We live in a fast paced world and it seems to just be getting faster all the time. Once it was common to “wait 6-8 weeks for delivery” for anything we ordered, but now the same things arrive almost the next day, or even instantly if it’s something that can be emailed. We have instant access to every movie or tv show we could want and food is delivered directly to our house.
Unfortunately, real estate is the one area that often resists this change in pace. When you are trying to buy or sell a new house there seems to be an endless number of steps and people involved, as well as interminable schedules and wait times.
If your life is moving fast you may find yourself in a situation where you just can’t wait for the traditional real estate selling process to grind out a satisfactory solution. A new job might mean a sudden move to another state. A death in the family could result in a property that needs to be sold fast. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to sell your house as fast as possible.
Can you actually sell your house fast?
There are some factors involved in selling your house that are just beyond your control. For instance, you cannot control the market. Whether the housing the market currently favors the seller or the buyer will impact how fast you can actually sell your property. Likewise the location of your house makes a huge difference in whether or not buyers line up to buy it.
These are the sorts of things that you may have to simply wait out (in the case of the market) or accept (in the case of the house’s location).
What you can control
There are, however, aspects of selling your house that you can control that could speed up the process considerably. How you sell your house, and to whom, are the top things to think about if you are wanting to find a buyer fast.
Sell to an investor
This is, without a doubt, the fastest way to sell your property. Successful investors are constantly looking for properties they can buy fast, at a discount, to either fix up and flip, or to add to their rental property portfolio. Investors buy houses regularly and will have processes in place to make the transaction as fast as possible. They also have the resources to buy these houses for cash.
An investor is looking to buy a house at a discounted price, but what this actually means to you is that they are going to buy it in an as-is condition, saving you the time and expense of doing any needed repairs yourself. The investor will make repairs and renovations themselves, and probably at a lower cost to them than it would be to you.
Investors also have systems for closing set up, so instead of waiting for months to close on a house it can happen in less than two weeks. As a bonus they may even take care of the closing costs and there are no real estate agent fees to pay
And finally, investors are always looking for houses in any condition so you don’t have to spend a great deal of time and money marketing your house. If an investor doesn’t approach you first, a quick phone call will have one out to take a look and make you a cash offer for your house in no time.
Find the BEST real estate agent
Selling a house is about connections, and the best agents/brokers have spent a lifetime building those connections. They have a ready list of potential buyers and sellers on hand and information about what each is looking for so they can match up buyers and sellers in a heartbeat.
The drawback is that you are paying for those connections and you are putting control of the sale into someone else’s hands. You are going to be paying them at least 6% of the sales price, on top of the rest of the closing costs, and they will be setting the closing date.
If the house is in poor condition, a top broker may not even take on the sale until you have it fixed up. So while they may be able to sell the house fast you are going to pay for it and it may be some time before the house is ready to sell in their eyes.
Reduce the price.
Lets face it. If you want to sell something fast, sell it cheap. It may not be in your best interest to wait for top dollar but everyone is looking for a bargain. If you can afford to lower your price and need to move your house fast, you might consider lowering the price.
Consider a short sale of your home
More drastic than simply reducing the price, in an emergency you might want to short sale your house. If the debt on a property is greater than what the house is worth, you are underwater. Nine times out of ten this is why someone is trying to sell a house fast.
That means that equity is non-existent. Plus, when you’re going through a divorce, the death of a spouse, or bankruptcy and other financial problems, it compounds the situation. It could be a situation where there is a foreclosure in the future and you risk losing the house and getting nothing at all.
It’s not a good situation and everyone takes a loss but it could stop foreclosure and an eviction and avoid other financial side effects.
So how long does it typically take to sell a property? According to Zillow Research, the national average number of days a home spends on the market is 68 days.
Of course, that depends on location and whether it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market. But it also depends on the price. If you’re looking for top dollar, expect to wait. And, if your home is in poor condition, don’t expect top dollar.
If you are looking to sell your house fast for cash, there are other options. Do your research and find the best fit for your own situation.