Sell your home in 5 days

I am reading a book by this title that lays out a basic system

Advertise wed. through Sunday. Home for sale, low start price, or best offer, inspections saturday and sunday, home will sell to highest bidder on sunday at 5 pm.

If you don’t get at least 25 calls by Friday cancel and figure out what went wrong.

Pluses mentioned in the book.

   no holding costs
   no realtors fees
   Low time committment.  busy 5 days

Has anyone done this? I have some new construction coming on line for the spring, and have been studying up on how to sell it myself.

What negatives do you see? What have your experiences been with auctions? Both as a buyer and as a seller?



Haven’t read the newest version of this book (read several years ago) and while the idea is appealing and actually doable, as usual, it’s not hardly as simple, or as easy, as it sounds.

There are alot of variables that will greatly determine your success, or failure, at trying this approach.

Four main ones come to mind (if memory serves)

First, in almost all situations, it will (and should) take more than five days to sell a property AND achieve the highest possible dollar amount in the shortest time. Someone mentioned that newer versions of the book cover this. Mine did not. Two weeks of advertising minimum, IMO.

Second, not stating a current market value is simply NOT the most effective means to get top dollar. I believe that the author gives the general public too much credit in that he believes that “real” buyers know the value of properties. In most cases, they don’t. Unless you’re in a market that has very defined areas of property values (where people would know the value of property simply by hearing the name of the area), you’re going to have to tell people how good of a deal that they COULD get. IE, $200K value, Starting offers at $99K, Sell to Highest and Best Offer by Sun Nite!

Three, not all advertising is created equal. For example, the local main papers is NOT the main source of real estate deals in my area. It’s the local thrifty nickel type paper, which comes out weekly on THURSDAY. Doesn’t fit into the setup easily.

Four, you have to be willing and able to sell for whatever price you put on the advertising. If you feel that your property is worth $200K and you advertise it for $100K, you get the 100 people needed, but you only get offers of $120K, what happens? If the buyer is ready, willing and able, you are required to sell OR face possible lawsuit. Most people aren’t in a position to sell for that kind of discount.


1 ad is not enough.

Try adding 100 bandit signs
1 more ad in paper
Direct mail to renters in the area
ads on craigslist / kijiji
Dancing sign guy at major intersection

1 ad is not enough, I’ve done “7 day sales” however I don’t see how it could be possible getting the results I did with just a classified ad.

To fight lawsuit, all you have to add to your advertising is:

“100 000$ or Best reasonable offer”

What is reasonable offer? Whatever the heck you want it to be.

I don’t think I would try it in a falling market.

In a market where prices are going up fast, you’d have a feeding frenzy.

But when the average buyer is going to have trouble getting financing and the only ones with cash to buy are the professional investors, I think you will be disappointed in the price you get.

it’s not aimed at cash buyers. You don’t have a contract until you sign the papers. It’s not an auction.

And Tien, sorry but I totally disagree with you. If a buyer meets or exceeds your asking price, is ready, willing and able to close, then you will be at fault if you don’t. It’s plain and simple. Their offer is “reasonable” if it’s above your asking price and it includes the terms that you’ve laid out (which you have to do BEFORE the sale).

One ad is not enough. If you’ve read the book, even the old version that I did, it says that. That’s not really the issue here.

If you’ve had a 7 day sale, what were the results? What was the condition of the house? Pretty, needed work, etc.

Here’s the real problem with the “5-day sale” and auctions in general (yes, it’s not an auction, BUT it follows the seem general theory). While they work exceptionally well with properties that aren’t great, older homes not updated, property in need of repair, etc., they aren’t very good for houses in good shape.

Why? I believe that in most buyers minds for a property to be sold quick there HAS to be something wrong with it. Properties with problems as above, are easy for buyers to determine the problem, deal with it and bid knowing it. A pretty house, they stop and wonder, “what am I missing? Is the foundation bad? Bad neighbor? WHAT!!?”

That is NOT the mindset you want in a bidder IF you’re wanting to get the highest and best price possible.


I know someone who did this once but he set a “reserve” price (I guess like an on-line auction)…when his reserve price wasn’t met…he cancelled the sale.

Don’t know if this is right or wrong; this is my (very limited) experience with that option.


Thanks for all the great replies, let me respond to some of the thoughts.

Is this your experience or your opinion. 5 days seems short to me too. The book that I first got here is from 1998, so fairly old.

I was thinking very similar thoughts. This is a new construction twinhome. I have an appraisal of what it is worth both from the bank before it was built, and I will have another inspection/appraisal after it is completed. I was thinking that I could make these available to potential buyers, so that they can see the value and how great a discount it is at.

This is the first homebuilding that I have done. My goal is to get it done and sold without losing money and learning the whole process. Making money would be nice though. I am not finished with the project yet obviously, but I was thinking that if there is enough room between what I have in it and the value of the house, I could start the prices out at my cost. Say $200,000 with the actual value around $250,000.

This may not be a big enough discount to attract the attention it needs to get the “real buyers” there, but I would be willing to take that price if that ended up being what it brought.

The second thought is this. It is a twinhome. I would do this on one side and if it went well, would just offer the other side of the duplex to the next high bidder. If it didn’t go so well, I would try to sell the other side conventionally.

I was thinking of more than 1 add, thanks for the great ideas.

I am not in a falling market. Fairly stable with days on market increasing somewhat. Builders are starting to slow down, but there are a lot of jobs coming to our area in the next couple of years. These twinhomes will be priced right in the sweet spot of our market for movement.

If I advertise and someone bids, I will not duck out. If I make a decision to sell this way and advertise that the high bid wins, it will be because I can and will take the high bid even if I lose money. I am making the decision with my eyes wide open.

Why do you say it doesn’t work with nice houses? I am not trying to argue with you, just to understand your reasoning. Mine is new and it will be well done. Are you speaking from specific experience with these types of sales, or opinion based on experiences in RE. I know you have been around a lot and are knowledgable, so I value your thoughts, but is it actual experience? When I was starting this project, I went to a house that was selling at auction. The auction company was a Realtor. It a nice house $380,000 ( this is in Montana, so that means a nice 4000 sq ft house in the really nice neighborhood ). Because they used a auction company that was also a Realtor, they did not save the cost of commission, but they did sell the house quickly. I was wondering if they would get a decent price, and was standing by a realtor with a great record in our area. He estimated the value at 380k. It ended up selling at 378k. I left thinking that wasn’t too bad a way to sell a house. quick. They did advertise for more than 5 days. I saw the add several weeks before it actually sold.

I would love to hear anyones real experience with this method or similar. As it is my first time selling houses, I am thinking it would be alright to take a discount and have it under my belt rather than to have interest eating me up for months and then finally sell it after carrying it quite a while.

Thanks for the responses, keep it coming,



I’ve responded to this twice, in detail, but apparently was timed out both times. So the short, sweet answer is Both experience and opinion based on knowledge.

I’ve followed the 5 day sell to a tee and it was a complete failure. I’ve known others that have had very similar results. However, ajusting the round robin style of sale to YOUR local market and conditions does work.

Pretty houses don’t work well, generally speaking, simply because nothing is wrong with them. In most areas, people feel that the house must have a problem if it has to be auctioned. If they know the problem, they are fine. Since a pretty house has no problem, many assume that there still IS a problem, they just can’t see it. Not what you want in a bidding situation. Again, this is both from personal experience and experience of others in the business.

Of course, the purpose of the 5 day sale is NOT to get retail value out of the property. It is to net you the profit you WOULD get IF you waited on it to sell via retail. For example, a $200K retail home, minus $12K for commissions, $6K for holding costs SHOULD sell for $182K in a round robin situation.


7 Day saling homes works on ANY property, and works best on pretty houses.

I 7 day saled a house worth about 215 000 (got an offer through an agent at 210 000 in about 30 days)

I 7 day sale went on and the best offer I got was 200 000.

90-95% of the ARV is what you should expect if you do it correctly.

And Roger, this isn’t an absolute auction.

In the signup sheet to make a bid, I clearly state that there is a reserve price and the owner doesn’t have to accept the highest bid. If all the bidders sign this, than your whole point is moot.

And I never had a bidder even ask what the heck a reserve price is.

Problem solved, I’m not longer forced to sell the property at any price.

And btw, it works in ANY MARKET.

Don’t make excuses.

In a falling market, just buy the property or option the property at a cheaper price and sell it at 80-85% of market value.

Problem solved.

Knowing how to do a 7 day sale PROPERLY to get rid of any house at 85%++ within a very short time frame is one of the best tools you can have.

I think it really comes down to whether or not you get at least two and hopefully three serious buyers there and if you can afford to sell it under par if you have to.


Tein , can you explain the 7 day method for me? Is it the same just two more days of adds? It sounds like you have used it with success, share some of the details with us.




I don’t know if you’ve read the book or made up your own way of selling properties fast or what. No need to jump on a soapbox over it either way. I’m stating my opinion based on experience.

[b]And Roger, this isn’t an absolute auction.

In the signup sheet to make a bid, I clearly state that there is a reserve price and the owner doesn’t have to accept the highest bid. If all the bidders sign this, than your whole point is moot.[/b]

Never said it was an absolute auction. The original question aske about the 5 day sale according to the formula in the book. In fact, you have proven my point, which was the 5 day sale, as outlined in the book, doesn’t work. If you’re performing these ‘fast’ sales as you’ve said, then you’re NOT using the formula in the book.

You’ve set a reserve price (not in book). You’ve added contingencies that basically say that you don’t have to accept ANY bid (not in the book) and you’ve added 2 more days (not in the book).

So, if you’ll review my previous posts, I never said that round robin bidding doesn’t work. In fact, I said that you have to adjust it to your particular market and market conditions in order for it to work. I don’t see how that point is moot.


However, ajusting the round robin style of sale to YOUR local market and conditions does work.

Got to thinking, how do I know what to adjust and how for MY market?
I have no real idea. Do you have any general observations that can help me think through this?



Sadly, no DB.

I don’t know your market or condition, so can’t offer any direct advice.

I’d suggest that you visit with a few RE auctioneers and see how (and what) things are selling via auctions. You also need to know exactly what is selling for what and how long it takes to sell.

It also wouldn’t hurt to find out if anyone else has done something similar in your area.

Another site that may be helpful is Check to see if anyone has listings in your area on it and how they are doing.


If you are willing to discount the NEW home so drastically why not do a real auction??
Hire a professional auction company to market it and since your market values aren’t falling in your area the selling price should be way above the low 100k you mentioned.
And should sell without you having to resort to the gimmickry that is in your 1998 book.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel! the wheel rolls real well.
Focus on what you want to do in the first place… build homes.
Hire a pro and get it sold and move on. imho\

good luck


Thanks for the reply, I am looking into hiring a real auction company. I sell by auction in another business, and think it could work here as well. One of the reasons to sell this way is to avoid paying commisions to a realtor, or in this case the auction company. I am mostly trying to decide where the balance of value is for me. On a duplex project like mine, the total value will be around $500,000. 6% of this is $30,000 to a realtor, and I don’t have numbers yet for an auction company. I am thinking I can do a lot of advertising for a lot less than $30,000 to insure good attendence at the sale, and have it over and done.

I have to decide if I am willing to take a big discount, but I would not be expecting to take it. If the process works, I should get close to market value. There is just no gaurantee.



Keep in mind, whether you use a “real” auction or a round robin style of bidding, the goal is NOT to “save” on the commission or even sell for retail.

Retail is basically the expected value of the house, minus agent costs, minus holding costs.

That said, the goal in this type of sell is to NET what you would normally have gotten given normal marketing times under normal conditions.

As I stated before, if you would normally net $182K out of a $200k property sell, then THAT is your goal in this type of selling. IF you happen to get more, then you’ve actually sold it for OVER market value.