How to Sell Your House in 24 Hours
If you're thinking about selling your home, there are two things that you probably want: to sell it for a high price, and to sell your house fast with as little hassle as possible.
We recently sold our home in just over 24 hours and had five offers. Our first offer came in above asking price within 7 hours of the house being listed, and we had the purchase agreement signed just over 24 hours after listing. How did we do it? (See also: 5 Tips to Sell Any Home Fast)
Be Emotionally Ready to Sell
Perhaps the largest roadblock to selling a house quickly is that you aren't emotionally ready to sell, and so you don't take the steps you need to get your house ready to market. If you aren't ready, you won't take your realtor's advice about getting rid of mementos because you'll be personally offended. Or you won't fix things because you'll think that the buyers will be OK with the damage — just as you lived with it all these years. If you're not sure whether you're ready to sell, ask yourself the questions in this checklist at Women's Money Week. Only once you are ready to let go of your home will you be able to get in the best place for a quick sale.
Prepare, Stage, and Get Rid of Stuff
The No. 1 way to sell your house quickly is to have it 110% prepared. This takes A TON of work.
We spent at least 100 hours preparing our house to list. We packed up clutter, painted ceilings, put away personal photos and mementos, and moved furniture to the garage and basement closet. We had a full truckload of giveaway items and sold a number of things on Craigslist, and we staged the house using tips from a book from the library. Friends and family said they didn't recognize the listing pictures of our house because it looked so different from all of the staging and decluttering we did.
Use a Realtor
In our area it's a seller's market, and we probably didn't need to use a realtor. That said, it's highly unlikely that you'll sell your house fast without a realtor. Besides the knowledge and skill they possess with years of experience, they also have the administrative support to handle everything from calls scheduling showings to fax machines that receive the offers. A realtor will help you sell your house as quickly as possible.
Use Your Realtor's Listing Price
This piece of advice is going to be controversial — but I believe that you should list your home at the listing price your realtor recommends. Ideally, you'll have interviewed several realtors and have chosen the one that you feel is the best experienced in your market. If that's the case, choose a list price in the range he or she suggests based on market research. Ask to see the comps he's put together for the price — and do some research on your own, too. Even if you think you should sell your home for $5,000 more than the price, follow your realtor's advice. The reason? Your realtor is your salesperson. If he doesn't believe 100% that it's a great product at the right price, he's not going to be able to convince buyers that it is, either.
Be Prepared When You Go Live on MLS
The moment your home goes live on the MLS listings, it should be ready to sell. The outside should be in top shape, as you don't know how quickly someone will drive by to take a look. We had our first showing one hour after our home was listed on MLS. If we had planned to still be doing work at that time, we could have missed out on an offer.
When the Offers Come In, Make an Educated Decision
In order to have your home sell quickly, you have to be ready to accept an offer. This means knowing what you want in an offer — closing date, percentage down, earnest money, etc. No two offers are exactly the same. For instance, while you may walk away with the same amount of money from two offers, someone who puts 20% down and a large earnest money check is going to have more cash available than someone who puts just 5% down. Why is cash important? Because if there are problems with the inspection or appraisal, the person with more cash is going to be better able to cope with those issues than the person with less cash. By understanding what criteria are important to you, you'll be able to quickly evaluate offers and sign the purchase agreement.
If you've sold your home before, what did you do to ensure that it sold quickly?