Sell your home fast in Philadelphia
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Philadelphia is a city steeped in history and culture — and it offers a more affordable cost of living than many other major East Coast hubs. Philly also offers big-city amenities while often managing to maintain a small-town feel. If you’re planning to sell a home here, these can be attractive features for prospective residents. The city is no longer experiencing the real estate frenzy that dominated the early-pandemic years, and homes are sitting on the market longer. But what if you need to speed up the process and sell your home quickly? Read on to find out how to sell fast in Philadelphia amid current market conditions.
How fast can you typically sell your house in Philadelphia?
According to data from Redfin, homes in Philadelphia took about 57 days to sell in March 2023. That’s 18 days longer than one year earlier, and it’s nearly double the National Association of Realtors’ nationwide average of 29 days. This certainly paints a challenging picture for homeowners looking to sell on a timeline.
Need to sell faster?
If you don’t have time to wait, there are several ways to speed the process along:
- Use a cash homebuyer: Homebuying companies that proclaim “we buy houses” offer a far speedier approach to selling a home. These operations make all-cash offers, sometimes in as little as 24 hours, and can often close a deal in a week or two. In exchange for speed and convenience, though, you’ll likely sacrifice profit — selling to these companies typically does not garner as high a sale price as a traditional sale would. (iBuyers offer the same type of speed, but the biggest players, Opendoor and Offerpad, do not operate in the Philly area.)
- Sell as-is: Listing your home for sale as-is eliminates what can often be a lengthy back-and-forth between prospective buyers who want to negotiate a deal.
- Develop a game plan with an agent: While it’s certainly no guarantee, working with a real estate agent who knows your neighborhood market well can speed up the sale process — if you’re clear that speed is your top priority. Work together to come up with a list price for your home that will attract buyers quickly to help expedite a sale.
Selling your home in Philadelphia
If you decide to proceed with a traditional sale, consider these key questions before listing your home on the market.
Is it worth upgrading your home before you sell?
In most cases, upgrades are not worth it. For one thing, a big renovation will slow down the process of getting your home on the market. In addition, buyers may not share your taste, and major projects are unlikely to recoup their cost when you sell. Instead, look for simple, budget-friendly ways to make your home more appealing.
What should you fix before selling your home in Philadelphia?
Some problems may turn off prospective buyers, but not all are worth fixing. Ask your real estate agent for advice about what to fix and what not to bother with. You might also consider scheduling a pre-listing inspection to proactively uncover any issues that may slow down a sale.
Should you pay to stage your home?
Investing in professional staging can be money well spent, especially if the home is either very cluttered or completely empty. This process can help the home stand out in listings and during showings by making it more appealing to buyers, almost giving it the look of a model home. The cost to stage a home ranges from $778 to $2,839, according to Angi. However, the exact price you’ll spend varies based on the size of your home and how much effort is involved.
How should you price your listing?
When it comes time to choose a list price, your agent will be essential. An agent who knows the local market can help determine not only how much your home is worth but also how to price in order to sell quickly. Agents will research comps from recently sold properties in your neighborhood that are similar to your home in order to come up with a realistic price for the current market conditions. Philadelphia prices are on the decline, per Redfin data, so this exercise can also help you set realistic expectations.
What do you need to disclose to a buyer?
When selling a house in Pennsylvania, you’re legally required to complete a property disclosure statement. This is a standard form in which you’ll share all information you are aware of surrounding problems that could negatively impact the value of the home or cause unsafe conditions. Those who are selling a condo or co-op are also required to share documents about the building, the homeowners association and bylaws that prospective buyers would need to follow if they choose to purchase the property.
When you reach the closing table, you’ll need to finalize several important items, including paying off the remainder of your mortgage and taking care of closing costs. Pennsylvania closing costs average about 4.3 percent of a home’s price, according to Closing Corp — one of the highest rates in the country. Here’s a closer look at some of those fees.
Costs of selling a home in Philadelphia
- Realtor fees: In most home sales, the seller pays the real estate commission for both the listing agent and also the buyer’s agent. This cost is usually 5 to 6 percent of a home’s sale price, and will likely be your biggest expense of the sale.
- Transfer taxes: In many places, selling a home requires paying a fee to the state in order to transfer ownership of the property. In Pennsylvania, transfer taxes amount to 2 percent of the home value — 1 percent of which goes to the state and 1 percent to the municipality and school district.
- Seller concessions: If you agreed to any seller concessions, like covering the cost of a repair, these will be paid at closing as well.
- Attorney fees: Having an attorney is not a requirement for selling a home in Pennsylvania. However, legal expertise can never hurt when there’s so much money at stake.
Home sales can be slow going in Philadelphia right now, but if you’re hoping to sell fast, you have options. “We buy houses” companies can be lightning-quick, for example. But working with a real estate agent who really knows the local market can also serve you well. Bankrate can help you find an agent in your area.
Yes, but it’s not a steep drop. According to Redfin data from March 2023, home prices in Philadelphia have declined 3.8 percent since March of last year. The city’s median home price as of March was $255,000, which is quite a bit lower than the national median.
Homes are spending more time on the market now than they did in 2022. Redfin’s March 2023 data shows that homes are spending a median of 57 days on the market, which is 18 days longer than the same time last year.