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Indianapolis is practically synonymous with speed — after all, it is the home of the Indy 500. If you’re looking for a record-setting sale worthy of a checkered flag, read on for everything you need to know about how to sell your Indianapolis house fast.
Selling your house fast
While Indianapolis was a very hot housing market during the early pandemic, it’s taking a lot longer to sell a home here now. Homes in Marion County, where Indy is located, spent an average of 52 days on the market in February 2023, according to the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR). That’s nearly double the 27 days homes took to sell this time last year. Head north of the city to Hamilton County, and the wait of 45 days is a bit shorter, although it’s still a sizable increase from 2022, when homes were snapped up in an average of just 16 days.
Regardless of where in the Indy metro area your property is located, here are four ways to cross the finish line much faster:
- Find an iBuyer: You may have read headlines about a drop in iBuying activity, but that news does not apply here. The two most major players, Offerpad and Opendoor, are both still actively purchasing homes here. These companies typically issue preliminary cash offers in less than 24 hours.
- Sell for cash: You can also compare companies that buy houses for cash in Indianapolis, such as the appropriately named Ben Buys Indy Houses and We Buy Houses Indianapolis. All-cash deals with companies like these can save a lot of time by skipping the mortgage underwriting process.
- Work with a local agent: You can still get a deal done quickly with a local real estate agent. Just make it clear that time is of the essence, and he or she can help you craft a pricing strategy that will capture immediate attention from buyers.
- Be willing to negotiate: For the most part, Indianapolis homes are no longer selling for more than their list price. MIBOR data shows that homes in Marion County are selling for around 97 percent of ask, so consider all offers and don’t waste time holding out for an unattainable number.
How to sell your house in Indianapolis
Consider these questions carefully before you list your house in Indy.
How much will selling cost?
It costs money to sell a house, in Indianapolis or anywhere. There’s good news, though: Seller’s closing costs in Indiana are lower since the state does not have a transfer tax, a common charge in many other places around the country. Plus, buyers here typically cover the cost of title insurance here, too. Here are some expenses that will eat into your profits, though:
- Realtor fees: Sellers pick up the commission fees for both agents involved in a transaction, typically around 3 percent to the buyer’s agent and 3 percent to your agent. Based on the median Marion County price tag of $230,000, that comes out to $13,800.
- Unpaid property taxes: If you have any outstanding property tax obligations, you’ll need to cover your share of the bill at closing.
- Attorney fees: There is no law that requires a lawyer in Indiana real estate deals, but hiring a real estate attorney is well worth the investment to make sure you’re protected in such a large transaction.
- Concessions: If a buyer’s home inspection uncovers problems that need to be addressed, they’ll likely request a credit for you to cover a portion of the cost.
What’s the local market like?
The Indianapolis metro area covers plenty of ground, so you’ll want to focus on what’s happening in your neighborhood specifically. For example, if you’re selling in Meridian Kessler, you probably don’t need to pay much attention to data from Speedway — and vice versa. Ask your real estate agent to conduct a comparative market analysis to see what buyers have been willing to pay for similar properties nearby in recent months.
Are you trying to buy another house at the same time?
Selling your current house comes with an obvious question: Where are you going to move? Buying a house while selling one at the same time can be tough — especially with mortgage rates above 6 percent and limited supply. Make sure you have a plan in place for what to do if you find a buyer before you find a new home of your own.
Prepping your home for sale
Every home sale is unique. Someone selling a condo on Mass Ave will have a whole different set of considerations than someone selling a single-family home on a quiet cul-de-sac in Zionsville. However, no matter where your place is located, these three steps are essential to your success:
- Find a real estate agent: The nationwide housing market is cooling off, and that includes the Hoosier State. You still have a seller’s edge in Indianapolis, but the edge isn’t as sharp as it was in 2022, and the market is changing all the time. A real estate agent can help you navigate the process with expert guidance.
- Figure out what to fix: Buyers probably won’t want to deal with fixing cracked floor tiles or leaky faucets, but they may not be deal-breakers. Ask your agent about what you need to fix and what you don’t have to bother with.
- Develop a competitive pricing strategy: There are simple ways to estimate how much your house is worth, but your agent will look at the price tags on recently closed similar properties in your neighborhood to determine the right starting point. No matter how you price it, though, you might not get the full amount. Homes in Indy have been selling for around 97 percent of their list price, per MIBOR — that would be $291,000 on a $300,000 asking price.
Should I sell my house fast?
It’s easy to look at the housing market predictions for 2023 and decide to sell as fast as possible to avoid any kind of major downturn. However, Indianapolis is looking quite resilient. Real estate company Knock predicts it will still favor sellers by the summer, even as many other markets tilt in buyers’ favor. If you can afford to wait and hire an agent for a traditional listing, your patience can pay off. However, if you’re in a rush to relocate, a speedy sale to an iBuyer or homebuying company can eliminate a lot of waiting and stress. You’re likely to make less money with the faster option, though, so think it through carefully.
Before you can sign a purchase agreement, you’ll have a less exciting piece of paperwork to take care of: a seller’s disclosure form. Indiana law requires you to share all your knowledge about potential issues that can affect the home’s value, so work ahead to get this ready to share with a buyer. Additionally, if your home is part of a homeowners association, you’ll want to request documentation about its financial reserves and bylaws. Your agent can walk you through any other necessities that need to be taken care of before you close on the sale and speed away from Indy with your profits.
Yes, you can sell your house on your own. However, it’s important to understand that opting for a for sale by owner listing requires a lot of time and work. Plus, across the country, listings with agents attached to them typically sell for more than owner-sold listings.
Technically, low inventory levels mean it is still a seller’s market in the Indianapolis metro area. However, 2023 doesn’t look nearly as rosy as 2022 due to concerns about affordability and rising mortgage rates on the buyer side. Homes in Marion County are spending a longer time on the market now, and they’re selling for slightly less than asking price.
Technically, no. You do not have to hire a real estate attorney when selling your house in Indy. However, selling a home involves a lot of money and a lot of complex contract language, so it’s wise to have a legal expert to protect your interests.