Some home sellers have the luxury of being able to take their time and sell their property for the asking price they feel the property is worth. But are you really making more money when you wait for the perfect buyer?
When you wait to sell a property, you accrue what are called holding costs. These are tax payments, mortgage payments, utility costs, and property maintenance. When you own the property, you are responsible for holding costs until you sell the property.
There are also added costs that come into play if you try to sell your home the traditional way. Real estate agents add thousands to your selling price for their commission, and your agent will probably recommend expensive repairs and remodeling projects to maximize your property’s value. You can avoid all of this by selling your property by yourself, and advertising it as being sold as-is.
What if you need to sell your existing property quickly to avoid financial ruin? Some of the reasons people sell properties fast include:
- It is the out-of-town home of a deceased relative and now you are responsible for monthly holding costs.
- You just got a job in a new city and you need to sell your current home quickly.
- You are too far behind on your mortgage to catch up and you need to sell your home before it goes into foreclosure.
Most of the information you will find online is generic and geared towards broad ways to sell a home quickly. We want to offer you specific advice that you can actually use to get that fast closing day that you need. For example, you should consider taking a low price to sell your home quickly because of the financial threats posed by holding costs and other fees. Not many resources will recommend taking a lower price to sell quickly, but that is the kind of real advice we want to offer to you in this comprehensive guide to selling your home quickly.
Utilizing these strategies may even give you the option of selling at above market value for your home. If your property needs repair but would still pass a home inspection, then your market value is going to be lower than other homes in your neighborhood. Luckily for your situation, you are not concerned about the other homes in your area. You can sell your home as-is for market value and sell it quickly. Let’s take a look at the more comprehensive ways you can use to sell your home fast.
Facebook and LinkedIn Groups
If you are a regular on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook, then you have access to thousands of potential buyers in your area. Branch out into other social media platforms and start joining local community pages and “sell your own home” pages to find buyers. Social media is filled with people who are looking to buy cheap homes, and all you need to do is go to where the buyers are.
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that has plenty of people who are looking for new homes as they move to your city for a new position. Be sure you post your home for sale on the appropriate LinkedIn groups, and remember to get your home listing out to everyone on Google through Google+.
Snapchat and Instagram are filled with young couples who are excitedly looking for their first or next home. Get a profile on those platforms and start reaching that target audience you need to sell your home right now.
Do-It-Yourself Real Estate Websites
When you decide to save money by selling your home without an agent, you are not alone by any means. There is plenty of support out there in the form of extremely active do-it-yourself real estate websites that constantly bring together buyers and sellers. Some of the more active sites include:
You can create your own listing and share that listing with the local area, or potential buyers from all over the country. Remember that someone who is moving in from out-of-town may love your property and will do a quick sale with you to solve their own home buying problem. You might even find someone who is living in the city where you are moving to and buy each other’s homes for a quick solution to both of your problems.
With these websites, you can add pictures of your home and most of the websites also allow for video. You can include all of the pertinent information a buyer would need such as estimated taxes, estimated utilities, and neighborhood information. These sites are an excellent way to expedite the real estate sales process.
Put Up Classified Ads
Despite the relative decline in newspaper printing these days, there is still a large contingency of people who buy newspapers specifically for the classified ads. If you read the classified ad section of your local newspaper, you will notice a lot of real estate ads from agents and homeowners, and that is not a coincidence. Most local newspapers also put your print ad online to give it even more exposure.
You can also use online classified advertising websites such as Craigslist to get your information out to people all over the world. Whether in print or online, your classified ad should let people know that you are anxious to sell as soon as possible. This will help to bring out the people who are truly interested in buying your property right now. The classified ad websites usually allow you to include pictures of your property, and also allow you to include a map to show where your property is located. You can find example of good classified ads below.
Bandit signs are those yellow or red plastic signs you see all over your city that say “house for sale,” and then list a handwritten phone number. When you see those professional looking signs sitting side-by-side with handwritten signs on yellow paper, you might think that the handwritten signs are not getting any response. The truth is that the handwritten signs get more attention than the plastic signs, and that is something you will want to keep in mind.
If you want the plastic signs, you can go to SuperCheapSigns.com and get everything printed on your sign professionally for a low price. No matter what kind of bandit sign you use, it is extremely important to express your urgency in wanting to sell. Using phrases like “priced to sell” and “must sell now” will get you more responses from people who are ready to buy.
Be sure that your signs are up in areas where a lot of people will see them. Intersections, busy parking lots, and major roadways are good places to put bandit signs. Any place where a lot of traffic has to stop or where you know traffic will be slowed down during rush hour is a good spot. Avoid areas where traffic moves smoothly because no one will be able to slow down and read your signs.
One thing to remember about bandit signs is that they are considered a form of guerrilla marketing that is not allowed in some cities. Your signs may get taken down by the police, and you may even get a phone call about a fine for putting up your signs. But for the exposure you will get when the signs are up, any fines or phone calls from the police are small penalties to pay. However, you are allowed to put bandit signs in your own front yard to advertise the sale of your home. Once again, handwritten signs will be more effective than professionally done pieces.
Here are some examples of effective street signs.
Using Professional Resources
If you are really in a bind to sell your home, then investing in some of the professional services that are available to you is an excellent idea. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is an online property index used by real estate professionals to list and find properties. For a fee, there are companies that will allow you to list your property on an MLS listing service, but still go through the process of selling your home by yourself.
If you want the assistance of a real estate agent but do not want to be tied down to one agent, then you can use non-exclusive listing agreements. With non-exclusive agreements, you can still sell the property on your own and avoid paying commission. You can also build an army of agents working on your behalf by signing non-exclusive agreements with multiple agents in your area.
If push comes to shove, your other real estate agent option is to find the rockstar agent in your area and sign an agreement with them. Most rockstars require you to sign an exclusive agreement, but their ability to sell properties fast could be just what you need to get the job done.
Sell Fast To Investors
If you are willing to take an offer below retail and want to sell your house fast, then one of the best options is to contact real estate investors or wholesalers in your area. There is a real estate investing association in your area that holds meetings on a regular basis. You need to find that association, and attend their next meeting with comprehensive flyers and any other information on your home that you have available. Well-designed flyers with professional looking pictures and comprehensive information are going to get investors interested in your property immediately.
If you see any “we buy houses” signs on telephone poles in your area, then call the number because those are wholesalers and they will buy your house fast. You can also find wholesalers online utilizing social media platforms and message boards. Check out local estate sales and see if the estate sale company buys houses, or knows a company that does.
More than likely, you will not get retail value for your home from an investor. But you can negotiate with an investor, and they will buy your house as-is for cash. Expect the experienced investors and wholesalers to have your home inspected, but they are going to be in a hurry to get to the title company and close the deal on your home.
If your mortgage is in trouble, then sometimes an investor will do a “subject to” agreement that will allow the investor to take over your home before the mortgage goes into foreclosure. It is a good way to preserve your credit and sell your home at the same time.
You should also consider looking into the online version of the “we buy houses” investors such as:
We Buy Ugly Homes
You can also use Google searches such as “sell my house fast” or “need to sell my house” to find investors in your area, and nationally. Most of the real estate investors who will buy your home fast use these types of keywords to attract traffic.
Use A Lease Option
A lease option can be a way for you to no longer worry about the payments on your home, and it can also help you get money up front to take care of missed mortgage payments or other financial needs. Before you use a lease option, be sure to check with your mortgage company and make sure such an arrangement is allowed under your loan agreement. If a lease option is not allowed and you get caught, the lender could demand full payment of the loan immediately.
A lease option is basically a “rent-to-own” situation where you are the landlord and the potential buyer is the tenant. The buyer pays you a non-refundable option consideration to execute the lease, and then the buyer pays you rent each month based on the current market value of the home. In most cases, you will not be able to do a lease option for a rent that is lower than the full retail value.
The option consideration is yours to keep and, as long as you do not cancel the lease option agreement before its term, you do not need to refund it to the buyer at any time. If you owe $5,000 on your mortgage, then make the option consideration payment $7,500 dollars to get your mortgage caught up, and put some money in your pocket. The lease option is an agreement between you and the buyer that the buyer will purchase the house in a pre-determined period of time (usually three years) for market price or higher. The final purchase price can be determined by:
Adding 10 percent to the original retail price each year to account for property appreciation
Agreeing to pay whatever the retail price is for the home at the expiration of the lease option
Agreeing to lock in the purchase price when the lease option is signed
The buyer has the right to buy the house for the price agreed when the lease option expires, or the buyer can simply walk away from the deal. Either way, you get to keep whatever money the buyer paid you in rent during the lease option period. It is important to make it clear that rent payments do not go towards the purchase price of the home, or else the buyer will feel like they have equity in the property.
If the buyer decides to exercise their option to buy, then you get the price that was agreed upon when the lease option was signed. If the buyer decides to back out, you get the house back with a current mortgage and you keep all of the money you were paid for the transaction throughout the years.
You can find a sample lease option agreement on our website. It is important to have your attorney look it over to make sure that it has all of the information you need to have a legal lease option agreement in your state or county.
Tips If You Want To Sell At Retail Price
Not everyone is willing to take a lower price to sell a home fast, and that is understandable. If you want to get retail price for your home but you still need to sell it fast, then here are some tips to keep in mind.
Make all major and minor repairs to your home immediately. If you want someone to buy your home fast for full retail price, then they need to fall in love with your home on first sight.
Another way to create love at first sight is to improve your curb appeal. Keep your lawn mowed, your hedges trimmed, and the outside of your home clean and repaired. The curb appeal to your home will often decide whether or not a buyer is interested in opening the front door to see what is inside.
You need to learn to stage your home properly. This means getting rid of clutter, removing personal items such as family pictures, and removing furniture that takes up too much floor space. Staging your home allows your buyers to envision their possessions in your home, which creates an emotional attachment.
Be sure to have at least one open house per week. If you are in a hurry to sell your home, then the more open houses you have, the better. Advertise your open houses online, in the local classifieds, and with street signs. Have an open house schedule posted on a sign in front of your home so people can see it, and offer brochures people can take with them that have pictures and the open house schedule. Make sure that any pictures you use for selling your home look professional.
Pet odors can turn a potential buyer off in a hurry. During the process of selling your home, find a relative who can take care of your pets for you and clean the house thoroughly to remove pet odors and stains.
If you need to sell your house fast, then it is to your benefit to explore options that are outside the normal methods. Be ready to take some calculated risks, and you should be able to sell your home in no time.