5 Mistakes People Make When Trying to Sell Their Home Fast

Jun 4, 2018

You’re tired of staring at the water-damage stained walls, the roof is starting to fall apart, you can’t deal with the constant Seattle rain anymore, or maybe you just got a new opportunity in life. Whatever your reason is, you know that it’s time to sell your house – and fast.

Seattle has been in a seller’s market for a few years now, with houses selling as quickly as hours after they’re listed in the market. However, most of these homes are often new construction, in fantastic condition, and have been prepped just the right way to sell quickly. Not every house sale happens like that, and there are many times when resale homes sit on the market for weeks or even months.

So, you need to sell your home quickly – but that’s often easier said than done. In order to sell your home fast, there’s a lot to do – and many mistakes to avoid – to make sure your house doesn’t sit on the market for months.

1. Being Stubborn With The Price

Pricing your house is one of the most important decisions you can make beyond the initial one of deciding to sell it. 9 times out of 10, once you decide you’re ready to part with your house, you will have an idea of what you’d like to get from it. That makes sense – after all, we want to at least get what we paid plus the appreciation from over the years.

However, coming up with the right number can be a tricky process. Pricing the house too high will turn potential buyers away, especially if your house isn’t in the greatest condition, to begin with. Conversely, pricing it too low will leave potential money on the table that you could have as cash in your pocket.

Related Article: 5 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Home

When you’re in a position of trying to sell your house fast, it becomes more crucial than ever to come up with a price that’s going to sell it quickly while also getting you the cash you deserve from the sale. Because pricing can be such a sensitive topic, it’s a good idea to talk with a professional who can help you do the research to find out how much your home is worth. Then, it’s a good idea to listen to their advice, as they’ll have a good idea of how to get your house out of your hands as quick as possible.

2. Spending Too Much Money on Repairs

When the paint is chipping off the walls and the cabinets don’t close just right, it’s tempting to want to put time and money into making repairs before listing your house on the market. In some cases, the right repairs will increase your property value and get you more for your home. However, sometimes, those repairs either just aren’t needed for a quick sale, or you might be spending too much where you don’t need to be.

Related Article: 3 Things to Know Before Renovating Your Home

If you do decide to make repairs before you sell, keep in mind that they will cost you both time and money. Depending on how quick you need to sell your home, this might not be the right choice. Yet, if you don’t mind holding off for a few months, there are a few inexpensive repairs you can make on your home. These include:

  • Making simple updates in your kitchen
  • Refinishing your cabinets and doors
  • Refreshing your floors
  • Upgrading your landscaping
  • Putting on a fresh coat of paint

Before you go into a big renovation, be sure to ask yourself: are my home’s problems strictly cosmetic, and therefore easier to fix, or does the issue go much deeper than that? Depending on your answer, as well as how quickly you need to sell, you might just want to sell your house as is.

3. Not Prepping the House Before Listing

Let’s say you decide to list your home the traditional way. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as simply deciding you want to list it, taking a couple photos, putting up a “for sale” sign, and putting it online. In fact, there’s a lot of work that goes into preparing your house for a listing – especially if you don’t want it to stay on the market for long.

When preparing your house to sell, you will likely not only have to make the repairs we discussed before, but also put time into thoroughly cleaning, organizing, and staging your house. This includes removing any extra clutter, cleaning every surface in your house, and maybe even hiring professional stagers to bring in a setup that will make your house shine. Then, hiring a professional photographer will make sure your home gets sold in the best light.

Related Article: The Guide to Selling Your Home Fast in Seattle

As you can see, this process can take a lot of time and money to do correctly. Yet, it’s an important step if you want to make sure your house doesn’t sit on the market for months without getting even one potential buyer. The only other way to sell your house quickly without having to put in the time and effort to prep your house would be to sell it as-is to a local investment company. Just be careful to make sure you don’t get stuck in a scam.

4. Hiring a Bad Real Estate Agent

If you decide to sell your home with a real estate agent, then it’s important to make sure you take the time to find the right agent. Just because you’re in a rush to sell doesn’t mean this is the time to rush the process. In fact, finding the right agent can make the difference between selling your house within a couple of days and having it sit on the market for way too long.

To make sure you don’t hire the wrong real estate agent, these are some things to consider when choosing one:

  • How long have they been an agent?
  • Do they work with buyers, sellers, or both?
  • Do they have experience with your unique situation?
  • Do they understand the neighborhood you live in (i.e. amenities, benefits, downfalls, market trends)?
  • What do their previous clients say about them?
  • What connections do they have within the real estate industry?
  • What is their personality like – are they someone you can get along with?

Working with a realtor comes with its own challenges. It’s worth noting that not all home sales require a real estate agent to ensure a quick sale. Plus, depending on the condition of your home, they may not be able to help you sell it in its current condition as fast as you need. If you’re considering selling your house without a real estate agent, you can either sell by owner or sell to a real estate investor.

5. Not Evaluating All The Options

As we mentioned a couple of times throughout this article, there are other options than the traditional one of the listing and selling your house with an agent and on the market. In some cases, you may decide that it’s not worth going through everything it takes to do so correctly and in a way that fits your timeline.

If you are at a position where you prefer to sell your house as is, keep the process private, and get it your off your hands as quickly as possible, it might be worth considering selling to a real estate investor. There are many misconceptions about working with those “we buy houses for cash” companies, but it’s worth remembering that not everything you hear is true.

Related Article: 3 Lessons We’ve Learned Flipping Seattle Houses

If you’re curious to see what a local, family-owned investment company would pay you for your house, go ahead and request a no-obligation offer. You’ll get a chance to sell your house exactly when you need it to without dealing with the hassle of a traditional sale.