25 Creative Ways to Sell a House Fast

Updated May 13, 2021 12:00 AM

When it comes to selling a house (or if you’re a real estate agent selling a house on behalf of a client), you want to sell it as fast and for the highest price as possible. While increasing speed and sales price is ideal, the two metrics are inversely correlated (i.e. a lower-priced home will typically decrease time on market; a higher-priced home will do the opposite). With this in mind, if a speedy sale is more important to you than a top-dollar one, here are 25 creative ways to sell a home fast.

If you're interested in how to sell a house fast, you may also be interested in reading our related guide on How to sell a house.

The Methodology Used to Rank Each Method of Selling a House

Instead of leaving you with an overwhelming list of ideas you could pursue, we ranked each method by:

  • Difficulty: Difficult, Average, or Easy
  • Affordability: Expensive, Average, or Free
  • Effectiveness: Ineffective, Average, Effective

While there are some tried-and-true ways to sell a house quickly, they could require a big investment or result in a deflated home sale price. By assigning a ranking to each idea, we hope to help you quickly identify which idea(s) may be better (or worse) for you to pursue based on your ability, budget and risk tolerance.

Basic Methods to Sell Your House Fast

1. Keep it Clean

There’s no better way to repel potential buyers than showing a dirty, cluttered house. If the owner doesn’t have time to personally clean or declutter, then hiring a cleaning company should be a top priority.

Houses that sell quickly (and for the most money) are fresh and clean spaces that make it easy for buyers to picture themselves living it. It’s still absolutely possible to sell an ugly house that’s furnished, but be sure to remove as much clutter as possible. Here are a few quick and easy tips to prepare a house for a showing 'FASST.'

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Effective

2. Set a Competitive Price

Obviously, homes that are listed for lower than their estimated value will be more appealing and therefore more likely to sell fast. If you’re trying to set the price of your own home, consult a real estate agent. You can also look at your local real estate market and check the prices of recently sold homes and similar properties in your neighborhood.

  • Difficulty: Average
  • Affordability: Average (possibly expensive if you price the home below market value)
  • Effectiveness: Effective

3. Paint the Walls

There are very few things that are as simple, affordable, and impactful as painting a home's walls. If the homeowners have some extra time and motivation, painting a home's interior is a highly effective way to increase their home's value.

Buyers want a home that doesn’t need immediate work and a fresh coat of paint often makes them believe that the home is well taken care of. Get more details about what buyers want in a house in this guide.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Effective

4. Upgrade the Curb Appeal

Research shows that curb appeal creates a 7% increase in home sale prices. Any Realtor® would probably suggest focusing on the curb appeal as one of the best ways to sell your house fast. As the first thing buyers see when seeing a home in person (and oftentimes online as well), a home's exterior is what forms that all-important first-impression.

You could paint your front door a bright color, add large potted plants, or add wooden signs in your front porch. If you want to massively increase the curb appeal of a property without lifting a finger, consider getting the home's exterior photos virtually staged. Whether it's visualizing how much better a lawn will look with lush grass - or even going so far as visualizing what a pool would look like in an under-utilized space - virtually staged landscapes can go a very long way to excite, inspire and reassure buyers that the home's yard can and will look good once properly cared for and/or designed.

Sell a house fast with exterior virtual staging
Exterior virtual staging with Stuccco
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Effective

Classic Methods with a Creative Twist

5. Personally Connect with Neighbors

When you really need to sell a house fast, take advantage of the people who will be impacted the most by the eventual buyers - the neighbors! Reach out to them a few weeks before you list the house by knocking on their doors and/or putting a hand-written note in their mailbox. Make a personal connection and tell them that you're selling your house and would love their help finding a great buyer. They'll appreciate the opportunity to choose a neighbor and you'll appreciate a high-quality referral.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Effective

6. Use Signs Around the Neighborhood

While you should place the biggest sign in the front yard of the home, why stop there? Possibly one of the simplest and most creative ways to sell a home is to add signs around the neighborhood and along nearby roads. Your ideal buyer could be someone who regularly drives only a few streets away, don’t miss the opportunity to grab their attention!

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Effective

7. Host a Themed Open House

Take advantage of the classic open house strategy, but make it a million times more memorable and fun by adding a theme to it. When choosing a theme, keep in mind the ideal buyer of the home. For example, if you want to attract millennials, a popular TV show theme would be a great way to get your target audience interested and excited.

By doing something simple, like bringing an espresso machine or hanging a pinata in the backyard, you could multiply open house traffic and increase the home’s perceived value. Attendees will associate a good time with your home, which will form a stronger emotional connection with the prospective buyers. If your home is especially well-equipped to host social gatherings, this idea is especially effective. If your home is small or compartmentalized, this idea may be less effective.

  • Difficulty: Average
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Average

8. Include a Freebie or Service

What’s the best way to raise a buyer’s eyebrows and increase their interest about a property? Offer them a gift! A moving company or cleaning service for a few months might cost you a few hundred dollars but it could contribute to an offer for thousands of dollars more.

According to the NAR (National Association of Realtors®), the most appealing project or service for buyers is lawn care. It’s been shown to return 276% of the cost! An even more unique idea could be to offer online interior design.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Expensive
  • Effectiveness: Effective

9. Motivate Real Estate Agents with a Referral Bonus

If you want to spread the word about your property quickly, tell the people who are connected to the buyers near your location! Offer a referral bonus to any agent that finds the end buyer of your property.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Expensive
  • Effectiveness: Effective

10. Write a Unique Property Description

You should always keep property descriptions clear and focus on the benefits of the house but make yours stand out! Take this funny property description as an example:

“The property is walking distance from all of the downtown shops, restaurants and trendy workout joints (where you can "throw on your Lululemon and work it off," of course). Since the school is within walking distance, you can just toss [your kids] over the fence in the backyard to get them there quicker, because you are running behind because getting a kid ready in a timely fashion is difficult."

In fact, the humor in this property description got so much attention that it was featured on Yahoo! The agent was drowning in home offers, which is exactly what you need to help you get a home sold fast.

  • Difficulty: Average
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Average

4 Places to Post A House for Free

The key to selling your house fast is to get it in front of as many buyers as possible. To do that, you should plan on sharing the listing in as many places as possible (unless the sellers insist on a private listing of course). Here are four places where you can post the house publicly for free.

11. Post the House on Craigslist

A lot of Realtors® skip Craigslist when they’re promoting their listings. However, Craiglist still boasts more than 55 million monthly users on its website so it’s a great place to reach potential buyers who aren’t active on other social platforms.

Craiglist real estate marketplace
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Average

12. Post the House on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is similar to Craigslist but appeals to social media users. You can also share your Marketplace listing in various local groups or pay to boost the listing to the top of your local Marketplace.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Free (to post); Average (to advertise)
  • Effectiveness: Average

13. Post the House in Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are often underutilized by sellers and agents. There are groups for almost any real estate niche and there are often multiple neighborhood groups within towns. Looking for groups in your surrounding towns and neighborhoods can be a great place to post your listings for an expedited sale.

Facebook groups for selling a house
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Average

14. Leave Information at Local Hot Spots

Instead of leaving a business card in public places, try a more interesting and effective strategy. Use an online printing service to create an eyecatching brochure or unique sign to post in parks, coffee shopsor boutiques near your property. You could even use Magnets.com or Custom Magnets Direct to print property information on refrigerator magnets, notepads or calendars.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Average

Online Marketing

15. Virtually Stage the House

According to Forbes, staged houses sell 87% faster than non-staged or vacant homes. However, if your priority is to sell fast, traditional staging is out of the question because it can take weeks (and cost thousands of dollars!).

Instead, use virtual staging to display the home’s full potential and attract the maximum number of interested buyers. With Stuccco, you can also offer online interior design as a gift or an additional option for the buyer to turn the beautiful, virtually staged designs into reality.

sell a house fast with stuccco virtual staging
Example of a living room virtually staged with Stuccco
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Effective

16. Create a Virtual Tour

Studies have shown that videos are shared over 2.5 more times than any other type of social content. Whether you use high-end technology like a drone to produce a video or simply use your smartphone to walk through the house, video will help you gain more engagement and more of a reach.

An even simpler way to leverage the power of video is by turning a collection of images of the home into a video by making a slideshow - try Stuccco’s free slideshow video generator.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Effective

17. Email Your Network

Draft a brief but personal email to send to your friends, family, and network about the great features of the property. You can even give this draft to the home seller to reach even more people.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Average

18. Increase Social Sharing with a Giveaway

Post your listing online along with an incentive to share. By offering a gift card to a decor store or a home service, you’ll motivate homeowners and people with real estate interests to share and spread the word quickly.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Effective

19. Run Ads on Social Media

Social media ads are a highly effective method of getting your posts seen by the people in your area. Facebook Ads have a proven ROI, but Instagram, LinkedIn or PPC ads can target a different audience. We recommend using Facebook Ads.

Keep in mind, there is definitely a learning curve to running online ads, so don’t expect immediate results the first time you run ads to a listing.

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Effective

20. Create a Single Property Website

Single property websites, in combination with professional and staged listing photos, are highly effective at creating interest (even in homes that need a renovation). If you're running social media ads (idea #19), you'll need to drive traffic to a property landing page and/or website. This landing page/website should, at minimum, have the seller or seller's agent's phone number and a contact form.

  • Difficulty: Average
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Average

21. Create a Floor Plan

The layout of a home is a priority for many home buyers, so adding a floor plan image to your property listings is a great way to display all the benefits of a home. You can generate a floor plan image for free online.

  • Difficulty: Average
  • Affordability: Free
  • Effectiveness: Average

22. Offer Online Interior Design as a Bonus

online interior design with Stuccco

Most buyers aren’t like the HGTV professionals, so they have a hard time picturing an empty space (or someone else’s living room furniture) as their own. To make a home extremely desirable, show them exactly what that space could be and give them the keys to actually make it happen.

Buyers can use online interior design to customize the design of the staged room, or to get the exact furniture and decor pieces shown in the images. Imagine buying a house and also receiving the exact resources to make it look like a magazine photo! Stuccco is the only virtual staging platform that also offers online interior design - plus, you can get your listing photos virtually staged within 24 hours. Learn more and try it here.

  • Difficult: Easy
  • Affordability: Average
  • Effectiveness: Average

3 Unique Avenues to Sell Your House Fast

If you want to avoid the typical process of listing and selling your house, here are three alternative options:

23. Sell your Home for Cash Online

Online companies like Homelight and Offerpad will give you cash for your home. From start to finish, the entire process only takes a few days, which makes it an extremely easy and fast way to get out of a financial crunch. However, you will not receive your full home value.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Expensive (decreases your home value)
  • Effectiveness: Effective

24. Sell to a Real Estate Investor or Wholesaler

If you don’t want to sell to a company online, a similar method is to sell your house to an investor or wholesaler. If they buy the home with cash, you can potentially be out of the house in a few days.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Affordability: Expensive (decreases your home value)
  • Effectiveness: Effective

25. Auction the House

The benefit of having a home auction is that it’s fast, guaranteed (meaning that buyers can’t drop out), and having multiple buyers during the bidding can drive up the sale price. However, in order to get the full value of a home auction, you will need to do some marketing to make sure high quality potential buyers attend the auction.

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Affordability: Expensive (decreases your home value)
  • Effectiveness: Effective

Let Stuccco Virtual Staging Help You Sell Your Home Fast

Selling your home doesn’t need to be as complicated or as stressful as it seems. While virtual staging doesn’t solve every uncertainty in real estate, it does decrease the time that properties stay on the market and increases the home sale price. It’s one of the most affordable methods of marketing a home and only takes 12-24 hours with Stuccco. Learn more about virtual staging here.

Get Your First Virtually Staged Photo for Free

Get a coupon code for $29 off your first virtual staging order - good for 1 free virtually staged photo so you can experience the power and ease of Stuccco Virtual Staging free of charge.

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