How to Get Your House Under Contract in 36 Hours or Less


It’s 2024 and the residential real estate continues its scorching pace in almost every state and individual real estate market. But even in hot markets, there can be challenges with selling a home quickly. If you want/need to get your house under contract in a weekend, there must be a plan.

5 Tips for a Selling Your Home Fast


Getting a house under contract obviously doesn’t guarantee a sale, but it’s the first step in the process. Here are some tips for speeding up the process and reducing the amount of time between listing and accepting an offer.

1. Fix Obvious Issues and Defects


Nothing holds back offers quite like obvious defects and issues on a property.

“If there’s something wrong with your property, try to fix it. Foundation issues, for example, can be remediated by hiring a professional to fix the problem and offer a transferable warranty to the new homeowner,” Green Residential explains. “The same goes for issues like old appliances, poor landscaping, dated kitchen features, or a roof that needs to be replaced.”

Use the weeks leading up to listing wisely. Having your property inspected, repaired, and updated will lessen the chances of something slowing down the sale process.

The big maintenance and repair items obviously need to be addressed, but what about all of the smaller ones? When it comes to things like tiny holes in drywall, chipping paint, dirty windows, loose cabinet hardware, or a clogged sink drain, use the “20 Minute Rule.” This rule states that, if the issue can reasonably be addressed in 20 minutes or less, you should probably go ahead and take care of it. If it’s going to take longer than 20 minutes, you may still want to do it, but you should weigh the investment of time against potential the return on investment.

2. Price Below Market Value


While you don’t have to price a property below market value in this kind of market, it certainly increases your chances of a quick contract. If nothing else, you should price it competitively from the start.

In a sizzling market, homeowners often make the mistake of being too greedy. When they think that they can get whatever price they want, they inadvertently end up with a listing that sits. Eventually they lower the price to a reasonable figure and the offers come in. You can circumvent this by pricing appropriately from the very start.

This is why it’s so important to hire a real estate agent and work with professionals. While it can be easy to do a for sale by owner transaction in this market, it’s also easy to screw things up. What good is a 3 percent savings if you price your house wrong and it sits for three or four months? Or how much are you really saving when a buyer’s agent is a superior negotiator and gets you to come further down on price than you should?

3. Sweeten the Deal


The list price isn’t the only factor. Try sweetening the deal by enhancing your offer with perks like:

  • Flexible closing dates
  • Paying all closing costs
  • Pre-paying for home warranty service
  • Offering to leave TVs and appliances
  • Covering moving costs from current home
  • Credits for certain repairs or upgrades

You don’t need to offer all of these perks – just one or two should be enough to incentivize people to put in an offer. You can even word it in such a way that these bonuses will only be included for offers that are submitted and accepted within 48 hours (or whatever your timeframe is).

The key is to think like a buyer. Consider who your ideal buyer is and put yourselves in their shoes. If you were them, what would put you over the top and convince you to put in a full price offer within the first weekend?

4. Get the Word Out


Don’t wait until you list your house to start advertising it. Tap into your personal network and get the word out prior to listing. Let people know that your property will be going on the market and that they can get an early preview if they’d like. This gives you a list of prospects before the for-sale sign is ever placed in your front yard. (If nothing else, it creates foot traffic, which makes interested buyers feel like your home is in very high demand.)

If you’re working with an agent, you can also ask your agent to circulate the listing around their office before it officially hits the MLS. Once again, this gets the word out and makes buyers and their agents aware of the listing in advance.

5. Declutter


Want to make your house appear as big, clean, and open as possible? Take the time to declutter unnecessary items and personal mementos. Here are a few tips:

  • Take it one room at a time – starting with key spaces like the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, and entryway.
  • Go through every item in the room and mentally divide stuff up into categories like: leave, pack up, donate, and trash.
  • When packing items up for the next house, take pictures of what’s inside the boxes so that you can quickly find items when they’re needed.
  • Take down any personal items, family pictures, or trinkets on shelves and countertops.

The great thing about decluttering is that it makes your move easier on the back end. There’s less stuff to box up, store, and deal with. You have to pack everything up at some point, so why not do some of the heavy lifting now?

Set Yourself Up for Success


Even in hot real estate markets where inventory moves fast, it’s possible for a perfectly good home to sit for longer than expected. By thinking proactively, you can reduce the chances that your property sits for days/weeks and get your home under contract in a matter of hours. Are you ready to list?