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What You Should Know About Inherited Property Laws in Florida

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It happens all too often – a loved one passes away, leaving their property to a relative or friend who has to make sometimes difficult decisions about what to do with the piece of real estate. Determining what to do with that house, and whether to sell inherited property in Florida, often requires doing a lot of soul searching and a lot of research. 

First off, it’s important to realize that you have lots of options. Real estate laws in Florida vary based on what the condition of the loan is and the stipulations in the will, but there are four options for most people who’ve inherited property. 

  • Walk away and let the mortgage foreclose
  • Keep the house and rent it
  • Negotiate with co-owners from the estate to live in the house
  • Sell the inherited property

Depending on your situation, any one of these might be the best solution. What’s never a great idea is delaying the decision. The longer you wait, the more time, money, and stress it will cause you. 

You’re already dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. Inherited property in Florida shouldn’t be an additional stressor. The following information about property laws and options will help you to make sense of what you can do. 

Two questions to consider with inherited property

When you inherit a piece of property in Florida, you need to start off by answering the following two important questions. These answers will guide you in understanding where you stand and what your next steps should be.

  1. How did you inherit the home?
  2. How will you manage the issues surrounding the inherited property?

Whether you can get a house sold in a way that will get the most benefit for the owner of the property quickly while dealing with other family members is an important step in making sense of inherited homes.

Ways to inherit a home under Florida law

probate court in Florida

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Under the Florida Statutes, the codified laws that govern everyone and all pieces of property in the State of Florida, there are three ways that someone can inherit property. 

  • Inherit by trust 
  • Inherit by deed
  • Inherit by will

The means through which you inherited the piece of property in Florida will determine what the process looks like for you. It’ll also determine what options are open to you for dealing with the property and how you can exercise the rights that you have. 

Inheriting by trust

Inherited home in Daytona Beach, FL

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If you inherited the property by trust, it means that you, and possibly other inheritors, have rights to the home under Florida law. Inheriting by trust when someone passes away always involves the probate process only if there are children under the age of eighteen (minor children) or a living spouse. Florida homestead rules state that if minor children or a spouse are present, then the title of that home will have to be cleared through the court process. 

Once the title has been cleared through probate court, the inheritor is free to sell the house through a traditional real estate sale or to a cash buyer. 

Inheriting by deed

When a home is left to an inheritor by deed in Florida, the person who inherits is called the “remainderman”. This means that the person who inherits the home owns it jointly with another family member or loved one. 

A common misnomer is that spouses inherit by deed in Florida. This isn’t the case. Under Florida law, when a person dies, the other owners automatically take possession of the property. No other transition is legally necessary. 

For loved ones who aren’t spouses, property that is inherited by deed in Florida is not subject to probate. That being said, there is typically a recording of the death certificate or an affidavit filing that must happen. Should the inheritor by deed decide to sell the home, it’s fairly straightforward and easy when inheriting by deed. 

Inheriting by will

Last will and testament in St. Petersburg, FL

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When someone in Florida passes away and theirs is the only name on the deed, then the inheritor is named in the will. To do anything with a house that’s been inherited by will in Florida, the new owner must go through the entire probate process. 

Expect the home to take up to six months to go through probate court in Florida, during which time it cannot be sold. After probate court is complete, the new owner can do whatever they’d like to with the home as it will have a clear title.

When a house goes into Florida probate court

Probate court

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Depending on the factors involved, probate in Florida can either go very quickly, or it can go very, very slowly. 

When someone has been deceased, and the property has been left unchanged for two years, then probate court will fly along quickly in Florida. In this case, the new owner can sell fast on the open market and settle the estate. 

When someone has just passed away, or if the decedent’s death has occurred, then probate proceedings will move at a snail like pace. If more than one person has legal ownership of the home, be prepared for the probate process to be complicated and long.

With any Florida property in probate, don’t expect a hassle free sale to happen quickly. It’s simply a reality that an inherited home will be run through the wringer with all interested parties and the legal title will take some time to settle.

Why is probate in Florida so slow?

House by the water in Tampa Bay, FL

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The reason that a probate proceeding takes so long is that, under Florida law, notices to potential creditors must be published in the newspaper. Once those are published, the property held in trust must sit there for at least four months to allow all creditors to make their claim.

No potential owner can sell the house during this time, but repairs needed can be addressed. The property must sit there as-is until all the paperwork for the probate process has gone through.

Creditors and other claimants, or their appointed personal representative, have the right to make a claim during the process. Sometimes a personal representative will come in from far out of Florida to appear in court, most often an attorney.

Another important point here is that creditors can dispute homestead status on an inherited house. The creditor has a right to get their piece of the appraised value of the inherited property.

Though most of the time, creditors like income tax collectors, municipalities owed property taxes, are known before the deceased person is gone, that’s not always the case. That’s why the court must make efforts to find creditors.

Getting a clear title on a piece of inherited property, one without income tax or other creditor claims, is the only way to be able to sell property, including an inherited house in Florida.

The title through line

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There has to be a through line on an inherited house from every single owner. Though there may be sentimental reasons for someone passing money, a house, or an estate onto you through their will, the legal ramifications have to be considered as well – whether the property is valued at a hundred dollars or a hundred thousand dollars.

Though there might be a last will and testament from an individual, there’s still the matter of putting a name on a deed. It’s not like a home sale, where the person can sign the house over.

In fact, there’s no way to get a house quickly signed over for a fast sale or for any other reason if the person is not available to sign over the house.

Probate is when the judge declares that an owner who is not on the deed now has the house. It’s the act of changing the name on the title of the house without a sale.

couple holding hands at an inherited house in Florida

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When a judge does make that final decision in Florida probate court, the probate judge issues something called an order determining homestead status of real property. This is the legal document that officially allows the inheritor to sell the property, renovate the inherited house, or sign over the house to another person without any money exchanging hands.

What about taxable income on an inherited house?

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Selling inherited property for market value or to cash home buyers for a fast sale and money in hand can

When selling an inherited property, don’t forget about the money you’ll have to pay in taxes after the sale. The income from that sale of a house is considered capital gains and will require you to pay capital gains tax on your next income tax return.

For federal income tax purposes, selling inherited property is the same as if you sell any other kind of investment property. Capital gains tax applies and will be paid on your income taxes the following year.

Do note that the income taxes when you sell an inherited property won’t be too bad thanks to the “step up on basis” rule in Florida property law. This means that you’ll only pay on gains from the house as is – as in from the time of the person’s death.

You won’t have to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation from the time of the original purchase by the owner.

Living room of an inherited home in FL

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This represents a huge savings in terms of capital gains tax. Otherwise, you could end up owing a massive amount in state, local, and federal taxes when you sell the inherited home.

Homestead property in Florida

Inherited property in Tampa

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Under the Florida general statutes, a property address that’s lived in by the homeowner is called a homestead property. This means it’s your primary residence, and you don’t have to pay taxes on the appreciation of the home when you sell the house.

Paying taxes is unavoidable on an inherited home if it’s not your homestead. This will only include appreciation on the house from the time of the death of the original owner – you would owe much more money if that appreciation went all the way back to the previous sale of the house.

When more than one person inherits a house

Inherited home in Tallahassee

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It’s not uncommon for multiple people to inherit a house from a single person. This usually happens when siblings or grandchildren inherit a home.

In Florida, everyone who owns a piece of the inherited home is responsible for everything equally. This includes debts, income, and also liabilities associated with the property address.

The mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, costs for repairs needed on the house, etc. will all be the responsibility of everyone involved.

The hard truth is that, in most of these situations surrounding a house, everyone is not on the same page. Joint tenancy is tricky business, and it’s common for people to get hard feelings, especially when money is involved.

It can be a nightmare trying to get a fast sale on a house with multiple owners, or even to get a sale of the house at all. Getting everyone to agree can be almost impossible.

Inherited home in Coconut Grove, FL

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People are often hesitant to sell a house when someone can offer cash, in part because they feel like a better price is out there. A fast sale can save a lot of headache, though.

Administering the pay out from a buyer who will offer cash for the sale of a house is much less of a long term headache than the day-to-day maintenance of keeping a house rented.

Under Florida property law, everyone gets an equal share, but how that equal share from the sale price or from the rental fee is up to the group to figure out. It’s a lot of work.

When you want to sell a house with a mortgage

When a home has a remaining mortgage and the owner decides to sell, the full remainder of the loan comes due when the house is transferred to the new owner. However, if a home is inherited, through any means, there’s a federal law that allows the inheritor to keep the mortgage.

This law is called the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982, and it applies to inherited homes in the Sunshine State. Under this law, individuals who inherit a home can continue to make payments on the existing loan while it stays in the original owner’s name.

There’s also a process whereby the inheritor can transfer the loan to their name.

The great news is that, under these federal laws, the mortgage company won’t go through the ability-to-pay process, which is the customary process for loan approval in the United States.

The inheritor can simply be added to the loan, without having to jump through hoops or trying to sell the property.

Figuring out selling inherited property

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There are so many factors to understand here. From whether you can sell inherited property to real estate investors, or for market value, or whether the life estate will cover closing costs and income taxes. Inherited property in Florida can feel burdensome, but the deceased person certainly didn’t mean for it to be.

A significant chunk of the process is understanding how to get on the same page as the court system. Understanding things like the difference in homesteaded property and non homesteaded property, as well as the Florida probate court will make it all less stressful in dealing with the deceased’s assets. 

Sell Your Home with No Regrets with these 25 Real Estate Tips

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Putting a house on the market and selling it for a price that you can live with is much different than looking for a house and buying it for a price that you can afford. The whole process is different, and home sellers often need to do a lot of homework. Finding the best real estate advice is important to selling your home.

The information here will help first time home sellers get their feet underneath them for a smoother ride through the process. It’s also great for people who have had the experience of selling a house in the past and need to bone up on the details. 

#1 – Get organized from the start

Home showing with a realtor

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Selling real estate, even with the help of a real estate professional, is a complicated process. The most important thing, the thing that will help you navigate it all and come out on the other side without getting overwhelmed, is to get organized.

It takes months to get a property from being lived into being empty and in the hands of a new owner. Through that time, you need to have your eye peeled for important information and documentation.

Homeowner getting organized ahead of home sale

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Get a binder and start collecting documents and important information as soon as you decide to sell your home. This will help you keep track of hard copies and will save you time and effort at the closing table. Create sections for:

  • Legal documentation
  • Listing/agent information
  • Repair bills and information
  • Timeline/strategy
  • Potential buyer log
  • Calendar of showings/appointments
  • Moving resources

An important section is your log of calls and interested buyers. You can do this in your binder, or you can create a Google spreadsheet to keep track. If you go with an electronic format, make sure it’s on a shared platform like Google so that you can access it from anywhere. As you get closer to the sale, you’ll want quick access to real estate information.

Solid prepwork at the beginning will prevent heartbreak later in the property process.

#2 – Educate yourself about fees

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Some of the best advice you’ll ever get about the real estate process is to educate yourself about the fees associated with selling a home.

Money is the driving force behind putting a piece of property on the market, and fees eat into the profit in a hefty way. Expect to lose 10% of the sale price in fees if you use a realtor, 1% or so if you go with a cash buyer and sell as-is. On a $300,000 home sale, that’s $30K if you use a realtor and $3K if you go with an as-is cash sale.

A full service real estate agent will take five to six percent in commission. The remaining percentage of the fees in a traditional sale go to things like inspection fees, repairs, staging, pictures, etc.

A Realtor Presenting a Blueprint

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Finally, there’s also the payoff on the mortgage. Talk to your mortgage lenders early on to find out what fees you might incur and what the payoff amount might be. A mortgage broker will be able to give you the best advice on what your loan terms are. For example, an agent at Coldwell Banker would be able to tell you the payoff amount for your mortgage with Coldwell Banker.

All of these fees add up and will eat into your profit from the property. Make sure you know what to expect so that you can plan accordingly.

#3 – Understand emotion vs. pragmatism

List of home selling advice checkboxes

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Generally, buying a house is all about the emotions that the buyer feels. Particularly for first time home buyers, choosing a house is tied to looking for the dream home. Does it feel like a place that you can imagine yourself living in ten years? 

On the other hand, selling a house is all about maximizing profit. Though there might be some real emotional attachment to the home, once it’s time to go, the seller is looking for the next space. In the same way that they put emotion into the purchase of the home they’re selling, they’re not pushing all of that emotion into the next home. 

The trouble is that the home they’re currently in has to be sold. That’s where pragmatism comes in, but it’s not all structure and emotional fortitude. Selling a home is stressful, even in a seller’s market. 

Couple buying their first home

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Often, home sellers get overwhelmed with the process. Acknowledging the level of stress that goes into selling a home will help you navigate through in a smart way that allows you to make pragmatic choices.

#4 – Commit to a strategy

Open house ahead of home sale

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There are multiple ways to go about selling your house. Real estate agents are only one course.

Roughly one in ten homeowners go it on their own when completing real estate transactions. These include individuals who go the “for sale by owner” (FSBO) route, as well as those who sell directly to cash buyers. Another ten percent attempt to go it on their own without a real estate agent, only to engage in one after the process gets started.

A great real estate agent can make the whole thing go smoother, but a new real estate agent who doesn’t have experience can make things go on longer for home buyers and homeowners.

Look at the positive and negative reasons of the three ways to tackle the real estate market and decide for yourself. Before you commit to any of them, take a deep dive into what you’ll get out of each and whether it’s right for you.

  • Use a full service real estate agent
  • List it yourself (FSBO)
  • Engage with a cash buyer

It all depends on your needs and your circumstances. Take a look at the real estate market in your area, and evaluate what kinds of needs you have. If you have an unusual property or need further support, real estate agents and home investment companies can support you with real estate advice.

Interior of home for sale

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Everyone has an agenda, so take every piece of real estate advice you’re given with a grain of salt. Though most people are honest and mean well, you are the best advocate for yourself. Get bids from multiple agents and talk to multiple real estate investors before committing to anything.

Once you start down a path, commit to it as much as you can. Of course, you want to be flexible, but you also want to follow through with your method.

#5 – Create a timeline

Home interior prepped for sale

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The average time to sell a home is three to four months from the first decision to sell to the closing and handing over the keys. It can sometimes take much longer, or it can happen incredibly quickly, depending on the real estate market conditions.

If your area is a metropolitan area that has a lot of new people moving in, your home might sell within just a few days of listing it. If you’re in an economically depressed area, it could take many months to find the right buyer. Real estate is all about location.

Start as soon as you can in getting your home ready for potential buyers, even if you are in a competitive market. If you decide you need repairs before putting your house on the market to get a good market value, then those will take time.

Layout a timeline of what you need to get done and how long it will take, including how much time you expect to spend getting your house ready for sale.

Home staged for open houses

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Here’s a simple timeline to give you an idea:

  • Research potential real estate agents/home investors
  • Start decluttering and packing
  • Get a home inspection
  • Schedule repairs
  • Do a deep clean
  • Final declutter and staging
  • Get photos taken
  • List the home

Everything prior to listing could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months, depending on the needs of your house.

If you’re on a really tight timeline, one of the best tips is to sell your home as-is to a cash buyer. It can take as little as a week to two weeks, though you won’t get top dollar for your house with this tack.

#6 – Know your home

White sofa in a stage home for sale

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One of the most important pieces of advice you could get is to get to know your house well before you sell. Oftentimes, sellers have a good foundation of knowledge about their home, but it’s in your best interest to get as much information about your home so that you can get it priced correctly in the current market.

If you have been putting off small repairs or if you know of substantive issues with the house, you’ll have to choose whether to tackle those or to put them off and sell as is.

One of the best real estate tips you’ll get is to get a pre-listing inspection scheduled. If you haven’t done necessary repairs in the past year, they’ll be able to get you information about whether those problems have affected the value of the home. This is a service that’s generally worth the money, unless you’re planning to sell your home as-is.

#7 – Know your potential buyer

Home ready for sale thanks to agent advice

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Understanding your potential buyer, especially in a competitive market, can help you get the best deal for your home. This is how you wind up with a bidding war and how you rise above comparable properties in the neighborhood.

Depending on where your home is, you might be targeting first time buyers or experienced real estate investors. Do you want a buyer who’s pre approved so that the sale goes quickly? Are you open to counter offers, or do you want to dispense with the negotiation?

Someone buying their first home might be more willing to pay a premium for a house that they fall in love with. There’s a huge emotional investment in the first home a family purchases.

Once you have an idea of your ideal purchaser, you can make sure you get top dollar for your home.

#8 – Find the right price for your home

Interior of home for first time buyers

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No home seller wants to leave money on the table when selling their home by setting the price too low. At the same time, it’s easy to turn potential buyers off by setting the price too high. 

Finding out what the value of your home is isn’t as simple as looking at the online prices of other homes in your area, though that is a place to start. 

When real estate agents set a home price, they do so by looking at what other homes with similar amenities have sold for in your area recently. They’ll also see if necessary repairs have been done. A reputable real estate will do a lot of due diligence to get the pricing just right for your home. 

This is called a comparative market analysis, and there’s definitely an art to it. However, you should always do your own research so that you feel comfortable with what anyone offers you. 

If you decide to forego working with a real estate agent and instead go after a cash buyer, you should know that they’ll offer you less than market value. Keep in mind that a real estate agent will take upwards of five percent of the total sale price. If you are working with a cash buyer who offers you 96% of the price you’d get with a realtor, you’ll still come out with more money. 

#9 – Make smart, appealing repairs

Home repairs head of home sale

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If the home you’re selling has been lived in for any amount of time, it’ll show signs of normal wear and tear. This might include dings in the walls, scratches in the paint, and fixtures that have come loose. 

Putting a fresh coat of paint on surfaces, having carpets professionally cleaned, and making those minor cosmetic changes will add up fast. When all of these things are done, it makes a home feel like it was well maintained. Even though these repairs don’t technically add direct value to your home for sale, they definitely create a powerful impression for potential buyers. 

Man painting home to get ready for sale

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Keep your eyes peeled for realtors who are experienced with fixer uppers and can offer you advice to get you the highest amount of money for your home. The right agent can make a big difference.

Home improvement costs are one of the biggest reasons that home buyers are hesitant to purchase some homes for top dollar. Be aware that serious repairs will prevent a mortgage broker from signing off on a loan.

#10 – Declutter & consider professional staging

Decluttered home

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When preparing your home for sale, you might want to consider working with a professional stager. These professionals will know just how to put your home together to make it as appealing as it possibly can be to potential buyers. 

Fun fact – when sellers get rid of half of the furniture, most homes get a better reaction from potential buyers. Why? It allows buyers to envision themselves in the space.

Home staging can make a big difference in how first time homebuyers view your home. Home prices are shown to consistently raise the price that a home sells for. There’s a cost for this service, but you’ll get a better deal than if you do it without these real estate experts.

It all comes down to how much you want to put into the piece of real estate before you sell it.  

Speaking of making space, decluttering is an absolute must for every seller.  Every bit of your personality should be packed away and readied to move on out. Packing up has the added benefit of making it easier for you to move. It makes the home accessible for first time buyers as well as making your life better during the transition.

#11 – Consider curb appeal

Home prices are higher for houses that look good from the outside.

Keeping up with lawn maintenance, repairing outdoor fixtures, putting a forest coat of paint on the front door, and fixing broken fences, all of this can make first impressions of your home better for buyers.

Real estate agents often offer advice about curb appeal. There’s a reason this is one of the most consistent tips for making your home stand out in the neighborhood.

Curb appeal is all about inviting first time buyers to fall in love with your home from the outset.

#12 – Choose the right day to list

The first day that a home is on the market is when it gets the most visibility. However, don’t put too much pressure on this moment in the homebuying process.

What does matter is the time of year. There are more sold homes during the summer months than any other time of the year. It’s when real estate is hottest, in part because families are trying to get moved in the summer months before school starts.

If at all possible try to list your home in the spring. Real estate experts will often give this advice to sellers because it’s a tried and true time of year to get more showings and to get an offer earlier.  

#13 – Make showings work for you

Agent showing a home for sale

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It’s important to be flexible with showing your home, but you also have to make it work for you.

For some families, home showings are incredibly stressful. If that’s the case for you, you might want to get out of the neighborhood for a weekend and allow your real estate agent to show the home. Real estate agents are happy to do open houses without the homeowner around.

More showings in a short period of time are a smart way to play the market. Touring homes, whether it’s a family looking for their first home or an agent scouting the neighborhood for a client, are best offered after working hours or on the weekend.

Choose a time that works with your schedule. Though realtors will often push you to have showings on their schedule, it’s good advice for you to do showings during a time that you can have the house clean and show ready.

A bonus of you not being home is that the potential buyers will be more open with the agent about questions and concerns for the home. It’s a great idea to let your agent take care of this – realtors are happy to do it.

#14 – 20 minute showing preparation

Entrance of home staged for sale

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If you are tight on time and need to get your home ready for a showing, you can do a quick prep in just 20 minutes. Unfortunately, all too often realtors bring in potential buyers with little notice. It’s not always smart in terms of money to ask an agent to wait.

Should you decide to go ahead with a last-minute showing, here are some things you can do in twenty minutes to get ready.

  • Do a walk through pickup of scattered items and put them in the bin.
  • Throw clothing in a covered laundry hamper.
  • Wipe off countertops in bathrooms and the kitchen.
  • Wipe off the bottom of seats and toilets.
  • Put loose dishes in the dishwasher.
  • Put any loose paperwork on the counter in a drawer or a standing file folder.
  • Close every closet.
  • Make all the beds.
  • Take the garbage out.

#15 – Hold an open house

Real estate professional at open house

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An open house is a great way to show off your home to potential buyers while also letting you have some control over the process. You can advertise your open house online, or you can put up signs in your local neighborhood.

Depending on your square footage, you might not be able to fit a lot of people into your house. However, you’ll get a better deal and reach more potential buyers if you bring in local residents who might be interested. Even if they keep a poker face on when walking through the house, they might well go home and tell others about your piece of real estate.

Couple walking through an open house

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Holding an open house means cleaning the home, putting out fresh flowers, and then leaving it to the real estate professionals to work with the people coming in and out. It’s only a few hours, but it’s a few hours that’s well worth it when you’re selling real estate.

Real estate agents have a lot of experience with open houses. Trust their expertise, and take the day off!

#16 – Do your home justice with great photos

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Getting incredible photos of your home before a home purchase is important. If you’re working with an agent, they might well take care of this step and home staging for you.

Fantastic real estate photos pull people in. A clean home, fresh flowers, and a well-staged living area make people fall in love with a home. They have a depth of color, and they look inviting. Flat, monochromatic pictures don’t bring in top dollar. If your realtor is handling the photos or the virtual tour, make sure to ask to approve the pictures before they go live.

#17 – Evaluate your online listing

Don’t just assume that your house will look great on every website. Go check out the listing on various websites and in mobile to make sure that it looks the way you want it to. If you see something that isn’t quite right, reach out to your real estate agent and ask them to make any changes.

#18 – Be ready for things to move fast

Family talking to a real estate agent

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Periodically, you should check in with the strategy and the timeline that you set out early on in the process. However, once things start moving, it’ll all happen at once. Most people who are selling a home for the first time aren’t ready for the avalanche at the end. A house can sit on the market for weeks with little movement, only to be flooded with competing offers.

Talk to your agent consistently about what’s going on with the home listing, and always be ready to make a move.

#19 – Respond quickly to offers

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Life doesn’t stop for you to sell your home, but at the same time, you need to be ready to make some decisions when an offer is made.

Most purchase offers come with an expiration date that’s just a couple of days. If you wait too long to respond, you might leave money on the table. Real estate agents know how fast this process needs to go at the offer stage, and they’ll push you to make those big choices.

You’ll have three options:

  • Accept the offer.
  • Reject the offer.
  • Propose a counteroffer.

This goes back to those plans that you made early on. If you know what your absolute “musts” are in the sales process, then you can make a quick decision on the offers placed in front of you.

#20 – Schedule movers as soon as you can

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As soon as you have an idea of when your move out day will be, go ahead and schedule your movers. Some times of the year are hugely challenging for getting a mover onboard. The beginning of the summer is the busiest time for movers, so book early if you know that you’ll be moving then.

Selling a home is so stressful already. If you don’t have movers ready to work with you, it can be even more stressful.

#21 – Know the tax ramifications

Home sellers looking over tax documents

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For most homeowners, there isn’t a tax on the profit when they sell the property that they live in – their primary home. As long as you’ve lived in a piece of real estate that you own for two of the last five years prior to the sale, you won’t owe anything up to $250,000 of profit if you’re single and up to $500,000 if you’re married. Real estate agents can help you understand this.

If you don’t meet that two out of five years criteria, then you’ll owe capital gains taxes on the property. Should you think that you might owe some kind of capital gains tax, talk to a real estate professional who specializes in that area.

#22 – Gather closing table documents

Realtor discussing closing documents with home sellers

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Documenting the sale of a home involves a lot of paperwork. All along the way, you’ll want to organize the documents you need.

Here’s a list of the main documentation you’ll need for a real estate sale, though there will likely be some things not on this list that your agent can tell you about.

  • Original purchase agreement for the piece of real estate.
  • Mortgage documentation.
  • Original appraisal of the home.
  • Property survey.
  • Documentation of your current mortgage.
  • Property tax records
  • Homeowners insurance documentation
  • Home inspection report (if one was completed)

#23 – Talk to a real estate attorney

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Depending on the regulations in your state, you may or may not need a real estate attorney at the closing. A real estate attorney is a significant expense, and you can expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars for one.

A real estate attorney will help you make sure all of the paperwork is in proper order. They’ll review the contracts that have been put together, and they’ll figure out any issues that might get in the way of the sale.

#24 – Prepare for closing obstacles

Home showing

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Once your home is under contract, you might feel like you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. While it’s true that this is the final stretch, it’s a good idea to be ready for potential obstacles that could get in the way.

  • Negative home inspection report.
  • Low home appraisal.
  • Failure of financing by the buyer.

A negative home inspection report can be a deal killer for buyers who have already come this far. There could be some major discovery, like termites or mold in the basement, that will totally turn off a buyer and make the deal fall through.

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A negative home inspection could trigger another round of negotiations. If you have competing offers, remember that you are required by law in most states to disclose any issues that are found with the home.

Most lenders require a home appraisal before they will put financing on a house. The only time this is a problem is if the appraisal comes in below the amount that is being asked to finance. The buyer will then have to either find a way to pay the difference in cash, or they might just walk away from the deal.

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In any market, mortgage underwriting is the most stressful part of buying, especially for first time buyers. If new debt is added to the buyer’s credit, or if the buyer has another change to their credit report before the sale goes through, then they could suddenly find themselves without a bank to lend from. This will make the whole deal fall through, and there’s not much of a way to recover from it.

Most real estate deals go through without these kinds of hiccups, but be prepared for things like this to occur! It’s better to be prepared than to be sorry. Real estate agents see this all the time, and rest assured that you aren’t alone.

#25 – Close out the home sale!

Closing table at a home sale

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At long last, when the time finally comes to close on your home, it’s your responsibility as the seller to compile the documents that are necessary and to finish out all of the loose ends.

You are required by law in most states to disclose the full condition of the house, including any repairs that have been made to address those issues. There might be specific certifications or inspections that you need to provide to the buyer – think sewer, septic, or roof inspection.

As you close out the sale, make sure that you review the closing costs in detail. Again, you can expect to pay up to ten percent of the total sale price of the home in closing costs. Usually, these costs are covered out of the equity in the home.

Closing sale documents

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At the closing table, one of the last things you’ll do is to sign the documents. There will be lots of things to sign, and you should make sure that your agent or your real estate attorney explains anything that you don’t understand. It’s possible to do this separately from the buyer, or it might be done at the same time.

You’ll either hand over the keys to the home at the closing, or you’ll hold onto them and hand them over at a later date. It all depends on the terms you’ve decided on during your negotiations.

Final advice on selling your home

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 Selling real estate can be a real challenge, but the best tip for you to remember is this one:

You only have to do this a few times in your entire life!

You don’t have to become a real estate expert in order to get a good price for your home. Real estate agents and experienced cash buyers are there to help you make it work for you. Real estate is just like any other field – it’s all about knowing your way around.

You’ll get a better deal and an offer earlier if you work with top agents or if you work with a trusted home investor. Realtors can help guide you through the process or find an agent that feels like a good fit.

It’s hard to make a big mistake with this process, so let the pressure fall off your shoulders. You don’t have to do it all.

Read this Before Selling to a “We Buy Houses” Company in Charlotte, North Carolina

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In the last decade, there’s been a distinct move from traditional real estate transactions, which were done through real estate agents and with the help of mortgage companies, to faster transactions that cut out the middleman.  Cash home buyers and we buy houses Charlotte companies are more popular than ever before.

Before you sell your property to a “we buy houses” company, you need to learn what you’re getting into. Educating yourself on the motivations behind these kinds of companies will help you to see if this is right for you. 

How to spot a “We Buy Houses” scam

Homeowners researching we buy houses companies in Charlotte

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Be warned – there are lots of scams out there. No one is here to alarm you with that information, but it’s worth it to be on your guard with any deal that sounds too good to be true. 

Here are some red flags to look out for when you’re thinking about selling to a cash buyer:

  • Asking for payment from you

This is the number one, biggest red flag to look out for. If someone asks you for money upfront to buy your home, run the other way. The only money that should exchange hands is at the closing table, and then it should only move in one direction – yours.

  • Little or no online presence 

Do a web search for the person who you’re potentially selling to. A reputable cash buyer will almost always have an online presence and reviews. Look them up with the Better Business Bureau. Do some investigative work on your cash buyer.

  • Moving too fast or too slow

A reputable cash buyer in Charlotte won’t push you too hard to get a fast sale, and they won’t drag the process out either. If they need extra time to get paperwork done or for whatever reason, they should communicate that clearly with you.

  • Not understanding the process

An experienced cash buyer will know the process inside and out. If it seems like the person offering you cash for your home doesn’t know what they’re doing, you want to go the other way. 

Trust your instincts

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Selling a house is a huge life change. Don’t do it lightly or with just any seller. Trust your instincts and remember that there are lots of cash buyers in Charlotte, North Carolina. No potential deal is worth ignoring red flags.

Why are there more cash buyers now than before?

Jar of money in Charlotte, North Carolina

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Twenty years ago, cash home offers were associated with either super wealth or shady deals. That’s no longer the case, in part because there are so many more cash home buyers out there. 

HGTV shows like Fixer Upper made flipping houses seem much more palatable to everyday people. A rash of TV shows with heartfelt renovation companies helping families buy burdensome houses and turn them into dream homes made home investors less scary. Who could say no to Joanna Gaines and her shiplap?

It starts with the housing bubble

There’s more to it than that, though. In the wake of the housing bubble in the early 2000’s, the real estate industry saw a dramatic shift. During the rise of that bubble, home investors discovered the ability to raise a lot of capital in a short amount of time by flipping properties. 

The move from bad mortgages
Investment portfolio of home investor

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The housing bubble happened because of subprime mortgages and overvalued homes whose sale value couldn’t keep up with balloon payments. Homes were built incredibly quickly, especially in hot markets like Charlotte, North Carolina. 

This all happened because of changes in federal laws governing mortgages that changed the ability of borrowers to get cheap loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, federal mortgage lenders, gave out a lot of risky mortgages throughout the early aughts. The housing bubble was a significant contributor to the Great Recession

When you think of “we buy houses” companies in Charlotte, you can almost certainly trace your first memories of them to the time just after the housing bubble burst in 2007. Homeowners with bad mortgages were desperate to get out from under a property address that they couldn’t afford and that was worth less than what they owed. 

Aren’t cash offers for neglected homes and foreclosures?

house left unchanged in Charlotte

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In the past, cash home sales were often associated with homes in disrepair that needed lots of work. Homeowners needed to sell their house fast and reduce closing costs to pay off bills. A hassle-free sale is naturally attractive to someone who needs to sell burdensome houses fast.

Facing foreclosure is difficult, and selling a house that’s left unchanged is often the best solution for any family. Getting a house fast Charlotte sale that doesn’t have a lot of agent fees and realtor commissions isn’t only good for foreclosure, though.

Investors who buy houses Charlotte will help you sell your house for a fair price whether it’s neglected or well maintained. There are so many reasons that people want to buy houses in Charlotte for a fair cash offer.

clock and home investment calculator in Charlotte

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Think about it this way – a fair all cash offer in Charlotte, NC is easier and faster when the home is in good condition. Charlotte cash home buyers can turn the home over more quickly if they don’t have to go through the hassle of fixing it. It’s possible they’ll be able to sell your house as is in Charlotte, NC without having to pour a ton of investment capital into it.

Essentially, home buyers in Charlotte are interested in buying properties of all kinds. The surrounding area of Mecklenburg County is constantly growing. Growth in general is fast in the Queen City.

What is as-is condition?

As-is house in Charlotte

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During typical home sales, house buyers in Charlotte, NC attend open houses and work with a real estate agent to find a closing date on the property address.

The higher price that homebuyers in Charlotte often include strict must-dos such as roof repairs, landscaping, home upgrades, or in general addressing existing issues. Typically when you sell your house, the buyer gets a home inspection to uncover issues. Any property address in Charlotte can face weather damage or existing issues.

Expensive repairs eat into the fair offer on the house in Charlotte.

A Charlotte house in as-is condition just means that the home is left unchanged. Whatever existing problems there might be with the home, the buyer takes over the property address without changes. There could be problems, but the homeowner has no obligation whatsoever to make repairs in an as-is sale for homes in Charlotte.

How investment buyers in Charlotte, NC make money

Condos for sale as-is

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When a house goes into foreclosure, the price drops dramatically. Investors can take advantage of that drop in price to snatch up a home and get a great deal. They’ll have relationships that allow the deal to close quickly.

The typical expenses that go with the sale of a house in Charlotte can almost always be negotiated. Whether it’s lawyer fees or repair costs, seasoned real estate investors in Charlotte, NC will know how to eliminate hidden fees for a quick ell.

white wooden shelf and decor in Charlotte, NC

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The typical homeowner requests that they get through the process to sell my house fast and then get out of it. With their expertise and experience, working home investors are sometimes helping homeowners turn over their house fast in Charlotte, NC.

Buying houses in Charlotte, NC is about getting a good pay day, but it’s also about doing the right thing.  

Why real estate investors want to sell your house fast

Interior of a home for sale in Charlotte, NC

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The key to making money for investors is that quick turnaround. Every day that an investment property sits empty is a day that they are losing money. Sometimes neglected homes and foreclosures are the way to make fast money.

Non-foreclosed homes

Homes that are not in foreclosure or in need of repair can also be attractive to investors. They won’t make as much money as they will on the other kinds of homes, by have a fast turnaround on resale. 

Being able to put money down on the house means the price is lower than with a mortgage deal. That savings is how the investor is able to turn a profit on an as is home.

Know the home buying process

Investment home buyer

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You need to know the entire process of selling an unwanted property before you can determine if it’s the best solution for you. There are lots of we buy houses in Charlotte companies, but the selling process is always basically the same.

  1. Agree on a competitive price
  2. A home inspection may or may not be part of the process for home buyers in Charlotte
  3. Seller offers a “proof of funds” notice from their bank, showing they have the funds
  4. Both parties work with a settlement agent to finalize the home sale
  5. Home seller ways away with an earnest money check for the amount
  6. Cash home buyer takes possession of the house on an agreed upon date

These steps are standard for houses in Charlotte that use the short form process of selling a house for a cash offer.

Make a smart decision

dog and owner in a Charlotte, NC home

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The bottom line is that the only person who can make the final decision to sell a house in Charlotte is the homeowner. In fact, homeowners in Charlotte have more autonomy and access to information than ever before.

When you’re choosing whether or not to pay realtor fees to sell your house fast, you should make an informed decision about your NC home. The sales process for buyers who can pay without a mortgage company can bring on a fast closing date, especially compared to working with a real estate agent.

Advice on hidden costs

When you consider whether to sell your house to a we buy houses in Charlotte company, always take your time to understand whether the cash offer is a fair cash offer. Though closing costs will be lower with a cash offer, a buy houses company has got their own motives for wanting you to sell your house in Charlotte, NC to them.

Any honest investment firm is going to want to buy houses in Charlotte from homebuyers who are comfortable with the process and the price. Traditional home sales are full of hidden fees that home sellers don’t expect. That can happen with a cash offer for your Charlotte house as well.

Always ask any we buy houses in Charlotte, NC company to give you a breakdown of what’s involved in their cash offer. Home buyers should be upfront, even if they are ready to pay cash.

Key questions to ask about a cash offer in Charlotte

Cash home offer

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Here are things to ask before you get to the closing table. If we buy houses in a Charlotte company that you’re working with can’t or won’t answer these, it’s advisable that you look for another option to sell your house fast.

  • Complete breakdown of the cash offer
  • References from past home sellers
  • Name of lawyer and title company
  • Detailed timeline of the sale
  • Proof of funds from the bank

These five pieces of information are essential when you sell your Charlotte home with a cash home buyer.

Final thoughts about selling to a We Buy Houses in Charlotte

Desk in Charlotte, North Carolina

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If you have a property address in Charlotte, North Carolina, and are looking for real estate solutions, know that there is a great market of home buyers out there for you.

A competitive cash offer doesn’t have to entail endless open houses or working with buy houses, Charlotte, NC companies that can’t give you a straight answer. Helping homeowners should be a top priority of anyone who wants to buy a house fast in Charlotte. In fact, if I wanted to sell my house fast, I’d vet the home buyers in the same ways advised here.

The best buyer for your home is out there. You can sell your house quickly, and you can do it by getting a free offer from several companies. Getting top dollar for your house fast in Charlotte should be stress free if you know the process.

How to Sell Your Property When You’re Behind on Payments in Tampa

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Life moves pretty fast, and sometimes it moves so fast that you find yourself behind on your mortgage payments. There are all kinds of reasons that people get underwater on a home loan in Tampa. One way to solve the problem is to sell a house that’s behind on payments.

Understanding your mortgage lender

Each mortgage servicer has one objective – to get that mortgage payment.

The foreclosure process is not something that mortgage lenders want to engage in, because by and large it means they didn’t get their mortgage debt back. What’s more, it’s best for the mortgage services to avoid the foreclosure process because they’ll potentially lose any profit they made from your interest rate.

Prospective buyers understand this. Even if you’re behind on mortgage payments, a mortgage servicer simply wants to get that mortgage payoff and get on with their banking. The remaining balance of the old house in Tampa you’re living in is all that matters for them.

Most mortgages are paid off in the traditional manner, but mortgage companies are accustomed to having to work with homeowners. Even in today’s market, homeowners can go underwater easily.

Selling a house is going to be a better deal for the lender than not selling your property if you can’t pay off the loan in the traditional way.

Working with real estate investors and agents

Home for sale in Tampa

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No lender wants to deal with a property that is increasingly behind on mortgage payments.

When selling your house becomes the best option, you’ll want to either work with real estate agents or real estate investors. A real estate broker who is part of a national association will be able to help you negotiate loan modification on the property. That’s not always the best course of action for everyone.

Real estate agents can help you find the mortgage payoff amount, which will determine if a short sale transaction is the best way to avoid foreclosure proceedings. They’ll find out what the outstanding balance on the property is, as well as finding potential home buyers in Tampa to purchase your home. All of this will keep you away from a foreclosure proceeding.

If you work with a real estate investor, you’ll get a cash offer. Depending on what they offer, it could be more than your settlement statement from the bank and thus prevent you from having to pursue a short sale. A cash buyer will also give you a quick closing date.

Many investors look out for homeowners who are selling property when they’re behind on payments. This is because they can get a better deal than a traditional home sale offers.

Home buyers come in all shapes and sizes. Evaluate every potential buyer and look out for the best deal for your situation. Selling a house doesn’t have to be a battle!

Evaluate your financial situation

Everyone has a unique financial situation. Mortgage payments are generally one of the biggest expenses that a homeowner has every month.

Look at what else you’ve got going on. You’ll have to go through all the hassle of digging through your bank statements and figuring out who you owe money to, but it’s worth the effort. Many homeowners find that working with a credit counselor is a big help.

A credit counselor might work with you to go through old tax returns. They can help you figure out what’s in your best interest in a timely fashion. If you act quickly, you will definitely save money. If you don’t, your situation will be left unchanged.

There are other alternatives to letting your property go into foreclosure. It might mean moving to a new house, selling your house, or working to pay off debt with a new job. Selling your personal property to catch up is another option.

Often, people have more equity than they realize. Many buyers will find that their lender agrees to work with them, even if the goal is selling a house.

Is your home worth less or more than the mortgage?

Mortgage documents from the Florida Register of Deeds

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A major thing to consider is whether your home is worth less than is currently owed on the mortgage, or whether it’s worth more than what you owe.

When a home is worth less than what’s on the mortgage, that home is considered underwater. This means that the fair market value of the house is less than the balance owed on the mortgage. A home can be underwater if there are two mortgages and the sum total owed on both is greater than the fair market value of the house. 

If your home is worth more than the amount owed on all the mortgages that are held by banks, then it’s not underwater! Though this is an easier scenario to handle than the reverse, it’s still a problem if you’re behind on your mortgage. 

If you aren’t underwater yet and are just behind on your mortgage payments, then you can sell your house and use the profits to pay off the mortgage lender.

Steps before putting a pre foreclosure home on the market

Selling a house in preforeclosure is not that different from selling a house at any other time. What you decide to do to prepare the home for sale has everything to do with what you want the process to be.

If you need a quick home sale to get the cash and payoff the mortgage, you’ll want to pursue an as-is sale. However, if you’ve negotiated a change in terms and have a little time, then you might have time for a traditional sale path in Tampa.

With either, you’ll need to clean your personal belongings out of the home. It’s a good idea to get an inspection yourself if you are concerned about existing damage, as you’re required by law to disclose damage in any sale.

Don’t get bogged down in the details. It’s probably a smarter move to take less money for a quick, as-is sale than to take time to stage and prepare the home for a conventional home sale. Selling your house as-is is the fastest way to save your credit.

The traditional sale process

Home hanging in the balance with past due mortgage

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The first thing that most people think of when they are getting ready to sell a house that’s behind on mortgage payments is the traditional sale process. 

This involves finding a real estate agent who can work with you in Tampa, FL, then listing the home. The problem with this process is that it can take a few weeks to a few months to get through the home sale.

There’s no need to check with your mortgage company to sell your house in this way. That’s because the mortgage will be paid in full when the money changes hands at the closing table. With the mortgage balance paid, the home sale can go through.

What is a short sale?

If your mortgage is underwater, you’ll need to work with your lender to get the home sold and still satisfy the mortgage lender. The bank has to be in the loop on this kind of transaction, but the good news is that it can prevent foreclosure. 

The reason it’s called a “short sale” is that you’ll end up being “short” on your final payment to the lender. Why would a mortgage company agree to this? Because a short sale is still preferable to a foreclosure. The bank is almost guaranteed to lose money in a foreclosure. In a short sale, they’ll often get more than they would otherwise. 

The key here is that the bank has to agree to the lessened amount of payment for your home in Tampa, FL in order to go through with this type of home sale. 

Negotiating a short sale

Short sale calculation

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Though the bank will likely come out on the better end of the deal with a short sale than they would with a foreclosure, not all banks are willing to do this kind of transaction. 

Some lenders prefer short sale over the long process of foreclosure and repossession. This is because the hassle and litany of problems that comes with reselling the property is a big deal. Banks are not in the business of being homeowners. They’re in the business of lending money to homeowners. 

 Depending on the current market conditions and the amount that the bank will be shorted, they may or may not be willing to go on with this kind of deal. Short sales don’t always go through. Even if the mortgage balance includes extra fees and interest, the bank might come up too short to justify the sale for many mortgage lenders.

Along with the paperwork that the lender requires, you’ll likely be asked to submit a hardship letter. In this letter, you’ll explain why you are not able to make the payments on the property. You’ll also include things like income statements, medical bills, or other documentation to show that you do not have the means to continue paying the mortgage and must sell

Most of the time, a lender will also want an appraisal with short sales. They want to make sure that you’re getting a fair deal for the house. Most of the time, real estate goes up in value. It’s unusual for a house to go underwater, but it’s more common than most people think. 

A short sale is a fantastic option if you feel like you’ve run out of options to sell your house that’s behind on mortgage payments. Short sales take the pressure off and are a powerful way to prevent foreclosure sales.

Understanding your responsibilities

If you decide to pursue a short sale, you should know that the lender might ask you to agree to certain terms before they commit to the sale. 

A lender might ask you to:

  • Pay closing costs
  • Cover wire transfers
  • Pay notary fees
  • Cover the cost of a home inspection
  • Pay the title company
  • Cover local fees
  • Pay for repairs

These extra costs might be too much for you, especially if you’re struggling financially already. Know that the bank will likely ask for things in the negotiation process, but that doesn’t mean that you’re responsible for those extras just yet. 

Work with the real estate agent that you’ve listed the home with or with the real estate investor who wants to buy the home to try to get the bank to agree to better terms. So much of the short sale process is about negotiating, so be prepared to go to the table.

Why go short sale instead of foreclosure?

The top reason to go for a short sale over a foreclosure is credit. 

If you’re behind on payments on your home in Tampa, Florida, then every missed payment will amount to a hit on your credit score. However, nothing hits a credit score quite so hard as a foreclosure. 

When you pursue a short sale instead of allowing the house to be foreclosed on, you’ll be able to preserve some of your credit score. This will allow you to buy another home in the future quicker than if your home is foreclosed on. 

Another bonus when you go for a short sale is that you can stay in your house through the end of the sale process. There’s no foreclosure eviction, and you have some control over the timeline. With a foreclosure in Tampa, there’s no autonomy. 

Finally, there is the issue of the shame of a foreclosure. When your home is foreclosed on, you’re totally powerless in the process. It’s something that’s done to you, rather than something you do for yourself. If buying a home is one of the most empowering things that you can do, having your home foreclosed on is one of the most disempowering things that can happen to you. 

Other options if you’re behind on your mortgage

If you just want to delay the payments on your house in Tampa, you can look at lots of options. These will potentially give you the time to figure out how to sell your home, to make repairs, or to catch up and salvage your credit. 

Here are some of the options you can check out on the road to selling your home:

All three of these options are possible even as you explore selling your property. Keep in mind that they may affect the payoff amount due to fees and interest. There is no easy answer when you’re behind on mortgage payments, but there is always some kind of answer.

The key to all of these options is to be open minded. Working with a credit counselor might be helpful, as it will give you an outside view of the process.

Mortgage forbearance

A mortgage forbearance is basically an extension of the grace period on the payments for your loan. This is granted in situations of financial hardship, for example if you have experienced job loss or a natural disaster. 

In a forbearance, the lender works with an escrow company to keep your taxes and insurance up to date. All of those are important even if you’re exploring selling.

With a forbearance, your payments are set aside for a certain period of time. You still have to catch that up within the timeline allotted. The bank will work with you on how to catch up those missed payments, spreading them out over a period of time when the loan comes due again. 

Mortgage deferment

With a mortgage deferment, payments are moved to the end of the loan. It’s also called a partial claim, and it’s a more serious option than a mortgage forbearance. In a deferment, you’ll work with your lender to decide what timeline you’ll be on. 

Keep in mind that all payments will be added to the end of the loan, and that interest might still accrue during the deferral period. 

Mortgage loan modification

In both a deferment and a forbearance, the terms of the loan stay the same. The monthly payment, relative length of the loan (save the payments tacked on at the end with a deferment), and the interest rate all stay the same. 

A loan modification is a much deeper dive and a much more serious change to the loan. If, because of whatever life change has occurred to push you behind on mortgage payments, you don’t see that you’ll be able to make those payments in the foreseeable future, you’ll need a loan modification. 

This is something that you’d want to negotiate with your bank about. 

Selling your home while getting mortgage relief

Money vs time in a mortgage modification in Tampa, FL

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Unless you’re pursuing a short sale, you don’t need the permission of your lender to sell your home at any time in Tampa, Florida. If you can find a buyer who is willing to pay more than the current balance on the mortgage, you can sell your home at any time. 

Even if you are in the thick of the mortgage deferment process, getting a forbearance, or modifying your mortgage, you can sell your home. Whether you decide to work with a real estate agent for a traditional sale, or with a real estate investor for a quick cash sale, you’ll be in better shape than if you just watch your house get foreclosed upon. It’s even possible that you’ll make enough when you sell to have a down payment on a new home. If you haven’t waited too long and haven’t fallen very far behind on payments, you might be able to get yourself into a new home fast by selling your current home.

Can You Sell a House with Termite Damage in Charlotte?

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One of the worst feelings that a homeowner in Charlotte can have is the sinking frustration of discovering termite damage or an active termite infestation in their home. It’s a huge problem, one that’s even more complicated if you need to sell a house with termite damage. 

There’s no way around it – selling a house with a termite problem is a big challenge. It’s also potentially unsafe to live in a home with untreated termite issues. It’s the kind of thing that can feel overwhelming, but the good news for homeowners in North Carolina is that you do have options. 

Disclosure is essential

The first thing to know is that disclosure is essential if you want to sell a home with termite damage. 

North Carolina has laws that require sellers to inform potential buyers of any existing problems with the home. Even if you have a suspicion of termites, you are legally required to inform the buyer. 

Charlotte homeowners who have decades old termite damage should also tell potential buyers about the problem. This is the kind of problem that has a zero tolerance policy for non-disclosure. It’s best to be upfront with any potential buyer in Charlotte

A costly construction project

Treating termite damage can be a costly job. Not only is it essential to address the termite issue itself, it’s also critical to fix the damage these bugs have caused. There could be a need to replace wood floors, walls, support beams, siding, and more. 

Depending on how soon the termite infestation is caught, there could be nearly zero to repair, or there could be extensive repairs needed. Unfortunately, where the termites have gotten in is a major factor. 

It can be highly intimidating to think about facing termite problems with a home. The sheer amount of damage these bugs can cause is astounding. This is a problem that you can handle! You can put a stop to termites either by selling a house or addressing the problem yourself.

When termites find their way into spaces that are seldom seen, like the edge of an attic or deep in a crawl space, it’s almost impossible to catch them early. In these rarely seen spaces, they are more likely to find structural wood to feast on. 

Working with a cash buyer on termite damage

Selling a house in any market can be overwhelming, but when it’s a house with termites, it can be even more daunting. Though there are many potential ways to address the problem before you sell, you can also simply find a buyer who is willing to work with the problem.

Many cash buyers are willing to purchase homes that have termite damage. Why? Because they are experienced in fixer uppers and know how to attack the problem. 

An investor who has done this before will know all about the need to pay for pest control treatments and repairs to the homes. In addition, a cash buyer will generally buy your home while paying closing costs. 

Keep in mind that a cash buyer will likely offer a lower price for the home that has damage because they will have to invest in repairs. The flipside is that you won’t have to address the termite damage yourself.

Termite insect basics

Understanding what termites are can help you to know what to do about termite damage in your Charlotte, NC home. They’re sometimes called wood ants. 

Termites are wood eating insects. They’re actually in the same broad category of insects as that other home pest – cockroaches. Also like roaches, they are among the most successful and widely spread species of insects on earth. Termites exist on almost every land mass in the world except Antarctica. 

The queen of a termite swarm is one of the longest living insects on the planet. Termite queens can live from thirty to fifty years! A colony of termites is not just a group – they’re a superorganism. A colony of termites actually self-regulates. 

There are three stages of the life cycle of a termite – egg, nymph, and adult. 

It’s not easy to tell the difference between winged ants and termites. Even if you see a swarm of winged bugs in your home, it doesn’t mean that you have termites. It takes an expert to know the difference between them. 

They come through the ground, where they burrow. That’s how they get into most homes. It’s why wood must be treated to prevent them getting into the home and eating away at the structure. 

How much wood do termites eat?

There are many different species of termites. This is one factor in how much wood they eat in your Charlotte, NC home. 

Other factors that affect the amount of damage that termites do to a home include the type of wood, the condition of the wood, the size of the termite colony, the temperature, and what other food sources might be nearby. 

In most parts of the United States, including North Carolina, termites are active all year round. In colder parts of the country where temperatures take a dive, they can go dormant in the winter. 

Termites cause more than five billion dollars worth of damage to property every single year. They love the climate in North Carolina, with its warm winters and high humidity. 

When termites swarm

Termites live in swarms, or groups, with a queen who lays all of the eggs. This is much in the same way that bees live. 

In Charlotte, North Carolina, termites usually swarm when the weather starts getting warmer and when the ground is wet. March, April, and May are the prime time to look out for termites swarming. 

When they run out of food or the colony gets too big and splits, they can swarm and start looking for a new home. A mature colony starts to produce a variety of termites called alate nymphs, which are both male and female. These nymphs have wings, then fly out of the colony looking for a ripe place to settle. Unfortunately, termites can swarm right into basements and attics to cause termite damage. 

After the termites have shed wings, they become the burrowing bugs that can head into the wood of homes. Sometimes they get in through external vents, and sometimes they burrow in through termite tunnels. Either way, these bugs start to wreak havoc on homes.

Millions of termite eggs

In those late nymph pairings, the female in one of the partnerships will become a new queen. A termite queen can lay up to a million eggs in her lifetime in North Carolina. When those eggs are laid underground, they’re a part of the circle of life. When they’re laid in your Charlotte home, they’re part of a real problem. 

Any time you see winged insects in your home in North Carolina, you should have a pest control expert come out to look at them. Whether it’s spring in Charlotte or winter – it’s always important to make sure they aren’t termites. 

Termite companies know how to treat termite eggs and adult termites. There are many invasive and non-invasive treatments available. The classic termite tent that covers the entire house is not the only way to treat the termite infestation.

Types of termites in North Carolina

Different types of termites have different preferences for what they like to eat. 

  • Dampwood termites prefer moist wood
  • Drywood termites prefer dry wood
  • Subterranean termites seek out wood that’s in contact with the ground

Firewood, untreated lumber, and moisture issues in the home are all risk factors for termites. If there are cracks in the foundation or in the exterior of your Charlotte, NC home, they can let termites in. 

The combination of factors can make your home more susceptible to termite damage. The South is particularly vulnerable thanks to the high humidity and warm weather conditions. This is why it’s so important to look out for potential termite problems at your home in Charlotte, even if you’ve never had problems before.

A termite problem can develop at any time. The only way to know for sure that a termite problem is there is with a termite inspection. This is not something that someone without experience can identify for certain.

Rest assured that it’s not uncommon for a homeowner in Charlotte, NC to think that they have a termite problem when, in fact, it’s something else entirely. Lots of North Carolina bugs can look like termites, but they aren’t! 

Signs of termites in your home

Termite damaged wood in North Carolina

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Most likely, termites have been in your home for a long time before you notice them. 

Subterranean termites are usually found underground, so they aren’t often detected until there’s termite damage. The same goes with drywood termites, which bury themselves deep in the wood of structures and eat their way out from the inside. 

Catching termites when they swarm is the most common way to visibly detect termites. However, there are lots of other ways to notice that there might be termites in your home. Here are some signs to look out for. 

  • Discolored drywall
  • Peeling paint
  • Loose floor tiles
  • Squeaky floor boards
  • Wood that sounds hollow
  • Mud tubes at the base of the home
  • Small piles of dust, called termite pellets
  • Flying swarms of insects anywhere close to your home

Getting a termite inspection

The first thing many homeowners in Charlotte want to know is “how much is a termite inspection?” One thing is sure – the cost of a termite inspection is much less than the cost of treating termites. The sooner damage is found, the faster it can be addressed and the more savings there will be in the long run.

In North Carolina, expect to pay one hundred to two hundred dollars for a termite inspection, depending on the size of your Charlotte home. Larger homes with more area to cover will obviously cost more to inspect. 

Termites can do serious damage

When termites are left to their own devices, they can do incredible damage to a home. It doesn’t take long for termites to eat through a significant amount of wood. 

Most colonies contain around 50,000 termites. When they eat through the wood of a structure, this can cause tremendous damage to the house. This can create buckling floors or leaks in the ceiling. 

Termites create tunnels that damage the wood in your home. This can happen in the ceiling, beneath laminate floors, and in the walls of the home. 

How fast does termite damage happen?

Treated lumber for termites

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Termite damage can happen quickly or slowly, depending completely on the conditions and the type of termites. 

Experts tend to say that termites need three years to create noticeable damage in a home. It takes eight to ten years for termites to completely destroy the wood in a home. That’s right – termites can and do completely decimate every bit of wood in a home.  

While it’s fast, it’s not so fast that the damage will be irreparable if you try to sell a home with termite damage. This isn’t something that happens overnight! The few weeks that it will take to get the home sold won’t make the termite damage so severe that it destroys your Charlotte, NC home.

Treating termite damage

Working with a pest control company is the only way to stop termite damage from continuing.

Formosan termite colonies are underground. Treating these kinds of termite infestations can involve installing mesh screenings as one of the preventative measures. Termite treatment can help prevent future termite infestations, as well as stopping current termites.

A house with termite damage needs to be repaired before it can be put on the open market. Significant termite damage has to start with termite treatments that stop the current termite activity. Only after the entire colony has been eradicated by a pest control company can any damage to the home be repaired.

The only way to get rid of termites altogether is to

Before you put a termite damaged home on the market

Prior to putting your home with termite history on the market, there are a few things you should do.

First of all, check to see if you have a termite warranty on your house. Interested buyers will be much more likely to buy your home if you disclose termites and have a termite warrant. You can leave the termite damage as is and sell your house in Charlotte if you have disclosed it.

Selling a termite damaged house on the open market

A house with an active termite infestation will be difficult to sell on the open market. Most buyers are unwilling to buy a house directly unless it’s termite free. That’s true whether or not there’s significant property damage.

Always keep in mind that you can get into legal trouble if you suspect termite infestation and don’t follow through with extermination companies to ensure that the home does not have damage. Once the process begins, you’ll need to disclose termites or other pests to the potential new homeowner in Charlotte, NC.

You’ll have to provide a written report, even if you’re going to sell the property as is. A termite problem could be just the beginning of the problems with a home. Potential homeowners will want to prepare for potential repair costs.

Selling a house fast with termite activity is a hard road if you don’t either commit to termite removal or commit to sell a house without repairs.

Selling a termite damaged home to an investor

Termite history won’t scare off a real estate investor, and they can even work with structural damage. Burdensome houses with physical damage from termite infestations can be a great buy for a home investment firm.

This is a great alternative solution to get rid of burdensome houses fast if there’s damaged wood or if there are untreated termite problems. Though a cash offer might involve them doing their own inspection, they can still be interested in a house with termites.

Market buyers will give you a cash offer, then have the house treated and they’ll take care of any structural repairs before the resell. Then they’ll work with prospective buyers to sell the house.

This is one of the best real estate solutions. Once the house is repaired, they’ll be able to flip it without you having to do the work to treat a house with termite damage.

You won’t get more money or even the full market value for your home in Charlotte if it has termite damage, but you can still sell it as is.

Home buyers are out there

The bottom line is that home buyers are out there for a house with termites. You can sell your home as is, even with sagging laminate flooring from extensive termite damage.

You don’t even have to eradicate the termite colony, and you can sell the house as is.As long as you are disclosing the condition of the property, it’s legal to sell a house in North Carolina in any condition!

Top 5 Professional Stagers in Orlando, Florida

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Selling a home is often a daunting task. There are so many things to do, so many lose ends to take care of, and so much to get ready. Working with one of the great stagers in and around Orlando can take a big chunk off of your plate if you’re selling a home in central Florida.

What is home staging?

staging in a living room in Orlando, FL

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Home staging is the intentional curation of home furnishings to make it appealing to a broad range of buyers in Florida. Proponents of home staging say that it can raise the selling price of a property and also help the property sell faster. 

Home for sale in Orlando, Florida

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Sometimes home stagers use the existing furnishings to prepare the home. More often, staging businesses bring in their own pieces to lend a neutral and finished look to the home. Rooms might be rearranged, making a den into a dining space or a bedroom into an office. The team will offer advice for how to best optimize your layout and furniture in Florida.

Staging in a den in Winter Park, FL

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This professional services is all about:

  • improving the look of a home
  • attracting higher prices
  • evoking emotions in buyers
  • taking pressure off of sellers
Staging in a bedroom in Winter Park, Florida

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Often, a stager in Orlando, FL will have a different view of the space and the furniture than the homeowner has. Because they are objective, the idea is that they can better understand the possibilities and show them to potential buyers. 

What are the benefits of good home staging?

Living area in Central Florida

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Great home staging has its foundation in visual merchandising – think about what it feels like to go into a great store. In a retail environment, staging serves to pull potential buyers into the store and engage them so much that they buy the products inside. 

The point of staging is to highlight the better parts of the home and to downplay the less than desirable features of the house. Great staging isn’t obvious. Buyers don’t realize that the home is well staged if the process is successful in Orlando, FL.

When a home is on the market, it’s best to appeal to a broad range of buyers. 

Modern staging in a kitchen

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What to expect a home stager to do

Staging in a home with artwork

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Home stagers in Florida will do a lot to either a vacant home or to an occupied home. In the case of a vacant home, they’ll make the home feel warmer to improve the first impression and raise the interest of buyers of the property. Whether it’s in Winter Park or Orlando, FL, the team of experts can support a better experience all around.

Living area with leather furniture in Florida

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Here are some examples of what a home staging business can bring to your project.

  • Add in new art
  • Take out controversial art
  • Work with realtors
  • Clear out the space
  • Rearrange existing furniture
  • Bring in neutral tones
  • Suggest paint colors
  • Offer great communication
  • Remove family photos
Staging in a dining area with art

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Most stagers are consummate professional designers who do an amazing job helping you understand which home project endeavors are worth doing. They have all the tools to support home sellers.

The entire time you’re working with a stager, you’re working to get the best price. Most of these top stagers have sold properties for far more money than they were originally listed at.

Cleanly staged bedroom

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Transformational home staging

Blue bedroom staging in Orlando, FL

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A fantastic stager will transform odd spaces into functional spaces. They’ll show off the best features of the house and creatively pull down the profile of features that aren’t so desirable. 

It’s important to note that staging pros don’t do any work themselves. They add furniture and accessories to the home, but things like paint color or renovation are not part of their specific expertise. They might advise on these things, but those are all extra costs that are outside the scope of the stager in particular. 

Sleek staging in bedroom in Central Florida

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Many of the most sought-after home stagers in Orlando, Florida use emotions to highlight their client’s needs. They work to evoke moods in potential buyers that will make the house exciting or impossible to resist. Though buying a home is a rational decision that’s driven by financial realities, it’s also an emotional choice. If a home can bring up positive emotions in potential buyers, the idea is that they’ll pay more for it 

A picture is potentially worth thousands of dollars

Green room home staging in Orlando, FL

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One of the biggest reasons homeowners in Orlando, FL hire stagers is because of the importance of pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in Central Florida it can be worth thousands of dollars. Home staging pros can help you get top dollar for your home.

The rise of home design magazines and home networks like HGTV have made it competitive for people in the realm of staging. In many parts of the United States, including Orlando, homes compete with highly staged houses on the real estate market. 

Interior designed living area in Orlando

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The pictures that populate home sale websites are often the first determining factor in whether a home is sold or not, and at what price. Fantastic, pro pictures of a well-staged home can dramatically increase the number of buyers who take a second look at the home. More potential buyers directly correlate to higher prices. 

Two story staged home in Orlando, FL

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Though it’s impossible to know for sure that a house would not have sold for a given price were it not set up by a professional in Orlando, it’s definitely true that staging has become the norm for houses above a certain price range. 

Muted tone house staging in Coral Gables, Florida

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Staging by the numbers Dining area in Altamonte Springs, Florida

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More than 9 out of 10 people look online when they’re buying a house. The primary way that those potential buyers engage with a home is through pictures on real estate websites. No one wants their house to be one of those ugly houses. 

By some estimates, a professional home stager can increase the price of a home by ten or even twenty percent! That’s a massive return on investment. 

Black and white living area in Winter Park, Florida

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How much does staging cost in Orlando?

A professional home stager near Orlando, FL isn’t free, unfortunately. 

Home interior in Orlando, FL

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There are two costs associated with professional stagers:

  • Fee for staging
  • Rental of furnishings and home accents
Interior design in Lake Mary, FL

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Both of these costs combine to be the full cost of staging the home for the duration of the time that it’s on the market. The cost is also determined by how many rooms are staged. It’s common to have a professional staging company work in the living room and the master bedroom. 

Bedroom with pillows arranged by a staging company in Orlando, FL

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All told, home sellers should expect to pay somewhere between $600-$2500 for a professional stager. That starts with an initial consultation of five hundred to six hundred dollars, plus around that much per month for rental and upkeep per room

Top 5 professional stagers near Orlando, Florida

Sleek home staging on Central Blvd

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If you’ve decided that you want to explore professional home staging in Orlando, your next step is to start researching potential staging companies. 

These five incredible professional stagers in and around Orlando, FL are all highly rated and have a long history of successfully working with clients in central Florida. 

1 – MHM Professional Staging

Staging in Orlando

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Easily a top staging company in Orlando, FL MHM is known for its high quality staging of furniture and its impeccable customer service. This company works with real estate agents, real estate brokers, and sellers all over the Orlando area.  The team of professionals has been offering this service for over a decade.

This award winning staging company offers moving and storage, full home staging, and soft staging. Founder Megan Morris literally wrote the book on professional home staging. It’s clearly more than just a job or a project to her, even though it’s her business. Her book of tips and inside information on home staging is called Stageology: How to Stage to Sell.  There’s no doubt she’s one of those consummate professionals. The verified reviews of MHM show that they can help sell a house from Lake Mary to Central Blvd to Winter Park. This company also offers free estimates.

2 – Home Staging Pros

Based in Orlando, FL, Home Staging Pros is an award winning member of the Real Estate Staging Association. Owner Brad Fletcher himself is a well known stager, business owner, and familiar face in the Orlando, FL area. This company has staged over three hundred million dollars in real estate in the last twenty years, making them one of the hottest staging companies in the area.

One of their clients said of their services “Brad and his team were very professional and knowledgeable. The process was really easy and streamlined. The design/stage of the home spoke for itself. The home showed very well and went under contract in one week!!!”

3 – JM Staging and Design

Multi use areas fixed by home staging pros

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Founded and run by two sisters who are passionate about home design, JM Staging and Design is all about teamwork and business. The company is owned by a team including a broker and a designer, giving it a distinct outlook on home staging in Orlando, FL. 

Not only does this staging company in Orlando, FL offer home staging services, but they also offer holiday decorating services and interior design. Located in Oviedo, FL, JM Staging and Design services homes across Orlando, FL and Kissimmee. 

4 – MDA Staging and Design

Furniture fixed by home staging pros in Orlando

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A member of the American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners, MDA is located in Davenport, Florida. In particular, this company can help with staging occupied homes. This is one of the most challenging staging formats, but also one of the most important. 

Not only does this company offer staging services in Orlando, FL they also offer pictures services and e-design. MDA Staging and Design works with homeowners interested in selling their home, as well as those with vacation rentals and businesses who need furniture staging. One major bonus of working with this company is that they offer services for Spanish speakers. 

5 – Staged 2 Sell

Work by home staging pros near Ormond Beach, FL

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This Dora based Central Florida home stager works with clients all the way north to Ocala and all the way south to Kissimmee. Not only does this staging company do traditional home staging, but they also do interior design and home organization. Their business process starts with a room-by-room evaluation of the house, then goes on to make recommendations about what the best options for the home are, from furniture to professionals in partnership. 

Home staging in Central Florida

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The personalized home staging services from Staged 2 Sell are great for both occupied homes and vacant homes. This company works to both rearrange and repurpose existing furnishings, as well as bringing in new pieces and accents. 

Real estate agent + Orlando home stagers

Work of a staging company in Orlando, FL

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Real estate agent services go hand in hand with staged homes. They might use interactive tours or similar technologies to show off the work of home staging pros.

If you have a house for sale in Altamonte Springs or Ormond Beach, you’ll want to compare quotes and check the overall rating of any home staging pros you’re looking at. The service is worth it for both business professionals and project managers who need to help make that sale.

Contemporary furniture by home staging company

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Professionals who offer in person advice about how to get the highest price for your house are well worth the money. If someone does a fantastic job, then they’ll even be able to sell their own house for a higher price! Home staging pros can do a wonderful job of making furniture and home decor change the look of a home.

What to know about working with an Orlando home staging company

Professional home decorating in Orlando, FL

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As with any professional that you’re hiring, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of a professional home staging company. Any home stager should be crystal clear upfront with you about all of the fees and potential charges for their services. 

Look for a home staging company in Orlando, FL that has a great list of reviews online. If a home stager doesn’t have a robust online presence, then it’s probably best to move along. They should also offer you lots of good client reviews and an upfront list of costs.

Kitchen in Orlando, FL

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It’s a safer bet to look for a home stager who is a member of a national home staging organization. There are many out there, and it’s worth it to make sure that your stager is a member of a high quality association. 

Final thoughts on home staging pros

Work of professional stager in Orlando, FL

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Lastly, keep in mind that this is your home. This might be their job, but it’s your life. Be open minded to what the home stager thinks is best, but also listen to yourself. This is especially true if you’re going to be occupying a home during the sale process.

How to Sell Your Property When You’re Behind on Payments in Tampa

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Life moves pretty fast, and sometimes it moves so fast that you find yourself behind on your mortgage payments. There are all kinds of reasons that people get underwater on a home loan in Tampa. One way to solve the problem is to sell a house that’s behind on payments.

Understanding your mortgage lender

Each mortgage servicer has one objective – to get that mortgage payment.

The foreclosure process is not something that mortgage lenders want to engage in, because by and large it means they didn’t get their mortgage debt back. What’s more, it’s best for the mortgage services to avoid the foreclosure process because they’ll potentially lose any profit they made from your interest rate.

Prospective buyers understand this. Even if you’re behind on mortgage payments, a mortgage servicer simply wants to get that mortgage payoff and get on with their banking. The remaining balance of the old house in Tampa you’re living in is all that matters for them.

Most mortgages are paid off in the traditional manner, but mortgage companies are accustomed to having to work with homeowners. Even in today’s market, homeowners can go underwater easily.

Selling a house is going to be a better deal for the lender than not selling your property if you can’t pay off the loan in the traditional way.

Working with real estate investors and agents

Home for sale in Tampa

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No lender wants to deal with a property that is increasingly behind on mortgage payments.

When selling your house becomes the best option, you’ll want to either work with real estate agents or real estate investors. A real estate broker who is part of a national association will be able to help you negotiate loan modification on the property. That’s not always the best course of action for everyone.

Real estate agents can help you find the mortgage payoff amount, which will determine if a short sale transaction is the best way to avoid foreclosure proceedings. They’ll find out what the outstanding balance on the property is, as well as finding potential home buyers in Tampa to purchase your home. All of this will keep you away from a foreclosure proceeding.

If you work with a real estate investor, you’ll get a cash offer. Depending on what they offer, it could be more than your settlement statement from the bank and thus prevent your having to pursue a short sale. A cash buyer will also give you a quick closing date.

Many investors look out for homeowners who are selling property when they’re behind on payments. This is because they can get a better deal than a traditional home sale offers.

Home buyers come in all shapes and sizes. Evaluate every potential buyer and look out for the best deal for your situation. Selling a house doesn’t have to be a battle!

Evaluate your financial situation

Everyone has a unique financial situation. Mortgage payments are generally one of the biggest expenses that a homeowner has every month.

Look at what else you’ve got going on. You’ll have to go through all the hassle of digging through your bank statements and figuring out who you owe money to, but it’s worth the effort. Many homeowners find that working with a credit counselor is a big help.

A credit counselor might work with you to go through old tax returns. They can help you figure out what’s in your best interest in a timely fashion. If you act quickly, you will definitely save money. If you don’t, your situation will be left unchanged.

There are other alternatives to letting your property go into foreclosure. It might mean moving to a new house, selling your house, or working to pay off debt with a new job. Selling your personal property to catch up is another option.

Often, people have more equity than they realize. Many buyers will find that their lender agrees to work with them, even if the goal is selling a house.

Is your home worth less or more than the mortgage?

Mortgage documents from the Florida Register of Deeds

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A major thing to consider is whether your home is worth less than is currently owed on the mortgage, or whether it’s worth more than what you owe.

When a home is worth less than what’s on the mortgage, that home is considered underwater. This means that the fair market value of the house is less than the balance owed on the mortgage. A home can be underwater if there are two mortgages and the sum total owed on both is greater than the fair market value of the house. 

If your home is worth more than the amount owed on all the mortgages that are held by banks, then it’s not underwater! Though this is an easier scenario to handle than the reverse, it’s still a problem if you’re behind on your mortgage. 

If you aren’t underwater yet and are just behind on your mortgage payments, then you can sell your house and use the profits to pay off the mortgage lender.

Steps before putting a pre foreclosure home on the market

Selling a house in preforeclosure is not that different from selling a house at any other time. What you decide to do to prepare the home for sale has everything to do with what you want the process to be.

If you need a quick home sale to get the cash and payoff the mortgage, you’ll want to pursue an as-is sale. However, if you’ve negotiated a change in terms and have a little time, then you might have time for a traditional sale path in Tampa.

With either, you’ll need to clean your personal belongings out of the home. It’s a good idea to get an inspection yourself if you are concerned about existing damage, as you’re required by law to disclose damage in any sale.

Don’t get bogged down in the details. It’s probably a smarter move to take less money for a quick, as-is sale than to take time to stage and prepare the home for a conventional home sale. Selling your house as-is is the fastest way to save your credit.

The traditional sale process

Home hanging in the balance with past due mortgage

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The first thing that most people think of when they are getting ready to sell a house that’s behind on mortgage payments is the traditional sale process. 

This involves finding a real estate agent who can work with you in Tampa, FL, then listing the home. The problem with this process is that it can take a few weeks to a few months to get through the home sale.

There’s no need to check with your mortgage company to sell your house in this way. That’s because the mortgage will be paid in full when the money changes hands at the closing table. With the mortgage balance paid, the home sale can go through.

What is a short sale?

If your mortgage is underwater, you’ll need to work with your lender to get the home sold and still satisfy the mortgage lender. The bank has to be in the loop on this kind of transaction, but the good news is that it can prevent foreclosure. 

The reason it’s called a “short sale” is that you’ll end up being “short” on your final payment to the lender. Why would a mortgage company agree to this? Because a short sale is still preferable to a foreclosure. The bank is almost guaranteed to lose money in a foreclosure. In a short sale, they’ll often get more than they would otherwise. 

The key here is that the bank has to agree to the lessened amount of payment for your home in Tampa, FL in order to go through with this type of home sale. 

Negotiating a short sale

Short sale calculation

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Though the bank will likely come out on the better end of the deal with a short sale than they would with a foreclosure, not all banks are willing to do this kind of transaction. 

Some lenders prefer short sale over the long process of foreclosure and repossession. This is because the hassle and litany of problems that comes with reselling the property is a big deal. Banks are not in the business of being homeowners. They’re in the business of lending money to homeowners. 

 Depending on the current market conditions and the amount that the bank will be shorted, they may or may not be willing to go on with this kind of deal. Short sales don’t always go through. Even if the mortgage balance includes extra fees and interest, the bank might come up too short to justify the sale for many mortgage lenders.

Along with the paperwork that the lender requires, you’ll likely be asked to submit a hardship letter. In this letter, you’ll explain why you are not able to make the payments on the property. You’ll also include things like income statements, medical bills, or other documentation to show that you do not have the means to continue paying the mortgage and must sell

Most of the time, a lender will also want an appraisal with short sales. They want to make sure that you’re getting a fair deal for the house. Most of the time, real estate goes up in value. It’s unusual for a house to go underwater, but it’s more common than most people think. 

A short sale is a fantastic option if you feel like you’ve run out of options to sell your house that’s behind on mortgage payments. Short sales take the pressure off and are a powerful way to prevent foreclosure sales.

Understanding your responsibilities

If you decide to pursue a short sale, you should know that the lender might ask you to agree to certain terms before they commit to the sale. 

A lender might ask you to:

  • Pay closing costs
  • Cover wire transfers
  • Pay notary fees
  • Cover the cost of a home inspection
  • Pay the title company
  • Cover local fees
  • Pay for repairs

These extra costs might be too much for you, especially if you’re struggling financially already. Know that the bank will likely ask for things in the negotiation process, but that doesn’t mean that you’re responsible for those extras just yet. 

Work with the real estate agent that you’ve listed the home with or with the real estate investor who wants to buy the home to try to get the bank to agree to better terms. So much of the short sale process is about negotiating, so be prepared to go to the table.

Why go short sale instead of foreclosure?

The top reason to go for a short sale over a foreclosure is credit. 

If you’re behind on payments on your home in Tampa, Florida, then every missed payment will amount to a hit on your credit score. However, nothing hits a credit score quite so hard as a foreclosure. 

When you pursue a short sale instead of allowing the house to be foreclosed on, you’ll be able to preserve some of your credit score. This will allow you to buy another home in the future quicker than if your home is foreclosed on. 

Another bonus when you go for a short sale is that you can stay in your house through the end of the sale process. There’s no foreclosure eviction, and you have some control over the timeline. With a foreclosure in Tampa, there’s no autonomy. 

Finally, there is the issue of the shame of a foreclosure. When your home is foreclosed on, you’re totally powerless in the process. It’s something that’s done to you, rather than something you do for yourself. If buying a home is one of the most empowering things that you can do, having your home foreclosed on is one of the most disempowering things that can happen to you. 

Other options if you’re behind on your mortgage

If you just want to delay the payments on your house in Tampa, you can look at lots of options. These will potentially give you the time to figure out how to sell your home, to make repairs, or to catch up and salvage your credit. 

Here are some of the options you can check out on the road to selling your home:

All three of these options are possible even as you explore selling your property. Keep in mind that they may affect the payoff amount due to fees and interest. There is no easy answer when you’re behind on mortgage payments, but there is always some kind of answer.

The key to all of these options is to be open minded. Working with a credit counselor might be helpful, as it will give you an outside view of the process.

Mortgage forbearance

A mortgage forbearance is basically an extension of the grace period on the payments for your loan. This is granted in situations of financial hardship, for example if you have experienced job loss or a natural disaster. 

In a forbearance, the lender works with an escrow company to keep your taxes and insurance up to date. All of those are important even if you’re exploring selling.

With a forbearance, your payments are set aside for a certain period of time. You still have to catch that up within the timeline allotted. The bank will work with you on how to catch up those missed payments, spreading them out over a period of time when the loan comes due again. 

Mortgage deferment

With a mortgage deferment, payments are moved to the end of the loan. It’s also called a partial claim, and it’s a more serious option than a mortgage forbearance. In a deferment, you’ll work with your lender to decide what timeline you’ll be on. 

Keep in mind that all payments will be added to the end of the loan, and that interest might still accrue during the deferral period. 

Mortgage loan modification

In both a deferment and a forbearance, the terms of the loan stay the same. The monthly payment, relative length of the loan (save the payments tacked on at the end with a deferment), and the interest rate all stay the same. 

A loan modification is a much deeper dive and a much more serious change to the loan. If, because of whatever life change has occurred to push you behind on mortgage payments, you don’t see that you’ll be able to make those payments in the foreseeable future, you’ll need a loan modification. 

This is something that you’d want to negotiate with your bank about. 

Selling your home while getting mortgage relief

Money vs time in a mortgage modification in Tampa, FL

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Unless you’re pursuing a short sale, you don’t need the permission of your lender to sell your home at any time in Tampa, Florida. If you can find a buyer who is willing to pay more than the current balance on the mortgage, you can sell your home at any time. 

Even if you are in the thick of the mortgage deferment process, getting a forbearance, or modifying your mortgage, you can sell your home. Whether you decide to work with a real estate agent for a traditional sale, or with a real estate investor for a quick cash sale, you’ll be in better shape than if you just watch your house get foreclosed upon.It’s even possible that you’ll make enough when you sell to have a down payment on a new home. If you haven’t waited too long and haven’t fallen very far behind on payments, you might be able to get yourself into a new home fast by selling your current home.

How to Sell Your House with Back Taxes – Ultimate Guide

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There are lots of reasons that someone might get behind on their taxes. Whether it’s an issue of life circumstances or financial struggles, knowing how to sell a house with back taxes can lift homeowners out of a tough situation.

Selling your house is your right

It’s important to realize that you are well within your rights as a homeowner to sell your house when there is a tax lien on it. Owing back taxes does not tie you to a home forever. It doesn’t even tie you to the home until the taxes are settled.

It’s possible to sell a house, even if you owe property taxes. You can get a cash offer – a fair cash offer – and pay off any outstanding debt.

All tax liens against a house do have to be resolved before the home can be sold. That being said, there are lots of ways to solve them that don’t involve paying off those taxes.

A clear title is the goal

Clear title on home with tax lien

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A clear title means that there are no liens on the property. A lien is an amount of money owed to a creditor that is kept solvent by the piece of property.

Creditors use the lien process to ensure that they will get the money owed to them. Without the piece of property, there is no guarantee that they’ll get the funds back.

Whether it’s delinquent property taxes or a second mortgage, there are lots of potential organizations that could have a legal claim to a piece of property. The mortgage balance is one kind of lien against the property owner. Homeowners who are facing foreclosure have to deal with the mortgage as well as creditors.

What are tax liens?

Any claim against the value of a house is called a lien. A clear title is a title that doesn’t have any liens against it. To get a lien removed from a property, a lien release must be filed to formally take it off.

The goal of any homeowner who might owe enough money to have a lien against the title is to clear each and every lien. All liens have to be paid off or negotiated off, then marked by the creditor as satisfied. Only then can the process move forward.

Liens are immovable

A piece of real estate cannot be sold if there is an active lien. A title search will cause any potential creditors who have a legal right to past due money that a homeowner might owe. Until it is paid, there’s no selling the house.

How a tax lien is different

Tax collector on property taxes

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A tax lien is something totally different. Taxes are owed to the federal, state, or local government, and they are immovable.

With almost every kind of lien, there is a lot of room to create a payment plan or to pay off less than the actual amount due. That is not the case with the IRS.

When a homeowner owes back taxes to the IRS, the sale of a house can be abruptly disrupted by the tax lien. Any kind of lien from the IRS is statutory, meaning it’s encoded by law. An IRS lien is basically automatic.

When the IRS decides there is a tax liability that you owe, they then notify you of that liability. If you don’t pay the taxes, they can come after your real property. The IRS is fairly ruthless in the sense that they will not slow down when coming after your property.

Not just the home

An IRS tax lien is not just about the home. If you owe past due taxes, the IRS automatically puts a lien against every piece of property you own. This includes, but is not limited to, real estate. When you owe taxes, the IRS is going to get those taxes.

Local governments and state taxes are also able to come with a lien against your home, but they are less virulent in their enforcement on the whole. Still, a title company will be able to find any kind of lien when they do a title search on the property.

The IRS will file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien with the office of the register of deeds for the state that you’re in. This filing is a public declaration that lets everyone know that the tax lien is now on the home. Any attempt at the home sale will immediately be stopped by the government.

Pay it off through sales proceeds

Tax squeeze wallet

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Hands down, the easiest way for you to get your delinquent property taxes paid off is to pay down the tax debt with the sale proceeds. You just have to know how to sell a house with back taxes.

To do this, you have to get a fair cash offer that’s enough to pay the tax bill. The state’s department of revenue, if that’s the taxing authority you owe, will then clear the title of that debt.

If the IRS files a lien against you saying you owe back taxes, you’ll need enough equity to pat them off. When you sell your house, the price tag has to be high enough for the mortgage too. Keep in mind that there are fees and attorney costs to cover as well.

Paying off back taxes owed through the sale of the home is great if you can find the right buyer.

Examples of paying off back taxes

Calculating taxes with home sale

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Let’s talk through an example.

For instance, say I’ve got $50,000 left on my mortgage and I have unpaid income taxes in the form of a federal tax lien for $10,000. I might have multiple tax liens though. Let’s add in another $5,000 of property taxes in the form of a property tax lien.

If I owe property taxes and federal income taxes both, I’ll need to pay off both of those loans when I sell my house. Once the property tax liens and federal tax liens are cleared, I can walk away with no taxes owed.

Negotiating taxes owed

Maybe I’m able to work with a tax attorney and negotiate the back taxes. This is unlikely, but it does happen. Now the property taxes owed are just $4,000.

All in, I’ll need a total of $64,000 to pay off both my mortgage and the federal tax lien, and the property tax lien. I need enough equity when I sell my house to cover both of those costs. Selling my house for a high enough price to cover all of those fees could involve the use of a real estate agent or it could be a direct cast offer sale. Either way, the math is similar.

But wait, there’s still another consideration! The closing costs on a home, including things like the closing attorney fee and the title company fee, also need to be taken into account. It’s smart to budget for those as well when I sell the property. Let’s say another $4,000 in those fees. The closing process increases the amount I need to sell my house for.

Clearing a profit

I need a buyer who’ll cover at least $68,000 in costs to pay down all that I owe on property sale. Home sales can definitely cover that cost. If I am able to sell my house for a cash offer of $75,000, then I’ll walk away with $7,000 in profit. That’s not a bad deal at all!

When you can’t find a buyer

house

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What if you can’t find a buyer? Depending on your situation, that could mean you end up in the foreclosure process. If you owe delinquent property taxes, income taxes, or property taxes, you might need to sell your house fast.

The reality is that there is always a buyer for a home, no matter the condition or the specifics of the property. Selling a house fast might mean taking slightly less than market value, but the trade off is time for money.

In the case of someone who owes taxes, taking a lower price could mean saving money in the long run. The influx of cash from the home sale can put an end to interest accruing.

The IRS doesn’t sleep on delinquent taxes

Here’s the biggest problem – the IRS won’t stop coming for you. Even if you can’t find a buyer. If you owe back taxes and you can’t see an end in sight, it’s a good idea to talk to a tax attorney to explore your options.

The IRS is not one to negotiate, but there is a little wiggle room in many cases. Keep in mind, they want their cash. They don’t want to have to sell a house to get it. They absolutely will sell your house to get it, but that’s a headache for them.

If you owe delinquent taxes, the government is looking for their check. Unpaid taxes are notoriously impossible to get out from under.

Selling your house, but not for enough

What if you can sell your house, but not enough to cover the delinquent taxes? The IRS isn’t going to let you off the hook without paying your delinquent taxes, but there is still another option to remove the lien, pay the unpaid taxes, and clear the title.

Getting a subordination from the IRS

A subordination from the IRS allows you to put other creditors ahead of your tax lien. Depending on your situation, this could be a viable way to get out from under the tax lien, pay off other debt, and then come back around to the tax debt.

Note that a subordination does not remove the tax lien, so you can’t sell your house yet. You must remove the tax lien if you owe delinquent property taxes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sell it with a cash offer or any other type of real estate transaction.

Getting an Offer in Compromise from the IRS

The only possible way to reduce your tax burden without paying those unpaid taxes is to get an Offer in Compromise from the IRS. In this scenario, they take less than you owe in tax debt and then forgive the balance of the amount.

Unfortunately, the surest way to go about getting an offer in compromise is to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Through that process, you can lay out a plan with the IRS to pay down tax debt. There’s even a possibility that you’d be able to keep the property. If selling isn’t your end goal, this is a viable way to pay off what you owe in delinquent property taxes and still retain the real estate.

You may not be able to sell the property immediately if you go these routes, but you can potentially eliminate the tax lien without having to pay out of pocket.

Can you sell your house fast with a tax lien?

The silver lining here is that if you can sell a house fast, you can often get enough influx of cash to pay those delinquent property taxes in a timely manner. You can pay down the debt that you owe with the sale of the property.

If you can get an offer for more than the debt you owe, then you can absolutely sell your house fast with a tax lien. At the closing table, the whole process can be put together to both pay off the debt and to get the house in someone else’s name. Once the property sold is in someone else’s hands, you can walk away free and clear.

Getting out from under tax debt

Tax debt pennies

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It’s a great feeling to get out from under a mountain of debt. Though it can feel like a dark situation when you’re stuck in the middle of it, the reality is that there is a way out. It’s hard to see when the IRS or state taxes are weighing heavily on you.

Once the property is paid off, you can put those funds towards looking after other assets. The lien isn’t the only consideration for most people. Once you’re able to clear every tax lien and sell your property, then you can look towards the next stage in your life. Whatever that might be.

Guide to Resell Your House to Relocate to Florida – Ultimate Guide

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Moving to a new city is an exciting time, but it can be a time that’s full of anxiety. Packing up your home and selling your house is a huge change, and it can be a huge burden. When you need to resell to relocate to Florida, you want to get the most for your money.

This comprehensive guide to selling your home to relocate will help you figure out how to attract potential buyers, sell stuff you don’t need, and get your feet under you in a new location.

Deal with the stress

stressed out home seller

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Immediately when someone thinks about a long-distance move, they think about stress. The real estate market has its ups and downs, which make it all the more challenging.

First of all, there’s the stress of the move itself. The sentimental value of not only the home, but also the community that you’re leaving can be a lot to deal with. While a new town can be exciting, especially in sunny Florida, a new place is also daunting.

Realize that it’s going to take a few months to get your stuff together. Also, you should prepare for the cost that’s associated with a move. If you underestimate these things, you’ll be in a rough condition, even if you do get the right place for your home.

Once you’ve made the final decision to move, give your time to process the information. This might include some self-care as you transition to your new home.

Sentimental value

If you’re starting a new job in Orlando or Tampa, you’ll want to allow for the adjustment there too. Moving is one of the top life stressors, not only because of money but also because your old home was home!

There’s a lot of emotional energy that goes into a move like this. A multi-state move means a huge adjustment, both mentally and physically. There is both the attachment that you have to your old home and your old life, but there’s also the excitement about your new home and your new life.

This can feel like a bit of a tightrope to walk, and you should expect a lot of ups and downs along the way. The adjustment period here is huge, so give yourself time and space to feel all of those feelings. Don’t try to force it.

If you’ve committed to a new job, then the wheels are going to keep turning. You’ll have to let go of a lot of things, but that’s growth and it’s good for you. Try to be as pragmatic as possible, but also give yourself grace with the stress of a major move to Florida.

Planning the details

person planning a move with a spreadsheet

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If you’re a detail oriented person, then you’ll probably hit enter on that planning spreadsheet about a hundred times as you get through the packing and moving.

Moving to Florida can be challenging thanks to the isolated nature of the state. More than likely, you’ve got a long drive and a lot of heavy lifting to do to get your stuff from your home in North Carolina or New York all the way down to the Sunshine State.

Free quotes

When you’re planning, make sure you get a free quote from as many companies as you can. Moving quotes don’t cost anything, but knowing the price beforehand can save you a lot of cash. Unfortunately, the costs associated with a multi-state move add up to a lot of money.

All kinds of services will offer you a no-cost quote, from cash home buyers to home stagers. The market for companies who can help with your upcoming move is pretty endless. Everything from bubble wrap to packing materials for your kitchen gadgets is out there.

It’s worth it to scour items online to get the right price for packing materials.

Use a spreadsheet

A simple spreadsheet that you create in Google docs or Excel can really help you plan all of the incredible number of details that you have to work with on a move.

Oen real suggestion here is to put it in the cloud. This will allow you to access your to-do list from anywhere, be it your phone or your computer. When you’re in the thick of a move to Florida, that kind of access can make the process much easier.

With this method, you can write everything down so it doesn’t stay in your brain. A major move to a state like Florida can be overwhelming if you try to keep it all in your head, so don’t! Instead, write it all down so that you can keep track without burdening yourself.

Lower your packing burden

Lots of moving services will help you start packing. Don’t feel like you have to do it all yourself. it’s enough of a burden to move to a new home. The price of packers is usually worth the expense, because it lets you put your time and mental energy into other things.

You have a few options to save money and save time while packing. You can start with setting up garage sales and organizing your items. Moving expenses can be significant, so rather than putting your items out for donation, you can instead sell for a fair price with a simple yard sale.

Old furniture might go to a consignment shop to sell. Old stuff that you can’t use anymore can be put towards the purchase price of a new home if you sell it for market value.

Sell broken items

Even broken appliances can sometimes net a bit of profit if you put them up to sell locally on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. When you sell online, you end up with cash in your pocket.

If you decide to sell broken and used items, definitely be upfront with sellers. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable enough to sell something to a friend, it’s better not to sell it at all.

Remember, anything you get rid of is something you don’t have to deal with in your new home. Family heirlooms are of course not something you want to sell, but other valuable items should be let go as soon as you can part with them. Less stuff means more cash in your pocket!

Relocation assistance

Moving boxes packed for relocation to Florida

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If you’re moving for a new job, check to see if your new company offers relocation assistance. Many places will pay for professional movers to get you into your new home.

As soon as you hit enter on the agreement to take a job in a new place in a new town, find out what your employer offers. They might also have other tips on your Florida move. Whether you need to sell extra items or just pack up what you’ve already got, you should be able to get some help along the way.

There’s always the possibility of getting help from family and friends. This can really bring everyone closer together, but be wary of leaning too hard. Yes, your family and friends are likely happy to help you with your move, but they also have lives of their own.

As much as possible, hire professionals to help you get your move done rather than relying on family and friends to do it all. After all, the move to Florida is stressful on them, too! A move like this will naturally change the dynamic between you and the people in your life. It’s important to preserve it as much as possible.

Sell fast on the real estate market

It’s exciting to put your house on the market and sell your house fast. Especially if you have a job offer in a new place, you can sell your home and get excited about your new employer.

Working with a real estate agent who knows how to prep a home for market and get your home to sell fast is the easiest way to go. Home sellers are professionals who can help get your home sold faster than you can imagine.

A real estate agent can help you with house hunting as well as helping you sell your home. Starting a new life in a new city can be daunting, and working with someone will make it easier.

Once you get your home sold, you’ll be able to think more clearly about your new job and about your new house.

Understand the timeline with a new job

new job listings with laptop

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In fact, in today’s real estate market, a real estate agent will know how to get your home ready to go. You might not sell your house quickly this way, but if you have a job relocation in the works then you might not need to.

Some questions to ask yourself regarding a new job and your timeline are –

  • How long do you have to sell your home?
  • Are there any home improvement projects you need to do?
  • What local organizations can help with your move?
  • What is the market in your current area?
  • What is the current market in Florida?
  • Do you need extra cash to help with the move?
  • Is your job relocation timeline flexible?

It’s a good idea to sit down and write down your answers to these questions. You’ll save money and have an easier time making sense of selling your home, selling your extra stuff, and figuring out your job relocation parameters if you do.

Financial planning in a move

looking for direction with relocation to Florida

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Most people move either because of financial needs or because they want to improve their lifestyle. It doesn’t matter which one is the motivator for you – in both cases you’ll have to do a lot of financial planning.

The down payment on your new residence in Florida might be something you already have in your savings account. It could also come from the signing bonus on your new job. The other option is to pay it out of the sale of your current house.

If you’re unsure of how to get all of the financial pieces to move the way you want them to, consider working with a professional financial planner. This is a smart move for anyone making a move, because there are so many considerations.

If you have a new job in Florida, consider reaching out to a financial planner who is based in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, or wherever it is that you’re moving to. Someone who is located in the state will be able to best understand what the needs are there that are specific to Florida.

Working with a real estate investor

Real estate experts who know how to get a home on and off the market fast recommend a game plan (which we’ll lay out here) to sell your home for a job relocation tailored to your timeline with efficiencies built into every step of the way.

A real estate investor will understand the market and how to get the sale done quickly. The price you’ll get in this instance might not be quite as high as a sale to a traditional buyer. However, you’ll be able to sell your home fast and even sell your house as-is with a real estate investor.

Closing costs when you sell your house

Key exchange at a house closing

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There are always going to be some closing costs associated when you sell your house. The federal government has rules that govern how it all works.

All costs should be covered by the buyer. You should never, ever have to pay any money out of pocket to sell your house. Think about it – would you pay to get a new job? Of course not. By that same token, you shouldn’t pay to sell your house.

Even if you sell quickly or sell your home as is, all of the costs should be covered when you’re selling. Money should only exchange hands in the selling process at the closing table. Never before that. No matter what the market is like for selling.

Beware of scams

A move is one of the most expensive transitions you can do in your life. Unfortunately, there are always scammers there ready to take advantage of people who are in transition.

Always look up the people you’re working with on a move like this, before you pay them. Moving does involve a high level of expense, and it’s all too easy to think that you’ll save money by going cheap. Remember, if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

If you can’t find anything online about a moving service or a cash home buyer, then you should look elsewhere. Scammers can either have a bad online footprint, or they can have no online footprint at all. The latter is just as concerning as the former.

Never work with someone on a move to Florida that you haven’t vetted yet. That goes for professional movers, for real estate investors, for real estate agents, and for everyone else that might be involved in your move. It’s well worth the time and effort to Google the people you’ll be working with. This is the best way to avoid getting scammed.

Preparing your home for sale

It’s completely reasonable in today’s real estate market to expect to sell your home as is. There is so much demand that you’ll have an easier time than you think selling your house quickly.

However, most people feel better when they do some preparation for selling their property. It feels like a necessary part of the process. If that’s you, that’s ok!

You should consider hiring professionals to get some of the harder jobs done. For example, you might work with a professional stager or a cleaning company. Both of these services are well worth the cost to get your house ready for sale.

Costs to consider when moving to Florida

When you buy a home in Florida, you’ll also have to cover carrying costs and property taxes.

If a job relocation is taking you to Florida, you should have some resources to understand how you can pay taxes. Property taxes in Florida are among the most competitive in the country. This is one reason the market for a house is so tight in the state.

Your new home will likely cost more than your current house if you’re moving from a state that’s got a cooler market. The price of your old home might not cover the down payment on a house for sale that’s comparable.

Just as with anything, you’ll have to make decisions about the sale of your old house, as well as how much money you want to put into the down payment on your new house.

Hopefully, your new job will cover the additional cost and you can sell quickly to get the move going. If not, consider downgrading when you sell your home. It’s not ideal, but it might be necessary when you move to Florida.

Selling to a cash buyer

Sometimes, people moving to Florida don’t want to go the traditional real estate route. You might need to sell quickly for your job relocation. You might also need to get money out of your home to fund the move itself.

When selling to a cash buyer, you’ll get an influx of cash quickly. That money from the sale can defray the cost of moving to Florida. Keep in mind that the sale of your home to a cash buyer can happen incredibly quickly – completing the sale in less than seven days.

The cost here is in the price of your home. An as-is home can go through the selling process quickly, but the sale will come at a slightly lower price.

Keep in mind that this kind of sale will also have lower closing costs and fewer financial drains along the way. For a lot of people selling, a cash buyer ends up netting a higher return.

Choosing your timeline

When selling to a cash buyer, you have more autonomy in choosing your timeline. You can close quickly, selling in as little as seven days.

Though your previous home might have sentimental value, selling it within a time that works for you should be a top priority. Once the sale is complete, you can think about job relocation and selling personal items for your move.You can’t have complete control over your timeline with a move to Florida, but you deserve to have as much control as possible. There are so many moving pieces to this process, but with the right amount of thought and planning, you can feel in control as you move to Florida!

Why You Shouldn’t Fix Up Your Fixer Upper Before You Sell in Charlotte, NC

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It might seem necessary to fix every little thing that’s wrong with your house to attract prospective buyers. After all, who’s going to buy a house that needs repairs? The answer is lots of people. You don’t need to do a lot of work to sell fixer-upper properties in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte and the surrounding areas are home to many fixer-upper house situations. Selling a home in Mecklenburg County that needs major repairs is different from the traditional home sale through a real estate agent. Though the market value of homes in Charlotte continues to rise, selling homes with major underlying issues is still not standard practice.

Given the nature of the property market in North Carolina, it’s a good idea to explore selling fixer-uppers before trying to do repairs on a house.

Costly and time-consuming

Extensive repairs can cost a lot of money, and they can take a lot of time. Home sellers are busy, and there’s often not a lot of time or resources to go around. Not time or resources that you want to spend on home repair anyway.

Putting all of that energy and time into selling your home fast isn’t the only way to tackle the problem. In fact, there are tons of options to get around repair issues. You can still sell fast and get a good deal.

The basic options

Fixer upper house for sale in Charlotte, NC

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Home sellers in this situation have a few different ways to go about the process.

When you need to sell a fixer-upper house fast in Charlotte or Rock Hill, you have a couple of basic options. This fixer-upper selling isn’t challenging, but it is different from what most people are used to. If you’re a busy home seller, you can look at the following tacks to get your home on the market fast and for the best price.

  • Selling as-is
  • Doing minor repairs
  • Doing big-ticket repairs

These are a few options to make the sale of your property easy. You can decide which one works for you, then dig in and either go for the necessary repairs to the property or just start looking for a property buyer.

Selling your fixer-upper as-is

The easiest, fastest, and most hassle-free way to go about this is to sell your home as is. This means you won’t do anything to the property at all.

Though you don’t have to do anything to the property to get it on the market and get some money for the property, there are a couple of things to be careful of when you’re creating the listing. You don’t want to find yourself in a bad situation with a potential property buyer.

Here are two things you absolutely must do when you list a property to sell as-is.

1 – Include the words “as-is” in the property listing

Most homes are not sold as-is, so you want to make it clear to any potential homebuyer from the get-go that you are not doing anything to the property. This is critically important because otherwise, you might end up wasting your time and theirs.

Keep in mind that when you sell a property as-is, the price will be lower than what you’d get if you went all-in on repairs. That’s because you’re trading the expense and energy you’d spend doing those repairs for the quick sale.

Now, the burden of those required repairs is on the homebuyer. This is why the price has to be lower for this property.

By putting the disclaimer out to potential buyers for your fixer-upper house, you are making it easier for you in the real estate market. Potential buyers looking for a bargain price on fixer-uppers will know exactly what they’re getting into.

2 – Disclose everything

termites at a home in Charlotte, NC

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Though you are selling a home as a fixer-upper, you still want to be upfront. This kind of house is not for all potential buyers.

You should consider doing a pre-inspection and then definitely disclose everything you find in the report. If you work with a real estate agent, especially a real estate agent who has experience with these homes for sale, they’ll be able to help you.

What you should never, ever do is attempt to hide home problems to a buyer. North Carolina law requires that you tell prospective buyers of any known defects with your fixer-upper in Charlotte. Not only is it dishonest to hide potential problems, but it’s also illegal.

The selling price will be lower for a fixer-upper house, but the trade-off is worth it for many Charlotte homeowners. This is a wonderful opportunity to position your house in Mecklenburg County as an investment for cash buyers and real estate investors.

House flippers are always on the lookout for new properties at a reasonable selling price. They’ll be expecting the worst, so don’t be afraid to give them the truth.

What to know about inspections

Home inspection in a roof in Charlotte, NC

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Even if you put “fixer-upper” or “as-is property” in the listing, even in the title, you still might have potential buyers ask for an inspection.

Real estate agents sometimes have experience selling fixer-uppers in Charlotte, NC. They know about how you can sell fixer-upper properties and how to navigate local inspections. If the seller’s market is hot, then you could likely forego a formal inspection. This speeds up the sales process and gets you through to closing quickly.

Real estate agents might not be the best place to connect if you want to forego the inspection. Fixer-upper homes are known to have problems, so prospective buyers are aware that an inspection will find something wrong. The right agent can connect you with buyers who don’t want to pay top dollar.

When the buyer sees issues on an inspection report, they may or may not walk away. Hopefully, you’ve been upfront with issues already. Full disclosure is everything in this instance.

Pre-market home inspection

There are two kinds of home inspections. The first is the one we’re most used to hearing about. This is when a home inspector comes to gain access to the house and looks for major issues and minor issues after a potential buyer has already begun to explore buying the house.

A home inspector will note cosmetic issues as well as structural problems. These services cost money, but for buyers, they tend to be a good deal. A property doesn’t have to be perfect at the time of sale.

The difference between a pre-market inspection and a traditional inspection is the timing.

With a pre-market inspection, the home inspector comes in prior to the home even going on the market. This way, potential issues can be disclosed in the listing description.

Most real estate agents don’t use these kinds of home inspections because buyers will want a home inspection later in the process. When you want to sell a fixer-upper, however, this will likely be the only inspection on the home during the sales process.

Doing minor home improvements

Home repaird tools at an as-is house

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The second option for selling a fixer-upper is to do some limited home improvements. Don’t jump into cosmetic things for the most part here, though curb appeal still matters.

If you’ve decided to go with this middle route between major repairs and selling as-is, be sure to keep it easy. Think in terms of what you can do in a weekend, or what you can take on without a serious expense.

None of these minor home repairs will change the fundamentals of your house, but they could boost the price a little more without saddling you with hefty repair costs. Real estate is all about appeal, and sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all it takes to create curb appeal.

Here are some ideas for minor property improvements that you might want to consider when you’re selling fixer-uppers.

Beyond any critical updates, think about the following easy things to do before selling your house. Many of these items can be tackled over a weekend before putting your house on the market.

  • A fresh coat of neutral paint
  • Garage door paint job
  • Replacing light bulbs
  • Clean ceiling fans
  • Fix old light fixtures
  • Add new light fixtures
  • Deep clean hardwood floors and carpets
  • Caulking the edges of bathtubs and counters
  • Cleaning up yard debris and removing junk

All of these property improvements are cosmetic only. None of them are going to affect the fundamentals of your home. A home inspection won’t be materially affected by these kinds of improvements.

However, these minor home repairs will help a real estate agent do their job a little better. A good-looking product is easier to sell than a dull-looking product.

Effective renovation ideas like these are all about sprucing up the place. They’ll help a lot with curb appeal, which is naturally a first and critically important part of selling a house.

Major home improvement projects

replacing insulation at a home for sale in Charlotte, NC

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A house in good shape will get the most attractive price. Selling a property with good bones is also the way to get more money.

When looking at major property improvements before selling, think about the fundamentals. This is not the time to try to change the floor plan or add an extra bedroom. You can get the right price without all of that.

Note that if your home is in a prime location or has a desirable floor plan, the Charlotte real estate market will reward those two things handsomely.

Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the new home, without worrying about potential problems. If you’re selling a house with issues, you’ll have a harder time getting rid of it.

Make a priority list
Home repair on a fixer upper in Charlotte, NC

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If you are thinking about doing major work to your house before you sell it, start by making a priority list of things that must be done. Keep in mind that the best way to stay sane through this process is to think logically rather than emotionally.

Many home buyers are not bothered by a home that needs some cosmetic improvements. In fact, prospective buyers want to think of themselves in the home, so they want to do some of the work themselves. This lets them add their own style.

Once you have your list, look for real sticking points for buyers. Then, you can put your effort into what’s most important on the property. For example, adding hardwood flooring isn’t going to help in selling a fixer-upper. However, a house with a new roof is more likely to sell.

Some of the highest priority items should be things like plumbing issues, dealing with mold, HVAC and furnace problems, or fixing foundation damage on the house. Though these are big-ticket items, they’ll also make a big difference in how many buyers think of your house.

The most important home improvements can be found in the list below. These are important for inspectors too, who could flag your home for safety issues. Even with a fixer upper, individual buyers are reluctant to go into a home that is unsafe.

  • Roof replacement
  • Fixing water damage
  • Repairing old pipes, sewer
  • Clean out the septic system
  • New electrical panel
  • New water heater
  • Addressing termite damage
  • Updating the HVAC system

These are the kinds of repairs and updates that will cost a lot of money, but they might not take as much time as you think. The relevant part here is that they make the house a better deal for any potential buyers.

These are the kinds of repairs that will appeal to any and every buyer. Whereas things like paint color, room layout, finishes, and landscaping are very much about personal taste, these major fixes are universal.

When thinking about whether you want to commit to a major repair, think about whether it will be one of these universal fixes. If it’s not, then it’s not worth the time or the money.

Think about your buyer

Who you target as a buyer for your as-is house is going to have a lot to do with what you do to prepare your home for sale. Though most buyers want the same thing, not all buyers are created equal.

If you want to sell to an individual family, then think about how much cash they’re going to be putting on their downpayment. That’s going to leave them a lot less to work with to fix potential problems on the property.

Any home that requires immediate repair to be livable is going to be a burdensome house for a family. Obviously it’s up to the individual to decide what they have the bandwidth and budget for, but sellers want to target their market too.

If you tackle the repairs yourself, you’ll be able to sell your Charlotte area home for a higher price. This will cover the cost of your upgrades thanks to an increased list price. It will also make it more attractive to a wider group of potential buyers.

The other thing to consider here is the negotiation process. If you decide to go the traditional route with a real estate agent, you might well find that you end up with a last minute ask for a reduction. This is common with individual home buyers in North Carolina, who want to get the best they can in a competitive arena.

Should you decide to go the way of a real estate investor with an as-is property sale, you’ll have less to worry about. There is no haggling and there’s no midnight hour asking for costly repairs this way. Investors know what they’re getting into, and they have the cash flow to manage the repairs that are needed.

Take some time to decide

Roofs in a upcoming neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina

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Even if you have a pressing need to sell fixer-upper houses quickly, don’t jump too hard or too fast. Read up on what the best options are for you, and write down what you can and cannot afford in the process.

You deserve to have the best outcome possible for your home sale in Charlotte. This is a great area with tons of potential buyers and lots of real estate investors. There’s no reason to think you’ll miss the boat. Another buyer is always out there.

When considering the asking price of your home for sale in Charlotte, always remember to include closing costs in your numbers. All real estate transactions have some kind of closing fees, depending on the nature of the sale.

Do consider the option of just selling your home in its current condition. The mental strain of home repair is a lot on anyone. It’s more of a problem when you know that you’re just going to turn around and sell the house. To sell a fixer-upper, you just have to commit.

You don’t need to fix up your fixer-upper in order to sell it for a good price in Charlotte. Though there are drawbacks, like a lower sales price, that you’ll need to consider, it might still be the best option for you.