Frequent Questions to Consider When You Need to Sell Your Home Fast

Picture this!  You have lived comfortable in your home for a number of years, but you have recently had a life change.   It could be anything.  You could have had a run of bad luck.  Your job could have been transferred without any relocation assistance.  Your parents need you to move back home to take care of them.  A divorce could be looming on the horizon.  Despite the reason, you find yourself in a position to have to sell your house quickly.   When you go an online, you are hit with a barrage of possible options when it comes what to do.  After reading everything for an hour, you feel less sure about what to do than you did before you started looking online.   To make matters worse, you have started to get emails, phone calls and letters from everyone promising you to sell your home, or buy your home.   You don’t know what to do.  

In order to help you with your decision making and give you some focus, here are some frequent questions to consider when you need to sell your home fast.   First thing to remember is that sometimes life throws your curve balls.  You shouldn’t get down on yourself for what life brings your way and selling your house should just be the first step towards the next chapter in your life.  You can get through this!  You can sell your house!

 Here are the frequent questions to consider.

Should I try to sell the house myself? 

It might seem like taking on the task of selling the home yourself would be a wise move,  After all, who is going to work hardest for you other than yourself.   However, the National Association of Realtors have some interesting facts about For Sale By Owners that might make you think twice about your decision to sell your home yourself.   Please make sure to take a close look at the most difficult tasks homeowners encountered and how much the average for sale by owner received for the sale of the house.  Are you sure you want to sell it yourself?  

  • FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2015. The typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
  • FSBO methods used to market home:
    • Yard sign: 33%
    • Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 21%
    • Online classified advertisements: 10%
    • Open house: 21%
    • For-sale-by-owner websites: 7%
    • Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.): 9%
    • Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website: 13%
    • Print newspaper advertisement: 3%
    • Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 2%
    • Video: 1%
    • None: Did not actively market home: 41%
  • Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:
    • Getting the right price: 18%
    • Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 13%
    • Understanding and performing paperwork: 12%
    • Selling within the planned length of time: 3%
    • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 3%

Should I sell to an investor? 

I am sure you have received your fair share of communications from investors wanting to assist you in getting out from underneath your mortgage very quickly.  Be forewarned, however, investors are business people (nothing wrong with that!) and will be interested in getting the best deal possible, even if it means you get a lot less than you were hoping for your home.   When the investor comes knocking, it wouldn’t hurt to hear what they have to say.  Have your attorney, or at least another person, look over the contract closely to ensure that you are not getting scammed.  There are plenty of shady characters in the real estate investing game and they will not think twice about preying on homeowners needing to sell fast.  Don’t get me wrong here.  There are plenty of very honest caring investors.  You just have to take care to protect yourself.   If the investors seems on the up and up and you are comfortable with the deal, there is no reason not to sell to them.   If you need to know more, check out the National Association of Realtors article on the matter. 

Should I rent out the house?  

If your family is anything like mine, I am sure you have had your father or Uncle or Aunt or Grandmother tell you that you don’t need to sell your house at all, just rent it out for a couple hundred dollars more than your mortgage.  You can use your home as a way to generate cash.  It’s easy!    I wish this was true.   The first question you really need to address is can you afford to carry two mortgages (assuming your are still going to buy another house to live in).  Most lenders look closely at the debt to income ration as way to determine if you are credit worthy.  The second mortgage might be out of bounds for your income. level.   Even if you can carry two mortgages (or plan to rent your new place), you still have to live the life of a landlord, which is neither glamorous or easy.   You have to find a tenant and I know that most tenants don’t qualify at the base level.  Once you are lucky enough to find a tenant, you then have to collect your rent every month, and figure out a way to collect if you don’t get the monthly rent.   You also have to be on call 24/7 in case something goes wrong with the property that needs immediate addressing.   Of course, you could always hire a property management company to do all of this for you, but their cut of the monthly lease would eat away at the little profit you would realize.   Still don’t believe me.  Check out this article for a look at the life of a small time landlord.   On the other side of the coin, if you don’t mind the landlord hassle and can make it work financially, renting a former primary residence can be quite rewarding and fruitful.   

Do I want to use a realtor? 

It might be self serving for me to write about the benefits of a realtor (and it is), but in this market today (a seller’s market with very little inventory), the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a realtor to get your house on the MLS.   The realtor will first work with you on getting your house ready to sell. What repairs need to be made?  What updates should you consider?   Which can be done in the short time frame and limited resources you have available. At the same time, the realtor will advise you on the sales price of your property.  This is a very important step!  A overpriced house completely neglects the benefit of using the Multiple Listing Service for a quick sale.   If you want to sell the house fast, mark the property lower than market and watch the offers flow into your realtor’s inbox.  Everybody loves a deal on a good house.  Your realtor will present the house for sale in a way to make the deal stand out so buyers can get excited about the advantages of moving fast on the house.   House sell quickly on the MLS today because of the limited number of options available.  Buyers are hungry to find a home.    What about the realtor’s sales commission?  Won’t this cut down on my profit?  It might, but you might be surprised, because generally houses sell for more on the MLS.  Like it was mentioned in previous section, most For Sale By Owner properties, sell for significant less and selling to an investor is a guarantee to get less for your home.  If you are not going to lose any money by hiring a realtor, then why not do it to save yourself some stress and heartache.