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You've found yourself in a situation where you need to sell your home quickly.

Whether you have accepted a job in a new city, bought a new home, or are facing foreclosure, there are plenty of options to get your home sold fast.

For each of the options below, we'll explain the timeline, risks, and relative sales price so that you can make the decision that gets you the best outcome for you and your family. Depending on your situation different options might be the best fit.

There is one option that allows you to sell your home quickly, for the highest possible price, and it might surprise you. Read on to find out the best way to sell your home quickly.

Enlisting the Help of Real Estate Agents & Realtors

Last year, 89% of home sellers opted to use a real estate agent to list and sell their home. Why?

Simple, an agent takes the guesswork out of real estate transactions. Here is a list of all the areas of the home selling process a traditional real estate agent takes care of:

  • Listing the home on the MLS (Multiple-Listing-Service)
  • Marketing the home on the web (Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc.)
  • Comparative Market Analysis for Price
  • Yard Signs & Lockboxes
  • Photography & Staging
  • Negotiating Offers & Counteroffers
  • Coordinate inspections, title, and closing

More importantly, in a 2017 National Association of Realtors report, homes listed with an agent sold for $249,000 (on average), while homes sold without an agent sold for $190,000 (on average), a difference of 24%.

In addition, the same National Association of Realtors report notes that on average, homes sold with a real estate agent closed 3 weeks, while homes sold without an agent close within 2 weeks. Bear in mind that 68% of those listing without an agent knew the buyer beforehand, decreasing time on market and close price.

To speed up this process even more, a good agent will be able to source buyers that have been pre-approved for a home loan, allowing your home to close in as little as three weeks.

Although listing with a traditional agent can offer some peace of mind during the home selling process, it's far from the quickest option. Traditional agents charge high commission fees, so you have to price your home higher to get the same result.

Listing with a top-rated agent for a reduced commission allows you to list your house for less and receive the same amount at closing, allowing you to sell your house quickly, and for top dollar.

To get connected to a top-rated, local agent that will list your home with a discount on commissions, visit our locations page. Your Clever Partner Agent will charge just $3,000 if the home sells for less than $350,000, or 1% if the home closes for more than that.

Listing For-Sale-By-Owner (FBSO)

The next option to get your home sold quickly is to list it for sale by owner. Seling your home yourself lets you control the price you're asking, without any commission or service fees.

Unfortunately, homes sold by owner usually take longer to sell than homes listed with an agent, unless you already know the buyer.

You can sell your home faster, but you will have to price it for less than it's worth.

The biggest risk of selling For Sale By Owner is that most buyers aren't pre-qualified, and it's common for homes to go under contract more than once, as the first time the buyer's financing might fall through.

Remember, when you sell For Sale By Owner, you are now responsible for the listing, marketing (photos, yard signs, etc.), negotiating, documentation, and legal fees. If you are willing to put in the time and effort you may be able to sell quickly, but the odds are not in your favor.

If you find that the FSBO process isn't going smoothly or quickly enough for your liking, you can always lower your price, or reach out to an agent to get back on track.

What About A Short Sale?

If you have been looking at options to get your home sold, you may have across a real estate transaction known as a “short sale.” The name of the transaction would indicate that some part of the process is shorter or faster, however, that could not be farther from the truth.

In real estate, a short sale is when the lender attached the mortgage of the house agrees to let the seller sell his or her home for less than what is owed.

The most important thing to note is that short sales are the farthest thing from selling quickly.

Short sales can take considerably longer than a traditional real estate sale and not all homeowners are eligible to short sell their home. A homeowner needs to be facing significant financial hardship, unable to stay current on their mortgage payments and facing foreclosure. Even in these circumstances, allowing a short sale is still at the discretion of your lender.

In summary, if you need to sell quickly, stay away from a short sale.

Selling to an Investor or House Flipper

Quite possibly the quickest option to selling your home is selling to an investor or a company that specializes in buying homes for cash, such as “We Buy Ugly Houses.”

These companies or investors can be found on billboards and sign-posts across most cities, and in addition a simple google search of “we buy houses” or “sell my house fast” will yield tons of potential buyers.

Investors will buy properties in their current “as is” condition, removing the need to make significant repairs or upgrades before your home is sold.

The biggest caveat to using this method is that although your home will sell quickly, almost always you will be selling your home for much less than its actual value.

Investors are only looking to buy your home because they intend to repair it, and sell it for far more than they paid in a very short period of time.

In the end, if your property is beyond repair, selling to an investor allows you to avoid the hassles of renovations and upgrades, the process of listing as FSBO, and working with an agent to let you sell your home quickly. The only downside, you probably won't be happy with the price.

Selling To An Online Home Buying Company (iBuyer)

In the past 5 years, the market has seen several large companies get into the business of buying single-family homes. Some of these companies include Zillow, Opendoor, Redfin, and more.

While these companies offer unparalleled speed to sellers, that convenience can come at a high price. iBuyers typically charge hefty service fees ranging between 6-15% and will likely offer below market value for your home.

There are situations in which selling to an iBuyer is the right move, but it's important to understand the potential tradeoffs before you pull the trigger.

Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to iBuyers

Home Auctions

One of the least discussed methods of selling a home is the home auction. Homeowners can sell their home at auction, which sets a certain time frame to close between 30 and 90 days depending on the terms or auction service.

In addition to selling in within a set time-frame, the National Association of Realtors reports a variety of benefits of using a home auction service:

  • Buyers come prepared to buy
  • Quick disposal reduces long-term carrying costs, including taxes & maintenance
  • Assurance that property will be sold at true market value
  • Exposes the property to a large number of pre-qualified prospects
  • Accelerates the sale
  • Creates competition among buyers—auction price can exceed the price of a negotiated sale
  • Requires potential buyers to pre-qualify for financing
  • The seller knows exactly when the property will sell
  • Eliminates numerous and unscheduled showings
  • Takes the seller out of the negotiation process

While this sounds good on the surface, there are several downsides as well.

Home auctions typically aren't the easiest process to navigate. For starters, the list price of the home will often times be set 10-15% below market value to entice bidders, with a minimum reserve price set even lower guarantee the home sells.

In addition to selling at a lower market value, home auction services charge a percentage of the winning bid amount and most have a set time frame to sell with a minimum time frame of 30 days to as long as 3 months. An auction can be a great way to sell your home if it's not selling on the open market, but if you need to sell fast, waiting 1-3 months isn't usually an ideal solution.

Flat Fee and Discount Agents With Clever Real Estate

Much like listing with a traditional agent, flat fee and discount services allow you to sell your home with full-service agent. However, working with a discount agent allows you to save on commissions, giving you more wiggle room on price, allowing you to price your home to sell faster.

This option is perfect for homeowners who are looking to sell quickly, as the money they save on real estate commissions can be used to lower the price.

The normal commission structure looks like this:

  • Listing agent makes 3% on the final sale price of the home.
  • Buyer's agent makes 3% on the final sale price of the home.

The flat fee or discount structure with Clever Real Estate looks like this:

For instance, if your home has a value of $300,000, you would pay $18,000 with a traditional agent (3% or $9,000 for both the selling and buyer's agent). Using a flat fee agent from Clever you would pay $12,000 ($3,000 + 3% or $9,000 for the buyer's agent), for a savings of $6,000.

You could lower your price by $6,000 allowing you to sell your home faster than with a traditional agent, and net more cash in your pocket than any of the other options.

If you're looking to speak with a top rated, full-service agent that will let you sell your home quickly and save thousands on commission, click here to enter and get started.

Our Recommendation:

If you need to sell your home fast, evaluating all these options can be overwhelming. We recommend that you start the process by contacting a top-rated, local, clever partner agent that can help you save thousands on commissions and sell your home fast.

Your Clever Partner Agent will evaluate your home and understand your needs, and let you know if they think your home is a good fit to list on the MLS, or if selling to an investor or auction is a better idea.

If you're ready to get started and talk to a real estate expert to discuss your options further, reach out to one of Clever's highly experienced team members at 1-833-2-CLEVER or by filling out our pricing consultation form.


Luke Babich

Luke Babich is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save money on commission. He's an active real estate investor and licensed agent in St. Louis, with 22 units currently. Luke graduated from Stanford University and subsequently ran a historic data-driven campaign for University City City Council. Luke's writing has been featured in Homeland Security Today, Mashvisor, Payments Journal, and Bigger Pockets.

See all Luke's Posts

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