Why homes in the U.S. are selling quicker than ever — and how to cash in

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Why homes in the U.S. are selling quicker than ever — and how to cash in
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Take a gander around the average American neighborhood and you’ll see a red-hot housing market. “For sale” signs and moving trucks are in abundance on avenues and streets across the country.

Not only is the real estate market back in a big way, but the average amount of time between listing and sale in most areas of the U.S. is at a record low. New numbers from real estate site Zillow show that homes are selling at the fastest rate ever.

Zillow: U.S. homes sold at fastest rate ever in 2017

In 2017, home sales quickened in 35 of the largest real estate markets in the nation, according to Zillow, which tracked the numbers based on how long properties were listed on its site. Just two years ago, it took a home an average of 90 days to sell. In 2017, that number was cut to 81 days.

The quickest-selling month for the typical home was June 2017, when it took about 73 days for the average home to sell, Zillow reports.

“As demand has outpaced supply in the housing market over the past three years, buying a home has become an exercise in speed and agility,” Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas said in the report.

Here are the top 10 fastest-selling housing markets in 2017

  • San Jose, California — 41 days
  • San Francisco, California — 43 days
  • Seattle, Washington — 47 days
  • Denver, Colorado — 52 days
  • Sacramento, California — 54 days
  • Dallas, Texas — 55 days
  • San Diego, California — 56 days
  • Portland, Oregon — 60 days
  • Austin, Texas — 61 days
  • Kansas City, Missouri & Las Vegas, Nevada — 62 days

Further good news for home sellers is that nearly a quarter of all the homes sold in 2017 did so above their list prices, Zillow reports.

Indications are that the frenzied home-selling pace is continuing in 2018, Terrazas said.

“This is shaping up to be another competitive home shopping season for buyers, who may have to linger on the market until they find the right home but then sprint across the finish line once they do. Being prepared — working with a great agent, getting financing pre-approved — can help a buyer make a stand-out offer.”

If you’re thinking about putting your home up for sale, here are some tips to help you cash in.

3 home-selling tips that work

Feeling blue inside? Try yellow! Homes with yellow kitchens fetch about $1,400 more than structures with bland white kitchens, according to Zillow. “Of all the colors analyzed, homes with yellow kitchens, often in hues of creamy or wheat yellow, yielded the highest sale premium ($1,360 above expected values).” There’s also money in earthy tones. Find out more hues news here.

Use food to your advantage: During open houses, the aroma of delicious treats can help put would-be buyers in an agreeable mood. Not only can baked cookies create a festive mood, they act as a natural room deodorizer. See other staging tricks to utilize.

Watch out for these 2 ‘hidden’ expenses: Home sellers are often blindsided by the ancillary expenses associated with selling a home. There are two that especially cause trouble. Here’s what to know about the extra cash you’ll spend on closing costs and repairs.

RELATED: Selling your home yourself? Here’s why an ‘Agents Protected’ sign is huge

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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who still reads paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer. You can reach Craig at [email protected]
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