Selling a house can be a tremendous undertaking for a lot of people. A recent report said that selling a house is more stressful than filing for bankruptcy, filing for divorce, or the death of a close friend or relative.
When you need to sell your home quickly, things can become more stressful than they already are. You’re left second-guessing all of your choices and kicking yourself if you sell your house for less than what it’s worth.
Before you put your house on the market, it’s important to know all of the options you have available so you can confidently make a knowledgeable decision.
This article will break down the different choices available to homeowners who want to sell quickly.
Using Real Estate Agents
89% of all home sellers use real estate agents to list and sell their homes. On average, homes listed by real estate agents often sell for more money than other options.
In a 2016 report released by the National Association of Realtors’, or NAR, homes that sold through an agent received a median 98% of the listing price. Sellers on average made around $43,100 in equity. Regardless of how quickly you want to sell your house, the numbers are fairly accurate.
Time is often a factor for most sellers which is why many homeowners tend to think that using an agent to help sell their home is not a viable option. In most cases, that assumption is incorrect, especially if you want to sell your home in a couple of months.
The 2016 report also said that recently-sold homes were only on the market for about 4 weeks and in some cases even less than that. With an experienced agent, you’re more likely to find a buyer with a mortgage lender that can close quickly as well as be able to negotiate a shorter escrow. If you can do that, your home could sell in less than a month.
It’s good to have an advocate who’s always on your side which is another reason why having an agent can be beneficial to a seller. They can keep you from wasting a whole lot of extra time during escrow and assist you in choosing the best offer to accept to ensure a fast and smooth transaction.
Ambreen Faruqi, an experienced agent who sold the most homes in Queens, New York, advises sellers to accept a cash offer if they would like to sell quickly, or if they want to make more they can accept an offer from a buyer who takes out a loan or a mortgage. The downside about cash offers is that they’re often much lower offers.
You need to find a good, top-notch agent if you want to sell your home quickly. One way you can find such an agent is to ask your family and friends who they might recommend. Over 64% of all sellers found their agents through referrals according to the NAR report. You’ll then want to check your prospective realtor’s stats online and compare them with other experienced agents in your area of town using Zillow’s agent search. A good agent’s track record will be very solid in terms of recent sales and in terms of selling the style of home you have available.
Listing with an agent is not the fastest or even the only way you can sell your home. There are other choices.
If you decide to sell your home in an auction or to an investor, you’ll be able to sell it even faster. If you decide to choose either of these options, you need to be very careful. You may lose some or even all of your home’s equity.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
If you’re pricing your home under its market value or are willing to sell for less to an investor for quick sale, be advised that you’ll likely receive less money for your property.
Another appealing option to sell your home fast is For Sale By Owner, which is commonly known as FSBO. If you sell your home yourself, you’ll save between 5-6% of your home’s equity towards paying an agent’s commission.
And because we’re currently in a seller’s market, it won’t be too challenging to find a buyer either. The buyer will probably have their own agent who will take care of the transaction. But if you want to sell your home quickly, having your own agent is still the best way to go.
A buyer’s agent is a person that helps a buyer find a home. They are not your agent. If the buyer’s priorities are different in terms of how soon a seller can close, the agent will put your desire to sell quickly second because they are trying to cater to the needs of the client, not the buyer.
While you will be your own advocate, your agent will know all the tricks and tips to prompt a quick sale from the pre-listing all the way to the closing.
As a side note, 8% of all the homes sold in 2016 were sold by the owners and only 54% were interested in a quick sale. Owners who were able to sell their homes quickly did so because the buyer was a neighbor, friend, or relative.
If you’re intent on trying to sell yourself, you need to become familiar with all of the closing documents you and the seller will have to fill out in order to finalize the sale. You’ll also need to have a title company and an attorney help you finish the transaction.
If you don’t have an expert to help you keep track of each tiny detail that’s included in the transaction, the sale won’t go very smoothly or quickly.
The most important thing to know regarding short sales is that short typically refers to money instead of time. When you sell short, your lender agrees to let you sell your house for less than what you owe on it.
Short sales also take a whole lot longer to finalize than regular sales do.
Brad Wallace, a short sale agent in the top 9% of agents in Philadelphia says that short sales aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. One of the quickest sales he had was 4 months, while other short sales lasted as long as two years.
A majority of homeowners are not eligible to short sell their homes. The reason for this is because only homeowners who are experiencing some kind of financial distress qualify for short sales, including those who may have to foreclose on their property or are behind on their mortgages. If you are found eligible, lenders do not have to agree to short sales.
In general, short sales are not a wise choice for selling your home fast.
Will Investors Buy My Home?
If you type a phrase into a search engine regarding quick home sales, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with ads and links to investors who claim they will buy your home and promise to close on the sale quickly.
If selling your home quickly means more to you than the money, investor sales might be to your advantage. Many investors can close in seven days, according to a recent article in Forbes magazine. In addition, they will buy your home in its current state and offer generous payout options such as lump sum cash.
One of the quickest ways to unload a home is to sell it to an investor, but you will pay a hefty price in the end. You will not receive top-dollar from your home as they only offer pennies or even dimes on the dollar.
Most investors will offer a homeowner between 50-60% of the current market value of their property so long as it’s in good condition. After they own the home, they’ll spend a small amount of money on updates and repairs so they can sell it again for a higher amount than you sold it for.
While you will be able to sell your home fast with an option like this, you will see little or no profit from the sale. One positive benefit of using an investor is if your house is in deplorable condition, you’ll be able to get rid of it quickly without having to invest any of your own time or money in updates and repairs that some buyers would request.
Auctions are not only an option for desperate banks and sellers to unload foreclosure properties. If you’re looking to sell quickly, an auction may be another viable option for you.
While selling your home fast is one benefit an auction sale gives you, there are others.
You’ll know the exact date your home is going to sell when using an auction option. With that said, it may not be as fast as you think. Auctioned properties can take between 45 to 60 days from the listing of the home to close according to Forbes magazine.
It’s also pretty risky to sell your home in an auction because you have little to no control over the final selling price of the property. You’ll set the lowest bid you’re willing to accept which is about 10-15% below the current market value of the home. Experts in the auctioneering industry advise homeowners to do this so more interest will be generated among prospective buyers. But it’s ultimately up to the buyer to finalize the bid by accepting it. Multiple buyers can bid the price up over the market value of the property or the homeowner could be forced to accept a minimum bid for the home.
However, not all homes are ideal for auctions. The National Association of Realtors advises sellers to self-test their financial situation, their home, and the market with the 2/3 rule to decide if an auction might work best.
Your home must carry lots of equity to see much of any money out of an auction (typically up to around 25%). You don’t want to sell your home for less than you might owe on it.
We just broke down all of the fast options available for selling your house. It’s now up to you to choose the best solution for your situation. Selling your home quickly might seem intimidating at first, but it can be accomplished. With the right help and careful planning, sellers can breathe easy knowing that they won’t have to give up as much of their proceeds to sell their houses quickly.
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