9 Proven Strategies for Selling Your House Fast in a Sluggish Market

9 Proven Strategies for Selling Your House Fast in a Sluggish Market

Reviewed by: Brandon Brown

 

Real estate experts were adamant that 2023 was still a sellers’ market, but the times, they are a-changing. Though housing inventory is still low, spiking interest rates and inflation have reduced the buyer pool and made bidding wars a thing of the past in most markets. Selling your home currently takes an average of nearly four months, with two to four weeks for repairs and preparation,1 52 days on market (DoM),2 and 45 days to close.3

If you’re in a hurry, that timeline for selling a house is bad news—four months of utilities, mortgage payments, and interest costs, or a delay in closing on a new house or moving. Motivated sellers need to make their property stand out and follow practical tips on how to sell a house fast in a slow market.

Strategic Pricing for Market Challenges

When retailers need to get stock out of the door quickly, they put items on sale. To some degree, home pricing follows that model. When you’re competing for a pool of buyers, pricing your home slightly less than similar homes in the neighborhood can pull in offers. An overpriced home can stay on the market longer, and then end up with a price drop to attract buyers, as if it’s unwanted stock on a clearance shelf.

On the other hand, underpricing can trigger concern that there’s something wrong with the property, send the message that you’re desperate to sell and willing to take less, or end up turning off buyers based on perceived value. As much as we’d like to all believe that we can out-logic marketing, consumers consistently respond to price itself as evidence of an item’s value. Getting your home correctly priced is critical to a quick sale. The right price—what a potential buyer will pay now and no less—reflects:

  • Your home’s current condition

  • The specific size, style, age, and features of your home

  • Neighborhood property value trends

  • Local real estate market conditions

  • Price fluctuations based on seasonality

You can obtain reliable pricing data by requesting comparative market analyses (CMAs) from a few different real estate agents. Agents will compare similar homes that have recently sold or are currently listed, and come up with pricing suggestions based on whether you go about selling your house as is or make certain remodeling, cleaning, or staging investments.

 

Who said selling your house has to be hard? Definitely not us. Get your offer today!

Highlighting Unique Property Features

When you’re considering how to sell your house in a slow market, look at what makes it stand out. Review a few MLS and Zillow listings to familiarize yourself with all the points of information that are typically shared about property structures, grounds, features, and surroundings. Does your property have:

  • Luxury features, appliances, and fittings?

  • Spaces designed for specialized use, like an art studio or creative playroom?

  • A lovely view, established landscaping, fruit-bearing or climbing trees?

  • Adjacency to a park, river, golf course, or other amenity?

  • A top-rated school district or neighborhood quality-of-life ratings?

Effective Home Staging Techniques

One of the best tricks for how to sell your house fast in a sluggish market is the use of clever staging. Staging refers to making changes to your home’s interior that emphasize its beauty, size, and useability. The goal of home staging is to help:

  • Make rooms appear larger and to their best advantage

  • Enhance a home’s pros and disguise its cons

  • Help prospective buyers envision living in a “wow” environment

Staging your home to sell can range from DIY efforts using what you have to investing in companies that specialize in whole-house design with rental furniture and fittings. It can include:

  • Removing clutter and stripping down decor to a minimum

  • Replacing some or all furniture and decor with contemporary, space-appropriate fittings

  • Altering window fittings, decor, and lighting methods to enhance or modify light

  • Making changes to surfaces and surroundings related to the senses

The tried-and-true method of baking chocolate chip cookies immediately before an open house is a great example of a low-cost temporary staging method.

Leveraging Online Marketing Strategies

Whether you enlist a licensed real estate professional or opt for the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) method, you can speed up a sale by ensuring your home is marketed online. At a minimum, your property should have:

  • Listings on applicable state and regional MLS (multiple listing service) databases

  • Agency website promotion and brokerage reciprocity

  • Agency social media posting on Facebook and Instagram

  • Advertising on Zillow, Homes.com, etc.

Additionally, consider:

  • Multi-lingual campaigns relevant to your neighborhood demographics

  • Virtual lookbook with ability to digitally decorate and clear your rooms

  • Videos and 3D viewings in addition to professional photography

Property Upgrades for a Quick Sale

A long list of remodeling projects doesn’t mesh with a fast sale, but some fairly quick upgrades can give you a leg up in attracting agents and buyers, and then converting a viewing to an offer. Focus on upgrades that are both quick and certain to provide a return on investment, such as:

  • Curb appeal landscaping like trimming and adding a few low-cost mature plantings

  • Painting

  • Patching and repairing holes and cracks in walls, windows, trim, etc.

  • Adding a new steel entry door4

  • Replacing an aged garage door

Understanding Buyer Preferences

Most prospective buyers—particularly those willing to pay the asking price—are in search of a move-in-ready home. The closer your property appears to being ready to step into and feel immediately at home while viewing, the quicker you’ll get to closing a traditional sale. More specifically, features on many buyers’ wish lists include:

  • Open layouts

  • Updated kitchens

  • Main floor washer and dryer

  • Outdoor living areas including covered and entertainment spaces

  • Storage including walk-in closets and pantries, and built-in shelving and lighting

  • Energy efficiency

Consider these preferences when writing listing and marketing descriptions, either highlighting what features match them or how your property makes up for the lack of them (such as large hallway storage closets, extra shelving, spa features in a bathroom, etc.).

Negotiation Strategies for Faster Deals

If you get an offer from a potential buyer, don’t pop the champagne cork yet. An offer may low-ball your asking price, include multiple contingencies, or ask for costly upgrades on your dime. Plus, an additional round of negotiations may occur after a buyer’s inspection, when they use the opportunity to request replacement of older (but working) appliances or price drops for minor issues. Use these methods to avoid getting caught in lengthy negotiations (that potentially end without a sale, and start up again with the next prospect):

  • Identify your own boundaries ahead of time: bottom-dollar price and timeline

  • Communicate your priority on fast-turn negotiation and closing with your agent

  • Consider an “as is” listing that allows for buyer inspections but conveys a refusal to make changes to the home prior to closing

Professional Guidance and Support

One of the positives about interviewing multiple real estate agents is receiving CMAs, pricing and marketing proposals, and suggested upgrades to complete from a few different professionals. You’ll be able to not just compare their skills, but gather extremely useful data without signing a contract that commits you to their further services (or high commissions). With this information in hand, you’ll better understand the cost and timeline of a traditional listing appealing to individual buyers, and how that differs from a fast-closing, low-prep sale to a cash buyer.

To weigh additional factors, you can also opt for professional guidance from a real estate lawyer and, particularly if the sale relates to an inheritance or divorce, a tax or financial planner.

Integrated iBuyer Solutions

We’ve explored how to sell a house in a slow market with a traditional listing, but that’s not the only option available to you. Ever heard the term iBuyer?  An iBuyer is an investor that purchases real estate property, usually for the purpose of investing in upgrades and reselling it at a profit. Speed is one of the top benefits of partnering with an iBuyer vs realtor. They buy for cash, with no reliance or delays related to financing, which also means you’ll have the advantage of:

  • A cash buyer with no financing contingencies to delay or cancel a closing

  • Less work—no need to spit-polish, remodel, or stage your home

  • Zero real estate commissions—you sell directly to the buyer

  • No time spent listing, marketing, showing, or waiting for an interested buyer

  • A fast closing

Because iBuyers operate at a larger scale than individual buyers, they can generally remodel and revitalize a property for far less than it would cost the owner to do. While you can typically reach a higher sale price with a traditional listing, your final profits after all of the closing costs and fees are accounted for are often less than the time and effort spent preparing for an individual offer.

FlipSplit—The iBuyer That Shares Profits with You

In Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, homeowners can sell their single-family homes to FlipSplit for fair market value. Unlike most iBuyers, we’ll take care of the entire cost of closing—you won’t pay a cent in fees, commissions, or administrative costs. Our team includes real estate and construction professionals who analyze property needs based on local homebuyer preferences and current market trends. We build a plan that incorporates the right mix of renovation, staging, and marketing to maximize property value. Once it’s move-in ready, we’ll resell it at a premium price.

The best part comes next: FlipSplit hands 50% of profits beyond the participation threshold back to you after the sale. That means you bear none of the cost and hassle of renovation and listing, but you retain the ability to profit from a great sale. Get a fast, no-obligation quote from us today. Visit FlipSplit to request an offer and get started!  

 

 

Sources: 

  1. Realtor.com. The Complete Home-Selling Timeline: Here’s How Long It Takes To Sell a House Today—or Speed It Up. https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/home-selling-timeline-how-long-it-takes-to-sell-a-house/
  2. FRED. Housing Inventory: Median Days on Market in the United States. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEDDAYONMARUS
  3. HomeLight. How Long Does It Take to Sell a House? (Spring 2023). https://www.homelight.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-sell-a-house/
  4. Remodeling. 2023 Cost vs. Value Report. https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2023/

Reviewed by: Brandon Brown

As a long-time Asset Manager, Investor, Real Estate Agent, and Broker/Owner of BayBrook Realty in Orange County, Brandon Brown is one of FlipSplit’s lead Real Estate experts. Having worked on over 2,000+ real estate transactions, Brandon brings a depth of knowledge that ensures clients are appropriately treated with honesty and integrity. His insights and advice have been published in numerous blogs beyond FlipSplit, and he keeps a close eye on market trends and statistics, which are updated weekly on his social media pages. Outside work, you can find him participating and serving at church, cycling, mountain biking, surfing around Orange County and beyond, and enjoying time with his wife and two daughters.

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