Tips on How to Sell a House Fast
By Steve Gillman - 2009
A lot of advice out there on how to sell a house fast revolves
around better advertising and better presentation. Those are
good places to start, but they ignore the single most important
factor in making a quick sale. That factor is the price. To sell
fast you need to price right. When homes are selling in two months
in your area and yours hasn't sold for six, it's probably priced
This becomes especially important during housing slumps like
the current one (this is being written in 2009). If you sit on
your house for six months due to wrong pricing, the prices in
the area may have dropped another 5% while you waited. That can
hurt you quite a bit. For example, on a $200,000 home it would
mean that now you need not only to drop the price to where it
should have been to begin with, but $10,000 lower due to further
price declines. Over-pricing means you might actually make far
In addition to delaying the sale by pricing a home too high,
there are holding costs if you don't live in the house while
trying to sell it. Taxes, insurance, and possibly maintenance
and utilities all have to be paid. Additional time and money
will be spent advertising and showing the home. Eventually you'll
have to price it right, and then you'll have to start advertising
all over. You will pay to market your home twice if you don't
get it right the first time.
Those additional costs are never recovered. In other words
you might be better off aiming for the faster sale at a lower
price from the start. Though it is possible that waiting could
mean finding a buyer who will pay a few thousand more, if you
have spend that much more in the meantime, you just added stress
to your life for no actual gain in the end.
Another thing about "right" buyers is that they
often pass on by over-priced homes. Then you might later sell
it to someone who won't pay as much as the other buyer would
have had the price not scared him off. And while the price is
higher, all buyers whose price range is just below your price
will never see your house. They enter their criteria into an
MLS search, for example, and your home won't show up in the selection,
even though they might have paid more than the eventually selling
Homes that have sat unsold for a year make people suspicious
too. They might be less likely to make an offer even if you have
finally lowered the price. They may be thinking, "That's
the house that has been for sale forever. I wonder what's wrong?"
Over-priced homes also may not close easily. Suppose you're
lucky enough to find a buyer at your inflated price. Don't hold
your breath - the sale isn't made just because an offer is signed.
When the appraisal comes in lower than the price, they might
not be able to get the loan they need.
Pricing to Sell a House Fast
By now I have hopefully convinced you of the need to properly
price your house from the start. That price should be not too
low, but especially not too high. Try for just a little more
than what the market is likely to pay. You want to be close enough
to the market value to avoid the over-pricing problems outlined
above, but with some room to drop the price so buyers can feel
good about their negotiating skills.
That's a good formula for normal times. But with real estate
values still dropping in many areas, it actually makes sense
to price it a little lower than current market value right now.
That's is how to sell a house fast today. Keep in mind that you
save the costs of holding onto the home, and avoid the risk of
having to lower the price even further later, so that lower price
doesn't necessarily cost you.
Another page to check out:
How to Sell a House -
Free e-book now on the pages of this site!