Sell My House Fast: A Guide For Home Sellers

7 Min Read
Updated Feb. 23, 2024
Written By
Jamie Johnson
Young Asian woman unpacking a box in her home.

Moving is always stressful, but it’s even more challenging if you need to sell your house fast. You want to move quickly to find a buyer and close on the property, but you also want to get the best price possible.

Fortunately, there are many strategies you can implement to speed up the sale of your home. So if you’ve been wondering how you can sell your house fast, this article will outline key steps you can take.

Why Do You Need To Sell Your Home Fast?

There are many legitimate reasons a homeowner may need to sell a home quickly. Maybe you’re going through a divorce or need to relocate for a job. Or perhaps you inherited a house you don’t want, and the upkeep is more than you can handle.

However, there is a difference between selling a primary residence quickly and selling a rental property. For one thing, selling a rental property can result in capital gains taxes, which will vary depending on your tax filing status.

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How To Sell A House Fast

For many people, the home selling process can take months, even if you’re operating in a seller’s market. If you’re wondering how to sell a house fast, here are six ways to get started:

1. Hire The Right Listing Agent

A good listing agent or REALTOR® can make all the difference in selling your home quickly. The right person will guide you through listing your home and help your property get more exposure. Your agent will also stage the house, set up showings, and weed out unqualified buyers.

If you’ve never worked with a real estate agent, you may want to start by asking friends and family members for referrals. It’s also a good idea to research agents specializing in quick home sales for that area. Once you’ve found a potential candidate, meet with that person to ensure they’re someone you’ll work well with.

2. Price Your Home To Sell

The asking price can be the crucial factor determining how quickly that house sells. Everyone wants to get the best price for their home sale, but if you’re hoping to sell quickly, you want to price the house competitively. If you overprice your home, it will sit on the market longer.

Your listing agent will start by determining the fair market value of your home and, from there, can determine the right price to expedite the sale. And if it’s a seller’s market, setting a low initial price could spark a bidding war.

3. Clean, Declutter And Stage

When potential buyers walk into your home, they want to be able to see themselves living there. Presenting a home that’s cleaned, decluttered and staged makes that easier and increases the odds the house will sell quickly. Decluttering can be tedious, but the process may be easier if you move some of your possessions into a short-term storage space.

4. Pick The Right Time To List

Timing the sale is another way to help your home sell quickly. Data shows that spring tends to be the best time to list a home and that new homes listed sell the fastest in March. It’s best to sell your home before September since many families want to be settled before the start of a new school year.

However, if you have to sell your home during a slow season, there are several strategies you can use. Improving the curb appeal and making high ROI improvements to your home will help set your house apart to potential buyers.

5. Make Repairs Or Sell As Is

If there are any existing issues with your house, you’ll want to address them before listing the home on the market. Otherwise, you risk getting drawn into negotiations over home repairs, which will slow down the sales process. If you’re unable to make repairs, you can sell the home as is and lower the asking price.

6. Sell To Someone You Know

Another option is to use a non-arms-length transaction to sell to a family member. This may work best as a for sale by owner (FSBO) arrangement, saving you money on the listing agent’s commissions.

However, non-arms-length transactions can have their own challenges. If the sale is subject to capital gains taxes, the IRS may dispute the declared property value. And non-arms-length transactions have a higher risk of fraud, so it may be harder to find a mortgage lender.

Fast Home Selling Options To Avoid Or Approach With Caution

If you research ways to sell your home fast, you may be presented with the following suggestions. However, these three options come with significant risks and should be avoided wherever possible:

iBuyers Or Cash Offers

An iBuyer is a real estate firm that purchases homes online, sight unseen. You’ll send them your property information, and they’ll send you an offer within 48 hours, which you can either accept or decline.

The problem with iBuyers is that you’ll typically receive a low offer since the company intends to flip the home quickly. For that reason, you should only consider this option in extreme circumstances.

Selling Your Home At Auction

If you have a unique home that’s difficult to appraise, you might consider selling it at auction. Selling your home at auction eliminates the need to it fix up and stage it, and since buyers are competing for the property, you may get a pretty good price for it. And the people who attend auctions are usually serious buyers.

But putting your home up for auction doesn’t guarantee it’ll sell. Not every auction is well-attended, and you may be unable to find an interested buyer. And if it does sell, you still may not get the price you were hoping for.

Short Sale

If you’re currently underwater on your home — you owe more on the property than it’s currently worth — you may be considering a short sale. In a short sale, you make an arrangement with your lender to sell the property for less than the balance you currently owe on your mortgage.

If you’re in a difficult financial situation and need to get out of your home immediately, a short sale may be a good option. Your lender will receive all of the proceeds of the sale, and you get to avoid foreclosure.

But a short sale will still leave a negative mark on your credit report. And your lender may have the option to pursue a deficiency judgment requiring you to repay the difference.

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Is Selling A House Fast The Right Strategy For You?

Selling your home quickly may make sense, but there are other factors to consider before moving forward.

Buying Your Next Home

Selling your home quickly can be easy in a seller’s market, but buying another home may not be as simple. If the real estate market is competitive, you may have a hard time finding another home to purchase.

Or if prices are high, you may not be able to find one you can afford. Before listing your home and accepting an offer, talk to your real estate agent about your options for buying another house. 

Tax Implications Of Selling A House Fast

It’s a good idea to speak to an accountant about the potential tax implications of selling a house fast. For example, if you’ve lived there for less than two years, you may not qualify for the capital gains exemption.

Selling Vs. Renting

If you’re operating in a buyer’s market and home prices are low, selling your house may not make financial sense. You should talk to your REALTOR® and consider whether it makes more sense to sell or rent your home.

The Bottom Line

Selling a home isn’t easy, and it can take months to fix up the house, find a qualified buyer, and go through closing. But if you need to sell your house fast, there are strategies you can implement to speed up the process. Using an experienced real estate agent, pricing your home competitively, and listing the property at the right time can help your home sell faster.

If you’re selling your home so you can buy a new one, it’s a good idea to today. That way, when your home does sell, you’ll be ready to close on your new house.

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Get matched with a lender that will work for your financial situation.