Houses are selling faster than hotcakes in this summer’s market. While major online listing sites like Trulia (one of the major listing portals that features listings) report that single-family, moderately-priced houses are selling even faster than they’re becoming available.

Which tees up today’s question: is it possible for a house to sell too fast?

Not if you are braced for a swift sale…which is what will likely occur if you’ve priced your house in line with the trend in your neighborhood. (In all markets, including this one, overpriced houses don’t sell. Buyers are eager…and well-informed. They won’t pay too much – and, of course, lenders won’t let them.)

Here are three tips for preparing for a nearly-instant sale.

  • First, line up a place to live when your house isn’t yours any more.  Whether or not it’s smart to put down an offer on your next house before putting your first one on the market is a matter of debate and personal risk tolerance. The key thing is, be sure that you have a temporary rental, a tolerant family or friend,.. a tent…something, anything, to move to.
  • Put as much as you can in storage. Live with one set of sheets, two sets of towels, without decorative items, and in a seasonless interior. Put extra everything, seasonal decorations, creative hobby stash, adult kids’ gear..anything you don’t need for day-to-day living, in a storage unit. This will save time (most of your packing will be done); the house will be uncluttered for photos and showings; and you can move easily to temporary quarters.
  • Have your moving chores in process. Collect change-of-address forms from the post office and financial providers. Make up labels with addresses of those who need to know of your new address. Collect everything you need for the closing – mortgage, title, insurance papers – and use this handy guide.

With all this work done in advance, you can entertain offers with a clear head and with the confidence of knowing where your next steps will take you.