How to Sell My House Fast: The Complete Guide

To sell your house fast, you’ll need to choose the right selling option for you and highlight the best features of your home.

While most sellers hope for a fast home sale, sometimes speed is a must. If you’ve got a new job or had a death in the family, for instance, you might not be able to afford to wait. Still, it’s important to time your listing right to get the best selling price, and to avoid prospective buyers looking to take advantage. This guide can help you weigh all of your best options when you need to sell your house fast, whether you’re listing on your own, using a traditional real estate agent, or seeking a quick cash offer.

How fast can I sell my house?

There are many factors that will determine how fast a house will sell, including the condition of the home, the current market conditions, and the type of sale you choose. In many cases, an off-market sale to a cash buyer is the fastest way to sell a house and you can close the sale in just days to a couple of weeks.

What’s the best way to sell my house fast?

Which approach you take to selling your house fast will depend in large part on the condition of the house. Two of the most common scenarios for selling a house fast are:

Your house is already in good condition and is likely to sell quickly on the traditional market.

Especially if the house is also in a good location, you may only need to do a few small updates to make your Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing more attractive. This is an easy sale scenario, because you won’t have to invest much time or money in repairs and you’ll have the help of a traditional real estate agent to handle the transaction. This approach is also likely to net you the highest selling price. But a traditional real estate agent’s process still takes time, so consider how quickly you really need to sell.

Some quick updates you can make to help your home show well to potential buyers and sell fast include decluttering inside and out; making small fixes like replacing broken fixtures and oiling the hinges on a squeaky door; and making simple landscaping updates to increase curb appeal.

Your house needs a lot of work and you just want to sell it fast.

In this case, if you don’t have the time, money, or interest to make the necessary repairs, you’ll want to consider an as-is, off-market sale. For a fast, as-is home sale, you have a few options: You can sell your house on Sundae’s marketplace; you can seek out a cash buyer on your own; or you can use an iBuyer—also known as an instant buyer.

Fast-selling strategy 1: Sell with Sundae. Get more than 1 offer

If you’re looking to sell your home fast without the hassle or risk of other options, you can sell it as-is for cash in as little as 10 days through Sundae. Although as-is sales tend to go for a lower selling price than those on the traditional market, selling with Sundae means getting multiple cash offers to compare so you can choose the best one. Sundae also takes care of all the pre-listing steps, and provides flexibility on your closing date, and even offers up to $10,000 in advance if you qualify and need cash fast.

Fast-selling strategy 2: Find a cash buyer and sell on your own

If you prefer, you can find a cash buyer to sell your house fast on your own. You could put your house up for auction, which can drive competition, but it can be difficult to reach all potential buyers who are out there. In a good location, a developer might seek out your property for cash. Other investors looking to buy as-is can pay cash and close the deal quickly, but you have to take care to avoid predatory buyers who might take advantage of you.

Fast-selling strategy 3: Sell to an iBuyer for (close to) market value

iBuyers, also known as “instant buyers” are companies that operate online and can purchase your house quickly for cash, then resell your property. There are numerous iBuyer companies; two of the biggest are Offerpad and Opendoor.

  • Offerpad – Offerpad is an iBuyer that offers a choice of a single, quick cash offer or a more traditional real estate listing. With Offerpad you will either pay a service fee averaging 6%, or an agent commission of around 6%; you may also expect 1% for closing costs, plus costs for repairs and/or seller concessions.
  • Opendoor – Similar to Offerpad, Opendoor provides a choice of a single cash offer to buy your house directly or a more traditional listing. Opendoor may charge a service fee (or commission) of around 5%; the company may estimate closing costs at around 1%, and 0-2% seller concessions. Repair costs vary.

While Sundae offers the convenience and speed of iBuyers, it’s important to note that Sundae is not an iBuyer and does not purchase your home directly. Instead, Sundae will bring your home’s listing to its marketplace of investors who will compete to offer the best cash price. You can receive multiple cash offers from Sundae and choose the best one. And while the selling price might be somewhat lower than with a traditional market sale, no service fees or closing costs are charged to the seller by Sundae.

Do I need a traditional real estate agent for a fast home sale?

The housing market tools of a traditional real estate agent can be an asset when you want to sell fast, but paying the 5-6% average commission can be a downside, and the traditional marketplace doesn’t always attract buyers with cash on hand for a quick sale. If you’re already working with a traditional real estate agent, the Sundae Referral Network—through which your agent can refer your property to the Sundae marketplace—offers an alternative for a fast, as-is sale.

Is For Sale By Owner a good way to sell a house quickly?

Known as FSBO, this option gives you control, but it takes more effort to prep, list, and show the home yourself. You’ll need to research your local market to set an asking price that will appeal to prospective home buyers; prepare the listing; arrange for professional photos; get your house ready to show including decluttering and doing minor repairs; and manage the closing process. Taking on the entire process yourself may mean you don’t sell your house as fast as you would like. You’ll be responsible for ensuring a pleasant closing experience for you and the buyer.

How to sell my house fast, as-is

If you don’t have time to spend on a lot of preparation steps, selling your house off-market, as-is, as you can with the Sundae marketplace, can be your best bet. Knowing when to do this can save you money in the long run. Below are a few scenarios for a quick sale:

Scenario How to sell What to know
Your home is in good condition and a good location Traditional real estate agent; FSBO; off-market cash buyer; Sundae This is the easiest sale scenario and you won’t have to invest time in repairs; but a traditional agent’s process still takes time. So consider if a higher selling price is worth a longer wait. Sundae can get you good offers within about 10 days
You have an older home with a good location that needs work FSBO or off-market cash buyer; Sundae A traditional agent will want your house in turnkey condition, but older homes in a good location appeal to those looking to renovate for profit
Your home needs work and is not in a good location Off-market cash buyer; Sundae An investor might see potential you don’t
Your home is facing foreclosure Off-market cash buyer; Sundae Investors looking for distressed properties can get you cash quickly
Home needs work but has rental potential Off-market cash buyer; Sundae Homes near universities or large shopping centers are very attractive to investors willing to do the work

Can I sell my house fast by auction?

You could put your house up for auction, but you might get less than market value. A lot depends on whether the auction can generate interest among motivated cash buyers. The Sundae marketplace gives you the competitive advantage of an auction—where cash buyers compete to offer the best price—but does the work of finding trusted local investors for you. Sundae can also bring you multiple cash offers to choose from.

The importance of pricing to sell

You’ll need to research the fair market value of your home and price it correctly. An experienced agent can assist in setting an appropriate price; if you use Sundae, the competition between potential buyers on our marketplace will help drive a fair selling price. Know that if you are listing your house on your own, you risk setting the price above the maximum a home buyer might have set for their search, so they might not see it.

How do I know if I’m getting a good price?

A good selling price means different things at different times. Is it a hot market for sellers? One of the jobs of traditional real estate agents is to know the current market and competitive pricing in your area. If you’re planning an all cash sale to sell your house fast, competition can ensure you get a good price. Predatory investors looking to purchase homes for the lowest possible price might under-bid; if they have to compete against one another for your home you are likely to end up with more money.

Steps to selling your house quickly

Decide how you want to sell

The first step in selling your home fast is choosing one of the options already explained: for sale by owner (FSBO); hiring a traditional real estate agent (and paying real estate commission); or selling to an off-market buyer for cash—which can mean finding an investor or developer on your own, or selling via a marketplace like Sundae. If you choose one of the first two, you most likely will need to spend time and money to prepare your home.

Declutter your house to look its best

According to the National Association of Realtors®, showing potential home buyers an orderly home can up the sale price and draw attention away from property faults, helping you sell faster. Pay attention to grout, dust, and pet stains. You could also refinish floors or apply a fresh coat of paint – just be sure to factor in cost.

Add home value with small, quick repairs

Big home renovations can be time-consuming and costly, but small issues like broken fixtures and squeaky doors can be fixed with a quick hardware store trip, adding to the value of your home. Make these upgrades to any areas buyers might explore during walk-throughs.

Increase interest with curb appeal

The front of your home is usually the first image a potential buyer sees, so make it worthy. Do simple landscaping and reduce clutter to brighten your yard and catch the eye of scrupulous searchers. How you present your home to buyers reflects how much you love it – and how much they could.

Stage your home to show its potential

Potential buyers who can visualize their future in your home may be more likely to act on impulse. According to home staging professionals, the average staged home in today’s market sell 5-11 times faster than the average unstaged home. You’ll want your home look to be immaculate, but also lived in – set the dining table, open your (organized) closets and decorate empty tables with plants or a vase of fresh cut flowers.

Get the pictures – or hire a pro

Smartphones can make it easy to shoot attractive listing photos of your well-prepared home. But working with a flash or sunlight can be tricky, so turn on the lights and choose an overcast day to shoot clean, uncluttered rooms that highlight your home’s best features. If you need help, you can hire a professional photographer.

Post your home listing

When you sell your home through a listing agent, it will post to the MLS (multiple listing service), which ensures it will appear on sites like Zillow and Realtor.com. If you’re selling fsbo, you’ll also have to list it, which takes time. The first rule is to research your local real estate market so you don’t overprice your home.

Show your home like a pro

When showing your home, you’ll either have the help of an agent or you’ll be hosting showings yourself. Professionalism and flexibility go a long way in maintaining a potential buyer’s interest. Keep a sign-in sheet of your visitors or the buyer’s agent at open houses to help boost the home-selling process.

Sell off-market to skip steps

If you choose an off-market sale, such as through the Sundae marketplace, you will be selling fully as-is, and can skip over the repairs, curb appeal upgrades, and showings. Sundae will take care of photos and listing information for the sale, so it’s fast and easy for you.

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Composed by a team of experienced content, marketing, and real estate professionals, the Sundae Blog is a go-to authority for tips, instructions, and data-driven insights aimed at helping homeowners maintain, renovate, sell, and buy homes, while navigating a complex real estate market.

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