If I want to sell my home fast at market value, what are my options?
Selling your house is something that, for better or worse, costs a lot. Let’s face it: selling or buying a house isn’t like selling or buying a stock position, or a grill on craigslist or even a collectible on Ebay.
Selling your house for market value can be difficult to begin with
Houses are personal. Your house is different than other houses. Unlike a pre-owned car, a hundred dollar bill or an ounce of gold, there isn’t another one that’s very close to being exactly like it. Everything from the landscaping to the appliances to the paint is at least slightly different than even the same models in your neighborhood.
Beyond this lack of fungibility, houses are relatively expensive. After all, they serve a very important purpose, so this makes sense. They provide us with the very basic necessities of shelter from the elements, protection from danger and the comfort and support we need to thrive and produce.
Buyers Naturally Have Greater Bargaining Power
When we want to buy a house, we use money, or some form of money, like credit. And because money can be spent on nearly anything, whereas a house cannot, the buyer generally has more bargaining power in the transaction than the seller does, all else being equal. Buyers can usually find another suitable house more easily than sellers can find another buyer for their particular house.
Selling A Home At Full Market Value Is Necessarily Slow
This means that in a market with lots of sellers and buyers, it takes time for the right buyer and seller to find each other. The price where buyers and sellers who are willing to put in the respective time, money and effort to be prepared and to find each other is what we call the market price, or as investors say, the retail market price. And wouldn’t everyone rather sell more quickly, if they could? Of course they would. To sell quickly, sellers usually have to offer a discount to the market.
To Sell Your House Fast At Market Value, You Must Have Kept It Up To Date
This retail market is made up of sellers whose houses have been structurally maintained, and kept up to date with modern surfaces, materials and appliances, and house buyers who have qualified to make offers on these houses. A lot of work typically goes into preparing a house for sale in order to command a high retail price. Sellers take these actions hoping for a return on their money and time; however, if a house has not been kept up over time, most sellers are taking a big gamble in terms of both time and money in deciding which items to invest their money in to attract a retail buyer.
To Sell Your Home Quickly, Find An Investor
This is why so many sellers, especially those whose houses are somewhat outdated or have not been maintained perfectly, are actually better off selling to an investor rather than listing their property with an agent and hoping for a retail offer that actually closes.
Selling Your House Fast Means Less Time For Updates
Let’s look at an example. Suppose you own a house in a neighborhood where, assuming everything has been kept up to modern standards, it would likely sell for around $200,000. In this case however, let’s say the house has a 15 year old roof, painted appliances, laminate countertops, tub/shower combinations in the bathrooms, and older flooring materials, while those selling at retail have been maintained and upgraded over the years, and have stainless steel appliances, solid surface countertops, etc. Once you calculate the cost of all the upgrades you’d have to make at once, rather than having done them over time, it can be quite a shock. It’s easy to spend $30,000 on a new roof, kitchen upgrade and a new AC compressor. And you haven’t even painted, sealed or patched up anything yet. The time it takes to complete these updates can be a source of frustration as well. Contractors are notoriously hit-or-miss, and inexperienced sellers often find this out the hard way. Cost overruns, missed deadlines, change orders and staffing inconsistencies are more the rule than the exception.
Calculating The True Cost Of Selling Fast For Market Value
A retail buyer for such a property would be hard to find. There just aren’t that many families looking for properties that aren’t move-in-ready. But suppose you’re lucky enough to find one: they’re going to demand a discount, and it’s going to be more than the $30,000 you’d spend to get the property market-ready. The buyer has the advantage of being able to choose from many available properties, whereas you have just one to sell. And this retail buyer comes with the disadvantage for you, the seller, of having to obtain financing, and won’t be able to close for another 60 days, on average. And that’s if nothing falls through. During this 60 days, you’ll incur another 2 months of taxes due, likely another 2 mortgage payments, 2 insurance payments, and hidden costs, like what else you could be doing with your time and money if you could close more quickly.
Hidden Costs Can Make A Huge Difference
It’s hidden costs like these that often make the difference for sellers who choose to sell to an investor. An investor comes prepared to close quickly, minimize the seller’s workload and hassle, and give the seller the advantage of not having to wait and hope while carrying the cost of the property for another few months.
Your Greatest Cost In Upgrading To Sell Your House At Market Value
As you can see from the example, time can be substituted for money and vice-versa, but only to an extent. This is because time is a non-renewable resource. You can recoup money; you cannot recoup time once it’s spent.
Investors are really in the business of saving time for sellers who are overwhelmed with the hassles of getting a property ready for sale, often on top of other life events that beset us all at one point or another; a death in the family, a medical diagnosis, disability or divorce.
Investors Can Help You Sell Your Home Much More Quickly
Some homeowners resent investors, and believe that they are out there to simply try to take advantage of people experiencing these conditions; however, if you ask sellers who have sold to real estate investment professionals and not the fly-by-night amateurs who pop up in every industry, you’ll often hear how grateful they are to have been able to dispense with the hassle of preparation, marketing and showings and put cash in their pockets in just a few short weeks rather than months.
Sell My House Fast Companies Are Not Predatory
Real estate investment is not a predatory business; it is a vital part of the real estate ecosystem. Investors provide liquidity where it would otherwise not exist; they take risks in order to earn a return. Without these professionals, sellers in these circumstances would most defintely be worse off, as they’d often have no alternative but to stay put and spend more time in their unpleasant circumstances.
Sell My House Fast Means NOT For Market Value
To sum up, as a seller, you can either sell fast, or you can sell at market; to do both requires a market with a massive number of buyers to sellers, or a lot of luck, and usually both. For many folks, circumstances don’t support that kind of a gamble with their time or money. The choice between selling ‘at market,’ which may require inordinate risks if the property has not been maintained to a modern standard, and selling ‘fast,’ which may involve a discount from market, is not as simple as would seem on the surface. Your time, opportunity cost, level of experience and level of patience must all be weighed properly. At day’s end, you may be better off selling to an investor for cash sooner, than hoping and waiting for a retail buyer later.