You decided to sell your house, and you can’t wait to buy a new place. Maybe the clock is ticking, and you need to get on with your move or start your new job. So you’re asking yourself, How can I sell my house fast?
To help you feel confident about selling your house faster, we’ll give you the top tips and tricks you need to turbocharge the home-selling process.
What’s the Quickest Way to Sell a House?
First, the quickest way to sell your house and still make a sweet profit is to work with a real estate agent—one who has a long history of selling homes like hotcakes. Sure, there are other gimmicky ways to sell a house even faster. But selling your home to a third-party buyer that quickly resells it usually means a huge cut to your profit. No thanks.
The reason working with an experienced real estate agent is the fastest way to sell your home is because they know how to:
- Price your home right. Overpriced homes scare away buyers and keep your home sitting on the market too long. Agents know how to correctly compare your home to similar homes that recently sold in the area to help you price it right from the start.
- Stage your home for buyers. Even if your house is clearly a dream home, buyers will be hesitant to purchase if it isn’t presented right. Agents help you stage your home in a way that inspires buyers.
- Execute a full-scale marketing strategy. If your home isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier, it may take some creative marketing to highlight its unique features. Experienced agents offer a treasure chest of techniques to target the right buyers.
- Help you pick the right offer. An expert agent knows how to weed out buyers who show signs of slowing down the process—whether that be related to an offer price that’s absurdly low or some kind of fishy contingencies.
- Negotiate the best deal. When it comes to negotiating a $300,000 price tag, it’s nearly impossible to avoid going back and forth before reaching an agreement. An agent who handles big ticket negotiations every day knows how to help you land a fair deal quickly and smoothly.
Remember, an experienced real estate agent has been through the entire home-selling process countless times already. They’ll guide you through every step and help you fix or avoid mistakes so you don’t waste any time selling your home.
What’s the Quickest Time to Sell a House?
For the last couple of years, homes sat on the market for a median of three weeks before selling1 Remember, median means that half of all homes sold faster and half sold slower than that—depending on the location and time of year. (Hint: Spring is prime time for selling).
Find expert agents to help you sell your home.
But hey, if you work with an incredible real estate agent in a hot market, your home could sell within a day. No joke—it can really happen. In certain areas of the country, it’s not uncommon to receive multiple offers in one weekend!
To be clear, we’re talking about how long it takes to sell—meaning to go from listing to contract.
If I Sell My Home by Myself (FSBO), Will It Sell Faster?
If you do what’s known in the real estate biz as for sale by owner (FSBO)—or selling solo without an agent—there’s a chance you could sell your home faster. In fact, last year 77% of FSBO homes sold in less than two weeks.2 But don’t let the stats fool you—most of these homes were sold to someone the sellers already knew. And if you don't have a buyer already lined up, it could slow down the process considerably.
Plus, last year, agent-assisted homes sold for $24,000 more than FSBO homes—and even if you subtract agent commission fees, selling with an agent still puts around $10,000 more in your pocket than selling by yourself.3 Is selling your home just a week faster worth missing out on ten grand? Probably not.
Besides, if you need your home sold in a jiffy, just let your agent know your timeline. It’s what they do for a living.
How Can I Sell My House Fast for a Good Price?
Okay, so you’ve contacted an agent, but what can you do to help your home sell faster? If all else fails, there’s one tried-and-true trick that’s proven to reduce your home’s time on the market—and the answer is (drum roll, please): home staging. It’s true! Most sellers’ agents agree that staging your home before selling it helps you receive an offer faster.4
If your budget’s tight, you may think you can’t afford to stage your home. But Dawn Kirkland, a real estate agent in Birmingham, Alabama, offers five free tricks to help you sell your house quickly.
1. Channel Your Inner Neat Freak
You always knew your tidying tendencies would come in handy one day. Now it’s time to clutter-bust your way to buyers’ hearts!
Dawn admits decluttering isn’t rocket science—but it is the key to creating a pleasing environment. Pay particular attention to common junk magnets like:
- Kitchen and bathroom counters
- Fireplace mantels
- Laundry room shelves
- Magazine racks
No decluttering advice would be complete without a call to streamline your closets. “If your closet is crowded, I’m going to think my stuff won’t fit,” Dawn says. Wow buyers by showing them how much space there is for stuff—not how much stuff there is in the space.
2. Rearrange the Furniture
Once all the clutter’s out of the way, take a step back and look at the big picture. Does your home invite buyers to sit and stay a while? Can buyers flow freely through your home without bumping into things? If not, you’ve got work to do!
Start by putting bulky pieces in storage and moving furniture away from the walls. “Oftentimes, the room is arranged so the children can play in the middle of the room or the TV can be seen easily from every chair and sofa,” Dawn says. Buyers want to walk in and see an open—yet intimate—space that inspires conversation, not channel-surfing.
An experienced agent can lend a fresh eye and help you reimagine your home. “Go to different rooms and see if there are pieces that you can repurpose for the living room to get the effect you want,” Dawn suggests.
3. Think Like a Buyer
Cleaning your home for home showings is common sense. But many folks underestimate just how clean it needs to be.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill weekend tidy-up. Think of it as spring cleaning on steroids. You’ve got to think about what buyers look for and get down to the nitty-gritty so that even the smallest details shine. From ceiling fans and window blinds to baseboards and tile grout, no surface goes unscrubbed!
Don’t forget to get your windows squeaky clean. “There needs to be as much light coming in as possible,” Dawn says.
4. Set the Table
Staging paints a picture for potential buyers so they can envision life in your home. “If I see that a family can live here, I will think my family can live here too,” Dawn explains.
And nothing represents family life quite like the dinner table.
That’s why Dawn recommends giving the dining room some staging attention. Bring your good china, flatware and linens out of hiding. Or add seasonal flair with a dash of bold colors. You don’t have to go over the top with every piece of dinnerware you own. Keep things simple by setting just two places at the table or arranging a decorative centerpiece on top of a neutral table runner. You can find loads of inspiration on Pinterest and Houzz.
Find more staging tips and advice in our free Home Sellers Guide.
5. Bring the Outside In
Make your house feel like home by taking advantage of what’s in full bloom right outside your door. “[Fresh flowers] are so inviting,” Dawn says. “They warm up a room and send the message that this is a really nice space to be in.” If plucking decorations from your yard isn’t an option, stop by your local grocery store and pick out a fresh bouquet that’s already been prearranged. If you run short on vases, display your finds in an antique pitcher or Mason jar for a touch of vintage charm.
And flowers don’t have to be the only star of the show. If you grow your own fruits and veggies, entice buyers with a bowl of fresh produce on the kitchen counter.
And speaking of the outside: If you do have a little cash to spend, here’s what Dawn recommends to sell your house on a tight timeline and a small budget: “If you’ve got $400, I would spend it on paint and mulching the front yard.” Why? Because buyers give you about six seconds to make the sale—three seconds from the curb and three seconds from the foyer.
The Best Way to Sell Your House Fast
Of course, every home is different. Before you spend a dime freshening your home up, ask a real estate agent you trust for advice. Remember, a true pro knows what buyers in your area want and can help you maximize your home’s appeal without busting your budget.
For a quick and easy way to find an agent like that, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We only recommend agents who are experienced in your local market and know just what it takes to sell your house as fast as possible.