As buyers worry about the costs of higher mortgage rates and homes sit on the market longer, the market may feel like a gray day in the Pacific Northwest. However, everything in real estate is relative, and the last two years of pandemic-fueled price appreciation have been great for homeowners. If you own property in the Seattle metro area, you’re still sitting on a very valuable asset. With major tech companies and corporate giants alike heavily invested here, Seattle is an attractive place to call home — and there simply aren’t enough homes available to keep up with demand. Read on for everything you need to know to navigate this complex market and sell a house fast in Seattle.

How fast can you sell in Seattle?

In November 2023, houses in Seattle sold in a median of 13 days, according to data from Redfin. That’s already very fast, but it doesn’t account for the time between contract and closing, which can be weeks or even months.

If you’re on a tight timeline and need to sell even faster, consider selling to a cash homebuying company. These operations buy as-is and pay in cash, eliminating the need to make repairs, host showings or wait for buyers to secure financing. Some will make offers in a matter of hours, others will send a representative to your home and make an offer within a day or two. They can close with lightning speed as well, often within a couple of weeks. The drawback for this expedited process is that you’re not likely to get market value for your home. iBuyers offer a similar approach to expedited sales, but neither of the biggest names, Opendoor and Offerpad, buy homes in the Seattle area.

You might also consider listing your home for sale “as-is.” This basically means “what you see is what you get” — you will not make any repairs or upgrades to the home. Eliminating the typical back-and-forth negotiations that go with home sales in this way speeds up the entire transaction.

Other things to consider

What kind of shape is your home in?

If you were buying your house, what would you think about its current condition? Remember that buyers are handing over a huge chunk of cash to call Seattle home, so they won’t want a property with a bunch of visible damage. However, that doesn’t mean you have to fix everything, and you certainly don’t need to make a major investment in a big renovation. Instead, do your best to clean things up with a fresh coat of paint, some extra love for the landscaping and some other ways to boost value.

Preparing your home for sale

Before you list your home, you’ll want to put your best foot forward to immediately impress prospective buyers. A home staging service can help get the place ready for prime time. How much you’ll pay for staging depends on the amount of work needed and whether you need to rent furniture to fill empty rooms.

Make sure you complete the Washington state seller’s disclosure form, too, which you’ll need to share with a buyer within five days after going into contract. And if your property is part of a homeowners association, request copies of past meeting minutes, financial documentations and bylaws, as any buyer will want to review all of this information.

Pricing your home right

While there are plenty of ways to estimate what your house is worth, the best way to get a feel for an appropriate pricing strategy is to review comps of homes similar to yours that have recently sold nearby. Your agent will help you balance both sides of a pricing strategy — not setting it too low and leaving cash on the table, and not setting it too high and then being forced to drop the price. According to Redfin, many homes for sale in Seattle get multiple offers and the overall market is very competitive, so an agent’s expertise can be key here.

Selling your house with or without a Realtor

Should you try to save some cash by selling your house on your own in Seattle? It might be tempting to try to reduce those commission fees, but remember that taking the “for sale by owner” route only saves you a listing agent’s fee — you’ll still have to pay your buyer’s agent. And FSBO may actually cost you: A report from the National Association of Realtors shows that FSBO sales typically went for nearly $100,000 less than homes sold by an agent.

The right real estate agent will be able to share expertise about picking the right photos for your listing, writing a compelling description to attract buyers, scheduling open houses and evaluating offers. Agents can also help negotiate the terms of your contract and make sure all your paperwork is in good shape. And their commissions are often negotiable: For example, if an agent will agree to a 2.5 percent fee instead of 3 percent, and you sell your home for $800,000, you’ll save $4,000.

Closing day

Once you accept an offer, your work isn’t done yet. Contracts sometimes fall through, especially if buyers have financing issues. With that in mind, make sure you do everything you can to stay on the path to closing and avoid giving a buyer a reason to back out of the contract. That means responding to contract revisions quickly and being willing to consider concession requests.

There are also closing costs to consider. Washington state is one of the most expensive places in the country when it comes to closing costs, according to data from ClosingCorp, typically averaging 2.4 percent of the home’s sale price. That full amount isn’t paid entirely by the seller, but some of it will fall on your shoulders. Common closing costs for sellers include real estate excise taxes, title insurance and of course real estate commissions.

Once closing day arrives, you’ll sign a lot of paperwork and turn over whatever closing funds are owed — as well as the keys to the home. Congrats on the deal, and enjoy your next chapter, whether you’ll be living like royalty at a new address in King County or packing up for a new adventure in a new city.


  • According to Redfin data, the median days on market in Seattle in November 2023 was 13 — meaning it took 13 days on the market for a home to go into contract. That’s quite a bit faster than the national figure, which in October was 23 days per the National Association of Realtors. If you’re in a big rush and need to sell faster than that, you can look into a cash-homebuying company, which will move with great speed but net you less money.
  • The state of Washington does not require you to hire a real estate attorney to sell your house. But even so, it’s a good idea to do so. This will be one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, so it’s smart to have a legal expert vet the details and verify the contract, to make sure your interests are covered.
  • Seattle is an expensive city. According to Redfin data, homes here sold for a median of $850K in November 2023. That’s a 4.1 percent increase over last year, and significantly higher than the national median price, which as of October was $391,800, per the National Association of Realtors.