The Fastest Way to Sell a House | A Step By Step Guide

Selling a home can be a stressful time. Finding an agent who has your best interests at heart and learning about the home selling process can make things very challenging. And if you need the fastest way to sell, it can be even more difficult.

Typically, people need to sell their homes quickly when they also have other problems happening in their life. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, are sick, are going through a divorce, or grieving the death of a loved one? Putting a home up for sale while dealing with a personal crisis is not easy.

Thankfully, with the right help, you can navigate this difficult time and get to know the fastest way to sell.

If you want to sell your house fast, you first need to come up with a plan. And that begins with determining how you plan to sell your house.

You’ll have three main options to sell your house:

#1. Sell your house yourself

#2. Sell with an agent

#3. Sell to a cash buyer

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.

Options to Sell Your House Fast

#1. Sell Your House Yourself

Selling your home yourself is the most involved and challenging option. If you haven’t done it before, there is a steep learning curve to overcome. Learning to negotiate, determining the price, performing repairs, and advertising the property is a lot of work. Additionally, it might not be the best choice when you need to sell your house fast.

#2. Sell With an Agent

Using an agent to sell your house fast can be a good option. However, finding the right agent for a quick sale isn’t always easy. Another thing to consider is the high commissions an agent will expect.

Selling with an agent still involves a lot of work to get your home ready for the market. Because agents have experience and connections, it’s generally a better option than selling yourself when you need to sell your house fast. 

#3. Sell to a cash buyer

The fastest way to sell is through a cash buyer! Selling to a cash buyer is always the best option when you need a fast sale. There is significantly less hassle involved, for starters. Instead of spending time and money on repairs, open houses, or appointments, you can get quick, fair offers on your property.

We have made this guide so that you are armed with the relevant information you’ll need to sell your house fast. We’ll explore each of these options and look at their pros and cons. Additionally, we’ll help you understand what’s involved in each process so that you can figure out the best choice for your situation.

So, let’s look at the options in more depth.

selling your house on your own

OPTION #1: Selling Your Home Yourself

Selling a home yourself is a big task. You’ll need to be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort. Additionally, there will be many things that you’ll need to learn about from a legal and administrative side. 

When you sell your house yourself, you decide not to use a real estate agent or realtor. The benefits of this approach are that you can save money on fees and commissions. 

The average real estate commissions are around 6% of the sale price. When you factor in that the average home sale price in the US is about $375,000, these fees could total approximately $22,500. Once you add other closing costs on top of that, you’ve lost a big chunk of your home equity.

The appeal of this option is obvious. However, for sale by owner (FSBO) only made up around 8% of US home sales in 2020. Further analysis into those numbers suggests that around half of these sales were complete between parties with an existing relationship, such as friends and relatives.

These statistics tell us that the process of selling a home in this way is not for everybody. It’s time-consuming, and it involves a lot of paperwork. Additionally, while the fees seem high, agents do a lot of work and carry a lot of expertise. Often, it’s only when people go down the FSBO route that they realize how much work is involved in selling a house.

Some of the things that you’ll have to consider if you do a fast FSBO are:

Timing the Market

The best time to sell your house is in spring or summer. There are several reasons for this: families want to move before the school term begins, and better weather makes home viewings easier. However, timing the market isn’t a luxury that everyone can afford when selling their house fast.

The holiday season is considered a bad time to try and sell a property. People are busy or on holidays, and adverse weather can put off viewers depending on your location.

A lot of this will come down to your particular needs. If you need to sell because you’re moving state for a job, you might not be able to afford to wait. You likely need to know the fastest way to sell. Likewise, if you’re trying to buy a different property, time might be against you.

The economy is another factor to consider. High unemployment can hurt home prices; however, the property boom during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that this is not always true across the board.

Determine the Value

Determining the value of your property is one of the most challenging aspects of the FSBO route. If you want to make a fast sale, you’ll need to post an attractive price. However, you don’t want to leave money on the table either.

There are several things to consider when pricing a home. First, you need to understand what is a good deal for you. Remember that if you’re trying to sell fast, you can’t always hold out for the best offer.

Secondly, consider the market. Is it booming, or is it cold? While the US property market has been on a ten-year heater, on average, some areas have experienced price drops or stagnation. So to figure out the correct price, you’ll need to look at your home and your neighborhood in general.

Researching comparable homes in your area is called “comps.” To do this, you can find sales prices for houses with similar attributes, like the number of bedrooms, access to amenities, yard size, and more. 

Another thing to consider when determining a price for a quick sale is any upgrades, or you’ve made to your house. While most renovations don’t fetch a 100% ROI, they will add value to your home. 

Fix Up Any Repairs

Fixing up any areas of your home that need repairs will help you fetch a better price. However, if you’re trying to sell your house fast, it’s a delicate balance. 

If you’re looking for a quick sale, significant renovations are unlikely to be an option. So a big kitchen or bathroom remodel is probably off the cards. But you can make some more minor changes and updates that can make a difference. 

Here are a few ideas that you can use to spruce up your home, so it’s ready for the market.

Carpet & Flooring

Installing a new carpet in your home is pretty expensive. It can provide a good ROI, but it might not be possible if time is ticking down. However, you could choose to restore your floors with a carpet cleaning machine. If that sounds like too much more, you can call a professional. Carpet cleaners charge an average of around $50 per room.

Similarly, buffing up wood flooring can help attract more buyers to your home. Refinishing or buffing up wood boards isn’t cheap, but if you’re not afraid of a little hard work, you can do it yourself.

Paint or Repair the Walls

Touching up walls with scratches or nicks is pretty straightforward — if you have matching paint. However, if your walls look stale and tired, a new paint job can make a big difference to prospective buyers.

Bathroom

A bathroom remodel is too big a project to get into when you’re trying to pull off a fast sale. But there are many little things you can do to make it look more appealing to buyers. Showers and sinks can take on a grubby look after a while. But removing and replacing the caulk can do wonders for their appearance. 

Other little things that can make a huge difference are new mirrors, toilet seats, bathroom mats, showerheads, and faucets. Additionally, a few licks of paint can re-energize even the most tired-looking restroom.

Fixtures and Fittings

Depending on the condition of your home, it might be worth updating some of the finishings and furnishings. Mostly you can get away with small stuff like replacing door and cabinet knobs, hinges, curtains, and blinds.

Again, it’s a fast sale, so don’t replace anything that will take too long, and always keep an eye out for what improvements will result in a good ROI.

Clean and Declutter

When buyers come to view your home, you want them to be able to imagine themselves in there. So remove as much clutter and personal items as you can when showing your house. 

Some people rent storage for their personal effects; others choose to pile everything into the garage. However, the problem with that option is that buyers won’t see the garage for all its potential.

Once you’ve made enough space, a deep clean is in order. Vacuum or mop every room, clean the walls and ceiling. Do whatever you can to make the house look spacious and inviting. Make it smell great too. The old cliched trick of cooking brownies before a visit might not be possible, but a pleasant air freshener will make all the difference. 

Remember, buyers want to make their imprint on a place. A dirty, cluttered home could put them off making a bid. 

Curb Appeal

First impressions count when you’re trying to sell your house. FSBO homes often need to rely on a “for sale” sign to get the word out, so you’ll want your home to look great for passers-by.

There’s a lot you can do to pump up the curb appeal of your home. Power washing the drive is a good idea; mowing the law is mandatory. Otherwise, anything you can do to make it more appealing, like painting the door, siding, or window frames, will go a long way.

If you want a fast sale, try and blow potential buyers out of the water on the first look.

Stage the Property

If you have prospective buyers coming to view your home, you need to make it look inviting. We’ve already talked about giving it a deep clean, but staging a home is the next level. In effect, it’s the process of making your house look like a showroom.

Now, of course, if you’re under pressure and looking for a fast sale, you might not have time (or money) to go out and hire an interior designer. So just do what you can to make it look its best. Get rid of clutter and move furniture around to accentuate the features of each room — even these minor changes can have a dramatic effect.

Take Professional Photos

If you know someone with a good camera, now might be the time to call in a favor. Once your house is staged, it’s time to take some photos. This step might seem minor, but it can make a difference in generating interested buyers.

Some tips for taking great photos are:

  • use natural light
  • take high-resolution photos
  • take horizontal photos where possible because they look best
  • edit, brighten, and crop your images to give them a consistent look

Develop a Listing Strategy

Listing and marketing a property is one of the perks of using an agent to sell your house. However, FSBO homes need to get the word out themselves. Fortunately, there are several ways that sellers can get the attention of potential home buyers.

There is a mix of websites, both paid and free, where you can list a property you want to sell yourself. 

Good paid options are places like FSBO.com, homecoin, and beycome. At the same time, there are free options, too, like Facebook Marketplace, Zillow, and Craigslist.

Otherwise, local news or message boards and or a “For Sale” sign can get results, but they might not get you the fast sale you’re looking for.

Prepare to Be Available for Showings

Because you’re going to it alone, you’ll need to do all the work, including viewings. When you’re looking for the fastest way to sell, you can’t really turn viewings down because you never know which one will be the one to bite. So, be prepared to be available when people come to view your home. 

Make sure you’ll have the time to show people around. Additionally, a “for sale” sign can be an invitation for people to ring on your bell to arrange an impromptu visit. So make sure it’s always looking its best, and you might find a buyer who is trying to move just as fast as you are.

Overall, selling your home means a lot of work for the seller. In fact, it’s bordering on a full-time job. But, if you have the time, it is an excellent way to save an average of 6% on the final sale fees.

However, if you’re looking for the fastest way to sell, it’s not the best option available. When all is said and done, you could be looking at around 60+ days to sell your house. 

selling your house to an agent

OPTION #2: Selling with an Agent

The next option for selling your home fast is to use an agent. The good thing about an agent is that they’ll handle all the marketing, negotiations and determine the price of the home. Additionally, they have lots of expertise in selling homes and access to through comps databases. 

But don’t get the wrong idea. While selling your home with an agent is more straightforward than doing an FSBO, there is still a lot for you to do. And all that starts with finding an agent who can deliver a fast sale.

How to Find A Fast Sale Agent

Finding an agent who is experienced in fast sales isn’t always easy. Many agents out there will promise you a fast deal, but in reality, they’ll just list your home and hope for the best. 

Negotiate Your Commission

One of the least attractive aspects of using an agent for a fast home sale is their commissions. Agents can take up to 6% of the final sale price. And if you want the fastest way to sell, you can’t wait around for a buyer’s best offer.

Considering all of this, the type of agent you need for a fast sale is someone who is a master negotiator. An agent with that skill will help you get a better price on the market and therefore earn their hefty commission. 

Things You’ll Have To Do When Selling Your Home Fast With an Agent.

Employing the services of an agent to sell your house quickly does take a good amount of stress out of the situation. However, it won’t be a walk in the park either. While an agent will be able to do “comps” to help you determine a price and advise and help you with all the paperwork, you’ll still need to do a lot of running around. 

As shown above, FSBO sales involve doing a lot of work with your house. However, employing an agent means you’ll get advice and guidance, but these tasks will still need to be done.

Briefly, some of the things you’ll need to do when to ensure a fast sale with an agent are:

Repairs

Agents will advise you to do as many repairs around your home as you can. Repairs will increase the value of your home and increase the agent’s commission. However, it can mean a significant outgoing as you prepare your home to go to the market.

Several repairs can produce a good ROI. For example, painting rooms, replacing cabinets, bathroom touch-ups, and fixing any leaks or damaged floors are repairs that will help you fetch a better price for your home.

Clean and Declutter

Remember, selling your home through an agent means you’ll be showing your house to prospective buyers. These buyers don’t want to see a home cluttered with the seller’s possession. They want to be able to visualize themselves (and their own clutter!) in your home.

So get rid of all the mess.

Curb Appeal

Any good agent will tell you that curb appeal is essential. It’s the first thing that a buyer will see, so it’s vital to present your property as best you can. 

Improving the front of your home can be done quickly and simply. However, to really boost your sale price, you’ll need to invest in landscaping, gardening, and sometimes a new front and garage door. 

Some of these improvements can provide a good ROI.

Stage the Home and Take Professional Photos

Some agents will stage your home and take professional photos. Depending on how the agent likes to do things, this could involve moving your stuff out and getting in new furniture that will present the home in a better light. 

Open Houses and Viewings

Selling your home through an agent means that you’ll hopefully get a lot of interested buyers. But as a seller, that places an onus on you to be around for viewings. Estimates vary by who you ask, but the home can expect an average of between 10-25 viewings per sale. 

This process can be somewhat inconvenient for sellers as it requires you to be free and ready for people to swing past and see your house. And if your property is in a cold market, this number can be even higher.

Overall, selling a home through an agent is more straightforward than an FSBO property deal. However, you’ll need to weigh up if the convenience and advice of an agent are worth that 6% you’ll pay on the final sale price.

Typically, selling a property through an agent takes about 45 days. If you get a great agent, maybe they can do it in 30. For anyone looking for a fast sale, that might be time they can’t afford to lose.

selling your house to a cash buyer

OPTION #3: Selling to a Cash Buyer

If you want the fastest way to sell, selling to a cash buyer is hands down your best and easiest option. And it’s not even close. All of the hassle, worry, and stress you associate with the other two possibilities are eliminated when you go down this route. Fast, easy, hassle-free: what’s not to like?

Of course, there are still a few tasks to do to secure a fast cash sale. Some of the things that you should expect during this process are:

List of things you’ll need to do to sell to a cash buyer| The fastest way to sell

Find the right buyer

While we understand you want to move fast when selling your home, finding the right buyer for your cash sale is an area you should spend some time. 

Make sure you pick a company that displays honesty and integrity and has a good track record. Like any industry, homebuyers have their share of dishonorable actors. For example, some companies present themselves to sellers as cash buyers. However, they are actually just real estate or listing agents. So watch out, because sales through these companies won’t move as fast as you’d like.

Additionally, it’s worth working with a company that can offer you flexibility and understanding through a difficult time. For example, if you are trying to coordinate a move to a different home, look for a fast cash sale with a company that is happy to accommodate this and provide you with a solution that fits your needs. 

Aside from these important points, here are a few more tips to help you find the right buyer for your fast sale.

Make sure to check reviews 

Online reviews are a great way to get a sense of what a buyer is all about—especially sites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Reviews, and Facebook reviews. 

Star ratings are essential to look for but pay attention to the tone and language of the reviews. Look out for customers who state that the buyer kept their word, showed professionalism, and came good on their promises of a fast transaction. 

Likewise, scour the reviews section for anything unusual. Remember, unhappy customers are more likely to leave a bad review, so if the company acts dishonorably or fails to meet the promises they make, you should be able to find those details fast.

Get a few offers to compare. 

Another excellent strategy when deciding on the right buyer for a fast sale is to get a few different offers. Comparing a few different proposals will help you understand if a buyer is offering you an unfair price.

Most fast cash buyers will be able to make you an offer fairly quickly. Additionally, none of the offers are legally binding. So get a few and pick the one that makes the most sense.

Let someone come and see the house

Once you’re happy that you’ve chosen a legit buyer, let them come to see the house. But this time you don’t need to clean the carpets or stage a sitting room. Just let your buyer have a quick look at their potential investment so they can get the fast sale moving.

The things you won’t have to do 

As you’ve seen above, making a fast sale requires many steps if you go down the agent or FSBO avenues. Additionally, it can cost a lot of money in repairs, renovations, fees, and commissions. 

But you can save a whole lot of time on your fast sale if you get a cash buyer. Some of the things you won’t have to do:

Clean-Up or Remove Items

When investors come to view your home, they don’t need to imagine themselves living there. All they care about is the bare bones of the house. They’ll be happy to see it as is, warts and all.

Make Any Repairs

Making repairs before people come to view a house is something you’ll have to worry about when you’re listing your property with an agent or as an FSBO. 

Cash buyers aren’t afraid of a fixer-upper. So you don’t have to do repairs and cross your fingers that you’ll get an ROI on your fast sale. Just show your home to the buyer as it is, and they can evaluate a fair price.

Do Viewings

If you want a fast sale, you need to be ready to show your home to any interested buyer. However, cash sales only require the seller to show the home once. Again, this takes away a lot of the time and hassle involved in selling a home. Indeed, selling to a cash buyer is the fastest way to sell

Summary

There are lots of options when you want to sell your house, but not too many good options when you need the fastest way to sell. If you’ve inherited a home that needs a lot of work, or you have a home that won’t sell on the market, a cash buyer is an excellent option. Likewise, if you need to avoid foreclosure due to difficult life circumstances, a cash sale could offer you a great way out.

If you find yourself in any of the above situations or more, reach out to Mrs. Property Solutions. Selling a home is stressful enough, so choose a trusted buyer who can make you an offer and complete the deal as fast as you need. Mrs. Property Solutions is your best bet if you’re looking for the fastest way to sell.

With no agents and no fees, it’s 100% free. So fill out a form and get in touch today for a fair offer on a fast sale.

Hannah Ray

Hana is in charge of our social media, marketing, and online presence! She manages our Facebook, YouTube, and Google my Business posting. She is also in charge of creating helpful blog content that provides educational information concerning home sellers in a bind that needs to sell their house fast. When she is not working, she enjoys being a new mom and spending time with her two little ones.

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