The ideal house sale results in the highest price in the shortest amount of time with the fewest possible headaches.

But how often does the ideal occur?

In the vast majority of cases, sellers have to decide what is most important to them and make concessions.  If you are dead-set on a certain price, you will either have to wait for the right buyer or go through tense, even heated, negotiations.

By the same token, if you want to sell quickly you will have to be willing to accept less.

A seller may want a quick sale for a number of reasons.  A new job, health concerns, or family issues may drive that decision.  Sellers sometimes want to sell during a particular time of the year for tax advantage purposes.  They may simply need to sell quickly in order to come up with the cash for their forward property.

Whatever the reason, there is a way to properly conduct a quick sale.  Just as a pilot abandoning a distressed aircraft still must take the time to find a parachute, a seller would be ill-advised to take the first offer and say yes to everything, hoping for the best.  Not only would that all but guarantee an unsatisfactory financial outcome, it probably wouldn’t even speed up the transaction.

You need a plan.

First, hire a realtor.  An experienced, top-producing real estate agent is indispensable for navigating the local real estate market.  Some sellers make the mistake of trying to sell their houses on their own.  This is an especially bad strategy when trying to sell quickly, as most sellers don’t know the market, the pitfalls along the way, or even how to get exposure for their house.  Real estate agents, on the other hand, not only know the current local market inside out and all the do’s and don’ts of conducting business within it, they can tell you precisely what you need to do to get people in to actually see your house.

This is all important.  A great house on the market that no one knows about is the proverbial tree falling in the forest.  Does it make a sound?  Who knows?  Who cares?

You do.

If you want your house to sell, you need offers.

If you want offers, you need foot traffic through your house during showings.

If you want foot traffic, you need to get people’s attention.

The best way to get people’s attention?

Reduce your price.  However much your agent determines your home is worth, consider cutting it by five to ten percent.

Place any cash offers you may receive at the top of your list.  As they do not require a mortgage, they usually close faster.

Conversely, offers with home sale contingencies typically make for the slowest sales.  Sellers looking to sell in a hurry would be wise to put these offers to the side.

Be prepared to break out your check book for inspection items.  Issues you might have successfully fought under more flexible circumstances simply have to be surrendered on when time is of the essence.  The last thing you want is for the sale to fall through during inspection.  Not only will you almost certainly receive lower offers going forward, you will have to start all over again, thereby frustrating your primary goal of selling fast.


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