How to Sell Your House Fast in 2021: 7 Tips

September 23, 2022

Life happens. If you need to sell your house fast, consider these tips for a safe and speedy transaction.

Sometimes, the name of the game is speed. You need to sell your house fast and move quickly due to work, family members, or unforeseen circumstances (hello, pandemic).

Although the housing market picked back up in 2020, the pandemic caused a shift in the process of buying and selling homes. Open houses are now appointment-only, with a release form required in order for potential buyers to step into a house. There are also more virtual or 3D tours available to view the homes online.

Despite these small safety changes, the steps to sell your house haven’t drastically changed. Plus, the housing market is still hot, and mortgage rates are expected to stay low until 2022. However, if you’re looking to sell your house fast in 2021, follow these tips to prepare. 

1. Pick a quick selling strategy 

Work with a real estate agent

It’s important to understand the benefits and disadvantages of hiring a real estate agent to help speed up the sale of your house.

If you decide to go with an agent, you’ll get more eyeballs on your house, and they will take care of the details for you, such as setting up appointments for potential buyers to view your house and handling any negotiations from the sale. 

An experienced and licensed agent will get your house on the MLS property listing, which will boost your home’s exposure to potential buyers. A seasoned agent will do the comps, also known as comparative market analysis (CMA), negotiate on your behalf, and generally guide you through the closing process. 

However, agents are mostly commission-based and may take up to 6 percent in the overall price of your house.

If the commission bothers you, listing your house FSBO (for sale by owner) may seem appealing. But while you won’t have to pay a commission fee, you may have to take on a lot of the work yourself, which takes time, effort, and know-how. 

Whether you choose to get an agent is up to you, but most people use them for convenience, to help market their homes, and to sell quickly. 

Sell to a cash buyer

If speed is at the top of your list, consider selling your house off market to a cash buyer, like an investor on Sundae‘s marketplace. Cash buyers take the home as-is, meaning you don’t have to worry about making repairs on the house before selling. 

If you go this route, you’re choosing speed and convenience over making maximum profit. You may not get as much in the sale of your house, but remember, you’re also not putting in the investment to fix your house before you sell. Renovations can be difficult and time-consuming. Sundae takes this into consideration to calculate your fair price offer. You may also be eligible for a cash advance of up to $10,000 after your inspection to help with moving and other costs, or just keep you afloat until closing.

Research what other homes in your area are going for and have this number in mind when you start to have conversations with a cash buyer. Make sure to have this range, but have the research to back it up. 

List your house on multiple online platforms

If do choose to list your house FSBO, consider listing your house on multiple platforms, including the MLS: Mashvisor, Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia, to get more offers faster. 

Before you list — no real estate agent required — hire a professional to take beautiful photos and have a detailed description of your home’s interior and exterior. 

2. Make quick, necessary repairs

If you know for sure that selling your home on your own is not the route you want to take, consider making necessary repairs before putting the property on the market. 

Most buyers want a turnkey house, so it will benefit you to get the necessary repairs done now. 

Here are some common repairs that you may need to get done: 

  • Fix kitchen appliances
  • Paint the inside or outside of the house 
  • Patch up cracks in the walls or ceiling
  • Any plumbing issues, such as leaks
  • Replace missing boards on the exterior fence
  • Ensure the water heater is working
  • Repair or report foundation damage
  • Make sure the heat and AC are working correctly

If you’re trying to save money and keep repairs to a minimum, focus on safety and potential code issues. Those things will come up in an inspection and have to be fixed regardless.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Sell a House

3. Deep clean and declutter

Consider giving your house a good scrub, especially since people are extra vigilant about cleanliness during COVID-19. Deep clean your carpets, floors, and walls. If you have wood floors, get them polished and shiny.

In addition to deep cleaning, make sure your house is decluttered and free of any overly personal touches. You want your home to appeal to anyone who comes through your house by having a clean space. The point is to have the potential buyers imagine themselves living in it and keeping the space tidy will help. 

4. Stage your home

You may also consider staging your house. Because of the pandemic and people being inside most of the day, use staging to your advantage to tell a story for each space. 

Give the buyer ideas and turn an extra room into an office or gym. If you have an insulated garage or unfinished basement, you could transform those into usable spaces before listing your home. 

Keep in mind, however, that staging can also add time to a sale. While professional staging companies can work fast, it may take a few days to do the consultation, source the furniture and decor, and then stage it. Staged homes tend to fetch a slightly higher price, but they don’t always correlate to faster sales.

5. Spruce up your style

Improve your home’s curb appeal

One of the best and inexpensive ways to instantly improve curb appeal is to paint your front door a bright color and add a few flowers along the walkway. If you have weeds and dead shrubbery, remove them and opt for fresh, easy-to-maintain plants such as peonies, ribbon grass, or junipers. 

Repaint the interior 

If your house was once painted your favorite neon green, it’s time for a more neutral coat of paint, such as a light grey or beige. This is the cheapest and easiest way to breathe new life into your home and up its appeal to potential buyers. 

6. Price your home to sell

There is no easy way to choose the correct price for your house. But pricing is probably the most important factor in selling a house quickly. Pricing a house too low will ensure a quicker sale, but you may leave cash on the table. Pricing too high can create a stigma that something is "wrong" with your house, causing it to sit on the market for a while. Your best bet is to do a thorough comp analysis and keep an eye on what’s going on in your neighborhood. When it doubt, price a little bit lower than the high end of your range.

Read more:

How to Price Your House to Sell

Overpricing a House Costs Sellers More Than Just Money

7. Take COVID-19 precautions

The pandemic has created an extra layer of cautiousness when buyers are touring homes, so be sure to:

  • Minimize contact during the home inspection. There are likely restrictions put in place by inspection companies, such as ones that do termite and general home inspections. These may include being in the home alone while doing their inspections, in order to minimize contact.
  • Have a virtual tour option. The 3D virtual tour is now common for sellers and buyers, which gives a realistic walkthrough of the property and is a level above simply looking through photos. 
  • Sanitize. Have hand sanitizer out and follow CDC guidelines after each showing, such as wiping down surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes. 
  • Use a contactless paperwork system. These days, tools like HelloSign, DocSign, and PandaDoc are emerging as helpful, contactless ways to get electronic paperwork pushed through. 

See also: Selling a House During Coronavirus: What to Expect

Ready to get going?

The housing market trends indicate that 2021 will continue to be a seller’s market, with experts predicting an increased demand from buyers who may have delayed buying homes because of the pandemic. The need for a larger space to accommodate working from home or families with kids are still big reasons people want to buy. 

Make sure to get your home ready to sell quickly, both from a market and safety perspective so you can enhance your chances of getting multiple offers. 

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Claire Tak

Claire Tak is a writer and content expert with a background in personal finance. She is an advocate for improving financial transparency and literacy through content and education. Claire's work has been featured and syndicated in Bloomberg, MarketWatch, GoBankingRates, and The Motley Fool. When she's not writing, you can find her on a snowboard, watching a movie, or traveling.