4 Ways to Sell Your House Fast

Andrew Whytock
Katy Byrom

By 

Andrew Whytock

 & 

Katy Byrom

August 4th, 2022
Updated August 4th, 2022

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Sell your house fast

If you need to sell your house fast, you have a few options to choose from:

Generally, the most direct route to a fast home sale is through an iBuyer or company that buys houses for cash.

Cash buyer companies, which are also sometimes called house flippers, purchase homes in just about any condition and can often close in under two weeks. But they also pay the least amount of money — sometimes as little as 50% of the home's after repair (or resale) value.

iBuyers, on the other hand, offer much closer to — though still usually less than — fair market value. Unfortunately, they have much stricter purchase criteria and are only available in select markets, usually concentrated around larger cities.

For sellers who want to move quickly without taking a financial hit, we recommend getting in touch with a reputable local agent, who can walk you through your options for ensuring a fast home sale — including ways to sell it quickly the open market.

While the typical home sale takes about 32 days to close, top agents have the network and marketing savvy to help you sell your home much faster. An agent can also provide you with an estimate of your home value so you can gauge whether it's worth it to accept a cash offer.

This guide draws on over 100 hours of collective research from Clever’s editorial team — including analysis of the service offerings and business models of various real estate technology companies.

To write this article, we talked to home sellers and interviewed both external and in-house real estate professionals with expertise in listing, marketing, and selling homes:

  • JC Young, real estate author and licensed agent
  • Luke Babich, real estate investor and Clever Real Estate CEO
  • Todd Stolte, real estate investor and licensed agent

We also drew on data and research from the following sources:

About Clever Real Estate

Clever is a free online platform with the goal of educating consumers about real estate and helping them save money when buying or selling a home. We strive to give 100% objective advice to help you make better real estate decisions.

Learn more about Clever’s editorial policy and how we make money.

If you have more questions about finding realtors (or Clever’s service), our licensed Concierge Team is standing by seven days a week, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. CST: (833) 225-3837.

What's the best way to sell your house fast?

Fast home sale options, at a glance


Cash buyer
iBuyer
Open market
Home trade-in
Editor's take
🏚 Sell "as is" — but for a lot less money
🚀 Sell fast — but not all homes qualify
💰 Best price — but not guaranteed to sell quickly
⏳ Best for timing a concurrent home sale and purchase
Average time to offer
3–7 days
1–2 days
11 days*
1–2 days
Average closing time
1–3 weeks
Flexible, as few as 7 days
36 days*
Flexible, as few as 14 days
% of market value
50–85% (Varies)
98–99%
100%+
100%+
Estimated sale price (on a $300,000 home)
$150,000–255,000
$294,000
$300,000+
$300,000+
Service fee or commission
0%
5–10%
5–6%
1–6%
*Based on 2021 national housing data from Zillow

🏚 Cash buyer

  • Editor's take: Sell "as is" — but for a lot less money
  • Average time to offer: 3–7 days
  • Average closing time: 1–3 weeks
  • % of market value: 50–85% (Varies)
  • Estimated sale price (on a $300,000 home): $150,000–255,000
  • Service fee or commission: 0%
🚀 iBuyer

  • Editor's take: Sell fast — but not all homes qualify
  • Average time to offer: 3–7 days
  • Average closing time: Flexible, as few as 7 days
  • % of market value: 98–99%
  • Estimated sale price (on a $300,000 home): $294,000
  • Service fee or commission: 5–10%
💰Open market

  • Editor's take: Best price — but not guaranteed to sell quickly
  • Average time to offer: 11 days*
  • Average closing time: 36 days*
  • % of market value: 100%+
  • Estimated sale price (on a $300,000 home): $300,000+
  • Service fee or commission: 5–6%
⏳Home trade-in

  • Editor's take: Best for timing a concurrent home sale and purchase
  • Average time to offer: 1–2 days
  • Average closing time: Flexible, as few as 14 days
  • % of market value: 100%+
  • Estimated sale price (on a $300,000 home): $300,000+
  • Service fee or commission: 1–6%
*Based on 2021 national housing data from Zillow

👉 JUMP TO SECTION: Find a cash buyer | Sell to an iBuyer | List on the open market | Buy before you sell with a home trade-in

JC Young, a top listing agent and author of several real estate books, including How to Sell Hard to Sell Homes, advises that the best way to sell your house fast depends on your situation.

For example, in a situation such as divorce, where the parties would prefer to keep communication to a minimum, a quick home sale to iBuyer could be a good option.

In other cases, such as when you're dealing with a distressed property or facing foreclosure, you might have trouble selling on the open market. Then, it would make sense to seek a cash buyer willing to purchase your home "as is."

If you need to time your home sale with a new home purchase, you could use a home trade-in service to buy before you sell and avoid the risk of having to pay two mortgages. The typical home trade-in company will assess your home's equity and front you the cash to pay for a new home while helping you sell your old home on the open market.

"There are many ways to sell your house," says Young, "and many of those ways will sell your house quickly." She advocates sitting down with an agent to review different selling options side-by-side. That way, Young suggests, "you can determine which would be best for you, and which you'd prefer to have based on what you will net."

👋 Need a great agent on your side?

Connect with top local agents who can help you sell on time and for top dollar. You'll pay just $3,000 or 1% in listing fees, helping you save thousands!

Option 1: Find a cash buyer and sell

Cash buyers can purchase your house quickly, but there is a cost for this speed. These companies buy distressed properties with the aim of making a profit, so they pay as little as possible.

In some cases, cash buyers pay as little as 50% of a home's estimated after repair value (AVR), minus repair costs. For example, if a cash buyer determined that a home's after repair value was $250,000, but they estimated that they'd need to invest $50,000 in repairs, they might aim to pay just $100,000 for the house (50%).

» READ: Companies that buy houses for cash.

We talked to one homeowner who sold her house to HomeVestors (also known as the "We Buy Ugly Houses" company) for $60,000. Because the market conditions were so favorable at the time, the company was able to sell the house two months later for $116,000 with only minimal repairs.

The homeowner got the speedy sale she wanted, but with just a little extra time she could have sold for $56,000 more!

That said, cash buyers are often willing to buy homes that wouldn't sell otherwise, including those with major issues such as water damage and cracked foundations.

If your top priority is simply getting out from under your mortgage, a cash buyer can help you do it. However, be prepared to sell your house for much less than its full sale value.

Should you sell your house to a cash buyer?

✅ Cash buyer pros
  • Speed: Companies that buy houses for cash can typically close in 7–14 days.
  • Certainty: Most "we buy houses" companies have cash on hand, so there's minimal risk of your deal falling through.
  • Less hassle: You can sell as-is without worrying about cleaning or repairs.
❌ Cash buyer cons
  • Lowball offers: Cash buyer companies will typically offer 50–85% of your home's value, at most.
  • Predatory tactics: Some cash buyers prey on people in vulnerable situations, pressuring them into sales that aren't in their best interests.

While the promise of a fast all-cash sale is enticing, in most cases, we don't recommend selling to a cash buyer. You'll simply be leaving too much cash on the table. However, selling to a cash buyer could make sense if:

  • You're facing foreclosure. If you're significantly behind on your mortgage payments, selling to a cash buyer might allow you to avoid a devastating hit to your credit without losing all that you've invested into your home.
  • Your property is badly distressed. When a house is in poor condition, traditional lenders may not be willing to finance its purchase. If you're having trouble selling on the open market, a "we buy houses" company could help you get out from under your mortgage and avoid having to pay for extensive repairs.
  • You're dealing with difficult tenants. Companies that buy houses for cash are also more willing to take on rental properties with problem tenants, giving you the chance to recoup some of your investment and avoid a messy eviction process.

Given the high stakes of selling a home, we recommend consulting with an agent, who can set realistic expectations on how much you'll get for your house given your specific scenario. That way, you can make an informed choice about whether a cash sale is the right way to go.

👋 Clever can help you sell fast and for top dollar!

Before selling your home to an investor or flipper for cash, it pays to talk to a real estate agent about your options.

Our licensed concierge team can connect you with top-rated agents who know how fast homes are selling in your area — and how to find a buyer quickly while earning the most money from your sale.

How does selling to a cash buyer work?

Companies that offer cash for your home typically aim for properties they can purchase at a bargain to flip for a profit after making the necessary repairs and updates.

Here’s how a typical transaction works:

  1. Request an offer. Most companies collect basic information about your home through an online form or over the phone. In some cases, you may receive an initial estimate of your cash offer within 24–48 hours.
  2. Complete an inspection. A third-party inspector or local representative from the company will complete an on-site inspection. Your final offer will be adjusted to account for the costs of repairs.
  3. Accept the offer and close. If you choose to accept the company's final offer, you'll sign a purchase agreement and schedule your closing date. Unlike buyers who require lender financing, companies offering cash can move quickly. You could potentially close and receive a payout within 7–10 days.

Which companies buy houses for cash?

At some point, you've probably seen a flier claiming, "We'll buy any house for cash!"

While the pitch might sound like a scam, national brands like HomeVestors and We Buy Houses have developed viable business models that deliver on the promise of a fast, all-cash sale — typically by buying distressed homes at a steep discount.

However, reviews for cash buyers — which often operate as independent investors or franchises — are generally mixed, so we recommend researching multiple companies upfront or having a real estate agent do it for you.

» FIND: 12 Best Companies that Buy Houses for Cash

Cash buyer companies

HomeVestors

HomeVestors

HomeVestors

Full Review

Time to Offer

24-48 hours

Minimum Closing Time

3 weeks

Closing Costs

No cost for seller

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

HomeVestors (the parent company of We Buy Ugly Houses) is a national cash buyer brand made up of independently owned and operated local franchises. Though HomeVestors can provide an initial offer within 48 hours and close in as little as three weeks, home sellers receive as little as 55% of their home's after repair value, minus any anticipated repair costs.

Pros

  • Trusted, nationally recognized brand
  • No need to worry about repairs
  • Close in as little as three weeks

Cons

  • Can't close as quickly as some other cash buyer companies
  • Quality of service might not be consistent across all regions
  • Pays far less than sellers could get on the open market

HomeVestors has more than 800 independently owned and operated franchises across 46 states.

Reviews are only available for HomeVestors' local franchises. Positive reviews highlight the company's convenience and speed, but complaints include lowball offers, high-pressure sales tactics, and spammy marketing.

SHOW MORE

We Buy Houses

We Buy Houses

We Buy Houses

Full Review

Time to Offer

24-48 hours

Minimum Closing Time

7-14 days

Closing Costs

No cost to seller

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

Working with We Buy Houses is more likely to be positive than working with a local private real estate investor. We Buy Houses vets all of their investors and gives them an exclusive license to operate in their territory, so investors who use the brand name have an incentive to work hard in order to maintain their advantage.

While We Buy Houses doesn't exercise control over how much their investors offer, they do reserve the right to rescind licenses if investors don't meet their ethical standards.

Pros

  • Offer in 24-48 hours
  • Vetted, reputable real estate investors
  • No need to worry about repairs
  • Close in just seven days


Cons

  • Little to no room for negotiation
  • Individual investors have different strategies, so they may value your home differently
  • Licenses are exclusive, so there is only one We Buy Houses option in your area

We Buy Houses has over 2,700 offices across 49 states.

Reviews online are only available on local Facebook pages.

The vast majority were positive, with customers saying that the We Buy Houses investor they worked with was fast and professional. The only negative review we found had to do with a customer who purchased a home from We Buy Houses and felt that the repairs they made before selling were cheap.

SHOW MORE

I Buy Houses

I Buy Houses

I Buy Houses

Full Review

Time to Offer

Varies

Minimum Closing Time

Varies

Closing Costs

Varies

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

I Buy Houses connects home sellers with a network of subscribers who are independent real estate investors. These investors aren't vetted in any way, so it's impossible to know what level of service you'll receive, and negotiating will be entirely up to you. In fact, there's no guarantee that anyone will even contact you when you submit your information.

Pros

  • A national network of real estate investors
  • Easy online submission form

Cons

  • No vetting process — anyone can sign up as an "investor"
  • No standards for how transactions are conducted
  • No guarantee that anyone will contact you, or that you'll get an offer

I Buy Houses is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

No customer reviews are available.

SHOW MORE

Option 2: Sell to an iBuyer for (close to) market value

If you're on a tight timeline, an iBuyer can help you sell your home in under two weeks, usually for just under market value — which is more than what you might get from a cash buyer, though still less than what you could expect to earn on the open market.

To boost their earnings, iBuyers typically charge services fees of about 5% of the purchase price — though they can climb to 10% or more depending on the amount of work needed and how long the iBuyer thinks it will take to resell.

Unlike cash investors, which seek distressed properties that they can flip for a hefty profit, iBuyers tend to be picky about the homes they buy.

» LEARN: What Is an iBuyer? Everything You NEED to Know

iBuyers typically opt for homes in fairly good condition that are comparable to others selling in the area. That means a typical lot size (no bigger than 1.5 acres) and a price point that falls within a given range for the metro.

Each iBuyer has slightly different purchase requirements. It's free to submit your information and, in most cases, you’ll receive an offer (or rejection) within 24–48 hours — with no obligation to commit.

iBuyers currently operate in only about half of the U.S. They mostly stick to major cities with healthy real estate markets and a higher concentration of residential homes for sale.

Should you sell your house to an iBuyer?

✅ iBuyer pros
  • Speed: With an iBuyer, the entire sale can be completed in two weeks or less, from offer request to close.
  • Certainty: As a seller, you'll know the amount you'll sell for upfront and won't have to worry about the buyer's financing falling through.
  • Convenience: When you sell to an iBuyer, you can skip the home prep, showings, and negotiations. If repairs are needed, the iBuyer will usually bring in its own contractor to complete the work.
❌ iBuyer cons
  • Limited markets: iBuyers only operate in select major metros and account for a mere 1.3% of homes bought and sold in the U.S.
  • No room to negotiate: iBuyers typically won't negotiate on price – you can either accept their offer or move on to other options.
  • Service fees: While iBuyers make higher offers than cash investors, you'll usually pay a minimum of 5% in service fees.
  • Strict criteria: iBuyers typically won't buy homes in need of extensive repairs or that differ too far from market norms in terms of features, price, and size.
  • Repairs: Unless your home is in perfect condition, iBuyers will usually amend their initial offer following an inspection, deducting the costs of any needed repairs.

While you're likely to net a lot more on the open market, selling your house to an iBuyer could make sense if:

  • You're on a tight timeline. If you're moving for a job or have already bought a new home and need to sell quickly to avoid carrying two mortgages, a reputable iBuyer can help you sell in as little as 7–10 days. However, if you don't want to sacrifice profit, a home trade-in service may be a better alternative for lining up a home sale and purchase.
  • You're going through a divorce or separation. Selling a house — and figuring out who's going to pay for the mortgage and upkeep until it's sold — can add strain to an already tense situation. Selling to an iBuyer can help you avoid the back and forth without completely sacrificing your bottom line.
  • You've inherited an unwanted property. If you simply don't want to put a lot of time or effort into selling a house, an iBuyer could quickly turn it into cash.

If you're interested in a cash offer, Clever can match you with a top local agent who can contact local iBuyers and other cash offer companies, then present you with their offers and terms. Your Clever agent can also give you an accurate picture of what your home may get on the open market.

How does selling to an iBuyer work?

To sell to an iBuyer, your property will need to meet the purchase criteria. While requirements differ somewhat from one company to another, iBuyers tend to choose homes that are owner-occupied, built after 1930, and in need of only minor cosmetic updates or repairs.

Typical iBuyer purchase criteria
🏗 Constructed after 1930
💰 Valued at $100,000–750,000 (upper limit may be higher or lower in some markets)
🌳 Located on ≤1.5 acres
👤 Owner-occupied condo, townhome, or stand-alone home
🏡 In good condition, with only minor repairs needed

Here's how selling to an iBuyer typically goes:

  1. Request a preliminary offer. You can visit an iBuyer's website to submit your property information via an online form. You'll receive a response within two days.
  2. Get an inspection. If your property is eligible, the iBuyer will conduct a video or on-site inspection to verify your home's condition.
  3. Review the final offer. After the inspection, the iBuyer will present you with a revised offer including deductions for any repairs that are needed on the home. Repairs generally range 1–2% of the purchase price and usually can't be negotiated.
  4. Choose your closing date. If you choose to move forward with the revised offer, you'll sign the purchase agreement and pick a closing date. While you can typically close in under two weeks, most iBuyers offer a flexible closing window of 30 days or more. You'll receive the funds either on closing day or several days after.

Which iBuyer company should you use?

Our team has spent hundreds of hours researching and comparing iBuyer companies. Below are some of our top picks based on fees, services, availability, and customer ratings.

While these iBuyers are available in markets throughout the country, other iBuyers work locally. For example, Flashhouse only buys homes in certain parts of Ohio, where it's headquartered. While not nationally known, it's rated well by customers and offers a distinct seller's advantage by completely eliminating the service fees charged by competitors. So before choosing an iBuyer, it's best to do your research.

» FIND: The 6 Best iBuyer Companies Ranked and Reviewed

Top iBuyers

Opendoor

Opendoor

Opendoor

Full Review

Service Fee

5%

Closing Date Window

14–60 days

Average Rating

4.3 | 2718 reviews

✍ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

Opendoor is a good option for home sellers who need a fast, predictable sale with minimal hassle. While the price that Opendoor pays might be slightly below the value of comparable homes on the open market, the difference might be worth it for people who value convenience and speed.

Pros

  • 5% service fee is lower than competitors
  • Additional in-house services, including Opendoor Home Loans & OD Title
  • Highly rated in customers' online reviews

Cons

  • Offer prices may vary by market
  • Limited ability to negotiate
  • Buyers may find Opendoor's repairs insufficient

Opendoor is currently purchasing homes in 47 locations, including:

  • AZ: Phoenix, Tucson
  • CA: Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego
  • CO: Denver
  • FL: Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa
  • GA: Atlanta
  • MN: Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • NV: Las Vegas
  • NC: Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham
  • OR: Portland
  • TN: Nashville
  • TX: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
  • UT: Salt Lake City

As of April 7, 2022, Opendoor's weighted average is 4.3 based on 2718 reviews.

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Offerpad

Offerpad

Offerpad

Full Review

Service Fee

5%

Closing Date Window

8–90 days

Average Rating

3.7 | 292 reviews

✍ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

Offerpad promises the certainty of a cash offer and a fast closing on a date you choose. Of all the iBuyers, Offerpad has the most flexibility when it comes to closing (8—90 days) and is liked by customers for its personalized customer service and perks like a free local move.

Pros

  • Generous closing window compared to competitors
  • Late checkout option gives sellers up to 3 days to move out after closing
  • Access additional services, such as free local moves within 50 miles


Cons

  • You might face a 1% cancellation fee if you back out of the sale
  • Not as widely available as competitors like Opendoor

Offerpad is currently purchasing homes in 25 locations, including:

  • AL: Birmingham
  • AZ: Phoenix, Tucson
  • CA: Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino
  • CO: Denver
  • FL: Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa
  • GA: Atlanta
  • IN: Indianapolis
  • KS: Kansas City
  • MO: Kansas City, St. Louis
  • NV: Las Vegas
  • NC: Charlotte (+ neighboring parts of SC), Raleigh
  • OH: Columbus
  • SC: Columbia
  • TN: Nashville
  • TX: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio

As of April 7, 2022, Offerpad's average customer rating is 3.7 based on 292 reviews.

  • Website: www.offerpad.com
  • Phone: 844-388-4539
  • Email (Sellers): info@offerpad.com
  • Email (Buyers): buyers@offerpad.com
SHOW MORE

RedfinNow

RedfinNow

RedfinNow

Full Review

Service Fee

5–13%

Closing Date Window

10–30 days

Average Rating

Not available

✍ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

Compared to its competitors, RedfinNow handles a relatively small volume of iBuyer sales and has high service fees (up to 13%). However, RedfinNow shines in several niches, thanks to its willingness to accept older homes and its availability in a wide range of California cities.

Pros

  • Expanded presence in cities across California, including several not served by other iBuyers
  • Large and trusted corporate brand
  • Older homes (built after 1930) are eligible in select cities


Cons

  • Relatively expensive services fees (up to 13% of the offer price)
  • Relatively limited flexibility on closing window, compared to competitors

RedfinNow is currently purchasing homes in 31 locations, including

  • AZ: Phoenix
  • CA: Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco
  • CO: Denver
  • TX: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio
  • WA: Seattle

As of April 7, 2022, RedfinNow does not have any verified customer reviews on reputable third-party review sites.

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Option 3: List your house on the open market

If you want to sell fast for the most money possible, don't rule out the open market. Although the median days on market (from listing to close) for all homes is 32 days, it's possible to sell much faster.

JC Young, who has nearly a decade of experience selling homes in Austin and North Texas, advises that if a buyer brings cash, "Closing can happen as soon as two days after they get the title work and HOA documents — or seven to ten days total."

Young notes that many buyers also get fully underwritten by their lenders before submitting offers, allowing them to close 14–17 days after signing the contract — about the same amount of time that it would take to sell to an iBuyer.

If you absolutely need to sell quickly, a good realtor will adjust their approach to expedite the process.

A realtor may even suggest pursuing multiple tactics to ensure a faster closing, like soliciting cash offers from third-party buyers and using an iBuyer as a backup. Some agents will even guarantee the sale of your home by offering to buy it themselves if it doesn't sell.

Considering the growing number of agents willing to negotiate their fees, it's possible to find a top-performing agent to help you sell your home fast for as little as 1%.

👋 Need a great agent on your side?

Connect with top local agents who can help you sell on time and for top dollar. You'll pay just $3,000 or 1% in listing fees, helping you save thousands!

Tips for selling your house fast

🤝 Get a great agent

Unlike iBuyers or companies that buy fixer-uppers for cash, real estate agents are motivated to help you get the highest possible sale price for your home. If your goal is to sell your house fast, a realtor can present you with a variety of options to help meet your timeline.

Realtors will lay out the different options side-by-side and walk you through each selling scenario, including potential timelines and net profits.

While many sellers forgo the help of an agent to avoid paying the typical 5–6% in commissions, an agent's knowledge and expertise can actually pay for itself — and then some.

In 2021, homes sold through an agent went for an average of $58,000 more than those sold for sale by owner (FSBO).[1]

» Looking for a great agent? Try Clever's free agent-matching service and list with a top local agent for only $3,000 or 1%!

💰 Seek a buyer with secure financing

When it comes to selling a home, delays are often due to financing issues, such as low appraisals.

The type of loan a buyer gets can also influence the closing timeline. For example, government-backed VA and FHA loans can take several days longer[2] to close than conventional home loans. Be sure you're aware of the buyer's financing going in — it'll be written directly into the offer contract.

To sell a home quickly, you ideally want to avoid offers with too many contingencies attached and look for a buyer who is further along in the loan underwriting process or who can pay all cash.

While most buyers use financing to purchase a home, AttomData revealed that all-cash purchases accounted for 30.3% of home sales in 2021 — so even in an open market, it's possible to find a cash offer. This is especially true given the growing presence of home trade-in services willing to front buyers the funds to pay for a home in cash.

However, cash isn't always necessary to ensure a fast home sale. "Many buyers get highly underwritten by their lenders before coming to the offer table," says realtor JC Young, "and they can waive the financing contingency to close in 14–17 days."

💸 Set a competitive asking price

Todd Stolte, a licensed real estate agent and investor based in St. Louis, emphasizes the importance of setting a competitive asking price when trying to sell your home quickly.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean going to extremes.

While pricing your home slightly lower than comparable listings in the area may help your sell faster, pricing TOO low might draw skepticism from buyers fearful of taking on a home with hidden issues.

An agent can run a comparative market analysis to see what similar homes in your area are going for and set an appropriate asking price. That and aggressive marketing, says Stolte, is the best way to sell your home fast for top dollar.

🧐 Start your due diligence ahead of time and disclose EVERYTHING

Issues discovered during a home inspection, title search, or review of HOA documents can stall negotiations and even give buyers an out from the contract. One of the best ways to ensure a quick sale is to frontload some of the due diligence.

To start, you can order a home inspection before listing your property on the market. If issues turn up, you can either take care of the repairs yourself or disclose them to prospective buyers and adjust your asking price accordingly.

Most states require you to complete a seller's disclosure with details about your home's structure, its systems and appliances, and any known issues (even if they've already been taken care of). The more you disclose to the buyer up front, the less likely you'll hit a speed bump during the closing process.

To speed things up even more, your agent can prepare a package of documents to send out to interested parties. It could include items such as your seller's disclosure, most recent appraisal or property survey, HOA bylaws and financials, findings from a pre-listing inspection (if you choose to have one), and receipts for major repairs or improvements you've made on the house.

You can also start working with a title company before listing to ensure there are no issues that might delay the transfer of the home to a new owner — such as unpaid taxes or HOA fees.

We talked to one home buyer who was able to close on his new house in just three weeks. He credits the seller's pre-work with the title company for the speed of the sale, since they didn't have to wait on a title search after going under contract.

🌟 Maximize your home's selling potential

If you want to sell fast, it'll help if prospective buyers are able to see your home in its best light.

Realtor JC Young emphasizes the importance of doing a deep clean before a weekend of showings. She estimates that some homes in her North Texas market could sell for as much as 10–15% more with a modest $200–400 investment in cleaning services.

Young also suggests clearing out heavily cluttered rooms and removing any personal items (such a mural-sized wedding photos) that could distract from the house itself. After all, you want buyers to notice their future home, not your memories.

However, unless your home is completely vacant or selling at a higher-than-average price point for the market, you may not need to pay for staging services.

Is staging your home worth it?

The median price paid to a home staging company is around $1,500. However, according to the National Association of Realtors' 2021 Profile of Home Staging, real estate agents are divided on the impact of staging on a home's dollar amount:

  • 49% of buyer's agents say staging increases a home's value
  • 25% are unsure
  • 26% say staging has no effect on home value at all

Realtors are also divided about the effects of staging on a home's selling timeline:

  • 53% say staging decreases a home's time on market
  • 24% say it either increases time on market or has no effect at all
  • 14% are unsure

Young suggests staging a home can often be done using a seller's own furniture. The goal is to help buyers see themselves in the space, which can often be accomplished through cleaning and decluttering, tidying up the landscape, and fixing property faults.

A great agent can advise you on which home improvements will offer the greatest return in terms of sale price and time on market.

Some agents even have arrangements with contractors who will make repairs and cosmetic updates on a home prior to listing but collect payment AFTER you sell — saving you the burden of having to come up with the cash out of pocket.

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Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. Interview as many agents as you like until you find the perfect fit — or walk away at any time.

Option 4: Use a trade-in service to buy before you sell

When selling a home to purchase a new one, it's rare for the close dates to match up perfectly. A study by Clever found that 74% of home sellers worry that their home will take too long to sell and 58% fear that the timing will cause their next home purchase to fall through.

If you need to sell quickly when moving from one home to another, a home trade-in service like Knock or Orchard can help.

Unlike iBuyers that purchase your home for cash outright, these companies front you the money to buy a new house even before you sell. Once you move out, they'll help you list your home on the open market, where it has the greatest chance of selling for top dollar.

Most trade-in providers also offer interest-free loans to take care of minor repairs and home improvements to help you maximize your home's selling potential.

With a home trade-in, you essentially get the convenience of an iBuyer without having to sacrifice the equity you've built up in your home.

» LEARN: Home Trade-In Programs: Buy a House Before You Sell Yours

On the off-chance that your home doesn't sell within the listing period — usually 3–4 months — the trade-in company will step in and purchase it for a pre-assessed amount that you'll know up front. While the backup offer will be less than what you'd hope to get on the market, it gives you the assurance of a guaranteed sale.

Trade-in providers charge service fees of up to 6% — which is about the same as what you'd pay to a realtor. Depending on the company, you might also have to pay rent on your new home until your old one sells. These fees and expenses will automatically be deducted from your proceeds at closing.

Should you sell your house using a trade-in service?

✅ Home trade-in pros
  • Controllable move dates: With the ability to access your home's equity before you sell, you can purchase a new house and move on your timeline.
  • No double mortgage: Trade-in companies lend you the money to cover any overlapping mortgage payments, so you don't have to worry about carrying two mortgages while you sell.
  • Guaranteed backup offer: If you can't sell your home within a pre-specified listing period, the trade-in company will step in as the buyer.
  • Increased buying power: Trade-in services back your new home purchase with cash, making your offer much more attractive to sellers.
❌ Home trade-in cons
  • Limited markets: Trade-in services are relatively new, so they're only available in select markets.
  • Service fees: Trade-in providers charge service fees as high as 6%, which is about the same as you would pay to a realtor.
  • Rental fees: In some cases, you'll also owe rent on your new home, since the trade-in company will hold it as collateral until your old home sells.
  • Restrictions on agents and lenders: Some trade-in companies require you to use them as your listing agent. They may also require you to work with their lender to get approved for a loan on your next home.

While the trade-in process will probably take longer than selling to an iBuyer, you can potentially get much more money for your house. A trade-in service could be a particularly strong option if:

  • You need to time your home sale with a home purchase. With a trade-in service, you won't have to worry about carrying two mortgages if your old home doesn't sell as quickly as you'd like. You also avoid the risk of having to move out before you secure a new home.
  • You have a decent amount of equity in your home. Trade-in companies qualify buyers by assessing the equity that they have in their current home, so you'll need to have lived there long enough to pay down a significant portion of the mortgage.
  • You want to maximize your home's selling potential. Many home trade-in services offer interest-free loans for minor repairs and home improvements — like updating flooring and fixtures — to help your home shine in front of buyers.
  • You don't mind working with their agents or lenders. While some home trade-in companies (like Knock) let you select your own listing agent, others require you to use their team to list and sell your home. You might also be required to use the company's internal lender, meaning you won't be able to shop around for better rates.

How does buying and selling with a trade-in service work?

When you use a trade-in service, the process will usually go something like this:

  1. Get qualified: The cash amount that you qualify for typically depends on how much equity you have in your current home.
  2. Find your new home: With your loan pre-approval in hand, you can make a non-contingent offer on a new house, backed by the trade-in company's own cash.
  3. Sell your old home: Depending on the company, it will either act as your listing agent or work with another agent of your choosing to prep, list, and sell your home.
  4. Settle your bill: Once your home is sold, the trade-in provider will collect its service fee and deduct its expenses, including any overlapping mortgage payments or money borrowed for repairs. Your new home's title will be transferred to you at closing, along with any remaining profit.

However, there are a few key differences between providers.

If you use Orchard or Flyhomes, the company will actually purchase a new home on your behalf but hold onto the title until your old home sells. In the meantime, you'll be charged a daily occupancy fee to live there, which will come out of the proceeds from your home sale. When your home does sell, the title will be transferred to your name and you'll start paying down the mortgage.

Knock will provide a bridge loan to cover your down payment on a new house and "pre-imburse" you for up to six months of mortgage on your current property. When you close on the new home, you can move in and begin paying off your mortgage right away. Instead of charging rent, Knock will hold your old home as collateral and have you pay back as many months of mortgage as it takes to sell.

Fees, service options, lending requirements, and closing timelines also vary across trade-in companies. We recommend researching the different services in your area to see how they align with your priorities.

Which trade-in services are the most legit?

Knock Home Swap and Orchard's Move Firstare our top picks for home trade-in companies. Both have consistently high ratings from customers and operate in several major U.S. markets.

For its Home Swap program, Knock charges just a 1.25% service fee (plus a flat $1,450 loan fee) and gives you the freedom to work with your own agent. Orchard charges a higher 6%, but provides a team to help you sell your house and lets you choose your own lender.

Some iBuyers, like Opendoor, have also begun offering buy-before-you-sell options — a key difference is that they don't require you to list your home for a certain amount of time before accepting their cash offer.

While there are several trade-in options to choose from, below are our team's top choices based on data gathered through secret shopping and analysis of hundreds of customer reviews.

» MORE: What are the best home trade-in companies?

Top home trade-in services

Knock

Service Fee

1.25%

Closing Date Window

Varies

Average Rating

4.8/5 (710 reviews)

✍ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

Knock allows customers to purchase a new home before selling their old one. Unlike typical iBuyers, you'll sell on the open market with a traditional real estate agent. Knock will cover your old mortgage until your home sells — but you'll still eventually have to settle up, and costs can add up fast if your home sits on the market.

Pros

  • You'll sell on the open market, potentially receiving offers above fair market value
  • $25,000 advance for home repairs before selling
  • Compared to competitors, Knock accepts older homes (built after 1930)


Cons

  • Fees can add up quickly if your home sits on the market
  • You'll have multiple points of contact rather than one dedicated agent
  • Buyers will need to be proactive and independent in their home search

Knock is currently operating in 15 locations.

  • AZ: Phoenix
  • CO: Denver
  • FL: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach
  • GA: Atlanta
  • NC: Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham
  • TX: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio

As of February 15, 2021, Knock's average customer rating is 4.8/5 based on 710 reviews.

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Orchard

Service Fee

6%

Closing Date Window

14–60 days

Average Rating

4.6/5 (97 reviews)

✍ Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

Orchard is a home trade-in service that allows you to purchase a new home by getting access to your current home's equity. You can then list your old home on the market with an Orchard listing agent.

If you need to move quickly, but still want to get top dollar for your home, Orchard is worth considering. However, Orchard only accepts newer homes compared to its competitors.

Pros

  • You'll have a generous 7-day window to consider Orchard's offer
  • Use Orchard's Offer Boost program to make a cash offer on a new home
  • If your home doesn't sell in 120 days, you can accept Orchard's guaranteed cash offer


Cons

  • Homes must be relatively new, compared to competitors (built after 1972 vs. 1930-1960)
  • Orchard's cash offers will likely be much lower than what you'd be able to sell for on the open market

Orchard is currently operating in nine locations.

  • CO: Colorado Springs, Denver
  • GA: Atlanta
  • NC: Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham
  • TX: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio

As of February 15, 2021, Orchard's average customer rating is 4.6/5 based on 97 reviews.

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Flyhomes

Flyhomes

Flyhomes

Full Review

Service Fee

1%

Closing Date Window

30 days

Average Rating

4.9 | 1016 reviews

✍ Editor's take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

Flyhomes' cash offer can help you avoid the hassle of moving twice and beat out bids in a competitive market. If you don't have a home to sell, you can use Flyhomes' cash offer for just buying. However, you'll end up paying a premium to use its services.

Pros

  • Don't pay two mortgages as the same time.
  • Move into your new home immediately.
  • 1% rebate if you use Flyhomes Mortgage.

Cons

  • Daily rental fees while you wait for your old home to sell.
  • Offer from Flyhomes is only a backup option, so it's not competitive.

Flyhomes is available in select cities in 6 states: CA, CO, MA, OK, TX, WA.

As of April 29, 2022, Flyhomes' weighted average is 4.9 based on 1016 reviews.

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Can you sell fast without an agent?

When you sell for sale by owner (FSBO), it's unlikely to result in a fast sale.

In fact, only 7% of homes are successfully sold via FSBO, and the majority of these sellers (57%) already know the buyer.[1]

While a lot of sellers attempt FSBO in order to avoid paying the typical 5–6% to an agent, selling on your own might also mean that you make less money in the end. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, FSBO homes sold for a median $260,00 in 2021 — that's $58,000 (18.3%) less than the median price of an agent-assisted home sale.

Given the average difference in profit, a realtor's ability to market your home on the MLS (the local, agent-only platform where the vast majority of homes are listed and sold) may more than make up for their commission.

If you're determined to go the FSBO route, you could create your own listing on Zillow and state in the description that you are only entertaining all-cash offers or that you want a fast closing. However, there's no guarantee that this will work, especially since Zillow makes FSBO homes harder to find.

» READ: 26 FSBO vs. Realtor Facts and Statistics to Know

If selling fast is your priority, working with a local listing agent to aggressively market your home will likely result in a better outcome — especially considering that a tenth of all home sellers eventually switch to an agent after failing to sell on their own.

Clever pre-negotiates low listing fees with top agents nationwide, so you'll pay just 1% (or a flat $3,000), but get the full-service support you need to sell your home for top dollar, fast.

Try Clever's free agent matching service, save thousands!

Clever offers top-rated local agents, full service, pre-negotiated low rates for sellers, and cash back for eligible buyers.

FAQs

The fastest way to sell a house is typically by requesting a cash offer from an iBuyer or company that purchases homes for cash. However, with the right selling strategy in place, homes sold on the open market can sometimes close just as quickly. Learn more.

The best way to sell a house fast depends on your situation and the condition of your house. Options include selling "as is" to a cash investor, requesting a cash offer for an iBuyer who can pay closer to fair market value, working with a top agent to sell on the market, or using a trade-in service to buy a new house before you sell. Learn about your options.

While not guaranteed, it's possible to sell a house in 7 days by working with a cash buyer, such as an iBuyer or a company that purchases homes for cash to flip them for a profit. Check out your options for selling a house fast.

If you want to sell fast, it pays to do some of the legwork up front. With the right preparation, you could sell your house for top dollar in well under 30 days. Here are real estate experts' top tips for selling a house fast.

Related reading

ARTICLE SOURCES
[1]

National Association of Realtors. "2021." Accessed April 25, 2022.

[2]

Forbes. "Closing On A House? Here's How Long It Takes.." Accessed April 25, 2022.

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