When homeowners ask us this question, it sounds as though they’re in disbelief. “How fast can I sell my house?” they ask when we do our walk-through of their houses. They already know the Houston House Buyers policy at this point. We plaster it on the website and provide answers when they ask over the phone.
The most basic answer: You can sell your house in a few short weeks — if you are prepared. Let me tell you, most people are not prepared.
Ways homeowners are unprepared to sell
Just because you say you’re ready to sell, does not mean that you are in reality ready to sell. There is a lot of groundwork that goes into selling a house, especially if you list it with a real estate agent.
Maybe you’ll get lucky and sell in an extreme sellers’ market. But how often do you see one of them? Even if the market does seem geared to sellers, you can’t just list your house willy nilly. Buyers will still grasp for every advantage.
If you’re in anything but an extreme sellers’ market, you’ll have to set yourself up for a quick sale. Here are ways we notice that homeowners are unprepared.
They haven’t made repairs yet
Let’s get this one out of the way. If your house needs repairs of any kind, you’re not prepared to sell. So many houses we appraise have foundation and roofing damage. Even if a buyer is interested in such a house, the bank won’t be so quick to issue financing. If you want to sell your house on the real estate market, you absolutely have to make these fundamental repairs.
Beyond that, buyers don’t want to invest in a house that they know will require repairs. You need to make every little cosmetic repair before you intend to sell. Otherwise, you’ll lose many potential buyers who otherwise might make you an offer. And when you do get offers, they’ll be lower than your asking price — sometimes considerably lower.
Prepared sellers have their house in pristine repair before they even list it.
They’re don’t want to make cosmetic changes
The minute you decide to list your house, it is essentially not yours any more. You might come home to it after a hard day at work. Your kids might romp around in the back yard. But once you invite potential buyers into the house, it is theirs. And when I say “theirs,” I mean all of theirs. Every single one of them.
You can imagine how difficult this makes matters for sellers. You have to stage the house so it appeals to the greatest number of people. More importantly, it has to offend the fewest people. It’s the same theory with industrialized food. The more people you offend, the fewer potential customers you have.
What does it mean to stage a house?
- Paint the walls a neutral color
- Get those carpets steam cleaned
- Get the exterior cleaned thoroughly
- Patch up any cracks, dings, and dents
Essentially, it means getting everything into proper selling shape. In other words: changing the entire look of your house.
If you’re not prepared to let your real estate agent handle all the staging tasks, you’re not prepared to sell.
They’re not flexible on pricing
Homeowners hear the term sellers’ market and they start licking their lips. It’s time to cash in and get a real good return on their homes. If only it were that simple.
Pricing is a sensitive matter in real estate. If you’re inflexble, you’re going to lose a lot of buyers. Some agents even believe in underpricing your house in order to attract more competitive bids. If you’re not flexible enough to go along with that strategy, you might find it tougher to sell your house.
(Believe it or not, reducing the price on your house actually doesn’t make it much easier to sell. Chances are if you reduce the listing, you’ll have to take even less. It’s just how these markets work.)
Prepared homeowners will listen to their agents on the pricing issue. Hey, they have a vested interest in the selling price, too. It’s not only their commission, but their public integrity. If they want to price it a bit below what you want, trust their judgements.
Unprepared? You have options
Maybe you thought you were prepared, but after a sober analysis realized that you are not. There’s too much you haven’t done yet. What can you do now?
Clearly we’re a little biased here, but you can sell to a cash home buyer. Investment groups like Houston House Buyers are actually great options for homeowners who want to sell quickly, but are unprepared.
- Haven’t made the necessary repairs
- Can’t make the necessary repairs
- Don’t want to have an agent redo your entire house while you live there
- Don’t want dozens of strangers in your house, often at the same time
- Feel like all the effort isn’t worth the market value of your house
…you can just call Houston House Buyers and request a free appraisal.
You won’t have to repair your house.
You won’t have to stage your house.
You won’t have to let dozens of strangers into your house.
Unprepared? Give us a call.