Selling a home can be a difficult and time consuming task… but when you’re looking for how to sell your house fast, it adds a whole additional layer of complexity.
Finding someone that can make a real offer— but then deliver, is the key to unloading your property. Each method outlined below can work for most anyone. However there are some that are easier to accomplish than others depending on your situation.
Regardless of the reason you need to sell fast, this guide will help you understand the pros and cons of the top 3 methods.
First lets cover some common scenarios why most people end up needing to sell fast. Then we’ll give useful tips to help you sell your home faster while getting the most out of your situation and your property. Or you can skip ahead to get right to the tips on ways to sell your house fast.
Reasons You Might Need to Sell Your House Quickly
First things, first… lets cover the most common reasons people want to sell fast in the first place!
Common Reasons to Sell a House Fast:
- Need to move quickly
- Lost job or loss of income
- Behind on taxes
#1 You Just Need or Want to Move Quickly
Maybe you’d like to retire sooner than you’d thought. Perhaps your family is growing unexpectedly. Maybe you’re just looking to upgrade or downgrade the size of your home asap.
Sometimes, you just really want to sell a house fast because it can be a time-consuming affair. Whether going with an investor offer, a real estate agent, or the FSBO route, there are a few options to move quickly.
#2 Selling Fast Due to Lost Job or Reduction of Income
Sometimes, employees know when a layoff is looming. Sometimes a loss or reduction of income is unexpected. But just about always, a loss of income is unwanted.
If you need to sell a house because of a sudden reduction in income, you’re not alone. It can be done fairly as well as quickly. Downsizing your dwelling is nothing to be ashamed of or scared about!
If downsizing is the best financial decision for you at this time, make sure you do your due diligence. This will get you the best deal on your property in the shortest amount of time.
#3 Selling Fast Because You’re Behind on Taxes
Usually, if your property is behind on taxes, this is not a surprise. If there are state or property taxes overdue, there may be a lien that is placed out on your home.
Unfortunately, being severely behind on taxes could dampen any “quick sale” hopes you have for your property selling traditionally.
This isn’t something that can be hidden from the final buyer. But there are payment arrangements that can be agreed upon when you decide to sell your home the traditional way.
If you need to sell your house fast and decide on a cash investor, most will cover whatever you owe on your property.
#4 Short Sale or Foreclosures
Under federal law, your property must be over 120 days delinquent before your loan provider declares a foreclosure. Depending on which state your property is in, a foreclosure can be either judicial or nonjudicial.
Judicial means the foreclosing party files a lawsuit in court and the case goes through the court system. Nonjudicial means the foreclosing party follows a set of state-specific, out-of-court procedural steps to foreclose the home).
Basically, if your property resides in a judicial state, the lender must file a lawsuit to foreclose the property. If your property resides in a nonjudicial state, the court system is minimally involved, if at all.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot sell your home however. It just may complicate the process slightly and you have up until the day that foreclosure takes place to sell the home on your own before your bank takes matters into their own hands.
This period of time is called “pre-foreclosure.” If you decide to sell during pre-foreclosure, notify your lender that you are planning to sell in order to pay-off the mortgage and ask them to postpone any actions or sales to give you a chance to find a buyer.
If you are looking for ways to keep your home although you are going to have to go into foreclosure, in some states you’re allowed what is called a “statutory right of redemption.” This is what is essentially a take-back period after the foreclosure—from 30 days to as much as two years in some places —in which you can repurchase your home.
#5 Selling Fast from an Inheritance
Unfortunately, inheritance of a property isn’t always a “free and clear” situation. Tax implications come with an inherited house.
There may be needed repairs and renovations, ongoing utility bills, probate and lawyer fees, and even potential real estate agent commissions can all add up. There also is the matter of the deceased’s personal effects.
Should you have an estate sale, any money gained will need to be split with any other heirs, or put back into the estate. It’s best to discuss your options and all legalities with your lawyer.
There are usually three scenarios when it comes to inheriting a house and deciding what to do with it:
Inheritance Option 1 – You Sell the House
If you decide to sell the house, you won’t pay any capital gains taxes on any increase in the home’s value during the deceased owner’s lifetime. You’ll only pay on any increase of value from when you inherit the property to when you sell it. You can choose to sell your property as-is and much faster if you work with a private investor. However, don’t expect to get a premium price.
If you decide to renovate before selling, keep in mind that buyers are looking for updated kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Before you’re able to sell, you’ll need to hire a professional home inspector to help you identify any critical areas that would need to be repaired by a contractor as well like roofing or plumbing.
Inheritance Option 2 – You Move into the House
If you decide to move into the inherited house, you may see property taxes rise significantly as the house will be reassessed at the current market value.
If the home was inherited jointly, the other parties are legally required to be compensated by rental payments or estate share. This option affords you time to spread out any repair and renovation costs should you decide to sell in the future.
Inheritance Option 3 – You Rent the House Out
Renting a property out, whether to long-term tenants or as a vacation rental, may become more hassle than it’s worth. Especially if you’ve never done it before.
For long-term tenants, you’ll need to ensure that every aspect of the property is up to code and any potential liabilities are taken into consideration. If you’re considering turning this into a vacation rental, you should be aware of any management and maintenance costs that may end up becoming a full time job.
You also will need to understand comparable rent and sales pricing for the area. This will help determine if your property is in demand enough to be worth it.
#6 Selling Fast Because of Divorce
In the unfortunate scenario of a divorce, there are a few big questions that need to be decided before selling. There are further complications if you decide to sell your house as a “For Sale By Owner” property.
Are there renovations that need to be completed before selling? Who will cover those costs?
Will one spouse be living on property while trying to sell the house? Who will be paying the mortgage and upkeep during this time?
Who will be present for showings? Or will you trust this process with a real estate agent?
The biggest question when trying to sell a house in the midst of a divorce is how assets will be split after the sale. Depending on the state in which the property resides, property division may be handled differently.
Usually most states agree that the resulting profit should be split between both parties in an equitable manner. However, be sure to check with your state’s laws as there may be some differences in how things are handled.
#7 Just Don’t Want to Wait
Selling a home can be a sometimes confusing and time-consuming process. No matter the reason you want to sell your house fast, you most likely don’t want to make any hasty decisions.
If you want to sell quickly and confidently, the best way is to know all of your options beforehand. This will help you make the best decision that aligns with your goals.
Let’s look at the top 3 ways most people are able to sell their house quickly. Plus, we’ll give pro tips to sell your house as fast as possible for the most amount of money.
The Top 3 Methods to Sell Your House Fast
#1 Fastest – Selling to Investor
Pros With Selling With an Investor
Cash investors like to move quickly and usually have an offer for you within 24 hours!
Most cash investors are looking to snap up properties as-is, and can close very fast– they’re looking to find a great investment deal, not looking for their dream home.
If you’re looking to sell a property quickly, for fast cash, and without hassles of repairs or dealing with contractors, this may just be the way to go for you. The reputable investors don’t take out commissions or fees– your cash offer is the cash in hand you receive at closing.
Another bonus is that most investors will cover any back taxes you owe and you won’t have to vacate the premises until you’re ready.
The major “plus” is knowing that whatever offer the investor makes, once again means they are buying your property as-is and you don’t have to worry about fixing your home up or making any costly repairs beforehand.
Another big benefit with selling to an investor is you usually only have to show your property once and you don’t have to worry about making sure the property is in picture-perfect showing condition.
You won’t have to worry about painting, staging, cleaning, major or minor repairs, or even lawn maintenance. Investors factor all that and more into their final investment cash offer.
Cons With Selling With an Investor
A con to selling to a cash investor is that you may not receive as high of an offer as you may be expecting or hoping for.
Be prepared that an offer you receive from an investor will always be a little lower than an offer from a traditional buyer that would want to move into your home themselves.
This is especially true in a slower moving real estate market area and if there are costly repairs or updating renovations that would be needed.
• Avoid scams by checking with your Better Business Bureau for complaints or red flags.
• All transactions should take place through an escrow agent on the agreed closing date. Ask for the full legal company name and the state they are registered to do business in and do your homework.
• Contracts should make sense and don’t be afraid to ask questions should something seem confusing. Reputable investors are more than happy to explain the process and how things work, how they arrived at their cash offer, and shouldn’t make you feel pressured. You won’t have a real estate agent working and negotiating on your behalf so you’ll have to do your due diligence when working directly with cash buyers.
• A legitimate investment company will have a website and an online presence. Any company with no online visibility may be trying to hide something.
• If you’re looking to get out of a mortgage fast, but still need a place to stay, talk with your investor. There are cases where cash buyer investors will allow the prior owner stay on post-closing for free for a brief period, or even long term as a rental tenant.
• Most reputable investors have a list of real estate agents they work closely with. Sometimes a cash offer isn’t the best option for you and you’d like to go the traditional brokerage route. If you don’t mind waiting a little longer to offload a property, would like to sell your home for a little more, and don’t mind paying brokerage fees and commissions, ask the investor for a real estate agent recommendation for your area.
#2 Slower – Selling With a Real Estate Broker
Pros With Selling With an Agent
When you decide to list with an agent, you’re putting the responsibility into someone else’s hands.
They’ll market your home and deal with all the red tape for you. This means they will handle the ins-and-outs of navigating you through the entire sales process from start to finish.
An agent or broker has access to tools and information they’re specifically licensed for- most notably the MLS.
They also are privy to the entire history of a home. An agent can help you get a home’s Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report, or CLUE.
Cons With Selling With an Agent
With any “done-for-you” professional service, there are going to be commissions and fees taken out when your house is sold. You are using what is essentially a “middleman” to sell your property.
Traditionally, the seller pays 6 percent of the sales price of the home for commissions. Half goes to your selling agent and half goes to the buyer’s agent.
Also, depending on how busy your real estate agent is, you’re at the mercy of their own personal timeline. Your property may not get the attention that you would like in order to sell quickly.
The busier they are, the more likely you’ll experience missed calls and deals falling through.
• Before you sign a contract, be sure to ask if you can be released if you’re dissatisfied with their service. Know what their terms and legal constrictions are BEFORE you’re locked into any contract with them.
• You should also look for a contract that is limited to 6 months or less. In a competitive market, it can take less than 30 days to sell a home. If your contract is longer than 6 months or you haven’t sold your home in that timeframe, you may want to be released from your contract to look at alternative means.
• Ask for references before you hire a listing agent and take a look at their online reviews as well. Vet your potential real estate agent candidates as much as you can, including searching the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if they have any complaints.
#3 Slowest – Selling By Owner
Pros With FSBO Selling
Selling your house by yourself, (what’s known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO) ultimately means you can avoid losing 5-6% of your equity towards paying a real estate agent’s commission and additional fees.
Plus, in the event that you’re putting your house up for sale, finding a buyer shouldn’t be too challenging as long as you’re in a competitive market area, you’ve priced it correctly, and the home is in good condition.
Cons With FSBO Selling
When trying to sell your own property, you’ll need to get quickly educated on all the closing documents you and your buyer will need in order to successfully and legally complete the sale.
Be prepared for “bargain shopper” offers from homebuyers that scour listings for a good deal. You’re most likely going to be lowballed due to the fact that you’re selling by yourself.
You’ll need to research and arrange for an attorney and title company to help you complete the transaction.
You also will only have access to a very limited amount of information. It will be entirely up to you for coming up with realistic pricing, completing inspections, and a whole slew of other assessments that are commonly conducted.
You’ll also need to be mentally and financially prepared for less-than-ideal scenarios and timelines. You may have a property that sits on the market longer than you’d expect.
You may have to rent the home out to cover costs until you can find a buyer. There’s also the chance of paying for two mortgages longer than you’d like. Worst case scenario, you may end up in foreclosure on a property you don’t even want in the first place.
• Make sure your listing is high-quality and honest. Have professional pictures taken and include full details in the description. Be completely upfront and honest on the repairs that are needed.
You’re required by law to disclose anything that is wrong with the property. Failure to do so can get you into some serious legal troubles.
• Never turn down a showing opportunity. It may be inconvenient, but when trying to sell your property the FSBO way, you need to immediately jump on every opportunity.
This means planning your personal schedule around showings, not the other way around. This will get your property closer to locking down a contract.
• Know the realistic price for your property. Don’t base your selling price on emotions or personal financial wishes. You’re going to need to do your research when pricing your property. You not only need to consider the location, but also recent comparable home sales in your area.
This includes the size of your home, any repairs that are needed, and more. If you don’t mind spending a little money, you can hire an appraiser to get a fair and accurate price to sell.
How to Sell Your House Fast: Recap and Final Tips
No-one really wants to be in a situation where they have to sell a house quickly. The bottom line when selling your house fast is to do your homework and make sure you’re making the best decision for your unique situation.
If you’re already working with a real estate agent but want to move faster with a cash buyer or by trying to sell on your own, make sure you know the terms of your real estate agent’s listing agreement.
You may be legally and exclusively bound to an agent for a set amount of time before you’re able to sell by other avenues and be released from that contract.
We’re here to dispel the notion that selling a house to a property investor is a scary thing. If a transaction doesn’t make sense for both of us, we’re not going to try to move forward with it.
Contact us today for an all cash offer on your home!