Selling a house is a nerve-wracking undertaking. In fact, a recent Wallstreet Journal report says that selling a home may be more stressful than bankruptcy, a divorce, or the death of a loved one. Now, throw in the fact that you need to sell your house fast because of a new job, financial hardship, or otherwise unexpected life upheaval? Well, the pressure is on!
Making rash decisions in haste could leave you second-guessing and kicking yourself over your sloppy decisions down the road. If you want to sell your home both quickly and with confidence, you will need to know all of your options so you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your current circumstances and goals.
Let us review your choices so you can look back on the experience of selling your house fast with no regrets. You have 4 options.
- Traditional Listing -Find a real estate agent with a track record of selling quickly.
- Auction-Get buyers bidding on your house by selling it quickly at auction in As-Is condition with no contingencies.
- FSBO (For Sale By Owner) – Take matters into your own hands by going the FSBO route.
- .Quick Cash Offers– Instant buyers for a no-fuss transaction you can close within days.
- Short Sale- If you are underwater on your mortgage, you may qualify.
We will dive into each of these paths one by one so you can decide which one is right for you.
TRADITIONAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION
Nearly 89% of home sellers use a real estate agent to list their home and the process starts with having to through hundreds of documents and tons of back-and-forth communications. Most sellers elect to have a real estate agent assist them, simply because they think there are no other options.
Why list your home for sale with a real estate agent?
Listings represented by agents generally typically sell for more money than a For Sale By Own sale, however, the time it takes from listing to closing depend on a number of factors, such as how many homes are currently for sale in your market, the health of the general economy, and mortgage interest rates. Therefore, there is no assurances that a house will sell fast, in fact, it could take months and even years depending on a number of factors occurring at the time you want to sell.
However, a real estate agent is there to understand your needs and then tailor their services to your end goal in any market—using the levers you can control. Specifically, the job of an agent is to guide the seller through necessary house preparations and repairs, price the home correctly, set up home staging, execute a marketing blitz to promote the listing, negotiate with the buyer, and take the deal through to the final closing paperwork. These efforts bring serious buyers to the table as efficiently as possible to fetch an offer for your house at fair market value.
Having an agent of your own also means having an advocate on your side who can handle delays and prevent mistakes. Not only will an agent help you avoid time-wasting missteps during escrow, they will help you choose which offer to accept to guarantee a smooth and fast transaction. You want to make sure the agent you work with is proven to sell homes fast.
If you are on a tight deadline, it is reasonable to worry about whether a real estate agent will work at the right pace. That means not just any old real estate agent will do. You need to partner up with an agent who has a track record of selling homes just like yours quickly in your area. These hyperlocal experts know what makes buyers tick and how to secure a fast sale in negotiations.
But, beware, all real estate agents are not created equal …See our Blog “ What’s The Deal With Real Estate Agents” before you hire any agent.
Believe it or not, an Auction can be the absolute fastest and best way to sell your home. Real Estate auctions for mainstream and non-distressed properties are blowing up all over the country. In addition, getting your home sold quickly is just one of the benefits of an auction sale:
According to the National Association of Realtors, “Auctions allow the seller to eliminate virtually all long-term carrying costs, which allows the seller to either increase the proceeds at settlement or pass some or all the savings directly to the buyer in the form of a reduced price. The result is a win-win situation; the seller obtains immediate cash and the buyer purchases the property at fair market value determined by open and competitive bidding”. Homes are sold in As-Is condition with no contingencies for cash
A real estate auction is an innovative and effective method of selling real estate. It is an intense, accelerated real estate marketing process that involves the public sale of any property—most certainly including those that are non-distressed—through open cry, competitive bidding. Getting your home sold quickly is just one of the benefits of an auction sale.
The deal structure of an auction can produce higher net proceeds than any other sales method. The overall cost to sell your home by auction is substantially less and results into more money at the closing for the seller. While you will know the exact date your home will sell thanks to the auction option. According to Forbes Magazine, auctioned homes take an average of 30 to 60 days from listing to close.
QUICK SALE OFFERS
Sell Your House Fast For Cash in 7 Days or Less
An exciting new job opportunity opens, up for you, but there is only one problem; it is across the country and you have got this ball-and-chain called a house weighing down your mobility. You would rather not dilly dally with home prep, showings, and staging, and simply need a fast way out.
While most sellers are focused on commanding the highest price for their home and choose to list it the conventional way with the help of an agent, a sudden life change can make selling your house for cash instantly an attractive option, even if it means typically taking a big price cut.
In the Washington, D.C. metro market there are dozens of “Instant Home Buyers” advertising on TV, radio, and the internet that want to purchase your house. You’ve seen the commercials that state “we will buy your home for cash in 7 days”. What they don’t tell you is their cash offer is substantially below market value. These companies purchase offers are 30% to 50% below true market value. Often, these companies will flip your contract and make a profit without ever closing. You end up at the settlement table with a completely different buyer. It may be fast, but you will leave a ton on money on the table.
FOR SALE BY OWNER- FSBO
Selling your home yourself means you can avoid losing 5-6% of your equity toward paying your real estate agent’s commission. Plus, if you are putting your house up for sale in a seller’s market, finding a buyer will not be too challenging….so you think.
If you are set on selling yourself, you will need to get educated on all the closing documents you and your seller will need to successfully complete the sale. You will also need to arrange for an attorney and title company to help you complete the transaction, which will cost you nearly as much as having an agent working for you.
Every FSBO seller believes that if the buyer has their own agent who can handle the transaction, why do I need to have my own agent? Well, if you want a fast sale, the answer is; you really do want an agent, simply because a FSBO seller does not know the ins and outs of a real estate contract and all the things that go with closing on the sale.
The buyer will typically have an agent, who will likely take advantage of a FSBO seller and the first thing you will learn is when a buyer makes you an offer, they automatically knock down the price because they know you are not paying a broker to sell the property.
If closing quickly is not a priority to the buyer, the buyer’s agent will cater to the client’s needs during closing and put your desire for a fast sale second. Finally, according to the National Association of Realtors, FSBO transactions typically sell for substantially less money than if the seller used an agent.
Aside from an agent being your advocate, your agent will know all the tips and tricks for a fast sale from pre-listing through closing. Without an expert to keep track of all the intricacies of the transaction, you cannot necessarily count on the sale to go quickly or smoothly. Bottom line, a FSBO’s is usually the wrong strategy to sell your home quickly and the net proceeds derived at the closing prove it.
The main thing you need to know about short sales is that the “short” refers to money, not time. Selling short means that your lender has agreed to allow you to sell your home for less than you owe on it. As a rule, short sales take a lot longer to finalize than a regular sale. It is called a short sale, but it is the furthest thing from a short sale. A fast-short sale will take approximately four months, it is not unheard of that a short sale can take over two years.
Not only will a short sale take a lot longer to complete, most sellers are not even eligible to short sell their homes. You need to be financially underwater, behind on your mortgage and facing foreclosure. Even if you are eligible, your lender (or lenders if you have debt on the property with multiple entities) does not have to agree to a short sale.
The best way to sell your home fast AND obtain market value is through an auction. The auction deal structure will typically net a seller more money than a traditional sale. The seller can choose the reserve sale price (the minimum amount the seller will accept) the sale and closing date and other beneficial terms. Auctions eliminate the long negotiation period because the hose is sold in as-is condition with no contingencies.
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The real estate market is ever-changing. A Buyers’ market can become a Sellers’ market overnight. Real estate values are often determined by the season, the economy, and major events taking place locally, throughout the region and around the world. We’re here to guide you though the process and figure out which method is best for you.