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Essential Tips to Sell an Old House Fast

By The HomeGo Team On 2023-04-28

Selling an old house that’s out of date can be a daunting task, especially if you’re in a hurry. But fear not, we’re going to cover the essential strategies and tips to sell your old house quickly and efficiently, backed by examples and statistics. There are many things to consider in whether you want to spend the money and time to get top dollar, or whether it’d be better to sell it quickly at a bit of a discount and let someone else deal with all of that. Let’s dive right in and discover the secrets to a successful and speedy sale.

Know Your House’s Value and Potential Value

Understanding the value of your property is crucial when it comes to selling it quickly. There are several ways to determine your house’s worth:

Determining the Market Value of Your Older Home

The market value of your home is its estimated worth based on current market conditions, recent sales, and other factors. Online tools like Zillow or Redfin can provide an estimate of your property’s value. For instance, Zillow’s Zestimate tool has a median error rate of 1.9% for on-market homes.

Comparing Similar Homes

Another way to assess your home’s worth is by comparing it to similar properties in your area that have sold recently. A study by the National Association of Realtors found that 53% of buyers used comparable sales to determine the offer they made on a home.

When determining the market value of your house, comparing it against similar homes in your area is a crucial step. Here are detailed instructions on how to make an accurate comparison:

  1. Define your criteria: First, determine the criteria for selecting comparable homes. These should include the following factors:
    • Location: Choose homes within the same neighborhood or within a few miles of your property.
    • Age: Select homes built around the same time as your house.
    • Size: Compare homes with similar square footage, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms.
    • Architectural style: Pick homes with a similar architectural style or design.
    • Lot size: Compare properties with a similar lot size.
  2. Gather data: Collect information on recently sold homes in your area that fit your criteria. You can gather this data from various sources, including:
    • Real estate websites: Platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin provide information on recently sold homes, including their sale prices.
    • Local property records: Visit your local county assessor’s office or their website to access public records of property sales.
    • Real estate agent: If you’re working with a real estate agent, they can provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that includes relevant comparable sales.
  3. Analyze the data: Once you have collected the necessary information, it’s time to analyze and compare the data. Keep the following factors in mind:
    • Sale price: Compare the sale prices of similar homes to gauge the potential price range for your property.
    • Date of sale: Focus on homes sold within the last three to six months, as older data may not reflect current market conditions.
    • Property condition: Consider the condition of the compared properties. Homes that have been renovated or are in better overall condition may have higher sale prices.
    • Unique features: Note any unique features or upgrades in the comparable homes, such as a swimming pool, finished basement, or energy-efficient improvements. These features can impact the sale price.
  4. Adjust for differences: After analyzing the data, make adjustments for any differences between your home and the comparable properties. For example, if your home has an additional bedroom or a larger lot size, you may need to adjust the estimated value upwards. Conversely, if your home is in poorer condition or has fewer features, you may need to lower the estimated value.
  5. Determine a price range: Based on your analysis, establish a price range for your home. This range should reflect the differences between your property and the comparable homes. It’s essential to stay objective during this step and avoid overvaluing your home based on emotional attachment or personal preference.

Consult an Appraiser

A professional appraiser can give you a more accurate evaluation of your home’s value. According to the Appraisal Institute, they consider factors like location, condition, and any unique features your property may have.

The cost of a home appraisal varies depending on several factors, such as the size and location of your property, the complexity of the appraisal, and the appraiser’s experience. On average, a home appraisal in the United States can cost between $300 and $450. However, it’s not uncommon for appraisal fees to range from $250 to $600 or more, depending on the factors mentioned above.

Keep in mind that these costs are subject to change and can differ based on regional factors, such as local demand and the cost of living. It’s always a good idea to contact a few local appraisers to get accurate quotes for your specific property before proceeding.

Preparing Your Older Home to Go On the Market

Properly preparing your home can make a significant difference in attracting potential buyers and securing a quick sale.


A clutter-free space will make your house appear larger and more inviting. A study by UCLA found that clutter negatively affects people’s mood and self-esteem, which can impact a buyer’s perception of your home.


A clean home will leave a positive impression on potential buyers. Research by HomeLight suggests that a deep-cleaned house can sell for up to $1,700 more than a comparable, less tidy property.

Minor Repairs

Address any small issues like leaky faucets, chipped paint, or broken fixtures before listing your property. If it can be somewhat easily fixed for a minimal cost, it’s probably worth doing if you want to get the most from selling your home. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University found that well-maintained homes sell for higher prices.

This is where owners of older homes have to decide where they are going to draw the line between potentially selling for a higher price and the time, effort, and cost of making the necessary repairs and upgrades to do so. If you’re wanting to sell the home quickly, these repairs, along with the time and cost to do them can quickly pile up. See below for a faster alternative.

Home Staging

Staging your home with attractive furniture and decorations can help potential buyers visualize themselves living there. The National Association of Realtors found that 49% of buyer’s agents believe staging impacts buyers’ perception of a home.

Marketing Your House

Effective marketing is key to generating interest in your property and attracting potential buyers.

Taking High-Quality Photos

High-quality photos can showcase your home’s best features and make it stand out online. A Redfin study found that homes with professional photos sold faster and for more money than those with amateur images.

Writing an Engaging Description

An engaging description will pique the interest of potential buyers and entice them to learn more. Research by Zillow revealed that listings with certain keywords, like “luxurious” and “captivating,” sold faster and for a higher price.

Utilizing Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can help you reach a larger audience and generate interest in your property. According to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of millennials and 90% of baby boomers begin their home search online.

Working with a Real Estate Agent

A skilled real estate agent can help you market your home effectively, attract potential buyers, and negotiate offers. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that homes listed with agents sold for 5.9% to 7.7% more than those sold by owner.

Setting a Realistic Price

Pricing your home competitively from the start will attract more potential buyers and increase your chances of a quick sale. Overpricing can deter buyers and cause your property to sit on the market for an extended period. According to Zillow, homes priced correctly from the start sell 47% faster than those that are overpriced.

Offering Incentives

Offering incentives like covering closing costs or including appliances can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and expedite the selling process. A survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 37% of sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.

Price Reductions

If your home isn’t selling as quickly as you’d like, consider lowering the price to generate more interest. A study by the Journal of Housing Research found that homes with price reductions sell for less but spend less time on the market.

Be Flexible

Being accommodating and flexible can help you sell your home more quickly.

Open Houses

Hosting open houses can provide potential buyers with an opportunity to view your property in person. A report by the National Association of Realtors found that 53% of buyers used open houses as a source of information during their home search.

Showing Availability

Make your home available for showings as often as possible, even on short notice. The more potential buyers who see your home, the higher the likelihood of receiving an offer. A survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 42% of buyers found their home through a scheduled showing.

Negotiating Offers

Be open to negotiating offers and consider any contingencies that buyers may have. Your real estate agent can help you navigate this process and ensure a successful outcome. According to the National Association of Realtors, 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.

Legal Matters

Though most homes shouldn’t have to worry about any legal issues, taking care of any existing legal matters involving the property can be essential when selling your home.

Being aware of these issues and addressing them proactively can help you avoid unnecessary delays and ensure a smooth transaction. Some common legal matters that could cause delays include:

  1. Title issues: Problems with the property’s title, such as liens, easements, or ownership disputes, can significantly delay the sale process. Before listing your property, ensure that the title is clear and free of any encumbrances.
  2. Disclosure disputes: Failing to disclose known defects or issues with your property can lead to legal disputes and delays in the sale process. Be transparent about any known problems with your home to prevent potential conflicts with the buyer.
  3. Contract disagreements: Disagreements over contract terms or contingencies, such as financing, inspections, or repairs, can delay the sale process. Work closely with your real estate agent and attorney to create a mutually agreeable contract that minimizes the likelihood of disputes.
  4. Permit issues: If your home has undergone renovations or additions without the necessary permits, this can cause delays in the sale process. Ensure that any work done on your property is properly permitted and documented to avoid potential problems.
  5. Homeowners association (HOA) complications: If your property is part of an HOA, there may be specific rules and regulations that you must comply with before selling your home. Make sure you understand these requirements and address any potential issues before listing your property.
  6. Boundary disputes: Disputes over property lines or encroachments can lead to delays in the sale process. Obtain a survey of your property to confirm boundaries and address any potential issues before listing your home.
  7. Bankruptcy or foreclosure: If you’re going through bankruptcy or facing foreclosure, there may be legal restrictions on selling your property, which can lead to delays or complications in the sale process. Consult with an attorney to understand your options and the potential impact on your home sale.

By being proactive and addressing potential legal issues before listing your home, you can minimize the risk of delays and ensure a smoother sale process. Working with an experienced real estate agent and attorney can also provide valuable guidance and support in navigating these potential legal matters.

Normally your real estate agent, if you have one, should ask if there are any of these issues and be able to point you in the right direction if they exist.

If there are more complicated issues with the property, you may have to consult a real estate attorney. While these situations are not the norm with your average residential home sale, sometimes it can be necessary. A real estate attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal aspects of selling your home, including drafting contracts and ensuring all necessary documents are in order. According to the American Bar Association, real estate attorneys can help protect your interests and reduce potential legal issues.

Preparing Necessary Documents

Gather and prepare all required documents, such as the property deed, disclosure statements, and inspection reports, to streamline the closing process. The National Association of Realtors states that having all documents prepared can help prevent delays and ensure a smoother transaction.

Sell Your Home As-Is

Selling your home “as-is” means putting it on the market without making any repairs or improvements. While this approach may not be suitable for every situation, there are several benefits to selling your home as-is:

  1. Reduced costs: Selling your home as-is can save you money on repairs, renovations, or updates that may be required to prepare the property for sale. This can be particularly beneficial if you have limited funds or if the necessary repairs are extensive and costly.
  2. Faster sale: Since you won’t need to spend time on repairs or improvements, you can list your property on the market sooner. This can potentially result in a quicker sale, especially if you’re in a hurry to move or need to sell due to financial constraints.
  3. Less stress: Making repairs and improvements can be time-consuming and stressful. Selling your home as-is can help you avoid the hassle and pressure associated with preparing your property for sale, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the selling process or your upcoming move.
  4. Attracting investors: Selling a home as-is can be appealing to investors or buyers looking for a fixer-upper. These buyers are often willing to purchase a property at a lower price, with the intention of making improvements themselves and potentially profiting from the increased value.
  5. Simplified negotiations: By listing your home as-is, you’re setting clear expectations for potential buyers about the property’s condition. This can help to simplify negotiations since buyers will understand that they are responsible for any repairs or improvements after the purchase.
  6. Limited liability: When you sell your home as-is, you’re generally not responsible for any issues that arise after the sale, as long as you have disclosed any known defects. This can help protect you from potential legal disputes or financial liabilities related to the property’s condition.

Keep in mind that selling a home as-is may result in a lower sale price compared to a property that has been updated and well-maintained. It’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of selling your home as-is and consider your unique circumstances when deciding on the best approach for your property.


Selling an old house fast may seem challenging, but with the right preparation, marketing, and pricing strategy, you can expedite the process and achieve a successful sale. Be flexible, enlist the help of professionals, and stay proactive throughout the entire process to maximize your chances of a quick and profitable sale. And of course you can always skip all those steps and get a quick cash offer from HomeGo to sell your home fast.

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