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I Want To Sell My House. What Should I Do?


home seller calculating net proceeds for home sale

Do you want to sell your home fast? If so, you may get lucky with a traditional sale, but cash sales are the quickest on average. Believe it or not, cash sales reached 30% of all home sales in 2021 for the first time in nearly a decade.

If you’ve never sold your home before and don’t know how cash sales work, don’t worry. We have you covered. So, if you’re thinking “I want to sell my house, where do I start,” then make sure to keep reading!

Set a Timeline For Selling

How quickly do you want to sell your house? If you have at least 90 days, then you should have no problem with finding a real estate agent and going the traditional route. However, you will have to consider the costs associated with this, as realtors will take up to 6% of your home’s value in commission.

If you want to sell quickly, you don’t have time to search through a sea of real estate agents and deal with buyers who are having trouble finalizing their mortgage loans. Paperwork and legal issues can get tied up for months, so it’s best to plan ahead for that.

Of course, if you want to sell faster, you’ll need to go for a cash sale. There are plenty of reasons why you may want to sell fast, especially for inherited homes, emergencies, or convenience.

Just understand that the traditional route is a commitment, even with a talented agent. You will need to answer phone calls, review paperwork, and pay more for a lot longer.

Get a Home Evaluation

Valuing your home is very important for a rough idea of pricing. If you’re going the traditional route and have time to wait, then it’s okay to price your home above the valuation to give more room for negotiations. However, this will likely take more time on the sale.

Get a Pre-Sale Home Inspection

Buyers will likely get their own inspections, but it’s a fairly inexpensive task you can do on your own to get ahead of the game. By hiring an inspector in advance, you’ll have an idea of what a buyer’s inspector will find. This will give you an opportunity to make necessary repairs to pass the inspection with flying colors.

Also, this will help avoid contingencies, bumps in the road, or contracts from falling through later on. Believe it or not, around 1 in 20 purchase contracts fall through before closing. It’s important to eliminate confusion or reasons for sales to fall through with a thorough inspection.

For as-is sales, you may not have to pay for an inspection. Instead, let buyers know that the sale is as-is and that they will be responsible for appraisals and inspections if they are interested. However, it may be faster to get an initial inspection yourself. 

Spend Money on Upgrades Wisely

Upgrades can be a boon to your sale or a major money sink. It all depends on what you spend. For example, if you can fix some minor things the inspector mentioned yourself, spend $20 on supplies, and save yourself from knocking off $1,000 from the price, then by all means!

However, if you need to hire a construction crew to come in and renovate your entire kitchen, you’re going to spend anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000. Will it add that amount to the home sale? Almost certainly not.

Some renovations and upgrades will have massive ROIs, especially if you can do them yourself. Increasing curb appeal can increase your home’s value by an average of 7%. You could easily do this by mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, and repainting your front door can go a long way. 

On the other hand, large renovations are generally reserved for your enjoyment while you live there, and you will get a fair return on those costs when you sell the home. If you’re planning on selling soon, these aren’t worth the price unless absolutely necessary. Structural issues or contingencies on your contract will need to be addressed, but don’t go overboard beyond that!

For more information, check out our guide on increasing your home value and which myths to avoid sinking your money into. If you don’t want to put in the money for upgrades, don’t worry. You can always list the home “as-is” to avoid issues with the sale.

Market Your House Appropriately

Once your house is in the right shape for the sale, it’s time to market your home online. You just need to find the right platforms and techniques for your specific sale.

Traditional Home Marketing

If you want to go the traditional route, your real estate agent will likely handle this part for you. This will start with staging and photographing your home. From there, they will list it on appropriate platforms and schedule times to meet with interested viewers!

Some realtors will have other marketing strategies, and you may have specific requests! Make sure you consult with your agent ahead of time and coordinate a great marketing strategy to reach the widest audience.

Also, if there are any great selling points you have to add, let your agent know so they can put them in the listing. Examples include access to highways or amenities, proximity to local schools, helpful features, recent electrical upgrades, and more!

Fast-Sale Marketing

For marketing to cash-buyers, you may need to do some of this work yourself. The process is very similar, but you will need to upload your photos and sale to the right platforms and use the right messaging. It’s important to be clear about your timeline and asking price with potential buyers to weed out those who won’t be interested.

Stage your home as best as you can, using appropriate lighting tools and your best decorating skills. Try to clean up any clutter and remove anything unsightly if possible. If the house is empty, all you need to do is figure out the lighting and use your best camera!

When you post onto a seller platform, be very clear that this is a cash-only, as-is sale. Let viewers know your desired timeline, asking price, and contact information for the fastest turnaround.

Make Contact

Once you’ve found interested viewers, reach out to them. Now is a good time to set up a viewing if they’re interested. More importantly, make sure they read the listing and are aware if you are looking for cash offers, as-is sales, or anything else.

Request a Cash Offer

If you want to make a fast sale, request a cash offer. Eliminating the approval, underwriting, and finalizing steps with the bank will speed up the process substantially.

Contrary to popular belief, cash sales aren’t always less lucrative. With the traditional selling route, there are many expenses that eat away at the sale price, including:

  • Realtor fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Buyer realtor price negotiations
  • Inspection and appraisal fees
  • Contingency repairs and upgrades

It doesn’t stop there. When the buyer has to pay 5% closing costs, 28-year-high interest rates, and a buyer realtor fee, they want a lower price on the house. It is still a “seller’s market“, so you’re likely to find a reasonable cash buyer that won’t come with all of these fees.

Receive a Preliminary Offer

If you reach out to a cash-buying company or investor, then you should receive a preliminary offer within 24 to 48 hours of making contact. This offer is contingent on the home appraisal and may change after the assessment. If the offer sounds acceptable, arrange a time for an appraisal!

Assess Your Home

Once the interested party is ready, they will assess your home for its condition, typically within the week. After this, you should receive a firm offer on the house. Again, if you want to increase your home value, put in the work before the appraisal for the best results.

Closing

After you receive the offer, closing begins. You and the buyer will simply need to sign a contract, you will need to clear the title, and payment will be disbursed. It’s as simple as that!

I Want to Sell My House Fast

I want to sell my house fast, I want to best price, and I want to do as little work as possible for the sale. If that sounds like you, then the best thing you can do is list your home for an as-is cash sale. To do this, you just need to follow these steps above, list your home, and let the offers roll in!

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