How to Sell Your House Quickly
Find out what really sells your house
Discover different methods for selling
Learn the advantages & disadvantages of each method
Make informed decisions for selling your house quickly
Selling your home can be a scary process, especially if this is your first time. But don’t worry, you have several options that allow you to be as involved or as passive in the process as you want. Before you select the best option for you, decide what is important in the sale. Is it more important to get a higher price or to sell as quickly as possible; do you want to be in control of the sale, or do you want someone else to handle the details;
how much money can you afford to pay to locate a buyer?
This report is designed to help you evaluate your options, and make the best selection based on your individual needs and desires. It will provide you with tips for faster sale, and show you the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.
You should spend time reading this entire report, then sit down with any other decision makers to decide your best course of action. Remember, the only way to get your house sold is to start the process.
R easons You Might Need To Sell Fast
There are a variety of reasons that homeowners may require a quick sale of their home.
You have just found your “dream home” and you want to move fast before someone else snatches it away.
Death of a relative. The home they have left you is eating up all of your spare cash and time. Finding a buyer is hard and you don’t really want to bother with all those details.
Your boss has decided you must move to another location and it’s either: live out of a suitcase or sell your current home to buy another.
Divorce: you are splitting up with your partner and need the equity from your current home to buy another. Living in the same house during this process is not an option.
You are a landlord and your tenants have become deadbeats. You just can’t deal with it much longer.
Changes in your financial picture have caused you to get behind in payments and edging closer to foreclosure status.
Home repairs are getting the best of you and you just can’t keep up with them all.
Natural disasters are not always fully covered by insurance and those out-of- pocket expenses are eating you alive.
You bought that cute second home when your income was great, but with the current downsizing in your job you can no longer afford it.
The 100% loan the bank was so generous in offering has also kept you from gaining any equity in your home. You need to get out of that trap and move on with your life.
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, then it is time to follow through on your decision to sell. This report will help you make an informed decision.
T ips For A Quick Sale
Take a step back and look at your house from your buyers’ perspective. What do you see? Is it appealing? Would you have bought this house if it looked like this when you were buying? Walk across the street and look at your house. Is it attractive? Will buyers race to set an appointment to see the house, or race to get away?
The point is to make your house as appealing as possible. Fix it, paint it, clean it. Here are some tips to consider:
Remove clutter. You want your house to appear as spacious as possible. The more clutter, the less spacious it appears.
Are you afraid of your closets? Well, grab some trash bags, a few boxes, and then clean them out. Use a rummage sale, used clothing store, community donation center, resale shop, or just take stuff to the dump if it is no longer usable. You can organize your closets in such a way that they appear roomy by limiting the amount of clothing on the rods.
Has the floor of your garage seen the light of day recently? If not, then it is time to do some serious hanging up, throwing out, and rearranging.
Is there a side to your house that seems to collect stuff? If so, get rid of it. Make your entire yard a pleasant scene.
Make sure your house is clean and organized before each showing to potential buyers. You’ll be amazed at all the stains, fingerprints, pet hair, and dust that have accumulated over the years. Have your entire house professionally cleaned. At the very least, have the carpets steam cleaned.
Repair broken items so they do not become a concern for your prospective buyers.
Remove personal items from walls and tables as these block buyers from seeing your home as their future home.
Be sure that children’s rooms are kept neat and tidy. Remove posters off the walls, keep the beds made, closets cleaned (see above), clothes in the hamper, and the floor clear with nothing lying around.
During a showing, it may be best if your children are not in the house. This could be a very stressful time for them as they see strangers looking through their private space.
Be sure there is a clean, fresh smell when you enter the home. A trick is to use vanilla scented air fresheners, or how about the scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies? The sense of smell is a surprisingly powerful persuader; use it to your advantage with food, candles, flowers, and/or a potpourri pot just before a showing.
You love your pet, but not everyone does. During a showing, keep your pets away from the house if at all possible. Plus, you don’t need more hair to clean up on sofas, carpets, stairs, etc.
Be sure that your pet is not intimidating your buyers. For instance, don’t let your barking pooch prevent your buyers from enjoying the beautiful back yard scenery.
The idea is to create an atmosphere where your potential buyers can easily envision themselves living in your home. Your house is your best investment. Show it off to its best advantage and you will reap the greatest financial reward.
T he Showing
You have worked hard to make this house a home and now you have made the choice to sell it. Someone else comes in and immediately begins to make plans to change everything you have so carefully crafted. Be Careful here!! Selling your home is not about you. Don’t let your emotions ruin the sale.
It is likely that several major life events have occurred in your home: holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings. You are potentially selling a part of your family history. Sellers can become very protective of their property and forget that it is a business transaction, pure and simple. Let your potential buyers make all the plans they want. Remember, the purpose of all that cleaning and prep work was for this moment.
Now take advantage of it. Encourage your buyer to dream and continue to point out the great features of your home.
In fact if you choose to sell the house on your own, you will need to “show” the house to prospective buyers. When the make the appointment to visit, be sure that you have everything set up for the best showing. When they arrive, welcome them and make the buyers feel comfortable. Point out special features of your home, then allow them some private time to walk around so they can get a feel for your home and to talk freely amongst themselves.
Your buyer may also be overwhelmed by emotions such as excitement, fear, uncertainty.
Your job is to remain calm and focused on your goal - Sell The House. Talk to your buyers and help them feel comfortable with their decision. Be prepared to negotiate on items such as price, financing, closing costs, repairs, move-in date, earnest money, and special stipulations. This does not have to be adversarial, but rather about finding a common place where everyone is happy with the outcome.
M ethods for Selling Your House
There are several methods for selling your house, with advantages and disadvantages to each. How fast you will sell your house is dependent on how many other houses are on the market; the current desirability of your neighborhood; the price you are advertising compared to the others on the market; and how your house compares in size, condition, and amenities to the other houses on the market.
There are four methods you can use to sell your house. The first is to employ the services of a real estate agent. They are trained professionals who will assist you in finding a buyer, and will help you with the various steps along the way. They charge a commission based on a percentage (usually between 5% - 7%) of the sales price.
You can also go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route and save the commissions that are charged. When you choose this method, you do the marketing and the advertising of your home to find a buyer. You are in control throughout the whole process. It will be up to you to handle the incoming phone calls; schedule the showings; “sell” the house;
negotiate the terms of your agreement; and complete a Purchase and Sales Agreement.
A variation on the FSBO is to use a flat fee listing service company like BuyOwner.com which will charge you a flat rate fee to help you market your house to find a buyer. They provide marketing tools and some training on how to locate a buyer and negotiate a deal.
The difference between them and a real estate agent is that they show you what to do, and you do it. The agent, on the other hand, handles everything for you.
The final method is to sell directly to a real estate investor. These are individuals in your community who are looking to buy homes on a regular basis. You contact them, tell them about your house, and if they are interested, they will make an offer to purchase your house very quickly.
A dvantages & Disadvantages
Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages to you based on how much you want to pocket yourself from the sale, how much work you want to do yourself, your knowledge of the home selling process, how quickly you need to sell, and the current condition of your home. No one can make this decision for you. It is a personal decision.
You have to think about what you need and want at this point in your life and make the best decision for you. Every one of the methods discussed above is a great, viable way to sell your house. The difference is what you want from the whole experience. With that in mind, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of each of these methods so you can make the best decision for you based on your current situation.
Real Estate Agents
The biggest advantage of using a real estate agent is that they handle the marketing and sales process for you, and you only have to pay them if they find you a buyer. They will advertise your home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is the service that other realtors review when their clients are looking to buy a house. Your home has immediate exposure to all the buyers’ agents. A good agent will also look for other ways to market your house. They will do open houses, place ads in “homes for sale” magazines, and invite agents from other offices to preview your home. And since they provide a lockbox on your door, you do not have to be home for agents to be able to show your house.
When an offer comes in, they will help you with the negotiations, and they will follow up on all the steps required to get you to the closing table.
The disadvantage of using an agent is that you pay a commission on the sale of the house.
As I said earlier, this can amount to 5% - 7% of the sales price of the house. So on a
$100,000 sales price, you would pay them between $5,000 - $7,000 for their services.
Since they are not paid unless they sell the house, many agents will not spend any
additional money to market your house. They are afraid that they may not sell your house, and so they will never get back the money they spent. My question for agents with that attitude is: “If you aren’t sure you can sell my house, why would I want to list with you?”
Which leads to another disadvantage: since the agent works off of commission, if your house is not “easy” to sell, they will often just list it in MLS, but do little else to promote it in the marketplace. You should also be aware that some agents use a concept of listing as many houses as possible with the idea that some will sell, and some will not. They’ll make their money off whichever ones sell. That’s fine for them. But if your home is not one of the houses that happens to sell, it could sit on the market for a long time with no one working to locate a buyer.
Finally, real estate agents lock you into a listing contract for a specified period of time which prevents you from selling the house yourself without paying them a commission.
This works fine when they quickly bring a buyer, but if the process is delayed, it can be very frustrating not to be able to take matters into your own hands and locate a buyer yourself.
Selling Your House Yourself
If you decide to go the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route, you retain full control of the process, and you save the 5% - 7% commission. You can invest your money into marketing to advertise your house by running ads in the paper or in real estate for sale magazines. You decide who enters your home, and when.
The challenge of FSBO is being able to get the information about your house sale in front of enough people quickly to get it sold. Also, everything is left up to you. You will also need to be available to show the house, negotiate the terms of the sale, and complete a
Purchase & Sales Agreement with your Buyer. Be sure to consistently follow-up on the status of their loan application so you have no surprises and no delays before closing.
Flat Fee Listing Services
Flat Fee Listing Services such as BuyOwner.com offer the half way point between the real estate agent and selling the house yourself. They offer some marketing for you, show you ways to market your property, and show you how to walk through the negotiating and contract phase with your potential buyers.
The down side is that there is an up-front cost associated with this service, and no guarantee that you will find a buyer. After going this route, you may still find that you need to contract a real estate agent which means that you will pay for both this service and the agent’s services.
Real Estate Investors
All of the methods for selling your house that we have discussed so far depend on locating a buyer for your house. When you contact a Real Estate Investor, you are dealing directly with someone who wants to buy your house – not list it for sale. If you are looking for a very quick sale, or if your house is not in prime condition, this is often your best alternative. Once you call an investor, they will ask you about your house, the repairs that are needed, your current situation, and why you are selling your home. They’ll use that information to create an offer that works both for you and for them. Generally, they will close (buy your house) as quickly as you need, or stretch out the closing date if you need additional time.
The biggest advantage is that you are dealing directly with a buyer, so once you come to an agreement, your house is as good as sold. All you need to do is start packing. You don’t need to worry about if and when the house is going to sell. You won’t have a bunch
of strangers walking through your house at unpredictable times. And you’ll have no repairs to make since an investor will buy your house in its current condition.
They have all of the necessary forms and will handle everything for you. You just need to show up to closing and collect your money.
If you decide to work with a real estate investor, you’ll want to find one who is concerned with your situation and is looking for a way to structure the sale so you both get what you want. Unfortunately, not every investor is created equal. A good investor has numerous techniques for buying your house, and can create flexible programs that meet your needs.
W hich Is The Best Method?
The best method is different for different people in different situations. When you want to sell a house that is in good condition in a desirable area, and you have the time to wait for a buyer, then any of the first three methods will work for you. If the sales and marketing process scares you, then you should turn it over to a real estate agent to handle the process for you.
If you want to save the commission, and do not mind advertising to find buyers and feel comfortable with the sales process, then you should try the FSBO method. If you need a little help then fee based companies like BuyOwner.com may be your best bet. You pay a fee up front, but they help you with the marketing and sales process. And you will save money.
If, however, your house is in poor condition and needs a lot of repairs; or if you just need to sell quickly with no hassles and no bother, then a real estate investor is your best bet.
And remember, it costs nothing to call them out to give you an offer on your home.