How to Sell Your Home Super Fast

Some people need to sell their home, like, now. Maybe you are moving yourself, or you need money quickly. Perhaps there’s been a death in the family, a divorce, or you found your dream house, but you can’t move forward unless you sell your current home first. Whatever the reason, you’ve got to sell your home now, and there’s simply no time to upgrade, fix up the home or add curb appeal.

How do you sell your home super fast — and still get a reasonable deal?

Those two goals are sometimes incompatible. It’s also important to realize that due to the laws in your state and how your lender works, you may make a sale in a day or less, but you won’t be able to actually close on a the deal for weeks or even months — generally about 30 to 45 days, according to Rocket Mortgage. But if you’re looking to make a quick sale, here’s a roadmap.

[READ: How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?]

Do a Lot of Work Beforehand

This advice doesn’t help somebody who found out yesterday they need to sell their home, and they’d like to do it today. But if you’re buying and selling a home in the same window, and you have some time before you start this game of musical houses, it will go faster and more smoothly if you can do some work beforehand.

The more prepared you are, the faster your home should sell. In theory.

Adie Kriegstein, a licensed real estate salesperson at Compass in New York City, has some suggestions for any home seller who wants to sell their home fast:

Make home improvements before you even list your home. You want your home “in the best possible condition for both marketing purposes and for those who will come to view it in person,” Kriegstein says. One home improvement that can really help is a new paint job, she says. You should consider painting the rooms white, she adds, if the walls aren’t already “naturally colored.”

Clean. Scrub everything, including the windows. “Make sure to declutter,” Kriegstein says. It’s hard for a buyer to imagine living in your house if your stuff, including your old CD collection and a pile of laundry, is everywhere.

Think about how you’re going to market your home. “You want to win the beauty contest,” Kriegstein says. She suggests hiring a professional photographer, possibly someone who can also shoot video. “In this digital age, marketing is a must,” she says. “People will start their search online, so it’s important to have a floor plan, stunning photos and a video.”

San Francisco real estate agent Ying He agrees that preparation is the best way to sell a home fast.

“All the painting, landscaping and staging need to be finished before we go alive to best present the property,” she says. “Also, on the paperwork front, we need to make sure all the disclosures are ready to go.”

[10 Home Renovations Under $10,000]

Pricing Is Vital

As insight goes, this is about as obvious as it gets. Still, you want to be smart about how you choose your price. You could slash the price of your home by 50% to try to sell it in a hurry, but your goal isn’t to sell your home fast and also go broke fast.

“You’ll need to price your property at what we refer to as the compelling price point or even slightly under that — depending on how fast you need or want to sell,” says Sabrina Conti Erangey, a real estate broker associate with Baird & Warner who is based near Chicago in Elmhurst, Illinois.

The “compelling price point,” Erangey says, “is slightly below the market value pricing but just enough to ramp up demand and drive up the sales price.”

This is the sweet spot where buyers spot a good deal, and they descend upon your home to take advantage of the deal and begin offering bids. This drives the price up, so you still end up doing well.

Timing Is Crucial

“Timing is extremely important. We don’t want to waste a single day on the market,” He says. “When it comes to timing, there are several layers. The first is seasonality. In San Francisco, the best time for sellers to go on market is actually the very beginning of the year. Spring and fall are good. Summer and winter are less ideal due to a smaller buyer pool.”

You also want to think about other factors, like holidays, the weather or an election. You can start selling your home in the dead of winter or during the rainy season, but “weather can be extremely important, especially for houses with a view,” He points out.

She suggests that the best day to have your property go live is on a Thursday to maximize weekend open house traffic.

Decide What Matters More — a Fast Sale or the Best Price?

You can sell a house fast and get an excellent price, real estate agents say. But if your house needs a lot of work and you won’t budge on selling as soon as possible, you may not get the best price. One way or another, you’ll need to bow to reality.

That includes trying to fix some of the issues with your home, Erangey says.

“In a fast sale, you want to do your due diligence as a seller and do what we refer to as a prelisting walkthrough,” she says. “During this walkthrough, we will bring up factors that could be raised during the inspection and connect our clients with our vendors to make appropriate adjustments and changes to avoid concerning buyers.”

That might mean something simple, like digging up recent receipts showing that you had your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system fixed, Erangey says. If those need replacing or fixing, Erangey would encourage the seller to do that. You’ll sell your house faster and take less of a hit on the price, she says, if the worst of your home improvement projects are addressed.

“Price and condition determine everything,” Erangey says.

He puts it this way: If you try to sell your home quickly and cut corners, such as not fixing obvious problems or making subtle but critical repairs, you could defeat your own purpose. You may find yourself with a ready-to-sign contract and then realize, thanks to issues your buyer or the buyer’s home inspector has discovered, your interested party is now less keen and wants to negotiate your price downward — or even back out of the sale altogether.

If you have to start over, you won’t sell your home super fast, but possibly super slow.

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