It can happen in a heartbeat. Your job calls you up out of the blue and tells you they’re transferring you halfway around the country.
Suddenly you’re paying the mortgage on your home and you’re paying rent on a corporate apartment, all while trying to hunt for your next house. You’ve got to sell this home, and fast, but you can’t exactly get in to stage it. You’re bleeding money fast. Your next down payment may even be locked up in your former home.
This happens more often than you might think. When it does, you do have a couple of good options.
Yes, you can sell the home the traditional way…but it will cost you.
If you have the time and are financially stable enough to absorb the additional costs of doing so, then you might want to do what you can to get the full market value of the home. This can be done when you’re not there to facilitate the process! You simply need to hire a professional home stager to make your house look its best. This can cost around $150 an hour…more if you’re going to rent furniture in order to help the home shine.
From there, your real estate agent can handle showing the home and taking in offers. He or she simply needs to alert you via e-mail when things are rolling. Real estate agents are accustomed to doing this, and they actually do prefer showing a house that the homeowner has already moved out of.
However, you will probably need to either hire an attorney to represent you at the closing, or you will have to make the time and set aside the money to attend the closing yourself. Your realtor cannot sign this paperwork for you.
Make sure you understand other costs associated with holding on to the home until it sells.
It’s understandable to be worried that you’re not going to get the full value of your home. However, you need to weigh the final check against the amount of money you’ll spend holding on to the home.
If you’re paying rent and a mortgage you may already be straining your budget to the breaking point. In addition, vacant homes demand special insurance policies. You’ll also be responsible for the property taxes for every month you hold on to the home.
If you’re lucky enough to be working in a seller’s market you may be okay. A good real estate agent can probably move your house very quickly. If that’s the case these extra costs may not amount to much.
Renting out the property is another option.
If you’ve got a lot of equity in the home you might consider turning it into an income source…or at least allowing a tenant’s rent to cover all or most of the cost of the mortgage.
If you do this, however, you should understand that becoming a landlord is about far more than collecting an easy check. In fact, every day here at Big State Home Buyers we actually work with landlords who are sick and tired of all the obligations and problems.
If something breaks, you have to fix it…fast. You have to absorb the costs of those repairs. Often, you have to do this even if the tenant did something stupid with the property. Once the tenant moves out you have to have it cleaned and repainted. Carpets may need to be replaced. In the industry, we call that having the unit “turned over.” Finally, you may have months where you take a loss while the unit sits empty, and suitable tenants aren’t always easy to find. You’ll need someone to show each prospective tenant the unit, for example…something that’s hard for you to do from miles away. Again, a realtor can do this for you, but you will absorb some costs.
And if the tenant doesn’t pay rent? Now you’re stuck trying to navigate landlord-tenant court and secure an eviction while trying to live your life in some other city.
You can, of course, hire a property management firm to take care of all of these issues for you. But you should be aware that they will take a significant cut of your rental revenue in order to do this. Make sure the cut won’t wipe out all the benefits you hope to gain by renting the out the home.
Selling the home to an investor…the smartest choice?
The Press of Atlantic City reports that many sellers in this situation are best served by selling the home as quickly as they possibly can so they can focus on their new life in their new homes.
Of course, the fastest way to do this is by reaching out to a reputable home investor. If you have two weeks to move, there’s nothing quite like having a fair cash offer in hand within 24 hours.
Obviously you’ll want to take into account whether the offer will pay your existing mortgage, whether you’ll have enough left over to put a down payment on a new home, and whether or not the 50-70% value that we can offer you will seem fair to you once you’ve considered the costs of keeping the home. We don’t want you to accept any deal that isn’t going to be right for you.
With that being said, we’ve helped thousands of home buyers who share your situation. Many have found it to be a great relief, both physically and financially, to unload the house at last. If you feel you’ll fall into that category as well, consider giving Big State Home Buyers a call. Say, “Buy my house!” and we’ll get an offer to you right away.