Buying a house is a big deal. When you buy a house, you’re not thinking about living there for a little while and then moving somewhere else. You plan to live there for a long time, and you normally don’t think about selling it in the future (except if you are a real estate investor, of course).

But as we know, sometimes life gets in the way. There are many reasons why you would be willing to sell your property.

The decision whether or not to sell a house is a tough one, and there’s a lot of information available all over the internet that will help you to make this decision.

In this article, however, we want to address a more specific question: if you are thinking about selling your house, should you sell it right now, as fast as possible? And if you decide to sell, how can you possibly sell a house fast without losing money?

There’s only one reason to sell your house right now

Selling the house you live in is hardly a great financial decision. If you’re selling it to buy a new one, it’s very unlikely that you’ll end up with a profit, unless you move to a much worse (and cheaper) property. But if you’re not in a hurry, you will have better chances of making a good deal, selling your house for the highest price possible.

The more desperate you are to sell a property quickly, the less power you have during negotiations.

Therefore, it’s never a good idea to sell your house fast, except when you absolutely have to.

Why would you need to sell a house fast

There are several reasons that would make you absolutely have to sell your house right now, as fast as possible:

  • You got a new job in a different city and need to get rid of your old house quickly so you can buy a new home closer to your new workplace.
  • You or someone in your family needs to undergo an urgent and very expensive medical procedure to have a chance to survive.
  • You just stumbled upon a very good investment opportunity that can potentially make you a very nice profit within the next few years, but you don’t have the required capital to invest.
  • You inherited a property, and it is taking way too much of your time and money (neither of which you have extra) to maintain it until you sell it.
  • You’ve had some financial setbacks, became unable to pay your mortgage and is now about to face foreclosure, losing your house to the bank. Instead, it may be possible to sell your house for a price good enough to allow you to pay your entire mortgage and still have some profit leftover.

In such situations, selling your house fast may be the right thing to do because all the other options are worse.

How to know if selling your house will actually solve your problem

If you’re thinking about selling your property to generate some cash, you need to be sure that you can make enough money off the sale. In other words, you need to know if you have positive equity.

But what is equity? The concept is very simple: equity is the difference between the value of your property and the total related debt. This difference can be positive or negative.

When you have positive equity, it means that you can sell your house, pay your mortgage, taxes, fees, commissions, and still make a profit. If you have negative equity, on the other hand, it means that if you sell your house, at the end you will still owe money.

How is it possible to have negative equity?

The concept of negative equity comes to many homeowners as a surprise. How can you sell a house and lose money, even when real estate prices have been rising consistently over time?

The most common cause of negative equity is depreciation, or when the property value decreases over time.

There are many factors that can cause depreciation, and many of them are just bad luck. For example, imagine someone who bought a house in a nice neighborhood which is now struggling with drugs and violence. Fewer people will be interested in moving to such neighborhood, and so the value of the property will decrease. It’s not the homeowner’s fault that the neighborhood became violent, but her property will lose value anyway. Bad luck.

In some cases, the homeowner may be directly responsible for the property losing value. For example, if a house does not receive maintenance, it may become ugly and full of problems. Needless to say, not many people are interested in buying properties in such conditions, and therefore its value drops.

If you have negative equity, then selling your house may not be the best solution for your problem.

How do I know how much equity my house has?

When trying to calculate the total equity of a property, you should have in mind that any calculation is just an estimation, because you can’t possibly know how much people are willing to pay for your property until you actually sell it.

That’s why you want to have your equity calculated by real estate professionals, who will be able to give an estimate as precise as possible. These professionals are following the market on a daily basis and have a good idea about the prices that people are paying for properties right now.

There are many real estate agents and companies that will appraise your property and calculate your equity for free. You can request one or more of these free appraisals so you can decide whether or not selling your property is an option for you.

If my equity is good, how do I sell my house fast?

When selling a property, you always have 3 options:

  1. Sell it yourself.
  2. Use the service of one or more real estate agents/companies to intermediate the sale.
  3. Sell your property to a real estate investor.

Selling your property yourself is never recommended unless you understand the real estate market very well and are not at all in a hurry to make the sale. Using the services of one of more real estate agents/companies will save you time and give you peace of mind.

The downside of working with real estate professionals is that you need to pay a commission on the sale. When you are in hurry to sell your house, you are already expecting potential buyers to make offers below the market price of your property, so you definitely do not want to burn yet more cash with commissions, if possible.

That’s why you can be better off by selling your home to real estate investors.

What are real estate investors?

Real estate investors are individuals or businesses that make money by investing in real estate. Some of these investments include:

  • Rent: buying a property and then making it available for renting.
  • Flipping: buying a property and reselling it for a higher price.
  • Gentrification: buying a property and renovating it to increase its value, then selling it for a much higher price.

For homeowners seeking to sell a property fast, selling to a real estate investor has three big advantages:

  1. They have the money to buy your property really fast, many times even paying for your property in cash.
  2. You don’t have to pay any commissions, because it’s a direct transaction, without intermediates.
  3. You can often sell the property in its “as-is” condition without worried about it being outdated, in disrepair, or possessing code violations.

Is it wise to deal with real estate investors?

When dealing with real estate investors, you need to be extra careful with potential dishonest individuals and companies who may try to make offers without being able to deliver on them. Whether they are novices or imposters, many people claim they have the capital or resources to buy your property, but are not be able get it done in the end. This will cause much added frustration, and waste your valuable time, which is the opposite of what you were trying to accomplish in the first place.

Real estate agents make larger commissions if they sell your property for a higher price, so it’s in their own interest to sell your property for the highest price possible. However, this process can take much longer since you are usually dealing with a future homeowner when working with real estate agents. These future homeowners will conduct a home inspection, and ask for a laundry list of repairs, or large sums of money in the form of credits because certain elements of your home are not in tip-top shape. In any event, this may be a long, drawn-out process, and may not be worth it in pursuit of a top-dollar offer.

That’s why is very important for you to know beforehand what your priorities are if and when you decide to sell your house. What might be in the best interest of your neighbor is not necessarily in your best interest given your unique circumstances. No two situations are identical, and certainly no two properties are either. It is in your best interest to figure out what makes the most sense taking into account your property and your needs.

Still have some questions?

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