Top Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

Top Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

When you want to sell your house quickly, you need to get it right the first time around. Those with more time to leave their home on the market can enjoy a period of trial and error, but if you’re looking for a quick payout, it’s smart to have a plan, and even a checklist in place. Here are 10 tips that can help increase the appeal of your home, impress buyers and help get your property sold in record time.

1. Clean and declutter

One of the first and most fundamental steps to complete if you want to sell your house fast is to clean and declutter your home. This sounds simple, but it can make a huge difference to prospective buyers. If necessary, you may want to rent a storage unit so you can set aside any belongings that you don’t absolutely need for a showing. A tidy home looks bigger and more appealing, so investing some time and money in a deep clean and even a home staging can help to ensure buyers get a great first impression.

2. Pick a selling strategy

Different buyers will have different needs. For instance, a first-time homebuyer might be ready to purchase, but may not know exactly what they want until they see it. That’s why it’s smart to make sure your selling strategy targets your ideal buyer so you can sell your home quickly. Here are three strategies to consider:


Selling your home yourself can be a great way to sell a house fast. The “For Sale By Owner” approach may require a little extra work on your part, but it also lets you avoid agent or broker fees, meaning you can sell the home at a lower price and keep the same profits.

Hire an agent

Of course, going it alone isn’t for everyone. If you don’t fully understand the ins and outs of the market, need a little assistance, or would just prefer for a professional to handle the heavy lifting, hiring a real estate agent may be the better route for you. You may incur some additional fees but having a professional on board can help give you some piece of mind during what can be a very complex and stressful process. An agent can also help you time your sales strategy and planning process if you’re buying and selling a house at the same time.

Try the unconventional

There isn’t any one right way to sell a home. These days, some people harness the power of social media to try to sell a home quickly. Others allow potential buyers to spend a night to see if they fall in love with the home. Virtual tours that allow buyers to “walk through” without ever setting foot in the home are now the norm.

3. Price to sell

A mortgage loan is a major expense so it’s often at the forefront of your potential buyers’ minds. That’s why you may want to think carefully when setting a price point for your home. Setting your sale price higher than other properties in your neighborhood could keep your home on the market longer than you’d like. Choosing to set your sale price lower than those in your neighborhood can help set you apart from the pack and may help speed up the selling process.

Set a timeline for a price reduction

It’s perfectly fine to dream big, but it’s smart to have a plan in place if no one bites at your initial price. Setting a date by which you’ll reduce the price can help to generate renewed interest in your property. Even a small price reduction can entice buyers to give your home a second look.

Consider sales incentives

You may also want to consider other sales incentives. Perhaps the buyer wants a new fence installed or an AC unit replaced. New carpentry and modern appliances can be highly appealing for buyers. Also, offering to partially or fully cover closing costs is another tactic that can entice potential buyers.

4. Handle any quick repairs

Speaking of incentives, it’s wise to make sure you do repairs before buyers see the home. Many of those small things we overlook while living in a house can be a big deal to buyers. Repair scratched floors and damaged walls, tighten up that leaky faucet and pull out the touch up paint. All of these quick repairs can make a huge difference in selling your home quickly.

Recommended: What Are the Most Common Home Repair Costs?

5. Pack up and hire a stager

First thing’s first: Most buyers consider how their own belongings will fit in your home as they walk through, and getting some of your things out of the way can aid in that visualization. If you think your belongings are outdated or detract from the overall appeal of the home, you can research home staging tips or even consider hiring a stager who will know exactly how to make your home look its absolute best. A well-staged home can sell more quickly.

6. Create curb appeal

Thinking about what people see when they first arrive at your house is a smart move when it comes to selling your home quickly. The front lawn, the door, or even a driveway can influence a buyer’s overall impressions. Drive past your home and look at it from a buyer’s perspective to see where your eyes land first. Whatever catches your eye is probably worth investing some time and money into. Also, mowing the lawn and power washing the front of your home can help make it look more inviting.

Recommended: 5 Curb Appeal Ideas for Your House

7. Hire a professional photographer

Pictures, virtual walk-throughs and social media are huge in real estate these days. And professional photographers make it all much more appealing. If you have stunning professional photographs to show prospective buyers, you’re likely to be more competitive when it comes to getting those buyers into your house.

8. Write a great listing description

A listing price and photographs are helpful, but you also need a listing description. Real estate agents are often great at this, but if you need to do it on your own, you may want to start by considering your home’s best features. Also it’s smart to consider keywords that might help your home rank higher. Since you’re trying to sell a house fast, it’s perfectly fine to convey that in the listing. It might also attract buyers who want to buy quickly.

Where to post your listing

Where to list your home for sale often depends on how you’re selling it. If you are selling on your own, you can use sites like Zillow to list the house yourself. If you are working with an agent, however, they will probably prefer to list the house for you on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Of course you can always use your personal social accounts, email, or other means to advertise regardless of whether you have an agent or not.

9. Time your sale right

Timing can play a huge role in how quickly your home sells. However, this can vary widely depending on where you’re located. You may want to start by researching when homes sell best in your area and aim to hit that time frame if you can.

10. Be flexible with showings

Within your ideal time frame, you’ll probably want to be as flexible as possible. Homebuyers can be busy, and if you can accommodate them, they’ll be more likely to view your home. If you can’t, they may look elsewhere.

Hold an open house

An open house is an excellent way to let people see your house. The best part about open houses is that they’re very flexible. People can come and go as they please on their own schedules. Of course, things like cleaning, making repairs and staging will be extra important prior to an open house. If you have an interested buyer but have scheduled an open house, it’s OK to run the open house anyway. Even a home in contingency can still fall through; it doesn’t hurt to have backup offers or other interested buyers in waiting.

The Takeaway

Whether pricing your home below market rate or just adding a fresh coat of paint, when it comes to selling your home quickly there really are no guarantees. Doing your research and knowing your market are the best ways to position yourself for a sale, and incorporating these tips can help speed up that process.

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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.


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Bull vs Bear Market: What’s the Difference?

In the financial world, you’ll often hear the terms “bull market” and “bear market” in reference to market conditions, and these terms refer to extended periods of ups and downs in the financial markets. Because market conditions directly affect investors’ portfolios, it’s important to understand their differences.

As such, knowing the basics of bull and bear markets, and potentially maintaining or adjusting your investment strategy accordingly, may help you make wiser investing decisions, or at least provide some mental clarity.

What Is a Bull Market?

A bull market is a period of time in the financial markets where asset prices are rising, and optimism is high. A bull market is seen as a good thing for most investors because stock prices are on the upswing and the economy is booming. In other words, the market is charging ahead, and portfolios are rising in value. The designation is a bit vague, as there’s no specific amount of time or level of increase that defines a bull market.

Recommended: What Does Bullish and Bearish Mean in Investing and Crypto?

The term “bull market” has an interesting history, and was actually coined in response to the development of the term “bear market” (more on that in a minute). The short of it is that “bears” became associated with speculation. In the 1700s, “bull” was used to describe someone making a speculative investment hoping that prices would rise, and thus, itself became the mascot for upward-trending markets.

💡 Quick Tip: Are self-directed brokerage accounts cost efficient? They can be, because they offer the convenience of being able to buy stocks online without using a traditional full-service broker (and the typical broker fees).

What Is a Bear Market?

Investors and market watchers generally define a bear market as a drop of 20% or more from market highs. When investors refer to a bear market, it usually means that multiple broad market indexes, such as the Standard & Poors 500 Index (S&P 500) or Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), fell by 20% or more over at least two months.

As noted, the term “bear” has a long history. It can be traced back to an old proverb, warning that it isn’t wise to “sell the bear’s skin before one has caught the bear.” “Bear’s skin” became simply “bear” over the years, and the term started to be used to describe speculators in the markets. Those speculators were often betting or hoping that prices would decline so that they could generate returns, and from there, “bears” became associated with downward-trending markets.

Bull vs Bear: Main Differences

The most stark and obvious difference between bull and bear markets is that one is associated with a downward-trending market, and the other, with an upward-trending market. But there are other differences as well.

For instance, bull markets tend to last longer than bear markets – although there’s no guarantee that any bull market will last longer than any particular bear market. The average bull market, for instance, lasts between six and seven years, while the average bear market lasts less than one-and-a-half years.

Typical gains and losses are lopsided between the two, as well. The average gain over the course of a bull market is almost 340%, while the average cumulative loss during bear markets is less than 40%.

Bull vs Bear Market: Key Differences

Bull Market

Bear Market

Upward-trending market Downward, or declining market
Have an average duration of 6.6 years Have an average duration of 1.3 years
Average cumulative gains amount to ~340% Average cumulative losses amount to 38%

How Is Investing Different During a Bull Market vs a Bear Market?

Depending on the individual investor, investing can be different during different types of markets. For some people, their investing habits may not change at all – but for others, their entire strategy may shift. A lot of it has to do with your personal risk tolerance and whether you’re letting your emotions get the best of you.

You may want to think of it this way: Just like encountering a grizzly on a hike, a bear market can be terrifying. Falling stock prices likely mean that the value of your retirement account or other investment portfolios are plummeting.

Unrealized losses during a bear market can be psychologically brutal, and if your investments don’t have time to recover, they can seriously affect your life.

Assuming, that is, that those unrealized losses become realized – if an investor does nothing during a bear market, allowing the market to recover (which, historically, it always has), then they’ve effectively lost nothing.

That can be important to keep in mind because markets are cyclical, meaning that bear markets are a fact of life; they tend to occur every three to four years. But what makes them nerve-wracking is that it’s difficult to see them coming. Some signs that a bear market may be looming include a slowing economy, increasing unemployment, declining profits for corporations, and decreasing consumer confidence, among other things.

Conversely, many investors may find it psychologically easier to invest during a bull market, when assets are appreciating (generally), and they can see an immediate unrealized return in their portfolio. Again, each investor will react differently to different market conditions, but the psychological weight of prevailing markets can be heavy on many investors.

Investing During a Bull Market

As noted, investors choose to adopt different investment strategies depending on whether we’re experiencing a bull or bear market.

During a bull market, some might suggest holding off on the urge to sell stocks even after you’ve had gains, since you could miss out on even higher prices if the bull market charges forward. However, no one knows when a peak will arrive, so this buy-and-hold strategy could lead to investors, who sell later, missing out on potential gains.

It may be a good idea to try and keep your confidence in check during a bull market, too. Because investors have seen their holdings gaining value, they might think they’re better at picking stocks than they actually are, and could feel tempted to make riskier moves.

Another common mistake is believing that the gains will continue in perpetuity; in reality, it’s often hard to predict a downswing, and stock market timing is challenging for even professional investors.

Investing During a Bear Market

A great way to prepare for a bear market is to try and remember that the market will, at some point, see a downturn. And, accordingly, to try and be prepared for it.

One way to do so could be to make sure your assets aren’t allocated in a way that’s riskier than you’re comfortable with — for example, by being overly invested in stocks in one company, industry, or region — when times are good. In other words, make sure your portfolio contains some degree of diversification.

Buying stock during a bear market can be advantageous since investors might be getting a better deal on stocks that could rise in value once the market recovers, which is also known as buying the dip. However, there can be obvious risks associated with predicting when certain stocks will hit bottom and buying them with the expectation of future gains.

No one knows what the future holds, so there’s always a chance the price will keep plummeting. Another tactic investors might be able to use is dollar-cost averaging — which is investing a fixed amount of money over time — so that chances of buying at high or low points are spread out over time.

Recommended: The Pros and Cons of a Defensive Investment Strategy

Once the bear market arrives, investors make a common mistake: getting spooked and selling off all their stocks. But selling when prices are low means they could be likely to suffer losses and may miss the subsequent rebound.

In general, as long as investors are comfortable with their portfolio mix and are investing for the long haul, it may be a good idea to stick with your predetermined strategy, no matter what’s happening in the markets in the short-term. Again, it’s worth remembering that market cycles are normal, and the same dynamism responsible for downturns allows investors to experience gains at other times.

Examples of Bull and Bear Markets

As discussed, bear markets are fairly common. In fact, dating back to 1929, the S&P 500 has experienced a decline of 20% or more 27 times – and the good news for investors, as of late, is that more recent bear markets have tended to be shorter in duration, and fewer and further between.

The most recent bear market was during 2022, and lasted 282 days, with a market decline of more than 25%. The market has, since then, bounced back to reach record-highs. Before that, there was a bear market in February and March 2020, when the pandemic initially hit the U.S., which saw the markets fall more than 33% – but the bear market itself lasted only 33 days.

Going back even further, there was a relatively severe bear market in the early 1970s which lasted 630 days, and saw the market decline 48%. Again, that makes more recent downturns look fairly tame in comparison.

💡 Quick Tip: Look for an online brokerage with low trading commissions as well as no account minimum. Higher fees can cut into investment returns over time.

The Takeaway

Bull and bear markets refer to either rising or declining markets, with bear markets notable as they represent declines of at least 20% in the market. Both bull and bear markets can have psychological effects on investors, and it’s important to understand what they are to try and adjust (or stick to) your strategy, accordingly.

If you’re investing for decades down the road, once you have an investment mix that is diversified and matches your comfort with risk, it’s often wisest to leave it alone regardless of what the market is doing. It may also be a good idea to speak with a financial professional for guidance.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, alternative funds, and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

For a limited time, opening and funding an Active Invest account gives you the opportunity to get up to $1,000 in the stock of your choice.

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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Interest Rates FAQ: How the Federal Fund Rate Impacts Your Savings

It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for interest rates. After reaching a historic low during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve enacted a series of rate hikes in 2022 and 2023—culminating in the highest rates in decades—in an effort to fight persistent inflation. So far, in 2024, the Fed has held its rate steady at 5.25% to 5.50%. Though many economists expect rates to decrease this year, the number of cuts, and how steep they might be, remain unclear. And it’s always possible that rates could remain unchanged or even increase if economic conditions shift.

Learn more: SoFi’s Liz Young Thomas Looks at the Fed’s May Statement

Changes to the Fed’s interest rate, or federal funds rate, almost invariably create a ripple effect of changes throughout the economy, impacting interest rates on loans, mortgages, and savings. Here’s a closer look at the Federal Reserve and how its economic outlook and policies can impact your accounts.

Q: What Is the Federal Reserve?

A: The Federal Reserve System was founded by Congress in 1913, with the primary goal of promoting the stability of the U.S. banking system. Since then, the Fed’s mandate and methods have evolved—today the work includes regulating financial institutions, directing monetary policy, managing inflation, and keeping employment rates high. And one of the key levers it pulls to those ends is adjusting the federal funds rate.

Q: What Is the Federal Funds Rate?

A: Banks frequently borrow money from one another to ensure they have sufficient reserves to cover consumer withdrawals and other commitments. The federal funds rate influences the interest rate U.S. banks use when lending money to other banks.

The federal funds rate is set by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is responsible for setting a range of monetary policies that can influence inflation and economic growth. The FOMC is made up of 12 members who meet approximately every six weeks to discuss a range of economic policies, including adjustments to the federal fund rate.

Q: What Factors Influence the Fed’s Rate?

A: The FOMC determines interest rate policy based on a wide range of economic indicators including inflation, employment levels, and durable goods orders data, which can provide insight into the economic health of a variety of industries such as technology, transportation, and manufacturing.

When these market indicators suggest that the economy is languishing, the FOMC may reduce the federal funds rate to make borrowing less expensive in the hopes of boosting economic activity. More money in consumers’ pockets typically means more spending and more money streaming into the economy.

When prices are rising too quickly, the FOMC may increase its interest rate, making it more expensive to borrow. That can slow spending and, in theory, help keep inflation in check.

Q: How Does the Fed Influence My Savings APY?

A: As mentioned above, the federal funds rate directly influences the interest rates banks use to borrow from or lend money to one another. But secondary effects eventually impact the wider economy, including the interest rates banks and financial institutions use when lending money through credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages. It can also affect the annual yield percentage, or APY, for savings accounts.

A federal rate decrease should eventually translate into lower interest rates when you borrow money to buy a house or car. It may also lead to a lower APY on your savings account.

When the federal rate increases, on the other hand, it becomes more expensive to borrow money, and savings account APYs typically increase.

Because most savings account APYs are variable, they tend to rise or fall in the wake of federal rate changes. There are accounts—such as fixed-rate certificates of deposit offered by some banks and credit unions—that have APYs that do not change, regardless of how the federal fund rate fluctuates.

Q: Do Other Factors Influence My Savings APY?

A: Federal fund rate changes have a substantial influence on saving account APYs—but they are not the only factor.

Some banks offer high-yield savings accounts with APYs that are considerably higher than the national average rate. Online-only banks and credit unions, for example, generally have less overhead than traditional brick-and-mortar banks, which may influence their ability to offer higher APYs.

Larger banks tend to be less dependent on deposits than those with a smaller regional presence, for example, so those smaller banks may offer higher rates.

Competition among banks for consumer deposits may also drive changes to the APYs they offer.

Even among these different scenarios, however, the Fed’s interest rate adjustments can still influence whether these banks’ APY rates rise or fall over time.

Recommended: What Is a Good Interest Rate for a Savings Account?

Q: How Has the Fed Adjusted Rates Recently?

A: After the economic crisis of 2008, the Fed presided over a period of relatively low and stable interest rates. Rates began to tick up gradually in 2015 until the COVID-19 pandemic upended the economy in 2020. The FOMC followed with two steep rate cuts to encourage economic activity, at the time, bringing interest rates down to historic lows.

Since then, as the U.S. has grappled with its highest rate of inflation in decades, the Fed has initiated a series of increases, culminating with a rate of 5.25% to 5.50% in July 2023 — the highest level in 23 years.

Federal Funds Target Rate (2015-2024)

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Q: When Will the Next Rate Change Come?

A: The FOMC typically convenes eight times per year—but it does not necessarily adjust rates at every meeting. In addition, banks and financial institutions sometimes adjust their own interest rates ahead of FOMC meetings, especially when economic conditions or signals from the Fed suggest a rate change may be forthcoming. The Fed publishes the schedule of FOMC meetings on its website.

The Takeaway

While the FOMC sets the federal funds rate to directly influence the rates banks use to lend money to each other, the rate has a broader effect on the U.S. economy, impacting many financial services and products including personal loans, mortgages, and savings accounts.

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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Our account fee policy is subject to change at any time.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


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