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(Prices and inventory current as of Nov 30, 1999)

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Seller’s Secrets: How to Sell Your Home Fast For Top Dollar

Seller’s Secrets: How to Sell Your Home Fast For Top Dollar

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that June is the best month to sell your home fast. Homes listed in June were on the market for 27 days in June, on average. This number will vary based on several other different factors.

Selling your home as fast as possible is not only more convenient, it’s also strategically sound. This means less time spent on home upkeep, less opportunity for other sellers to price you out, and more. In fact, homes that sell faster sell for about 0.7% more than the market average, according to NAR.

Knowing how to sell your home fast takes a bit of homework, consistency, and utilizing a few real estate tricks to get an edge on the competition.

Study these Realtor secrets and get the job done faster and with more success.

Research the Local Market

The first thing you need to know when trying to sell your home is whether you live in a buyer’s or seller’s market. Buyers’ markets are places that contain more homes than the number of active buyers looking. This typically results in lower listing prices and selling prices.

In contrast, sellers’ markets allow for strategic pricing, factoring home features and unique traits. In order to find out whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, you have to figure out how long homes sit unsold. The average Days on Market will tell you how high the demand is for homes similar to yours.

Next, you’ll want to take into consideration the rate of home price appreciation. This tells you the health of price trends in your area. A greater rate of increase means the demand is high and buyers are willing to pay more.

These trends will impact how you should price your home and your ability to negotiate things like repairs and offer contingencies. They can also give you insight into how long it will take to sell your home, which can impact your carrying costs. See our blog on the fundamentals of the housing market or read our in-depth guide on today’s housing market trends.

Timing is Everything

Knowing when it’s a good time to sell your home is almost as important as knowing how much to sell it for. As we mentioned in the introduction, Spring is an ideal time to reach the most buyers. Most Spring buyers want to close on a new home and be able to move in at the start of summer break.

This is the target for seasonal timing, however, you also should factor in personal and financial positioning. You’ll want to find out when your home will meet enough equity to pay out your current mortgage. Plus, you need to calculate the associated leagal, realtor fees, Closing Costs, and moving costs.

Building Home Equity

There are two ways you can build up equity: mortgage payments and appreciating price. Unless you’re one of the few that pays in cash, paying down your mortgage is a gradual process. Paying down a 15 to 30 year mortgage builds equity over time, but it’s not an overnight process.

It can take five years or more to reach the home equity needed to avoid being in the negative when selling. Although, home values have been increasing over time in the last five years. This means your home’s equity will passively increase on its own, so you’ll need to gauge how long you want to wait to build it.

The Waiting Game

Most homeowners are playing the waiting game to get the best price they can on their property. This waiting game isn’t always a realistic option, as the timing may need to coincide with a new job or new family. If you wait too long, other opportunities could pass by and that better home offer may not pan out.

It’s a catch-22 in this sense. This is why it’s important to find a good realtor who can help guide you through tough decisions, provide valuable insight into the real estate market, and has a strategic plan to help you achieve your goals.

Set the Right Price

When you price out your home, you are eventually left with dropping the value, taking more time to sell, or making it harder for purchasers to find your pproperty on line. After some time, people will show concern with homes where the prices are constantly declining. This will give the impression that there is some kind of problem with the home or that the merchant has unreasonable caveats.

This can restrict your bargaining power and leverage since purchasers may see the pattern as a sign your home isn’t desirable. Most purchasers will search listings based on their budget, so you make your home harder to find for people willing to negotiate. The longer you take to sell, the more potential problems you’ll come across.

Think about the timing between mortgage payments, any annual fees at your address, storage fees, or staying in a rental/AirBnB. The longer it takes to sell, the harder it is to capitalize on places you actually want to move to.

If you want to price your home properly, a good place to start is a real estate calculator. They are fairly reliable for factoring the latest market data for homes in your market. A real estate agent is still the best option, as there’s a lot of nuance and pricing techniques you’ll miss out on.  Always ask the agents you interview what their pricing strategies are, and why.

Factor In Your Costs

Selling a home comes with a lot of hidden and not-so-hidden fees. There’s the standard 5-6% in commissions paid to an agent, but the real story is behind other expenses. Appraisals, maintenance, repairs, staging, storage, closing, legal fees and moving costs can surpass agent fees.

This is partly why there’s so much confusion on whether homeowners should hire an agent or go FSBO (For Sale By Owner). In fact, FSBOs make on average $60,000 to $90,000 less on the sale of their home than those with a real estate agent, according to the National Association of REALTORS.

Marketing is How to Sell Your Home Fast

If you want your property to have an edge in real estate, you need to market it like any other goods or service. In order to successfully market your home, you have to know your buyer demographics and how to reach them. This is where invaluable experience as a Realtor shines the brightest.

They have the connections and the insight to strategically market homes, online and in traditional media. Sure, you could put your home for sale on one of the home aggregator sites, a Realtor site/MLS (the multiple listing system), Facebook, and other social media platforms. If you do go that route, prepare to get a lot of spam, unsolicited offers, low-ballers, and predatory firms.

Finding a good real estate marketer who can determine the right kind of media, where to reach out to for prospective buyers, and tap into a wider network is huge. Real estate agents have the ability to go beyond local and regional, potentially finding the right buyers outside local or domestic borders.

Just browsing through a real estate blog will give you an idea of the skills and experience they bring to the table.

Reinvent and Renovate on a Budget

Renovating an old home could increase your home equity and the likelihood of selling fast. Of course, not all renovations carry the same interest or return on investment. If you take out a loan to renovate a basement in Texas, as opposed to Boston, you’ll probably add nothing to the resale value.

Most renovation projects are going to revolve around the most used spaces, i.e. the kitchen, living room, and bathrooms. Landscaping is another often overlooked aspect of increasing the speed of selling a home. It is more worthwhile to invest in new grass, plants, and fixtures when the rest of your neighborhood is lacking.

Replacing floors is a great idea for homes with already high market value, while cheaper homes should focus on modernizing kitchen and bathrooms. Roofs are a tricky subject, but they’re generally a break-even investment. Only consider it if your home has a roof that is over a decade old and doesn’t have solar panels.

Renovations offer great selling points, checking off areas of concern for potential homebuyers. There’s nothing better than moving into a home that you know is taken care of for future major repairs.

Negotiating to Close Deals

You have everything ready, a buyer that is interested, and they are willing to pay more than your asking price. This sounds like a dream scenario, but don’t get too carried away. The best offer isn’t always the highest on the table.

You’ll need to navigate the contract to make sure there aren’t tricky contingencies that could result in a canceled agreement at the last moment. This happens more often than you would think, as not all buyers are excited families trying to secure a new home. Watch for the sharks who place these types of contingencies:


This is an important contingency to consider, as it can allow the buyer to leverage any repairs that may come up during an inspection. If they deem these repairs as major issues, they could ask for a lower offer and extend the closing date. This could cause the deal to fall through, wasting time and money for the seller.

A good counter-strategy to avoid an inspection contingency is to get a home warranty for about $350-500. This covers the buyer from any unexpected repairs if anything major breaks.

Financing Qualifier

Only accept a financing contingency if you have a great deal of confidence with the buyer’s ability to secure a mortgage. If they fail to qualify for one, this means they are able to back out and the offer is null, leaving you on the hook. Financial contingencies are rarely in your best interests for selling your home fast.

Home Sale Contingency

You will only see this type of contingency if the buyer is also in the middle of selling their home. Similar to a financing contingency, if they are unable to secure the funds from their home sale, no matter the reason, the agreement is void. This is one of the riskiest contingencies, as you have no way to guarantee their home will get purchased.

A financing contingency at least gives you the ability to verify buyer worthiness via credit and income statements.

In general, the more activity in the market, the less likely you’ll encounter contingencies. If you live in a slow market, prepare to navigate these contingencies, especially if buyers are using a real estate agent. It’s important to know about these contingencies, as they can belie the true value of an offer.

What if you can’t close the deal that offered more money, but came with too many contingencies? That deal could drag out for months, causing you to lose so much time and money relisting it. Consider all your offers seriously, even the lowest one, because the final closing value isn’t nailed out until all fees and expenses are paid.

Closing Thoughts

The key takeaways for how to sell your home fast is to know your market, position your home to stand out, watch for contingencies. Listing your home well above market value without identifying appreciation rates is real estate suicide. Underpricing may work to your advantage if it means lower associated Closing Costs.

List price isn’t the end-all, be-all of selling your home fast. No real estate calculator can tell you how much in appraisals, maintenance, repairs, concessions, and closing costs you can expect to pay. There are many layers in real estate costs, including when and where you decide to do renovations.

Having an experienced real estate agent can make all of these decisions much easier to understand. At Dean Miller Real Estate, you have the confidence and experience behind your home’s listing to avoid costly mistakes. Dean will translate real estate lingo, mountains of paperwork, and math formulas.

Contact us today for a free consultation and see how fast you can sell your home.

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