From Sacramento to San Diego, the California housing market is experiencing a major shift. Home prices are declining, housing inventory is rising, and homes are staying longer on the market. Homes spent 47 days on the market in March 2023, up 67.8% year over year.
But if you need to sell your house fast, you still have some great options. You can opt to sell to companies that buy houses for cash, you can trade in your home, or, you can list on the MLS to get top-dollar offers for your property.
Choosing the right strategy is key. Your goal is to minimize the days on market, but still sell your property for max price. Remember, you can sell anything at the right price, but in doing so, you don’t want to lose thousands in your hard-earned equity.
3 Power Tips to Sell Fast 🚀
- Sell “As Is” for Cash: Cash buyers provide certainty and close fast. 31.2% of Americans sold their homes for cash in December 2022, compared to 25.3% in all of 2020. This number is expected to rise in 2023 as financing becomes more expensive.
- List on MLS to Get Top Dollar & Sell Fast: MLS provides you max exposure to help you sell to cash buyers. More exposure = more competition and multiple offers, if you price your home right. Houzeo.com is the fastest way to list on your local California MLS – typically within 24 hours.
- iBuyers are Not a Viable Option in 2023 for Most Sellers: iBuyers have either shut down or have suffered massive losses. Our analysis suggests that iBuyers will offer much less than Fair Market Value (FMV) for your home in 2023 and 2024.
5 Options to Sell Your Home Fast in California
Through our thousands of hours of research, we have found that homeowners in California have 5 options to sell their house fast.
Option 1: List on MLS
Listing on the MLS can get you top dollar for your property. All cash home buyers use the MLS to research and buy properties. This includes iBuyers like Opendoor and major franchises like We Buy Ugly Houses.
According to Bright MLS, homes listed on the MLS sold faster and for 17% more than homes sold off the MLS. And you can easily opt to receive only cash offers for your property on the MLS.
A Flat Fee MLS California listing service typically costs about $399, and your listing will be live on the MLS in 24 to 48 hours. You will be ready to accept offers from cash buyers, iBuyers, and retail individuals alike.
We strongly recommend listing with a Flat Fee Listing service to sell your house fast for top dollar.
Here’s how to sell your house fast in CA with a Flat Fee MLS Listing service:
Listing on the MLS is easy. Pick an MLS flat fee listing service, provide details of your property, and upload property photos. You’ll then be listed within 24 to 48 hours after completing all formalities. You can also do it on a mobile app!
Make sure you select a listing service that helps you manage offers, showings, inspections, appraisals, and the eventual closing. A real estate attorney, escrow company, or title company will help you close.
- 🔎 Find a Pre-Approved Buyer: Securing a loan can take a long time. To sell your home faster in California, you can specifically request would-be buyers to furnish a mortgage pre-approval letter when they put in an offer.
Option 2: Sell to an iBuyer
iBuyers, or instant buyers, are companies that make cash offers on your property within 24 to 48 hours. If you accept an iBuyer’s cash offer, you can close on your home in as little as 7 days.
iBuyers like Opendoor and Offerpad were known for offering up to 90% to 95% of a home’s fair market value (FMV). Unfortunately, they can only do so when home prices are going up. In a down market, iBuyers will likely only offer up to 70% of the home’s FMV.
In a down market, the iBuyer model’s drawbacks outweigh its pros. Here’s why selling to an iBuyer does not work in your favor:
- Limited Coverage: Most iBuyer’s services are restricted to metro and urban areas.
- Strict Eligibility Criteria: It does not buy your house if it does not meet the iBuyer’s eligibility criteria.
- Non-Negotiable Offer: iBuyer’s offer is a take-it-or-leave-it offer, which leaves you no room for negotiation.
- Service Fees: Although you skip paying the agent commission, you pay service fees of 5% to the iBuyer.
- Additional Costs: Most sellers end up paying 2% to 8% in repair costs, which brings down your net proceeds significantly.
- ⚠️ iBuyers are on a Decline: iBuyers are not the best option to sell to in 2023’s down market. They will offer significantly less for your home than retail buyers. Additionally, there are only 2 major iBuyers left in the market – Opendoor and Offerpad. Zillow Offers and RedfinNow have shut down.
Here’s how to sell a house fast in California with an iBuyer:
First, you give basic information about your house on the company’s website. Depending on that, the iBuyer makes a preliminary cash offer on your property.
If you accept their offer, their in-house home inspector will visit your property to look for material defects. After a home inspection, the company makes a final cash offer.
The iBuyer’s final offer is calculated after deducting 5% in service fees and an additional 2% to 8% in repair costs.
Option 3: Sell to a “We Buy Houses for Cash” Company
“We Buy Homes for Cash” companies help you sell your house as is in California. They give you instant cash offers and typically close within 10 to 15 days. Reputable cash home buyers are available nationwide.
However, real estate cash buyers in California are not the best option if you’re looking to make any profit. “We Buy Houses for Cash” companies make lowball offers, about 30% to 70% of market value. Further, their offers are non-negotiable.
Here’s how to sell a house quickly with a cash home buyer:
You can find local cash buyers or investors who give cash for homes online or by word of mouth. Once you tell them your location and a few details, the cash buyer makes an initial offer.
You can either accept or reject this offer. If you accept it, you can sell your home quickly in about 2 weeks.
- ⚠️ Beware of Lowball Offers: Cash house buyers usually make lowball offers, as low as 30% of your home’s Fair Market Value (FMV). Costs for immediate repairs are also deducted from the final offer. If your house is worth $300,000, cash home buyers will make an offer of just $210,000. If there are repair costs of say $25,000, you get only $185,000 for your home.
Option 4: List With a Top Realtor
Top Realtors in California have the expertise to help you sell your property fast and within a set timeline. Most of the work is handled by the agent, which involves getting professional photographs, conducting showings and an open house, and completing the paperwork until closing.
But the downsides of working with a realtor are just as huge. Here’s why –
- Agent Commission: You pay an average real estate commission of 5% to 7%.
- No Tech Support: Traditional agents are typically low on tech. This means manual, tedious, and repetitive paperwork.
- Inconsistent Services: Agents tend to handle multiple clients at a time. If they do not prioritize your transaction, you can end up with bad service.
However, you can avoid paying a 6% commission by hiring a California discount broker or a flat fee Realtor. They charge low commissions or a flat rate.
» 4.5% Commission Realtors: Check out our rankings of the best 4.5% commission realtors in 2023.
What should you look for in an agent when selling your house quickly?
You must conduct thorough research before you hire any real estate agent. Here’s what you should look for:
- Experience in Real Estate: Find out how many years the agent has been active in the real estate field. Further, check what types of properties the agent has expertise in selling.
- Client Reviews: Find online reviews of the agent from multiple sources. These include the agent’s website, Google reviews, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.
- Local Expertise: Check if the agent is specialized in the market trends of your locality. It is crucial, as local experts know how to price your home right.
- Low Days on Market: Find out how many days the agent takes after listing to find a buyer. The lower, the better!
Option 5: Sell For Sale By Owner
77% of FSBO home sellers closed on their homes within two weeks. This was because the homes were sold to someone the seller knew.
Selling your home FSBO means you don’t list on the MLS. You conduct market research, advertise your property, and draw up a California FSBO purchase agreement, all by yourself.
Likewise, FSBO Websites in California let you list your property for free without paying any commission.
A major drawback of selling with no MLS or tech support is that you may not be able to sell your home quickly. Here’s why –
- Zero MLS Exposure: This lowers the possibility of receiving offers from online buyers, cash home buyers, and investors.
- No Pricing Assistance: You may over-price or underprice your home without any guidance.
- Very Limited Marketing: You rely on word of mouth or FSBO yard signs to market your home.
- No Paperwork Assistance: you research and procure all the housing paperwork and California real estate disclosure by yourself.
- No Negotiation Assistance: Your lack of experience in negotiating can be used against you.
Take Charge of Your Home Sale Today!
Houzeo gives you the best market exposure and powerful tools to ace your home selling journey, all by yourself.
START YOUR FREE LISTING NOW!
Top 3 Companies to Sell Your House Fast in California
- Houzeo.com: Houzeo is America’s most advanced real estate marketplace. If you list on the Houzeo marketplace, your listing gets exposed to all local and national cash buyers via the MLS. This makes it the best option for multiple cash offers!
- Opendoor: Opendoor offers a simple, convenient platform to request instant cash for your home. You can close on your home’s sale in 10 to 15 days. However, Opendoor’s service fees can be as high as 14% of your home’s sale price.
- John Medina Buys Houses: John Medina Buys Houses offers instant cash deals in 24 hours followed by a quick and flexible closing. However, some homeowners had a bad experience with this cash buyer, as they backed out at the last minute without explanation.
Tips to Sell My CA House Fast for Market Value
The 5 ways in which you can sell your house fast for top dollar are:
- List on the MLS: The Multiple Listing Service, aka the MLS, markets your property to thousands of home shoppers, cash home buyers, and iBuyers. Further, your listing is syndicated to real estate websites like Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.
- Click Professional Photos: According to one study, listings with professional real estate photographs sold 32% faster.
- Set a Competitive Price: You’re competing for clicks and foot traffic. Setting a competitive list price will make your listing an appealing option.
- Offer a Competitive Buyer Agent Commission: Talk to a local broker to see what commission do they recommend you offer the buyer agent. Most sellers offer a 2.5% commission to buyer agents, but setting it as high as 3% or 4% may help you in selling your home fast.
- Respond Quickly to Prospective Buyers: Unresponsiveness to buyers’ queries or unwillingness to negotiate offers can drive buyers away.
7 Bonus Tips to Sell Your Home Fast in California
Here are a few FSBO tips and tricks to help you sell your home faster:
- Install a Lockbox
- Use a Digital Showing Service
- Agree to All Inspections
- Set a Selling Deadline
- Offer to Pay Repair Costs
- Pay Seller Credit
- Offer Flexible Move-in and Move-out time
- 👉 Note: Some of these tips to sell your home quickly may require you to pay extra costs.
1. Install a Lockbox
A lockbox is a small padlock-like device that stores the keys to your house. It is secured by a unique code. If you’re not available, you may still show your home to potential buyers by giving them the code.
Usually, the lockbox is provided by your real estate agent. FSBO home sellers can buy a lockbox online for around $25.
2. Use a Digital Showing Service
Digital showing apps help you to schedule showings, walkthroughs, inspections, and appraisals according to your convenience. Usually, only real estate agents have access to such services.
Houzeo Showings is available for all home sellers on Houzeo’s mobile app. You can arrange, change, or reschedule showings and inspections at your convenience.
3. Agree to All Inspections
Typically, buyers conduct inspections to check if a property has material defects. If you want to save time spent on home inspections, you can conduct one yourself before listing your home or accepting an offer.
Although you’ll end up paying home inspection costs in California, you’ll save time between listing and closing, thus helping you sell your home faster.
- 🔎 Did You Inspect Your Home Already? While writing your property description, you can mention if a California home inspector recently inspected your property. This will help you in selling your house quickly, as it saves time it would’ve taken a buyer to do the same.
4. Set a Deadline
If you have a timeline by which you need to sell your house, mention it in your listing. By mentioning that you will only consider offers submitted before a certain date, you’re communicating the urgency of the sale to potential buyers. They will be motivated to submit offers sooner rather than later.
Further, you can lower your list price if you do not receive one or multiple offers within your set timeline.
5. Offer to Pay Repair Costs
Any repairs identified by a home inspector can be dealt with before accepting an offer. This helps you to save time on negotiations about the repair costs and sell your home fast.
Alternatively, you can mention that you are selling the house “as-is”. This way, you can compensate for any repair costs based on the inspection, but don’t need to waste time on repairs.
6. Offer Seller Credit
Seller credit is a buyer’s closing costs that a seller offers to pay as an incentive. You could lose an additional 4% to 5% of the final price of your house if you offer to pay these costs.
Although these closing costs in California are significant, they help you in selling your home quickly.
7. Offer Flexible Move-in and Move-out Dates
If you or a tenant are occupying the property, make sure that you are ready to move out as soon as possible. Buyers who are in urgent need of a house will look for sellers just like you.
If you’re flexible on your move-out, you can offer the buyers a flexible move-in date. That’s another incentive for them to help you sell your home quickly.
Need to Sell Your House Fast? Dos and Don’ts
Although a fast home sale saves you time, it can cost you a lot of money. If you’re opting to pay both the seller closing costs in California and seller credit, you’ll end up losing 8% to 10% of the final price.
However, there are only a few specific circumstances when we recommend you sell your house urgently:
- In an Immediate Relocation: If you have to relocate immediately, you may need to sell your house urgently. This can give you enough cash to find a new place and leave your current house fast.
- In a Divorce: Selling your house fast for cash may be your best option in a divorce if you need to sell a jointly owned property to divide the proceeds.
- After Loss of Income: Losing steady income can cause major long-term problems like foreclosure and poor credit scores. You can sell your house fast to stop foreclosure in California or get cash to pay your lender back.
- When Unloading Property: If you need to sell an inherited house in California, it’s better to do it quickly rather than invest money or time into it. Remember, real property has real carrying costs, including taxes, utilities, cleaning, maintenance, HOA, etc.
Avoid These Methods
Although methods like a short sale or auction sell your house eventually, they do not help you sell your house quickly. There’s no guarantee of the duration these methods take, ranging between a few days to a few months.
- Short Sale: A short sale is when a lender, e.g. a bank, agrees to the sale of the property to recover part of their outstanding mortgage. The selling price of the house in a short sale is less than what you owe as your mortgage payoff. Short sales can take up to 6 months to close because they typically require lots of lender approvals.
- Auction: In an auction, you have zero control over your home’s sale. The likelihood of getting paid below the house’s Fair Market Value is also high. Also, sites like Auction.com may not list your home on MLS, and this will reduce the potential exposure your listing gets. Reduced exposure can mean you sell for less and your sale takes longer.
How to Sell My House Fast in California?
To conclude, selling your home fast for cash does not work in your favor as much as you think. You forfeit 10% to 50% of your home’s market value, as well as your bargaining power.
The fastest way to sell your home is to list home on MLS in California. The open market gives you maximum exposure, and that exposure can bring you numerous buyers and multiple offers. You close on your own terms, regardless of whether you decide to sell fast or wait for better offers.
But don’t you need to hire an agent and pay a 6% commission to get on the MLS?
Not with Houzeo! With Houzeo, you skip paying the listing agent commission. Instead, you pay a one-time, small flat MLS listing fee to list your house on the MLS.
Check out how Houzeo works in this video:
What is Houzeo?
An overview of what the platform is all about
» Houzeo Reviews: See how Houzeo home sellers save thousands with Houzeo technology and MLS exposure.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the fastest way to sell a house in California?
The fastest way to sell a house is by listing it on the MLS. The Multiple Listing System is the fastest way to hit the market and provides your listing maximum exposure by syndicating it to real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.
2. What type of house sells the fastest in California?
Any type of house can sell fast if it is listed on the MLS, had its photographs done professionally, and has a competitive listing price.
3. How do I sell my house fast for cash in California?
You can sell your house fast for cash in California by selling it to "we buy houses for cash" companies, investors, or house flippers.
Sell My CA House Fast Near Me
- Best Time of the Year to Sell a House: Find out the best month and day to list your home
- Who Pays Closing Costs: Understand what buyers and sellers pay for closing
- What is Home Staging: Understand what home staging involves and whether you should do it
- Best Real Estate Companies: Check out the top real estate companies in the US!
- How to Flip a House in California: Check out how to flip a house in CA’s down market
For Home Sellers
- Seller Closing Cost Calculator: Calculate what sellers pay at closings
- Home Staging Companies in California: Select the best home stager to sell your home quickly
- California Real Estate Photographers: Get your home photographed by CA’s top real estate photographers
- Top Real Estate Companies in California: Check out CA’s top real estate companies
- Sell Home Without Realtor: Know exactly how to sell your house with easy steps without a Realtor
For Home Buyers
- Buyer Closing Cost Calculator: Calculate what buyers pay at closings
- FSBO Homes for Sale: Check out the homes for sale near you
- California Home Inspections: Understand what inspections cover and whether you need one
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