Step by Step Guide - How to Sell Your House Fast
Step by Step Guide - How to Sell Your House Fast
Looming foreclosure. Divorce. Job loss. Estate settlement. Tax liens. Bad tenants. These are just a few life events where a ticking financial clock may have you looking for options on how to sell your house fast.
Whatever your time-sensitive financial situation, there are various home sale options to get your home sold quickly.
Start with the end in mind - choose a selling solution that can close quickly
Step one is to choose a selling option that can close fast enough to meet your unique financial situation. It’s important to start with the end in mind, the “hard date” you need to have your money in hand, and only consider sales methods that are guaranteed to fit your time frame.
For example, if you only have 30 days before your home is foreclosed on, you most likely won’t be able to list your home with a realtor and close the sale within that abbreviated timeline.
Fastest options - Cash sale to a iBuyer or a real estate investor
Generally the quickest way to sell your home is an all cash sale to an investor or iBuyer. Both avenues can get you paid promptly, although selling to an iBuyer often has more limitations and may not offer as much flexibility as selling to an investor.
Selling to a real estate investor
Investors buy homes to fix and flip or to hold as rental properties versus most realtor assisted homes sales where an individual or family purchases a home as their primary residence.
Benefits of selling to an investor
Fast closings are possible because investors pay cash which speeds closing to a week or two compared to traditional realtor brokered sales which can drag out to 2 months or more.
Sell home “as is”
Investors buy homes “as is” so you don’t have to foot the bill for or endure the hassle of repairs, renovations, or home preparation prior to the sale. This is an exceptional benefit especially in cases where you may not have time or money to complete the upgrades before the hard “sell by” date.
No commissions paid
Because there’s no realtor involved, you won’t have commission deducted from your home proceeds.
Many times investors offer the flexibility to close on a specific date and/or rent the property back to you post sale if you need time before moving to your next living arrangement.
Simple and hassle free
A cash sale to an investor allows you to skip many of the frustrating, time consuming steps in a traditional realtor aided sale. For example, avoiding the time and expense of preparing your home for realtor showings, the stress of not knowing when your home will sell, or wondering if your buyer’s financing will fall through.
Because investors will take on the financial burden of repairs or renovations needed to resell your home their purchase offer may be lower than if the property was turnkey. The investors' offer will also factor in projected resale profit.
Selling to an iBuyer
Selling your home via an iBuyer, a real estate business that leverages technology to purchase and resell homes, can assist you in moving your house fast.
Benefits of selling your home to an iBuyer:
Convenient and cost effective
Convenience is king in an iBuyer sale. You won’t have the hassle of staging your home, vacating your home for numerous showings to buyer prospects, spending money and precious time doing landscaping upgrades, or having to do expensive and extensive cleaning for an MLS listing.
IBuyers are geared to close fast on property sales
In some cases iBuyers may leaseback the property to you post purchase allowing you time to find your next home purchase or rental.
Closing date independent of pending financing
Because the iBuyer’s is paying cash, you won’t have to worry about your home sale falling through because traditional loan financing wasn’t approved. The cash sale guarantees you’ll get paid on the closing date, giving you peace of mind you’ll have your money when you need it.
While there are advantages to selling to an iBuyer, it’s not a “one size fits all” fast sale option. Limitations to be mindful of with iBuyer sales include:
iBuyers favor specific home types and markets
IBuyers generally only buy in specific markets and favor specific home types like newer townhomes, houses, and condominiums. They’re usually not interested in purchasing older homes, luxury homes, or homes with extensive customization.
Assessed repairs may decrease the offer price
Once you’ve consented to the iBuyer’s offer, the iBuyer will complete an assessment to calculate what items may need to be replaced or repaired to resell the home.
If you don’t do the repairs or don’t have time or money to do the repairs before closing, the iBuyer may deduct the repair costs from the purchase price, leaving you significantly less net sale proceeds.
What’s the process for selling your home for cash to an investor or iBuyer?
From the initial contract to payment, selling your home for cash to an investor or iBuyer is a streamlined process that can be completed in as little time as a week or two.
How it works:
The first step in a cash sale is to connect with an investor or iBuyer that purchases homes in your area and share some preliminary information about your home.
Typically in 24-48 hours you’ll get a preliminary offer that may be subject to change pending a home assessment.
A property assessment is usually done within a couple days after the offer. The assessment can include a walkthrough and/or exterior inspection of the home.
Following the assessment, the investor or company will extend a firm offer which you have the option to decline or accept.
Upon offer acceptance, you and the investor/company will sign a contract and closing will start.
The cash buyer will withhold payment until documentation is provided showing the seller can convey a clear title to the property. In the case of property liens, some buyers can assist the seller in resolving the debt so a clear title can be conveyed.
Payment disbursement varies with the individual investor or iBuyer. Typically you’ll receive payment in around 7 days to a couple weeks
Selling your home via a realtor
Listing your property with a realtor is another way to sell your home quickly, especially with a cash sale. It’s likely if you choose the realtor route though you won’t be able to match the quick all cash closing times possible with investors or iBuyers.
Benefits of selling your home via a realtor
Extensive expertise in marketing and selling your home
Feature-enhancing real estate photography, home staging, persuasive descriptions and copy, social media marketing, and hyper targeted digital marketing are just some of the ammunition in an experienced realtor’s arsenal to catalyze a fast home sale.
A top realtor will have extensive knowledge of the current local home market, and based on data analysis, price your home in the “sweet spot” where it will sell quickly and garner a fair market price.
Long standing networks to mine for home sales
Realtors can mine their long standing professional and personal relationships to maximize the buyer pool for your home sale.
Quickly qualify buyers and negotiate pricing
A savvy realtor can quickly discern qualified and motivated buyers and assist in price negotiation and expediting the closing process.
Multiple factors can push out the closing date or kill the sale
Inspections, appraisals, and/or loan underwriting can derail or delay the home’s sale. For example, VA, FHA, and USDA loans all have specific requirements that must be met and consequently closing times may be delayed.
Average time to sell a home is 55 to 70 days
According to Zillow data, 55-70 days is the average time it takes to complete a home sale from the time the home offer is accepted to the official closing date.
Due to various lender loan requirements, the closing date can be a moving target. If you need to have your home sale proceeds in hand by a specific date, selling your home via the traditional realtor and financed buyer route might not be the best choice.
Home preparation and repairs need for an MLS-worthy listing
There’s likely to be significant time and expense involved in preparing your home for a realtor assisted MLS listing. Cleaning, painting, repairs, curb appeal upgrades, home repairs, home staging, and professional photos are just a few of the tasks you’ll need to plan for money and time-wise.
Selling options that can cause an extended home sale delay
Selling strategies you may want to avoid if you need to sell your home fast include auctions, short sales, and “for sale by owner” by owner listings.
For sale by owner (FSBO)
While it’s certainly possible to sell your home on your own, just 7% of sellers choose the FSBO option. According to the National Association of Realtors 2021 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, in FSBO transactions, 57% of sellers knew the home buyer prior to the sale.
FSBO transactions, although free of seller realtor commissions, can still require a significant amount of time and money in preparing the property for sale, marketing the property, showing the property to potential buyers, and hiring an attorney to complete the transaction documents.
If the buyer is financing the FSBO property, there’s still a risk that financing will be delayed or worst case scenario, be denied.
Selling at auction puts you at risk as you don’t have control over the final selling price. There’s a chance you may have to settle for accepting a significantly lower price than you planned on, especially if you need to have your sale proceeds by a certain date.
Just like listing your property with a realtor, you’ll pay the auction company a percentage of the selling price or incur a “no sale” fee if you choose not to accept the highest bid.
The National Association of Realtors recommends that your home needs to have at least 25% equity for you to realize profit from the auction sale.
A “short sale” means that your lender has approved your home to sell for less than the balance you owe the loan. A rule of thumb is that short sales take much more time to complete than a traditional sale.
Short sales are not a given and are at the lender’s discretion. For your property to be eligible for a short sale you more than likely need to be in arrears on your mortgage and nearing foreclosure. The steps to a short sale are more complicated and take much longer, up to 120 days, than a traditional home sale.
Even if you are eligible, your lender doesn’t have to approve a short sale.
Start with the date you need your home sale money and consider your financial and life situation
While the pressure to sell your home fast may seem insurmountable, there are a variety of sales solutions for you to choose from to get your home sold by your desired closing date. Start with your “must-receive-home-sale-proceeds-by” date, and from there choose the method that best suits your timeline and financial and life situation.
If looking at a very short runway of time to get your home sold, the fastest way to sell your home may be to an investor or iBuyer.
Rising Phoenix Real Estate
At Rising Phoenix Real Estate, we fix problems and not just houses. If you’re feeling stressed because you need to sell your home fast or because of your home’s inability to sell due to a variety of issues, we’re here to help you with an easy way out.
We can provide you with a simple and stress free way to sell your home for a competitive, fair market value, and quick cash offer that’s based on local market data.
We’re investors and buy homes in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio areas. Visit our website to learn more or call 972-544-1862 today to speak with one of our trusted home advisors about selling your home.
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