If I Need To Sell My House Fast, What Is The Process?
Owning a house is a great pride for an individual; they carefully renovate each room in a unique manner, if the need for repairs arises, they quickly get to it.
They treat the house as ‘their own’ – because it technically is, but also because your home grows on you – it’s where your happiest moments have taken place, like your graduation and maybe your first wedding anniversary … and also, where you probably brainstormed for your first business or welcomed your first child.
So, all in all, a home can be said to be a very close part of a person – and even if you sell it, you will fondly remember it for years to come.
But somewhere down the road, you might need to sell your house; and there might be a number of reasons for you to do so. Maybe you’re just moving city or country? Maybe you’re downsizing?
Here are a number of reasons why you might be thinking of selling your home:
You’re Relocating To Another Country
Many times in life, people choose to emigrate to foreign lands for a better standard of living or lower living costs. People also move because they have married a foreign spouse. They want to move together in one of their home countries or to another country altogether.
You’re Selling Your Second House
Many families have a second house – whether that’s a regular house, a vacation home, or just one that you moved out of but didn’t quite get to sell yet. A vacant house doesn’t mean that it remains without cost. You still need to pay property taxes for one, and also regularly maintain the place … especially if you haven’t lived there for quite a while and haven’t rented it out as well.
There could be many reasons for downsizing or moving to a smaller place. Maybe you’ve taken a financial hit and you can’t afford to maintain a large or luxury home. Or maybe you’re an old couple who are looking to move to a place that is more manageable by both of you now that the kids have all moved out.
If you’re looking for a way to sell your house fast, you may be wondering about all of your options. There are a few different ways to go about it, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. You can try to sell it yourself, use a real estate agent, or take out a loan against the property.
Moving Due To A Job Transfer
This is a fairly common reason to sell your house and it’s usually when people need to sell a house quickly as well. The transfer position may require you to start in a month and you need to sell the house earlier than that (say, 3 weeks) to be able to set up a base in the new country properly.
Selling Due To A Financial Emergency
One of the major reasons to sell your house quickly is because you’ve fallen on hard times – especially true for many cases in the last couple of years because of the financial impact Covid-19.
Even if that was not the case, maybe you had a financial emergency because someone from your family required extensive surgery and prolonged hospital care (and with the healthcare costs in some countries being extremely high), you might’ve spent your life savings on the surgery and subsequent care.
Now whatever the scenario, a financial emergency usually spells disaster if you’ve not got a secondary or passive source of income already established and you need to sell off your house to recover from your financial predicament.
You Have An Inherited House You Want To Get Off Your Hands
This scenario is the most similar to the ‘second home’ case, you (and your siblings) might have inherited your parent’s home which you all now want to put on the market.
You unexpectedly lost your job and can’t fulfill mortgage obligations on time. The mortgage company has started a foreclosure but you’re still independent and able to sell your house. The timeframe in this case is probably a month or two.
How To Sell Your House Fast
Now that we’re done with the reasons that you would want to sell your house, let’s see the process of selling your house quickly. This section will cover two scenarios:
1) Selling your house after due process
2) Selling your house as-is
1) Selling your house after due process
This is the route most homeowners usually go through when selling the house. There’s a proper procedure involved and it may take a little longer than the ‘as is’ process, but you’ll likely get a higher price for such a house.
Here’s the process:
1) Make It Ready For Sale
Declutter and clean
Whenever you’re moving out, there’s bound to be lots of stuff you need to sell or that you need to discard. Before you actually bring the buyers in for a visit, make sure you have a clean and well-maintained house.
Dispose of your wastage (old TVs, toys, accessories, and small decorative items) that you will likely not take with you. Sell old furniture that you also don’t want to take along (remember many new buyers are not looking to buy old furniture with your place).
Get the repairs done
Over the course of your stay in your home, many repair jobs come up, ones which were small you might have been delaying. Well, now is the time to get them done.
Make a list of all the things in your house that are not in a proper working position and then call in professionals and let them do all the needful.
Get A Fresh Coat Of Paint
You don’t need to go and paint every inch of your home, just the rooms that are in a more ‘unkempt’ condition than others. You could have the whole house painted as well – this might lead to a favorable opinion of your home by buyers and which will also (potentially) help you fetch a higher price.
Get An Inspection
This is not really a necessity when you’ve already carried out the repairs and your home has no long-term issues, but it serves to allay any buyer fears. Buyers may be suspicious of sellers not revealing the whole truth about the condition of the house … so it helps to get a professional opinion to set them at ease.
Make All The (Proper) Cosmetic Improvements
This does not mean that you make extensive changes to your house’s interior or exterior, just that you get in a pleasing enough ‘shape’:
- Trim and prepare your garden
- Fix any broken driveway bricks or tiles
- Fix any broken lights
- Paint your gate and your front door
Basically, make the first impression count.
Now that you’re done with preparing your house for the sale, it’s time to move on to the actual sale.
Put Your House On The Market
There are two main ways to sell your house; either sell it with an FSBO (for sale by owner) approach or actually approach an agent and let him carry the process.
For Sale By Owner
Owners might want to sell their homes by themselves because:
1) They want to save the 3% in agent commission. If you have a high-end, pricey home, this could amount to a fairly decent sum. Please note that you’ll still have to pay the 3% for the buyer’s agent.
If you do go the FSBO route, ideally, you must already be a pro at negotiations and know the ins and outs of selling a house – including the legal and paperwork involved.
Most importantly, be a genuinely nice seller. This matters a lot to buyers, who have nearly the same goals as you – except the selling part. They’re also looking to buy in a hassle-free, trusted way and are looking to deal with a seller who is a pleasure to work with.
Being accommodating and understanding buyer needs may just get you a higher price from a buyer who is actually able to pay you higher – because of their great experience in dealing with you.
2) They already know someone in their network who has shown substantial interest in their property, and it’s only a case of getting the deed done.
3) If your area is what you call a ‘hot market’, properties are high in demand in your area (seller deficit and buyer surplus) and get snapped up quickly. This scenario is very beneficial for you, as this probably means that you’ll be able to charge higher prices for a decent property.
Through An Agent
If you don’t want to get into the hassle of negotiations and preparing the paperwork, you’ll need to get an agent involved. Since real estate agents have the 24/7 job buying and selling houses, they can get the process streamlined (including the legal stuff) and get it done much quicker.
Also, agents have access to an MLS – a multi-listing service that is exclusive to agents – which gets your house noticed by a lot more buyers and thus stands a chance to be off your hands quicker. You will, obviously, have to pay their 3% commission once the house is sold.
Price Your House Competitively
Through consultation with your agent (or without), decide on an asking price for your property. Setting it too high may cause buyers to completely ignore your offering (or listing) for being a non-starter price.
Setting it too low may get you a horde of buyers ready to snap up your house, but it may leave you with significantly less cash than you might have hoped.
What you need to do is, after a review of the prices of (similar) houses in your area- set a price of 10%-25% more than the rate of your area – and then be able to negotiate a respectable sum with any buyers.
You must also keep in mind that since you do want to sell your house fast, you might prefer a cash option for it. If the buyers are ready to pay cash, you will obviously need to offer a discount.
Get The Paperwork In Order
Whether you’re doing it the FSBO route or the agent route, you (or the agent) will need to get the paperwork ready – once you have a buyer and the price decided.
Depending on your State, this could take anywhere from a week to a month (or more).
Seal The Deal And Get Your Payment
You’re nearing the end of the selling your home process. Now what needs to be done are just three things:
1) Sign the contract
2) Pay your agent
3) Collect your payment
This was the process of selling your house when you’re following due process. But what if you’re really short on time and need to sell your as is? As fast as realistically possible?
Here we’ll go through a brief process of selling your house as is. If you’re interested in the detailed process, please see Selling A House As Is: Here’s What You Need To Know
Selling A House As Is
While selling a home as is, the process is different in some ways from a regular house sale.
First, what does it mean to ‘sell a house as is’.
It simply means that you’re selling the house in its current condition, because you need to move out exceptionally quickly or in need of money immediately.
1) Set Your Timeframe And Prepare Your House
When do you need the house off your hands? A week? Two weeks? Are you in a financially tight position or can you wait a bit? Your particular conditions will decide the duration of the selling process (from your side).
You don’t need to make any repairs in that time (selling a house ‘as is’ denotes that no repairs are made), but if you do, it’ll count in your favor price-wise.
2) Get an inspection done
You may continue without this, but you’ll see that a lot of buyers then may be unsure if all the defects (if any) of the house have been fully explained (and listed on paper).
You must, of course, let them know of all defects honestly and fully. If you do get an inspection done, it will save you from explaining defects to buyers again and again.
3) Get an agent
In an ‘as is’ case, going the FSBO route isn’t the most logical option. It’ll cost you time. Instead, get an agent, let them schedule buyer visits, handle the paperwork, and hopefully, you’ll have the house off your hands in no time.
4) Set A Price
In consultation with your agent, set a price for your house. This may be a little below market value or up to 20% more (if you want to keep room for negotiation). It will all depend on how quickly you want to get the money and what price you’re willing to settle for.
5) Consider The Cash Option
A lot of ‘as is’ sellers need money quickly, even if they’re getting 10-20% below their asking price. If the buyer makes a cash offer, you might need to consider it even at the reduced price.
6) Sign The Contract and Get Your Payment
With everything else ready it’s time to sign the contract for both parties, and for you to collect your payment.
You will also need to pay your agent the usual 3% commission – if you hired an agent.
That’s it for the ‘as is’ process.
Whatever your need for selling your house, you may need to sell it as fast as possible. We hope this guide was helpful in answering your questions regarding a quick house sale.