestation.
Addressing these issues will ensure home buyers have less to use as leverage during negotiations as the closing date draws nearer.
Get Your Home Staged
Once you’ve made sure your house has no major red flags, it’s time to get it ready to impress potential buyers, or as professionals call it, getting homes staged.
The first part of staging your home is making sure it’s spick and span.
Make sure every surface is spotless. Hire professionals to deep clean rugs, carpets, and curtains.
If it’s been a while, invest in a fresh paint job. A freshly painted home looks a lot more inviting.
Stowaway anything that does not need to be there. The less clutter you have lying around, the more spacious your home will look.
Pay attention to your home’s curb appeal as well. It’s just as important as the inside of your home.
Start with making sure your porch and deck are clean. Add some color and character to the space using some planters.
If you have a garden space, keep it free of weeds and as well maintained as possible. The same applies to your backyard.
Get Professional Photographs for Your Listings
One of the things that will help you the most when you’re looking at selling fast is great photographs on your listings.
Hire a professional photographer to help you showcase the best features of your home. If you’re working with an agency, they ought to be able to help you with this.
Once again, remember that a spotless, alluring home is what people want to see. Keep clutter, pets, and children’s toys out of these photographs. Fresh cut flowers. Decorative cushion cases and potted plants will make your home look more beautiful.
Make sure your photographs are sufficiently well lit.
Be Flexible During Showings
Remember that home buying can be as stressful as it is to sell a house.
Flexibility and restraint ought to be your key mantras during this period. Do not lose your calm if showings happen at times that may not be convenient to you, or if someone makes an unsavory comment about your home.
Again, here’s a situation where using an agent is advantageous. Your agent can handle showings at times that you may not be able to make it.
Host open houses if needed to draw more attention to your home.
Time it Right
Following the steps we’ve outlined above should help you close on an offer. Of course, a lot of external factors will also affect how long it takes for your home to sell.
For example, spring is the best time of the year to sell homes fast. Winter takes the longest.
Make sure your closing date is not a Friday, or you won’t see your money until the coming Monday.
Most importantly, in your hurry to sell your home quickly, don’t forget your closing costs, including a 6% commission for your real estate agent (if you hired one), escrow fees, title fees, and unpaid bills, if any.
Once all that is done, the rest is yours to rebuild your life. We wish you luck.