10 Ways to Manage the Stress of Selling a House During Divorce

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The top five life changes that cause the most stress are: the loss of a loved one, divorce, moving, a major illness/injury, and job loss. When a married couple splits up, two of those life changes happen at once, and it’s a massive weight. If you have to face selling a house during divorce, you need to find ways to manage the stress of the process.

How selling a home can ease the stress of divorce

Divorce is essentially about moving on with life. Yes, the family home is the center of life, but that also means that it tethers two people together. The central part of a divorce is untwining those two lives, and nothing is more symbolic of that than moving apart.

It doesn’t matter what the reason is for your divorce, creating separate property will help you move on. If you sell a house during divorce, this will naturally do a significant amount of work towards creating your independence.

When you’re not on the same page

Frustrated Couple with their Divorce Lawyer

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Divorcing couples are often chomping at the bit to get rid of their shared home. However, if you weren’t on the same page during your marriage, it’s unlikely that you’ll be on the same page on how to go about selling real estate.

There are emotional reasons that two parties will be acrimonious when going through a divorce. This often bleeds over into the selling process, and that’s where the stress really comes in.

These ten ways to cope with being home sellers who are also divorcing will ease the process and give you insight into your own needs during divorce.

1 – Let go of the pressure to rush

Yes, you want to get the whole thing over with. That’s certainly understandable.

Many people think that if they sell quickly, that will get rid of the emotional turmoil that surrounds the divorce. The opposite is actually the case. When divorcing spouses rush through a home sale, it can actually make things worse.

Making a mistake, either by selling at a lower price than you’re comfortable with or by agreeing to terms that aren’t what you really want, will only exacerbate the issues.

Divorce proceedings are necessarily long and drawn out. Though there is such a thing as a quick divorce, even a quick divorce is going to last six months or more, depending on the state. Even if the parties agree, there is separation time and court processing time built into divorce proceedings.

All that just means that you have some time to breathe and determine your next steps. Don’t rush into a deal that you’re not comfortable with because you want to make a clean break.

2 – Lean on your support network

When you’re going through a divorce, you’ll need a lot of emotional support from family and friends. Don’t shy away from leaning on people in your life who you can trust.

This is the time to call on friends for recommendations and suggestions. When you’re evaluating a real estate agent or considering a home investment company, enlist your friends to scout them out online and find their reviews. Don’t think that you have to do it all yourself.

You’ll be doing your fair share of this on your own, and with this stressful situation you need to let others carry some of the load. Look out specifically for friends and family who have been through divorce before as they’ll be able to empathize with what you’re going through.

3 – Build a circle of professionals

Selling a house during a divorce will require the same kind of professionals that any home sale would need. Just as mentioned above, finding people that you feel comfortable with and can trust will make the whole process of dealing with your ex spouse much easier.

It makes sense to try to find real estate professionals who won’t take sides. Look into a real estate agent who has experience working with divorce settlements. You can also ask your lawyer to find an attorney who can work with you on the real estate side of things.

Many people going through a divorce really rely on the connection and support that a therapist can provide them during the chaos of this time. Though it can seem like a frivolous expense, it will actually help you have a clear head to make the right decisions about selling a home during divorce.

The circle of professionals should also include a real estate tax professional. They can help to guide you through the tax implications of selling your house.

4 – Consider the tax implications

That leads us to understanding the tax implications of selling your home during divorce, including capital gains tax. Depending on the point that you sell the house at, you could end up having to pay much more in taxes than you have to.

A tax attorney can guide you through this process, and it’s a good idea for you to make contact with one early on. Divorce affects every part of your financial life, and taxes are a major aspect of financial health. Property taxes and capital gains tax are two important sides to consider when you sell a home during divorce.

There are ways to slow down the divorce to accommodate the best tax situation or to slow down the home sale process in order to accommodate the tax implications. In either case, speak to a family law specialist when you’re considering whether to sell a house during a divorce.

5 – Iron out the story for potential buyers

Person Holding Divorce Papers

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Before you start talking to potential buyers, try to connect with the other spouse enough to get the story straight. If there was infidelity or some other impropriety that sparked the divorce, that doesn’t need to come into the sphere when trying to sell your house for fair market value.

The less you say about your personal situation, the better your ability to negotiate for the price that you want to sell for. Real estate agents can help with this during the divorce process.

When someone comes out to see your home, focus on the money rather than the demise of the marriage. If at all possible, try not to be at any open houses at the same time. This should be fairly straightforward, but take your agent’s advice about it if you are unsure.

6 – Create a schedule

Selling your house with a divorce settlement looming means there are a lot of things to juggle all at once. If you and your spouse are selling a home that you both have high level emotions about, it’s all the more important to create separate schedules so that the divorcing couple has to see as little of each other as possible.

This is a great time to really forge a separate living situation. A divorce attorney might be needed to help you find the best solution. You can also consider asking another arbiter to help you negotiate how to sell a house during a divorce. They can help you to disentangle the marital home.

One thing that works really well is to mark off responsibilities that each of you should take on. This might be challenging at first, but once you do it, the rest of the process will be easier. One party might take on the open house duties while the other handles collecting inspector information. Split the responsibilities as evenly as you can, and once you do just let it go.

7 – Community property problems

Whatever you both owned together that was in both names belongs to both of you. If you live in a community property state, then you’ll have to go through specific legal processes to determine how marital property gets divided up.

Community property extends to the marital home, even if one spouse has not lived there in a while. Divorce selling of a home is rarely straightforward.

Too often, divorcing couples will often need a court order to lay out how they’ll have to negotiate their interactions during separation. If your spouse files paperwork on the home without your consent before you’ve made a decision about community property, it will be hugely stressful.

When one party acts independently, it can make the property sale much more complicated. The good news is that there are clear legal methods that lay out how all of this happens in a divorce. If you co own property, then you both have a say in what happens. This includes real estate.

Though you have decisions to make, trust the people you surround yourself with. Let the divorce attorney do their job and lean on the other real estate professionals in your circle.

8 – Build in space

Man and woman divorcing talk out a real estate deal

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Divorce is highly emotional. The more space you build into your deal making, the easier it will be. Give yourself as much space as you can.

Boundaries are important for helping you keep your stress level manageable. Your former spouse is no longer your partner, and it can be difficult to let the marriage take the back burner while you focus on the money.

9 – Focus on the money

Looking forward after a divorce

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One of the best things you can do when you are selling real estate during a divorce is to focus on the money. Think of your ex spouse as another real estate investor or partner, and try not to let your emotions run wild.

Some great strategies here include communicating over email, working with separate property advocates, and crafting information in as professional a way as possible. The market isn’t about emotions, or at least it can’t be for you in this situation.

Talk to your financial advisor about how the mortgage payments will be affected by the divorce proceedings and how much you’ll have to pay in agent fees to the real estate agent. Factoring all of that into your financial plan will give you a good place to focus.

10 – Look forward

The sale of the marital home should be liberating. Though you’ll have to pay for attorney’s fees and consultations, you’ll also get that mortgage off of your plate. You can get back into the market yourself and look towards the next chapter in your life.

It’s a good idea to make a vision board with what you want your future to look like now that you’ve experienced divorce.

Though the marital home might have a lot of fond memories and hold a special place in your heart, there are good things ahead for you. Selling a home means letting go, but it also means opening up space for something much better for you.

Divorce is brutal, but selling your house shouldn’t be

Woman standing in her new home after a divorce

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Selling a home is a positive thing in your life, and it should be a bright point of hope in your divorce. The stress of a home sale is a constant pressure until the closing table, even if it all goes perfectly.

Even if your divorce is not contentious, it will be hard to let go of a house during a divorce. There are family memories to contend with, and the process is much harder if children are involved. Kids can put a lot of pressure on you and your ex spouse, and they have their own set stressors during all of this.

Give yourself the freedom and space to grieve the loss of the home you lived in and the life that you thought you would have in that home. It’s not easy, and you don’t have to be a superhero through the whole thing. You might be busy with moving and work and juggling your home sale, but those feelings won’t go away by keeping your mind busy.

Keep in mind that you aren’t alone in this process. Many people have gone through selling a house during a divorce, and their experiences can help you to have more peace of mind while you go through it yourself.

Real Estate Market Update: July 2022

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The heat is on this summer. 

July is set to bring record-high temperatures to every part of the United States, but sometimes it feels like it’s more than just the outside heat that’s scorching. More and more, everyone is being pushed to feel like the fiery sands are shifting beneath our feet in the real estate world. 

After two and a half years of unheard-of gains in home prices and a market that transformed into something unlike anything anyone has ever seen, it looks like things are veering in a new direction. No one can quite predict what that direction will be or when it will start, but if it’s anything like what we’ve witnessed in the last two years, it’s going to be a doozy.

Here’s the thing to remember: real estate has always been about change. Transformation is baked into this business. Property is the most stable, concrete asset out there, and in real estate, we move people to and from that asset. The asset itself doesn’t go anywhere, but everything around it changes. Understanding this fundamental truth of the property business makes it easier to understand why the market changes so much and so often.

Summer is always a frenetic time for home sellers, home buyers and real estate investors, but this year feels even more scorching than usual. Whatever side of the real estate equation someone is on – buyer, seller, investor, or agent, learning more about the market is a way to lower the temperature and reach whatever goals you might be chasing. 

The Cloudy State of Global Real Estate

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The sky isn’t falling yet, but globally, things aren’t looking positive for the real estate market. You don’t need to be reminded of the headlines, but here they are anyway: a raging war that’s unseated the world’s economy, skyrocketing inflation that’s pushing the cost of everything way higher than it should be, and the potential for a housing bubble pop that could strike everyone as hard or harder than those first two dire situations. 

Globally, the biggest banks in the world are increasing their interest rates more than they have in decades. Though the reasoning behind the increases is sound, given the shocking level of inflation that’s squeezing everyone around the world, it’s already having a chilling effect on residential real estate everywhere. 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a global intergovernmental organization that’s been the center of economic progress since the sixties. Its forty or so member countries are the top economies in the world, the places that set the tone for global economic realities. In a recent analysis by Bloomberg, half of OECD countries have price-to-income ratios above what they were just ahead of the 2008 recession. In layman’s terms – economists who look at global trends are feeling the push of a major economic downturn. 

That number has warning bells going off for everyone with good reason. A high price-to-income ratio means that people have little extra to spend at best, and at worst it means they can’t afford to maintain what they already have. The United States is on the list at number seven, below leader New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Australia, Canada, and Portugal. 

What does this mean for private real estate holders in America? It means that global economic leaders need to tamp down inflation as much as possible, and to do that they need to slow down the tremendous rise in housing prices that we’ve seen in the last two years. That necessarily means raising interest rates. It’s a delicate dance, because every effort they make to pull back on housing prices has the ability to further nudge the potential avalanche of recession. 

Even with all of that gloom and doom, it’s important for everyone with a stake in real estate to take a step back and think critically about where we are. A collapse like what we saw in 2008 is not likely given the changes in lending regulations that were put in place after the Great Recession. The strength of labor markets around the world will also make it difficult for things to take a massive downward spike, at least not one that happens all at once. 

The takeaway for home sellers and real estate professionals is that the rise in housing prices that we’ve seen over the last two years is going to cool much more than it has already. While it’s still a seller’s market, it won’t be that way for a whole lot longer. 

An Uncommon Approach to Selling Your Home

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Even the most experienced homeowner can use some quick insight into what’s new and what’s working in home sales. With the landscape of real estate constantly changing, finding new ways to attract buyers is always a good thing. 

Here are three unconventional ways to increase your home’s sale potential. 

  • Overnight guests

It’s not unusual for someone to take a bit of time to make a major decision like buying a home, but this home sales technique takes the phrase “let me sleep on it” to a whole new level. Letting a potential buyer stay overnight in a property is an innovative way to let them really get a feel for the home. The idea is to get them to have a major emotional reaction that will translate to more of a willingness to meet your price. 

Before trying this one, make sure to check with your real estate attorney to see what liabilities could be involved. 

  • Go for the highest bidder

Though real estate auctions are associated with homes in foreclosure, that’s not the only way that they can work. Selling a house through a real estate auction is one viable alternative to other kinds of home sales.

Homeowners who want to sell their house quickly while also going for as high a price as possible can explore holding a real estate auction for their property. One thing to keep in mind here is that a real estate auction isn’t free – expect to pay as much or more in service fees and other costs as you would if you listed with a real estate agent.

  • Throw in the kitchen sink

When people imagine selling a home, they usually either imagine scenes of beautifully staged homes or totally empty rooms. Leaving furniture or even some appliances can be viewed as a negative for the sale.

One newer idea is to flip the notion of extras on its head, offering potential buyers the bonus of goodies that aren’t traditionally part of a real estate deal. These could be things as simple as a big TV on the wall or as extravagant as a free vacation. Sweetening the deal with extras that don’t have anything to do with the house is one way to get some attention from potential buyers.

Before trying any of these outside-the-box real estate sales techniques, think through the boosts and benefits thoroughly. Either way, it’s nice to know there are options!

How the Land Trust Model is Shaping Affordable Housing in Detroit

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Especially given the blazing rise in real estate prices over the last two years, affordable housing is a legitimate and hard-to-solve problem across the United States. Areas of the country like Detroit that have had a long history of economic struggle are being hit the hardest.

Creative solutions to the problem of affordable housing have to be part of the path to making homeownership a reality. To that end, community development organization Dream of Detroit, among others, is bringing a novel concept to help solve this not-so-new problem. 

A community land trust is a non-profit organization that works through a board model to create opportunities for home ownership and build community assets in areas where there is a high level of need. The nonprofit organization actually holds the deed to the land, and it is then able to offer that land to families at a lower cost than a traditional home sale. This kin community-driven, shared housing model can make owning a home possible for families who would never have been able to do so prior. 

Lack of mortgage opportunities has been a real problem in Detroit for decades. For many years, the city was seen as “un-mortgageable” by lending institutions. This meant that working families couldn’t buy homes, further pushing the city into disrepair and economic disparity. That’s a legacy that continues today, as most home purchases are still made with cash in Detroit. 

The community model works by taking areas of land that were previously undeveloped or that had fallen into disrepair and bringing them back to life. The nonprofit organization purchases the piece of property, then a family comes in and builds a home on the land. The non-profit leases the land to the homeowner, who signs a 99-year lease. Essentially, they lease the land but they own the house that sits on the land. Often, community spaces like gardens and playgrounds are incorporated into these planned communities. Communal spaces are maintained by the non-profit umbrella organization. 

At its core, the idea here is that the property stays affordable not only for the current owner but that it stays within the community so that it’s affordable for future owners. So far, the idea is helping to revitalize communities that were previously economically depressed in Detroit. This is a starting place for Michigan, but it could be a model that would work in other cities to support home ownership in otherwise unreachable housing markets. 

Wild Homes: Weatherproof and Wondrous in Wilmington

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Wilmington, North Carolina, is known for its laid-back beach vibe and its unique coastal flavor of southern charm. It’s not generally known for its architecture. Enter this recently listed “waterfront resort residence”, which is far more like what you’d find in SoCal or Hawaii than what’s commonly seen on the beaches of the southern Atlantic. 

Image by Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty

From the outside, it’s clear that this house was designed by someone who wanted to bring a different kind of lifestyle to Wilmington. The home was created in the tropical modernism style that rose in Hawaii following World War II, which is why it’s so unlike the other things you’ll find in New Hanover County. It’s built with exposed steel and concrete, which are architectural features that also help ensure the longevity of the home through the brutal North Carolina hurricane season. 

Image by Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty

The central theme of this house is the blending of the inside and the outside. In fact, it’s almost like the two aren’t separate at all. A long lap pool runs right under the center of the house, bordered by two open-air living spaces, one with an outdoor fireplace. Interior walls are decorated with warm woods including African Wenge, sawn white oak, and American walnut, but the furniture is sparse and the spaces are open. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Atlantic ocean include a view of the fifty-foot floating dock that comes with the property. This unusual home at 1 Auditorium Circle, Wrightsville Beach is listed by Sotheby’s International Realty for a cool price of $13.9 million.

Six U.S. Cities have More Housing Listings Now than Before the Pandemic

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Everywhere you look in real estate in the United States, people are looking for homes. According to Freddie Mac, the United States is in need of roughly 3 million houses, due to supply chain issues and an already low number of existing homes on the market.

After the last two years of the housing market frenzy, you’d expect that there would be fewer homes listed for sale now than before the pandemic. For most of the major real estate markets in America that’s true, but it’s not happening everywhere. 

For the first quarter of 2022, six of the top fifty housing markets in the United States had, on average, more listings than they did in the quarter immediately preceding the pandemic back in 2020. Per an analysis by Black Knight, a mortgage data and technology tracking company, Kansas City, San Antonio, Portland, Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco all had more listings now than they did two years ago. 

Some of this shift most certainly has to do with the shift to remote work thanks to pandemic restrictions. Most of those cities are at the highest level of home prices, and people are moving out of them in order to find places where housing is more affordable. Thanks to remote work possibilities and a robust economy in terms of labor, home buyers have plenty of choices about where they live. Essentially, people are leaving high-priced housing in Seattle, Portland, San Jose, and San Francisco for places where they can get more houses for less money. 

On the other side of the coin is Raleigh, NC, which has the largest housing deficit in the country. Markets with high housing deficits continue to have an extraordinarily low inventory of homes. 

The question about what this means centers on supply versus volume. Is the increase in new listings because the supply is finally catching up to at least somewhat meet the demands of the marketplace? Maybe. The other option is that sales volumes are slowing instead, leading to a lower number of real estate deals being locked down. Whatever the reason is, it’s certain that the housing market is shifting substantially in a new direction. 

Getting a Firm Foundation in Capital Gains Tax

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Capital gains tax is the much loathed, often misunderstood, federal tax on money made from the sale of assets. In real estate, capital gains tax directly impacts people who sell their homes for a profit, but there are plenty of caveats. 

Whether a home sale is subject to capital gains tax has to do with a complex maze of qualifications that include whether the home was a primary residence or an investment property, tax bracket, marital status, length of time the home was owned, and even whether someone is a member of the military. Where a home seller falls into each of those categories affects whether and how much they’ll have to pay in capital gains tax. 

If you are subject to capital gains tax, the next step is straightforward – you’ll owe either short-term capital gains tax or long-term capital gains tax. Both are payable quarterly, though they can be held until the end of the year and folded into your annual tax filing. The IRS mandates that these are included in yearly tax reports.

Short-term capital gains tax comes into play when the asset was owned for less than twelve months. This might be called “short term” because the holding was only for a short amount of time, but if you’re taxed at this rate, then you’re definitely getting the short end of the stick. The tax rate for short-term capital gains is a whopping 37%. Selling a house that’s eligible for capital gains tax within the same twelve-month period as purchasing it is a definite no-no from a tax perspective. 

Long-term capital gains tax is calculated at a much lower rate than short-term capital gains tax. Think ten to twenty percent depending on other factors – half or more than short-term capital tax. The government does this to incentivize people to put more money into long term investments. The idea is that the longer investments are held, in the wider scheme of things, the better off the economy is as a whole.

Capital gains tax is only assessed on the profit from the sale of a home, not on the principal. For example, if you bought a home ten years ago for $250,000 and sold it this year for $325,000, then you would owe long-term capital gains tax on $75,000. If your income falls into the mid-range, then you’d owe 15% in taxes on that profit. The IRS is going to send you a bill for $11,520. 

In 2022, there was a surge in capital gains tax across the board at an unprecedented level thanks to huge stock gains and real estate price increases. This sent a lot of people scrambling to pay off those bills. In the coming years, using techniques like tax loss harvesting could be a better solution than simply taking the hit. 

Making sense of capital gains tax is important for anyone selling a home. Knowing what this major federal tax is, how it could apply to you, and by extension how to avoid it, has the potential to save you a lot of money on the sale of a home. Though it’s important to always consult with a tax professional about your options on taxes, learning what you can about your own situation is important too. Nobody wants to pay more in taxes than they have to. 

Overvalued? Why Experts Say the South Florida Real Estate Market is Way too High

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Though the general consensus among economists is that the current real estate market isn’t a bubble so much as a new floor, some researchers in South Florida are warning of a massive overvaluation in home prices.

The South Florida real estate market has long been one of the highest in the United States. Miami is competitive not only because of the local demand for real estate, but also because of a higher than average number of foreign landowners that purchase in the area. 

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have been tracking and analyzing home prices across Florida and the United States for years through the FAU Real Estate Initiative. Led by Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Ken Johnson, the team evaluates areas like affordable housing, population changes, natural resource infringement, and investment. This initiative is part of the wider school of finance, and it focuses on providing both data about real estate as well as data driven solutions to the problems that they uncover. 

Per recently released research from the Real Estate Initiative, current home prices and rent levels are far separated from the actual values of property in South Florida and across the United States. In South Florida, it’s almost 30%, but more than a dozen markets across the country are closer to fifty percent. Those numbers are striking in part because they’re more than double what they were a year ago according to the research from FAU. That separation is the core of the problem, and it might not manifest in the ways that we normally expect housing bubbles to look. 

Such a gap between what homes are valued at in the market versus what they’re worth has the potential to negatively impact the economy. Rather than being a bubble that bursts, researchers at FAU are concerned about a slower, more insidious housing affordability crisis. The dramatic fallout of previous housing bubbles is less likely than a constant grinding away at populations who are already struggling with maintaining adequate housing. 

Researchers point to the constant influx of investors from out of state who have long shaped the Florida real estate economy. Palm Beach County in particular is seeing a major shortage of inventory among the most recent waves of outside homebuyers. The issue at heart isn’t whether developers and investors will be able to afford to live in these parts of Florida, but whether even members of the middle class like healthcare workers, teachers, and service workers will be able to afford to live in South Florida. Housing affordability for marginalized communities is another beast altogether. 

As far as solutions, FAU proposed inventory increases as the best way to address the problem and decrease the record housing prices. That’s a long term fix, but it’s also a fix that will solve the fundamental issues in the market in South Florida. For now, home buyers and investors can only keep riding the wave of a hot housing market that is only just starting to show some signs of cooling.  

Ask Connect: Should I Sell My Rental Property?

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This section includes real questions from real homesellers, plus our answers. 

Dear Connect,

About two years ago, I relocated from Tampa, Florida to Cincinnati, Ohio for work with a plan to come back in three years. Rather than selling my house, I rented it out to an acquaintance at a rate well below the market rental price with the idea that they would take care of it until I came back home. 

In the time since then, things have changed, as they so often do in life. My employer is offering me a permanent position at a salary that I can’t turn down, plus I’ve developed a real love of the community in Cincinnati. The bottom line is that I don’t want to go back to Florida, for lots of reasons.

I don’t want to make a rash decision that’s based totally on the market, but I do want to make a smart decision. Being a landlord isn’t my cup of tea, and I dread it every time I have to fix something or deal with the house at all, even though my renter is as good as a renter could possibly be. I’ll make a sizable profit from the sale with the market where it is now. I know I’ll sidestep capital gains tax if I sell now because I’ve lived in it for two of the last five years. 

The issue really is that I’ve got a great interest rate on the loan at 3.75% and that the tenant really loves living there. They love it so much that they’re willing to pay market rate for the rent, which would represent a sizable increase. It would clearly give me a good source of extra income. 

With the housing market feeling like it could turn at just about any time, I’m worried that I’ll kick myself if I hold onto the property. I’m not much of an investor, and I’m also concerned about capital gains tax.

Should I sell or keep on being a landlord?

– Confused in Cincy

It sounds to me like you’ve already answered your question, but you’re trying to talk your way around it anyway. That’s not a bad idea, so let’s walk through it. 

Being a landlord isn’t as simple as collecting rent, as you’ve already figured out. There’s maintenance to be done on the home, repairs to take care of when a tenant leaves, and vetting that you’ll need to do when you do eventually have a changeover. No renter stays forever, even though your perfect tenant might stick around for a while. You could easily solve the problem of managing the property if you hired a property management company to take care of all of those things. 

There’s still more to it than that, beyond the property management piece. Taxes on a rental property aren’t straightforward, and you’ll be dealing with things from halfway across the country to boot. You’ll definitely want to work with an accountant who has experience in working with landlords. If you do hold onto it for much longer, as you pointed out, you’ll owe capital gains tax on any profit you make over the life of the property. There are also things to consider like how much you owe on the loan and how old the house is, i.e. whether it will need repairs.
Where things are, it sounds like you’ll make a solid profit on the sale of the house and that you’ll be able to step away without too much hassle. It’s a seller’s market for certain right now. It’s impossible to know the future of the market, and there’s not much use in trying to forecast how high home prices might go. Instead, you’ll do better to focus on whether you want to keep this property, right now, and continue to maintain it. There are lots of ways to diversify your investments that don’t involve being a landlord.

Should you Respond to Cash Offer Texts on Your House?

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With the state of the real estate market, phone calls and text messages filled with unsolicited offers are a pressing reality. The question is this – is a text about a cash offer on a house legit, or is it a real estate scam?

The answer isn’t totally straightforward, but what is certain is that homeowners should educate themselves about what to do if they get an unsolicited offer on their house. Knowing what red flags to look for from potential real estate investors will save you time, money, and emotional energy.

It starts with a friendly text message

woman responding to an unsolicited text message

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“I want to help you sell your house fast.”

“A cash offer on your property could come as soon as tomorrow.”

“Do you want top dollar for your property?”

An unsolicited offer from unknown numbers will almost always have an air of discomfort. Even though phone numbers are often publicly accessible, it can be uncomfortable to know that anyone has your contact information when you didn’t give it to them.

These text messages often come up for people who don’t even have a house for sale.

People are looking for an off market deal to help them secure homes in a tight real estate market.

Who sends unsolicited offers?

Woman looking at unsolicted text messages

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Often, these unexpected home offers are legitimate marketing tactics that are employed by reputable real estate investors.

Investors who are looking for a home to flip, a home to hold as an investment, or a home to rent out, are always trying to find the next good deal. It’s an understandable part of doing business.

These investors are looking for something very specific from the homeowner. They want to offer cash to buy the house, or they want to see if they can buy your house before it’s even listed on the market.

The business of any real estate investor is to make a profit. For the most part, they are doing this in an above-board way that could potentially help some homeowners who are struggling financially. They are still looking for a profit, and real estate investors will always try to get the lowest price possible for a house. However, that’s the nature of business and not inherently predatory.

Cash offers that sound too good to be true

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Though home buying scams and honest investors both use direct contact marketing methods to engage homeowners, there are some offers that are definitely too good to be true.

The tradeoff here is that unsolicited offers are often for less than you would get in the market value for the home. This is because the investor needs to pay less so that they can preserve that profit margin.

Even though a deal that starts out from an unsolicited text about a cash offer on a house can turn out well in the end, it’s always up to the homeowner to make sure that they are getting the best possible deal for the home. It’s important to negotiate before you accept any price on your home.

Why is there a lower price?

When working with a real estate agent, there are lots of closing costs, fees, and commissions to contend with. These not only eat into the profit that a homeowner will make on the sale of a home, but they’ll also slow down the process.

A real estate investor who’s coming with a cash offer will often be willing to forego things that slow things down like a home inspection. This greatly speeds up the process. They’ll also offer cash for your house, which really pulls back the timeline for selling a home.

Elder abuse and exploitation

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The elder population is specifically targeted by fake investors who say that they want to buy houses. This is a real problem because the technological learning curve for older homeowners often means that they don’t know that they’re getting scammed.

Text messages that offer a quick sale on a home can sound like a good deal for a retiree who doesn’t live in their home anymore. Elder property management companies, support personnel, and families might find themselves having to juggle a barrage of direct mail pieces, phone calls, emails, and unsolicited texts offering to pay cash for a house.

This can be disorienting for older Americans, especially with the advent of technology. It’s important that caregivers and advocates thoroughly vet any unso

licited offers for a house before an older homeowner gives up any information, or more importantly any money.

Watch out for “white knight” offers

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Though there are a lot of honest home investors who are just looking for inventory in a tight real estate market, there are also some definitive scams to look out for.

One well-known foreclosure scam is known as the “white knight” scam. In this scenario, the scam artist sends unsolicited offers to a homeowner who is in trouble, asking if they are interested in money to help them catch up. They don’t have to want to sell yet, and the scammer tells them that they can potentially stay in their home.

The prospective buyer then offers not to purchase the home, but instead to give the homeowner a load that will help them catch up on the payments. The homeowner will be able to pay it all back in the future, staying in their home right now.

This is where it turns into dealing with a scam.

Overhead view of houses for sale

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The white knight scammer tells the homeowner to sign over the deed in exchange for the loan, but only temporarily. They promise to sign the house back over to the homeowner once the money is paid back.

Once the homeowner returns with the money, they find that the scammer isn’t willing to sign the house back over, even with payment. The scammer might have even already sold the house to someone else. Another nightmare scenario is that the person tries to evict the person from their own home, or even make them purchase it back at a higher price.

Houses in this situation are stuck in a situation that’s not easy to remedy, and many homeowners are left with a mess for years.

Stopping unsolicited offers

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There’s not a straightforward way to stop house flippers, real estate investors, and scammers from texting a cell phone number. The best course of action is to text each number to stop, then block that number. This will stop that one person, but it won’t stop any others.

The National Association of Realtors and the Better Business Bureau might offer some recourse, but not for shady real estate criminals who don’t care that they’re breaking the law. If a number does continue to send text messages with an unsolicited offer, try reporting the number to the Federal Trade Commission. This is especially important if you suspect that the person on the other end is breaking the law.

There is no way to totally stop these text messages.
tile pieces spelling out the word stop to stop text messages

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The reality is that most of the laws that govern cold calls and direct mailing lists won’t stop open market solicitations altogether. Laws tend to kick in only when a business deal is significantly far along.

Consumer protections are unfortunately not strong when it comes to calls from scammers who want to buy your house. Calls and text messages about a property that’s off market are just a reality of a real estate market that has low inventory.

Why unsolicited offers over text are so prevalent

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The bottom line is that unsolicited offers have skyrocketed in recent years because they work.

The increase of big data that sells phone numbers to the highest bidder means that there are plentiful places for marketing firms to buy data. This data can drill all the way down to what kind of payment history you have on your mortgage.

As housing inventory has continued to drop in the last couple of years, the real estate market is increasingly tight. Homeowners hold a precious commodity that has real value in the market.

Buyers right now have a tough time finding any kind of piece of property for sale, and companies increasingly have to look for creative ways to engage with potential customers. Unsolicited offers are one way that potential buyers can connect with sellers.

Home offers in text messages

In a seller’s market, people who buy homes are at a major disadvantage. Buyers in such competitive markets are working against other buyers who have cash to buy your house and also who are financed as first time homebuyers through Freddie Mac or a traditional bank. All of those buyers are looking for the same thing – properties that will address their needs.

In such a tight market, you’re going to get offers, even if you don’t want to sell.

The world won’t end if you respond to an unsolicited offer for your home. At the end of the day, you can walk away from any deal that you’re not comfortable with. That being said, if you’re curious and there aren’t any red flags, then there’s no reason not to explore the idea. Even if it comes from an unsolicited text message.

Traditional Sale or We Buy Houses Company? What Charlotte Home Sellers Should Know

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Choosing to sell your home is a big decision. This major financial investment holds within it a lot of the sweat equity that you’ve put into your career and your family. Understanding what a traditional home sale vs. we buy houses offers will help you make the best decision for your home sale in Charlotte.

Though there are more than just these two routes open to you, the two major options in home selling are to go with a real estate agent or to go with a real estate investor. Both are viable, but they have very different benefits and costs.

Options in the home sale process

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In today’s real estate market in North Carolina, there are more options than ever to get your home on the market and sold. It can be overwhelming, especially for homeowners without much experience.

Some of the options for North Carolina homeowners who are thinking about selling their home are:

  • Listing with a real estate agent
  • Selling to an individual investor
  • Selling to an investment company
  • Listing yourself – For Sale By Owner/FSBO

In the past, homeowners were really caught between listing the home themselves and working with a real estate agent. Over the last thirty years, the number of real estate investors in North Carolina has increased greatly. Now it’s commonplace for a homeowner to be solicited with offers from a real estate investor for their home.

daytime photo of a row of houses in Charlotte, NC

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It’s not as simple as choosing the route you’ll go for a real estate sale in Charlotte. Within these four possibilities for selling your house in Charlotte, there are still more options. These have more to do with what you do before you put the house on the real estate market.

Most homeowners assume they’re going the traditional real estate sales route and inventory the things that have to happen before the selling process even starts. If you’re a homeowner in Charlotte, you’ve probably already looked around your house and thought about what needs to get done before you put it on the market.

  • Live in the house and do repairs slowly
  • Move out of the house and perform repairs quickly
  • Sell the house as-is

Whether you decide to put money and effort into repairs and preparing the house for sale is a big part of the equation. In fact, the choice to go with an as-is sale or a traditional home sale will affect every part of the process.

When it comes down to it, the essential difference between a traditional home sales we buy houses for cash sale is doing repair work and engaging with a mortgage company. Everything else in the home selling process flows out from these two starting points.

Investment companies and we buy houses for cash companies

Interior door of a Charlotte, NC house with an as-is cash offer

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An investment company can go by lots of names. You’ll see these listed as we buy houses, we buy ugly houses, etc. Those companies might be large local real estate investors who have jumped on the buy ugly houses name or the we buy houses for cash name because it’s so recognizable.

It’s important to note here that, though these smaller companies look similar in terms of their messaging and their marketing, they aren’t the same. We buy ugly houses. Companies are vastly different, offering different terms and rates. They’re all still buying houses for cash companies, but they’re run by different real estate investors who each do things in their own unique way.

Mega we buy houses companies

Interior of a Charlotte, North Carolina home for sale

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Large companies that do most of their business online include names like iBuyer, Offerpad, and Opendoor. These mega real estate investment firms buy houses just like other real estate investors, the only difference is that they’re huge. They’re somewhere between a traditional real estate investor and a tech company.

Though these companies might have local branding, they’re spread out across the country. Large home buying companies have individual offices or representatives in every state and locality that they operate in.

You’ll find these companies in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh-Durham, and all over North Carolina. Any time you search for something related to selling your house in Charlotte, they’ll come up immediately as a paid ad in the search results.

The sheer volume of home buying that they do is massive.

Interior of a home with an as-is offer in Charlotte, NC

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Millions of dollars in home sales, both cash home sales and foreclosure home buys, are completed by these mega we buy houses companies every year. Corporate real estate investors sometimes put the squeeze on Charlotte homeowners rather than giving them a fair cash offer.

Nearly ten percent of homes are bought by corporate home buying companies. They make the process simple and straightforward for home sellers. Not only that, but these companies also do a lot of business in the realm of foreclosures.

There are lots of iterations of these company names, but they all do the same thing – they buy houses for cash. Whether it’s from individual homeowners or through foreclosure auctions, these companies are an undeniable part of the housing market.

Selling distressed properties

Distressed property in Charlotte, NC

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Different kinds of buy houses companies have different strategies for making money off of real estate that doesn’t include distressed properties.

When a home buyer takes on a house without getting an inspection beforehand, they know that they might run into problems with the home. Even if a house looks good on the outside, that doesn’t mean it’s structurally sound on the inside. Pictures of a home only tell part of the story.

No real estate investor is going to buy ugly houses that they don’t think they can make a profit on. An ugly houses company will do background work like checking the title and reviewing the public records on a home that they are interested in purchasing, before they put money on the table.

Investors can carry more risk than individual buyers

The major difference between an ugly houses company and an individual buyer is that the ugly houses company has the ability to absorb some risk. Whereas the purchase of a home might be the biggest transaction that an individual will make in their lifetime, it’s one of innumerable transactions that a real estate investor will make each year.

A we buy houses company has the ability to take on the risk if a property should have even more problems than are visible on the outside. The worst case scenario for them is that they’d lose money on that single property. In the wider scheme of things, they’ll still be able to earn that money back on other home sales.

Investors purchase distressed properties all the time. Buying a house for cash that needs repairs gives the we buy ugly houses company the chance to either put work into the house to remedy repairs, or they can simply turn the house over fast to someone else who wants to do the repairs in a fixer upper scenario.

Buy and hold investors

There’s another kind of investor out there that doesn’t want to fix up the property and sell it. They can still buy ugly houses as is, but their goal isn’t to get rid of the property.

Buy and hold investors buy ugly houses or ready-to-go homes and use them as rental properties. This strategy involves a real estate company holding onto a house for years while they accumulate income from the rent.

Being a landlord isn’t the only strategy for making a profit off of the home selling process, but it is a long term way to make money. When an investor decides to buy rental properties, they aren’t looking to get out of a house fast, but they are often interested in getting into a house fast with an all cash offer.

Ongoing repair costs and holding costs are a legitimate concern for houses companies who buy rental property. Whether a buy houses company uses this strategy or another strategy in the long term doesn’t necessarily matter to you when you’re selling your home, but many homeowners want to know that their houses are going to legitimate companies.

The real estate industry today

Current market trends make the sales process so fast that ugly houses don’t stay on the market for long. Investors and families purchase homes sight unseen in the current housing market. It’s an extraordinary moment to be in real estate.

Working with local investors or with reputable realtors in Charlotte will both lead to offers for homeowners who want to sell homes.

The inventory of available houses in North Carolina in general and in Charlotte in particular is incredibly low. There simply aren’t enough houses available for everyone who wants to buy a house in Charlotte.

Some of this has to do with national trends in home inventory levels, and some of it has to do with the explosive population growth in the Charlotte region. Year over year, people have been moving to RDU and Charlotte in North Carolina for the climate, education, culture, and relatively inexpensive housing prices.

The constraints on home building in the last couple of years have left the housing market stretched thin, so seller’s definitely have a leg up. House flippers and investors are increasingly open to paying more for a home as is than they were in the past.

Pros and cons of a cash home buyer

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Deciding whether to go with a cash buyer or we buy houses in Charlotte, NC should involve looking at both the positive and negative aspects of the sale. These are such different ways of selling a house in Charlotte that homeowners should vet exactly what they stand to gain from each option.

It’s a good idea to lay out what the benefits and drawbacks of a cash home sale and a conventional real estate agent sale are.

PRO – Cash on hand for the sale

A cash buyer will have the money in hand for the sale of the home at closing. A home seller in Charlotte should ask for a proof of funds document to show that the cash buyer has the money they say they do for the sale prior to closing. This is provided by the buyer’s bank.

CON- Offer will be less than fair market value

A home seller in Charlotte who’s working with a cash buyer should expect to get an offer for less money than fair market value for the home. This selling price could range anywhere from sixty to ninety percent of the home’s market value. It’s also possible that repair costs will come out of that figure, depending on the negotiations with all cash buyers.

PRO – Quick turnaround on the sale

A cash home sale for an as is property will go through much faster than a traditional sale. It could take anywhere from a few weeks to just a few days, from the initial reach out to an investor to the final closing. This fast turnaround time makes it easier for individuals to move on to the next step in their lives, in addition to saving all the money.

PRO – Fewer sale requirements

A cash home sale has fewer costs associated with it than the traditional home sale process. There are less maintenance costs and fewer home ownership responsibilities for the seller with a cash home sale. This extends to requirements for home inspections and home appraisals that are required by many lenders. Since a cash buyer doesn’t have to appease a lender, they can waive these traditional home sale steps that often entail hidden fees.

PRO – Home sold in as-is condition

A major boost to using a cash buyer is that they commonly take the home in as-is condition. This allows the home owner in Charlotte to forego additional repairs and the investment and time that those repairs require. Most homeowners benefit from selling a house for cash in as-is condition.

Pros and cons of a traditional home sale

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There is a whole different set of pros and cons for a conventional home sale. Understanding what the regular route looks like, both the good and the bad, is a positive step for Charlotte homeowners looking for the best way to sell their home.

PRO – Potential fair market value

The biggest reason to go through the traditional home sale process is that it offers the potential to get a higher selling price than a cash home offer. For a Charlotte homeowner who’s been making mortgage payments for a decade or more, that can understandably be a motivator.

If a home is move-in ready and has high end finishes, plus if it’s in a great Charlotte neighborhood like NoDa or Matthews, then it’s reasonable to expect to get at or near the listing price for the final purchase price. It all depends on the strength of the local real estate market and finding a good real estate agent.

CON – Hoops with buyer financing

With a traditional buyer, there will be a lot to get through before the real estate transaction is complete, thanks to the need for involving a mortgage lender. There will be a credit check and work history evaluation. Bank statements will have to satisfy the lending requirements of the institution. To become eligible for a home loan, the bank will need to be confident that the buyer can make the mortgage payment, even if the house is being sold at a fair price.

The other issue here is the buyer’s existing home. In a traditional home sale, the buyer is juggling selling their own house, whether it’s local or they’re relocating to Charlotte, while they’re also trying to buy a new house. That juggling act can cause hangups for a home sale and slow down the process.

CON – Having to start over again

Allo those hoops that a buyer has to jump through before the final sale price is paid means that the whole process can possibly fall through. If the bank decides not to approve the loan, then everything with the transaction is dead and done. This can happen far into the process, especially if something unexpected comes up in a home inspection report. If that happens, then the home seller in Charlotte will have to start the whole process again, engaging with the open market to get a new buyer.

CON – Required home improvements

Though it does happen that a home inspection required by a traditional lender will find no existing issues, it’s more likely that something will be found that needs to be addressed. This could be anything from roof issues to yard problems to something with the HVAC. Often, a lender will require that the repairs be done before they’ll approve the loan, and that leaves the homeowner in Charlotte with the job of taking care of those issues.

It’s even possible that a home sale can totally fall through because of home issues found in an inspection, again leaving the homeowner in Charlotte to start all over again.

PRO/con – Working with a real estate agent

In a traditional home sale, a real estate agent is a central figure in the process. This can be a really good thing for a Charlotte home seller as the agent will do a lot of the heavy lifting. A good real estate agent will arrange open houses and do a good deal of the marketing. They’ll know the process and have a turnkey approach that will let the homeowner step back and do little.

The con to working with a real estate agent is that, though the homeowner can get a higher price for the home, they’ll pay more in real estate commission and closing costs. Great real estate agents do great work, but they also come at a premium.

Deciding on priorities

Homeowners in Charlotte trying to choose a buyer

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Whatever your needs are as a home seller in Charlotte, you’ll have to make a decision that works within your timeline and your monetary requirements.

Full return on investment

If you have substantial equity in your home and want to get a full return on the investment you’ve put into the property, then going slow and doing a traditional real estate process will likely work for you.

There is something satisfying about going through the process of doing home repairs, getting an appraisal, staging a home, doing the marketing, and finding a great individual buyer to come take over a property that is meaningful to you. If that’s a priority for you in your Charlotte home selling journey, then it’s worthwhile to participate in the conventional process.

Moving quickly with a home sale

On the other hand, if your priorities veer towards getting through the real estate transaction fast and moving on with whatever the next step in your life is, then a cash home sale might be the best road for you.

Home buyers don’t always have to love the home the way you did or preserve it in some specific condition. Part of the process of selling a piece of property is letting go of the emotional attachment that you might have to it and moving on.

A quick home sale will mean sacrificing some of the potential profit from the house, but this is mitigated in part by dispensing with hidden fees.

It comes down to time and money

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The core of a Charlotte home sale comes down to time and money.

If a homeowner prioritizes putting the time and money into a house, then they can push their listing price up and get that bigger return. This involves working with a real estate agent, home stagers, contractors, inspectors, and appraisers to find the best home sale price.

On the other hand, a home seller in Charlotte who would rather not put all of that into the house has the option to work with a we buy houses for cash home investors. They’ll get less money by selling to these home buyers but the tradeoff is that they will get out from under their own home loan faster.

In both options, homeowners in Charlotte, NC need to evaluate home buyers thoroughly to make sure whatever deal they choose to pursue goes through in a way that works for them.

How To Sell Your House As-Is When It Needs Repairs

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When you want to sell your house as is, it can be daunting. That’s especially true if there are major repairs to be done. A fixer upper might seem like a hard sell, but not if you know how to sell a house in need of repairs.

There are lots of different aspects to this situation. It’s important to understand all of your options and to determine exactly what you can and cannot afford. You also want to know what the process is.

Often, people have much more leverage than they think they do when selling a home as is.

Reasons to sell a home as is

There are lots of reasons to sell a home as is. It could be that your bank account doesn’t have enough to cover the cost of home repair projects or it’s an inherited home. Maybe the home layout doesn’t work for you anymore or there are safety issues with the home.

A major reason people choose to sell a home in need of repairs is that they’ve found their dream home. They might have started off inbargain hunter mode, but now they can afford a higher price for a home that fits their needs.

No matter the reason, an old house can attract more buyers than you might think.

Condition of the loan

There’s the issue of the condition of the home, but there’s also the issue of the condition of the home loan.

Homes with FHA loans can be put on the market, even if they need extensive repairs. In fact, you can sell your home with or without a real estate agent. Buyers are interested in someone who is selling as is, whether the home is in foreclosure or has a current mortgage.

The entire transaction includes the cost of the current loan, the home inspection, any net profit, closing costs, and potentially even certain repairs. Most homeowners don’t have to get the house ready for sale if they are willing to take less money for the home.

A house that needs repairs can attract potential buyers even if the loan is in as rough condition as the home itself.

Options for selling a house that needs work

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There are two options for homeowners who want to sell a house that needs repairs.

Whether you don’t have the time or money to make these repairs, you have the option to sell “as-is.” You can approach this sale in two different ways:

  1. Sell without doing anything.
    If you sell your home without doing anything, the resale value will be less, but so will the cost of necessary repairs. Homeowners can still get a fair price, and the entire process takes less time. In many cases, given that it’s a seller’s market, there’s not even a need to involve a home inspector.
  2. Make a few specific major repairs.
    Sometimes there are just a few things that stick out in a house. Things like tattered shingles or lackluster hardwood flooring are easy to spot. The biggest repairs can make the biggest impact. It can be a good idea to make sure those major things are taken care of.

There are pros and cons for home sellers with either option.

On one hand, if you leave it alone, you’ll be done faster and able to move on to other things. You won’t have to wait around for all the repairs to get done. You also won’t have to spend the extra money to get the repair work completed if you sell your home as-is.

On the other hand, the second option can dramatically improve the asking price. That’s true no matter what the housing market looks like. Making a few key repairs can greatly improve the sales price of a home.

Ways to sell as-is

Just as there are two options for how to deal with the home itself, there are two options for selling a house that needs work.

Painting a house

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  1. Listing with a real estate agent
    When listing with a real estate agent, the first key is to connect with real estate agents who have experience with selling property that isn’t appealing to traditional buyers. If your home goes beyond the need for minor repairs, the buyer pool will be considerably different than most buyers are in.
    Agents who specialize in selling a house in this condition have worked on fixer-upper properties before. This is not the moment to work with a green agent who hasn’t been around the block before.
    They know how to navigate major repairs, as well as which cosmetic repairs will be the best course of action. Curb appeal may or may not be the driving force in this kind of sale.
    Keep in mind that closing costs and commissions tend to me more with real estate agents. If you do decide to go this route, be sure to use an agent that is part of a national association.
  2. Selling to a cash buyer
    If a home is sold to a deal hunter, a cash buyer, then the home sale will be less time-consuming. A buyer who is looking to purchase homes in need of extensive repairs will be more excited about your home than a new house.
    Professional investors don’t follow the traditional sale route. They often don’t need to use a bank or work with a down payment because they have cash in hand. Even a house that needs repairs can get a solid asking price with a cash buyer.
    It’s possible to get multiple offers from cash buyers to sell a house in this condition. A real estate investor is the right way to go for lots of people selling a house.

As-is home listings

As is home getting repairs

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When you explore the option of selling a house without making repairs, that means looking for prospective buyers. Unfortunately, you can’t just assume that someone will come along and offer you a top price when selling a house.

Real estate investors sometimes do come out of the woodwork and contact sellers. That’s usually because a home is in foreclosure and a public notice has been posted as such. Real estate listings are a place where deal hunters go to find houses for sale.

Working with real estate agents

Be sure to find an agent who has experience selling properties not up to typical market standards. Your listing will be marked as an “as-is” sale meaning that you will not be spending time making any repairs this will attract a different type of buyer (usually someone looking for a good deal).

However, your agent should still be able to set clear expectations to buyers that no major repairs will be made. Keep in mind that the buyer may still request a home inspection, and you will likely have to settle for less than the listed sale price.

A real estate agent will likely want to see things like a fresh coat of paint, even on a house that needs repairs. For them, a home’s appeal will be an integral part of the outside look of the place.

Working with real estate investors

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If you want to go the way of selling to a local investor or cash buyer, you’ve got different options to sell your house.

This popular option involves selling directly to the buyer. This could be a house flipper, investor, or professional home buying company. All three of those options are viable solutions if you want to sell a house.

This method cuts out all middlemen and reduces almost all fees. Investors aren’t concerned about having you do repairs yourself or getting inspections done before purchasing. If you can find a local reputable investor, this will likely be the best option.

Investors come in all shapes and sizes. Some investors are part of a larger real estate group, while others work independently. Depending on their previous experience and on their ability to fund the project, investors target a wide range of houses.

You’ll find a lot of investors online, which is the go-to place for people who want to sell a house to look. A simple google search will point you towards a huge array of prospective home buyers. Selling as is when you have the rich resources of the internet is less challenging than it used to be, pre-internet.

Making a profit

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One thing is common with all investors – they are there to make a profit. Selling as is to a home investor can mean giving up your commitment to a higher sale price. Why? The investor is there to make a profit.

A house that needs work will require money to get that work done. Not only money, but it will involve time and risk. When the investor pays less than market value for the home, that’s the mechanism that allows them to take the house off of your hands.

Most investors aren’t making a killing at this. Though they may buy your house as it is, they’re also on the hook for potentially extensive repairs. House flippers have to put considerable time and resources into a project to clear a profit.

For many investors, working with home buyers is a joy. They do make money off of the deal, but they also see that they can support someone who can’t make traditional sales work. Selling as-is is the best solution for lots of families in crisis or financial limbo.

A cash buyer often feels that they are doing good in the world by taking these homes off the hands of homeowners in need. They often try to make enough money to keep going, but they also recognize that they have to be competitive. It’s a seller’s market, so the sellers really do have the upper hand.

Though not every home investor is this altruistic, know that for the most part investors are out to do right by sellers. Selling a house is intimidating and can be very hard on a family. An investor can take some of that pressure off, even if they are also making some money themselves.

Selling a house for slightly less money means less time and headache for the seller. It’s a trade-off, but one that can work.

Make home improvements

Home repair worker

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Going the route of making repairs yourself may end up saving you more money in the long run.

If you want to increase the home’s value before listing it, take the time to make a prioritized list of the repairs that need to be made. Then, make repairs and updates in order of that priority.

Some major issues that are worth fixing are egregious mold, water leaks, missing roof shingles, and foundation damage. These can all be hugely expensive, but they are also huge red flags for any traditional buyer.

These kinds of major issues turn someone off before they even get a chance to fall in love with the home. Making the hard decisions about expensive repairs is one of the most stressful parts of selling a house, no matter its condition.

Things like electrical work or replacing wood flooring can make a huge difference in the price, but they can also make a huge dent in the budget. Not only that, but they can be time-consuming too.

Every little repair, no matter how small, adds up. Even small things like painting or replacing the living room carpet will affect how much money you can get for the house. Home repairs, when done smartly, are a good idea. To an extent.

Not all repairs are worth it

Before you invest any time or money into your home, be sure that the work that’s being done is adding value to your home.

For example, if your property needs a new roof and it will cost 7,000 dollars but will add 8,500 dollars to the property’s value, it’s worth doing. Working with a local investor or experienced agent can help make sure your money is going into projects that will make you a return on your investment.

Do your own homework in this situation. Look through all of the possibilities and make sure that you’re not putting money into a home needlessly.

Get the counsel of a home agent or an investor if you’re unsure about the repairs that would be best for a home prior to putting it on the market. Most of the time, however, a homeowner can figure out which repairs are necessary through good research and critical thinking.

Home repairs & improvements worth doing

Home being sold as is

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Though not all improvements are worth your time and money, some can really help improve the value of your home before sale. These are the kinds of issues that are deal breakers for a lot of potential buyers.

Here is a list of the top home improvements that are a good idea to make before selling.

  • Updating the electrical panel
  • Replacing the roof
  • Repairing pipes, septic system, or sewer connection
  • Updating the HVAC system
  • Addressing termite, water damage, or mold
  • Installing a new water heater
  • Installing a new furnace
  • Renovating outdated bathrooms and kitchens
  • Exterior including landscaping
  • Refinishing hardwood floors
  • New carpets or getting them professionally cleaned.
  • A new coat of paint

The last one, a new coat of paint, is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to update the look of a home.

Smaller repairs and getting some of that extraneous work done can make a massive difference in your home. However, major repairs have a direct impact on the price you’ll get.

Always do this before putting the house on the market

cleaning a home for sale

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Not included in the list above is this one must-do for anyone who’s putting their house on the market as-is. Even if there are other serious issues with the property that you’re willing to take a loss on and leave unrepaired, there’s one thing you have to do.

Clean and declutter the home.

Houses tend to get full of things and accumulate a lot of dirt and grime while we’re living in them. It is absolutely worth the effort and cost to clear out as many personal belongings as possible. Clearing the space will show that you’re not hiding anything. It will also give potential buyers a chance to envision them in the space.

The other thing to do is to hire a home cleaning service, or even to do the home cleaning yourself. This means shampooing the carpets, washing the walls, and scrubbing all of the surfaces.

A clean home is an indication that it’s been well maintained. Even if there are standing repair issues, when the house is clean, it presents well. It gives the impression that the house is one that a buyer can trust is going to be in good condition.

The outside of the home

As far as the outside of the home, having minimal landscaping done can be a big boost. It’s generally not worthwhile to put a lot of money into adding new plants, but clearing out old debris and brush is almost always worth it.

If it’s the summer, make sure your lawn is mowed and your shrubs and trees are all trimmed. This will make the house look nice. Weed garden beds or have them mowed down completely.

Something as simple as power washing the siding or the garage door makes a dramatic difference. This doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, but it will make a major difference.

Home improvements not worth doing

Roof repair on home for sale

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Not all improvements are created equal. Before jumping and doing a whole bunch of repairs, take a moment to think through what you’re doing.

The following changes are likely not worth your time. They most definitely are not worth your money. Keep in mind – the goal here is to make improvements that will give you the best return on your investment.

  • Partial room upgrades
  • Grandfathered-in building code issues
  • Old appliances
  • Minor electrical issues
  • Driveway or walkway cracks
  • Repainting trendy color
  • Fixing minor cosmetic damage
  • Renovating beyond your neighborhood’s norm

Small issues that a new buyer can easily fix are not worth doing. Just as you see these as small things to do, so too will a potential buyer see these as small things.

If you get caught up in doing little things, they’ll quickly bleed your budget dry. You won’t be able to make that money back, and it all ends up frustrating you.

Style vs substance

Many repairs and updates are often stylistic choices and not substantive repairs. Old, out of style appliances or paint colors don’t affect the home’s value that dramatically.

There’s a huge difference between a roof leak and 80’s tile flooring. Though home improvement shows will often show these incredible updates that improve the price of the home, those are flipping situations and not traditional home sales.

Yes, style does matter. However, unless you’re ready to work with a designer to make evergreen changes to your home before you sell, it’s likely better to sell it as-is. In fact, you’re more likely to turn someone off instead of turning them on.

Taste is a matter of taste, and it’s incredibly personal. Don’t assume that the right buyer wants an open floor plan or a bold paint color. Allow buyers to come in and choose what they want in the home.

When we talk about selling a home as is, what we really mean is selling it without making major repairs. An HVAC system that’s not working or a foundation that’s uneven is a major issue. Antiquated built-ins are not.

How to find and screen a local investor

There are several ways to find a local investor. It’s a good idea to come at this from a few angles.

Reach out to some local agents for recommendations. That’s always a good first move. You can also call the number on any “we buy houses” yard signs you see on the street. The easiest way is to google “home investor near me” or “cash home buyers near me.” You can also try searching with your city’s name – “we buy houses in Michigan” or “we buy houses in Charlotte, NC.”

After finding a few local investors, you will want to do a bit of research on the company. It’s always a smart decision to check and see if they are certified by the Better Business Bureau. Look for reviews from past clients.

No matter who you end up going with, you want to vet all of them. Make sure they are a legit company before starting the process. One red flag to look out for is if they don’t disclose personal information such as photos of the owners, names of employees, business addresses, etc.

Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their past clients and more information about their company and the owners. If someone is stonewalling or refusing to answer your questions, move on.

Work With A Professional Home Buyer

If you feel overwhelmed and unsure about what the next step is, just reach out to someone! The average person may buy and sell a home only a couple of times in their entire life.

A professional home buyer will buy and sell houses all the time. Just like anything, practice makes perfect. Companies who buy and sell property every single day understand the process inside and out. These companies have helped dozens of homeowners sell fixer-upper homes and “hoarder” houses.

Reach out to someone, like Connect Home Buyers, for a free consultation. There’s no obligation to do anything with this, and there’s never any pressure. Even if you are going through foreclosure, have bad tenants, or just inherited a property, there is help for you.

Simplify The Home Selling Process

When you are ready to sell your home as is, you want to get an honest, fair market price for your property. Not only that, but you also want to walk away without having to do any work.

If you want to leave your home totally as is – no repairs, no cleaning (leave whatever you want), no realtors, no lawyers, no appraisers, no open houses, no waits, no commissions, no fees, it’s possible.

The traditional sale route is great for lots of home sellers, but it might not be great for you. That’s ok. You want to be at peace with where you are AND to get the right price for your home. Selling a house that needs repairs shouldn’t be a huge burden. In fact, it should take some of the burdens off of you.

Life happens to all of us. Let an experienced professional home buyer help you navigate the process!

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!

The Easiest Way to Sell Your House Fast in Florida

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Your home is the most significant piece of property you own, at least for most people. Not only is it worth a great deal of money, it’s also subject to a seemingly mind boggling number of variables that hold up the process. Is it possible to sell a house fast in Florida?

The answer is yes, it absolutely is. The traditional home sale process that was the hallmark of real estate for decades is fast fading away as home sellers become more educated. Real estate laws in Florida allow for a wide range of home selling timelines, it’s just a matter of knowing how to sell Florida houses fast by getting around those hangups.

Keeping it simple

Before you make a snap decision about how to sell your Florida house, take a little time to determine exactly what you need out of the sale of your home. You have to know yourself before you can make a smart decision.

Here are six steps to be sure you take to sell your house fast, whether you choose to go as is for your property address with cash home buyers or if you want a longer closing date timeline with a real estate agent.

  1. Determine your goals
    Finding out what your goal is before you make any decisions about how to sell your Florida house fast or slow is essential. Do you need a quick sale because of a divorce or a job change?
    Write down exactly what you need from the process, whether your goal is more money or a fair cash offer. Also decide what your goals are about the process. Are you willing to do home repairs, to clean out the house, and to stage the home, or would you rather have your FL house out of your hands without having to do any of that?
    This is the moment to let go of those hangups you might have and to really prioritize what you want out of the sale of your Florida house.
  2. Create a home sale plan
    Once you know what your goals are, then you can move on to creating a home sale plan.
    If you’re going with a traditional method to sell your house, you’ll need to plan out all of those steps. You’ll need to get your Florida house inspected, interview real estate agents, do necessary repairs, schedule open houses, and market your house. You’ll want to plan for realtor commissions and contingency negotiations.
    Put a timeline on this whole process, and be generous with it.
    If you want a quick closing date, you will want to pursue a fair cash offer with an investor. This will involve researching cash home buyers in the area of your Florida house and then finding out what terms they have to offer you. Simply fill out an online information form and go from there.
  3. Find the right resources

    Image by Luis Erives via Pexels
    Seeking out good resources will make a huge difference in getting a quick home sale. Selling homes quickly is much less stressful when you can trust the support you have.
    Look online to find out whether the Florida real estate market in your area is red hot or whether it’s cooled off. Do your homework on any cash home buyers you’re thinking of selling your house to avoid any kind of buy houses scam that you might unwittingly get wrapped up in.
    Make sure that you ask upfront about any no obligation cash offer and about any closing costs that might be expected. If you’re using a realtor, make sure that you know what agent fees or real estate commissions you might run into along the way.
  4. Understand your timeline

    Image by Andrew Patrick via Pexels
    There is no set process to sell quickly, and the timeline for a sale is always going to be changing. That being said, if you’ve decided to sell your house fast in Florida, you should be able to get it all taken care of in less than thirty days.
    That timeline is even faster than some people imagine when they first say to themselves “I want to sell my house fast”, but it truly can go that quickly. This means that you need to understand what it will take to pack up your home and move.
    Just like bad tenants have a certain amount of time to get their things out of a house when a landlord pursues eviction, so too do homeowners have a set timeline to get out of a home after the deal is set at the closing table.
    During any negotiation, make sure that you’re crystal clear on exactly when you need to be out of the house and what to expect. Whether you end up with a short sale in Florida or a fast cash offer in Florida, you want to ensure that you’re covered to get moved out on time.
  5. Remain flexible
    There are almost always hiccups when selling your house in Florida. If you’re selling your house fast for cash, then there are fewer places for things to go wrong. Cash buyers will sometimes forgo a home inspection or do other things to speed up selling the Florida property.
    Though a fast home sale can often be an easy process, always be ready for something to go faster or slower than you might project. Selling a home fast can happen in many different timelines.
    There’s a fine balance between practicing patience with the process and being proactive about selling your house. You’ll get the most benefit for pulling your emotions out of as much as possible and instead looking back to your goals. If you’re patient and willing to think creatively, you can just about let Florida sell your house for you, such is the Florida housing market.

Here is everything you need to know to sell house fast in Florida

Finding home buyers and selling my house is not an everyday sort of project. In fact, I’ll only go through this whole sell my house business a couple of times in my life. You’ll only sell your house fast once or twice in your lifetime if you’re like most people too.

If you want to sell your Florida house quickly, you need to learn about how to do it before you get into the weeds. Again, I’m only going to sell my house a couple of times in my entire lifetime if I’m like most people. The goal isn’t to learn everything there is to know to sell my house, it’s to get just enough information to sell my house in the current Florida real estate market conditions.

Here’s what you need to know to sell your house fast in Florida.

Overview of the home selling process

Woman Holding a Home For Sale Sign in Florida

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Any kind of home sale starts with a homeowner making the decision to get the home sold. That’s necessarily the starting place, and everything else flows from there.

If you’re trying to avoid foreclosure, move to a multi family home to take care of aging relatives, or just want the Florida house out of your hands so that you can move on with your life to something else, the process works basically the same.

The process starts with connecting with either a real estate investor or a real estate agent in your Florida area. Through them, you’ll find a buyer. Then it’s time to negotiate, pushing past a low ball offer or coming to terms with agent fees.

Once you’ve negotiated a price that works for you, you’ll finally make it to the closing table. This doesn’t have to be in person, and virtual closings are all the more common now after the pandemic. Closing is when the house officially changes hands and money is exchanged.

Cash for your house will come in the form of a bank transfer if you’re using a cash buyer. With a traditional mortgage company, that cash for the property will come from the mortgage company and will take longer top process. Houses sold to a cash buyer are not subject to the same length timeline as those with a mortgage company involved.

At closing, the keys will actually exchange hands. Sometimes buyers and sellers negotiate a house sale to have some extra time for you to get out of your house.

Understanding your situation

Cash home offer calculation in Florida

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To sell the house fast, most often the seller will have to trade off some of the profit on the FL house in exchange for that fast sale and the hassle free process. Keep in mind that you should always get a fair price for your home.

A fair cash offer might not be as high as a traditional real estate offer, but you also won’t be out of pocket for repairs, marketing, agent fees, and other expenses associated with selling your house.

To sell in Florida fast, you’ll want to have all of your packing done and your home in the right place so that you can be out of the house before closing. House buyers who offer cash are ready to move quickly, and cash offers can take as little as a week to process completely.

If you want to leave your house as-is, without removing unwanted items or cleaning, you can negotiate that with a cash offer as well. This will reduce the timeline you have to go through for the cash home sale in Florida.

Pros and cons of working with a Florida realtor

When you’re trying to sell your house fast in Florida, working with a realtor will slow down the process. A real estate agent will be familiar with the traditional sale methods that involve marketing a home to potential home buyers, doing repair work, and dealing with home inspections, home staging, and cleaning.

For many people, a Florida realtor offers some peace of mind in what is an overwhelming process. They feel better with the longer timeline and the extended time to do items associated with a home sale. It lets them settle into the move and transition more easily.

To sell a house quickly, you need to forego all of those pieces and get on with it. The house has to be left unchanged if I want to sell my house fast.

Though working with a Florida realtor will allow you to have some comfort in knowing that you have someone on your side, it won’t be a hassle free way to make a home sale in Florida fast.

Repairs and home cleaning

Man repairing home in Florida

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Home repairs and home cleaning are two of the biggest things that keep people from being able to sell fast.

Repair work takes time to complete, and it’s inconvenient for someone still living in the house. Not only that, but supply chain shortages can mean that home repair takes even longer now than it would have five years ago. Building materials are increasingly rising from the fair price that they were at just a decade ago. This eats into the cash that house buyers offer to sellers.

Most buyers come into a home knowing that they’ll want to make changes to make the home their own. This goes for cash home buyers who offer a fair price and for families who are looking for their dream home.

A fair offer that includes leaving a home as-is might be a little lower than the market value for a staged home, but it also means the home owner doesn’t have to go through the huge headache of coordinating home repairs and dealing with cleaning.

Cleaning is another concern. It’s the last slog in the long process of packing and moving, and it’s a whole lot of trouble for a property that you won’t be living in. Yes, you can pay someone to do the cleaning for you, but you’ll never get the benefits of that house cleaning. Houses in Florida sold as-is don’t have to have a deep clean before closing.

Timeline of a Florida home sale

White and brown home sold fast in Florida

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Typically, a home sale in Florida will take anywhere from one to six months, though many homeowners spend even more time than that getting a home ready for sale and finding a real estate agent. 

Though the Florida real estate market is always hot, especially in places like Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville, many homeowners feel that they should spend a lot of time preparing their home for sale and doing their due diligence. While this is certainly admirable, there is an easier way to sell your Florida home. 

Understanding a cash offer

Real estate investors pay cash for homes in order to turn them over and add to their own bottom line. It’s a business model that works because investors have the cash flow to pay for a home outright, without having to wait for a mortgage company to approve the home sale. 

A cash offer comes fast with an investor. You’ll generally submit your information about the home, then they’ll contact you for a quick follow up call. Investors are precisely aware of what homes are going for in a given market and will offer you a firm price. For most investment companies, they’ll give you an offer within just a few hours. From there, it generally takes less than a week to firm up a sale and get to the closing table. 

Avoiding home buying scams 

It’s surprisingly easy to avoid a home buying scam. If you follow the rule of never paying anything at all upfront, the worst you’ll be out is the time you spent negotiating with a fake cash buyer. 

Be aware of home buyers who tell you that you need to pay fees for a home sale and never give away any money upfront. The only time cash should exchange hands is in your direction and at closing.

Stress-free home sales for Florida owners

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Selling your house in Florida is stressful enough without you having to worry about doing property repairs, facing home inspections, working through open houses, or sacrificing cash to agent fees.

The easiest way to sell your house fast in Florida is to work with a cash home buyer. Real estate investors know the ins and outs of how to get through a property sale quickly so that everyone can move on.

The bottom line for a quick home sale

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The biggest hurdle to a cash home sale is usually the discomfort of a homeowner with the speed of the process.

There’s always a fear that you could be getting more for your home if you hold out or that you might make a mistake with a cash home buyer scam. Doing your research and understanding what a fast home sale means for you is the best way to avoid making a poor decision about your property.

Moving on is not easy, no matter what the condition of your home or how long you’ve been living in it. If a fast home sale in Florida is what you need, for whatever reason, there’s every reason for you to have that quick turnaround you’re looking for.

Ten Red Flags to Watch for When Selling Your House to a Cash Buyer

red flag for equity skimming

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Whenever large amounts of money are involved, scammers see an opportunity to get something for nothing. Homeowners selling property need to be aware of the potential dangers, including cash home buyer scams.

Though the details of each swindler’s tactics might be different, they all have one thing in common – they don’t have any interest in buying your property. They’re not really investors at all, and their sole purpose is to part you from your hard-earned money. 

Fake investors put a lot of work into convincing homeowners that they aren’t thieves, but a savvy homeowner can figure out fairly quickly what’s up with these deals. Like most things in life, knowledge is power. These ten red flags to watch for when selling your house to a cash buyer will make sure that you don’t get scammed. 

1 – Foreign buyers

Posing as a foreign investor or would-be immigrant who wants to come to America is a top home buying scam. 

In this scenario, someone will reach out to you because they say they saw your property online and it’s perfect for them. They’ll offer to buy it for cash without ever stepping foot in the same country as your home is, much less ever touring your home. 

This scam is more palatable today than it was even a few years ago before the pandemic. Buying a house sight unseen became commonplace during the pandemic, so it can seem legitimate that someone would go this route when such a huge amount of travel would be involved. 

Don’t be fooled – this is almost always a cash home buying scam. 

The way this goes from here is that the “buyer” will offer to send you a money order or a cashier’s check to cover attorney fees or closing costs. All along the way, the process will seem legitimate. The scammer will give you tons of legitimate sounding information, like addresses and phone numbers. Somewhere along the line, they’ll ask you to send them cash to cover some cost, and that’s what they’re really after. 

Note that foreign scam cash buyers won’t be willing to talk to you on the phone. This is because they’re often even lying about the country that they’re speaking to you from, and the difference in their accent would give them up.

2 – Typo-ridden correspondence

Money scam for home sight property

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Sure, we all make grammatical mistakes in our emails and text messages. No one wants to be the grammar police all of the time, and normal folks are forgiving of an error here and there. 

By and large, someone who has the kind of money that it would take to buy a home for cash is also someone who has earned that money by being able to communicate effectively with other people. If they can’t communicate well with you, how would they have been able to communicate with other people well enough to earn enough money to buy a home for cash?

Lack of coherent communication is a major red flag.

It’s not just about grammar, either. It’s also about how a person formats emails and texts. Do the pictures they send you have clear resolution? Do their emails have a salutation and a closing?

This is exacerbated with a foreign buyer. After all, someone from another country who speaks English as a second language would naturally have typos and misunderstandings about communicating in the US, right? This is a fair assumption and a generous way of thinking, but there are too many potential buyers and potential cash buyers out there to risk losing your money with a scammer.  

3 – Overly detailed info

If someone offers you lots of incredibly detailed information, like bank statements, employment stubs, details from the deeds of other properties, or anything else that you wouldn’t share freely yourself, that’s a huge red flag. 

Scammers use this tactic to try to convince you that they’re serious cash buyers. A genuine buyer would be extremely careful with that kind of sensitive information. If someone isn’t being cautious about sharing sensitive information, that’s probably because the information isn’t real. 

Forging false information is par for the course for scam artists who are pretending that they’re a property buyer. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be able to sell your house to someone who is giving off warning signs.

Investigate to make sure that any street number given on the information is an actual address that belongs to the person they are saying they are. A good rule you don’t know what to do is that you can always contact a real estate attorney to get a consultation. They’ll be able to help you find out if this person will actually be able to pay cash for your home.

4 – Rushing for a final sale

It’s one thing to cut out the middlemen in a transaction and to shorten the timeline of a real estate sale, but it’s entirely another to rush through a sale at lightning speed before anyone has a chance to read the paperwork. 

Oftentimes a scammer will be ready to send you some money before they have even gotten all of the details of the home. Even the most risky honest cash buyers will do due diligence on a home before buying it, and that due diligence will involve being sure that there are no liens on the property and that the home has a good chance of being worth the price they’re paying for it. 

5 – Offering a huge amount of money

The tradeoff of the speed and closing cost savings on a cash sale is that it’s necessarily at the lower end of market value.

Any honest cash buyer will offer you a respectable amount of money, and they won’t be bothered or pushy if you say that their price is too low. The lower cost allows them to recoup any potential problems they might encounter by forgoing the home inspection, etc. 

A con artist doesn’t have any real money to offer you, so they don’t mind offering a whole lot of imaginary cash for your home.

If a purported cash buyer offers you over market value for a home when there’s no reason for them to do so, the odds are that you’ve found someone who’s doing a cash home buying scam.

They might offer you an alarmingly large amount of earnest money, a massive down payment, or they might even offer to wire you the full price of the house. None of these are normal in a real estate transaction, and the scammer will always come up with an excuse about why the promised money isn’t appearing or how you have to front some cash to them to push the transaction through.

If a purported real estate investor offers to buy your house as is for a sales price that sounds too high, odds are they aren’t legitimate buyers.

6 – The buyer can’t give you references

Buyer realizing he can't sell his property because of a scam artist

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An interested cash buyer who is not a buy houses scam artist will offer you references to back up their record. Real estate is all about building trust, and a reputable real estate agent or cash offer investor will have plenty of people who have had a good experience with them in the past.

Cash home buyers are most often legitimate, and homeowners sell to them all the time.

There’s a heavy amount of competition in the world of cash home buyers, because it’s a good business model that works around hard money lenders. People who buy houses for a living have to necessarily build a real estate network to keep referrals coming in and to get them the right seller for a cash offer.

Buy houses nationwide companies will have even more references. Make sure that whoever you talk to is a real person with real connections before there is any money exchanged

7 – You can’t find them online

Everyone has an online presence these days. This is a great time to do a little google search forensics to find out what the history of this potential home buyer is.

Companies that buy a home as is and deal in cash offers will have a robust online presence. Before you exchange money, make sure you’ve done your homework.

Legitimate cash buyers will have a LinkedIn page. Buy houses scam artists will be invisible online.

A reputable buy houses company will have a website, social media accounts, phone numbers, and addresses. You can and should search for the owners before you accept any earnest money or agree to a contract price.

8 – The cash investor doesn’t have cash

This one might seem obvious, but people who deal in buy houses scams are slick. They’ll present fake bank statement documents and promise to send a check. You might start to count on that money from a cash offer to cover your mortgage payments.

In reality, these con artists don’t have the money to pay a fair price or the sales price. One of the big warning signs you should watch out for is if a person who says they buy houses for a living can’t give you a “proof of funds” document that has a physical address and bank information on it.

The good news on this one is that you don’t have to pay anything to investigate whether a bank document is fraudulent. A quick search of the bank will tell you if it’s a real place or not.

If you call the bank listed on a proof of funds document and tell them that you think you might sell your house to this buyer, they’ll be able to tell you if that person has a bank account. The bank is interested in finding potential clues, too.

9 – Sketchy advertising

Cash scams don’t care about being legitimate, they only care about getting victims into their line of fire.

Legitimate off market buyers look for homeowners through legitimate means.

Buy house scams are often seen on phone poles, and this is a huge red flag. Off market buyers work hard to find potential sellers by digging through public information and doing outreach online through advertising and social media.

These costs are part of the market risk fees that real estate investors know are part of the business.

It’s not legal to just put signs up on telephone poles in most places. Real estate professionals know that good advertising costs money. Perpetrators of buy houses scams are willing to break the law to get some free advertising.

Any time the advertising is free, the potential buyer should be treated as buy houses scams.

10 – Costly mistakes in the process

Woman trying to sell property

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Sure, we all make mistakes now and then. It can hit hard when you have to approach someone to tell them that you’ve screwed something up that you promised to do.

Not everyone is being honest about “honest mistakes”.

This is the point where a fake cash buyer will actually get their hands on your hard earned cash. This is the point of no return.

They’ll come up with some reason why you need to send a large sum of money back to them after you’ve gotten a check from them. That check will be returned for forgery, and you’ll have to pay for it yourself. Once you wire them some cash to cover the lower price that they owe you, that wired money is gone for good.

Sell your house the right way

There are plenty of ways of selling your house fast for a good purchase price without falling prey to house scams.

It can be confusing with an honest real estate agent or an above board cash buyer, what with earnest money, a title company, hidden fees, financial information, and all of the bank account information that gets caught up in the whole selling process. There’s naturally a lot of trust baked into the buying process.

Keep in mind that scammers will always start out with reasonable requests, then escalate to something that you know isn’t right. Do google search, talk to a personal connection, or even check with a financial advisor if you are unsure about the buying process. It’s not worth it to get scammed.

5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid when selling an inherited property in Charlotte

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An inheritance is meant to be a blessing on the loved ones that someone leaves behind, but sometimes that blessing can turn out to be overwhelming and frustrating. If you’ve made the sometimes difficult decision to sell inherited property in Charlotte, you’ll want to know what potential pitfalls to avoid. 

A different kind of home selling process

Selling inherited property isn’t quite like typically home selling. There are specific things surrounding this kind of home sale that are unlike traditional property transactions. Right now, what you need is expert advice about what the common mistakes that people make are and how to avoid them. 

The biggest pitfalls that people in North Carolina selling an inherited home tend to find themselves tumbling involve:

  • inheritance tax
  • lack of family support
  • ignorance of the legal process
  • home inspection
  • leaving the house as-is

These are some broad categories that most of the biggest issues fall directly into. Homeowners navigating the North Carolina probate process when inheriting property from family members will run into lots of other hiccups along the way, but these are the big buckets that most of the issues fall into.

Don’t leave cash on the table

It’s not all about the money, but in certain circumstances, it is about making sure that inherited property is giving those who are left behind the most possible benefit. A loved one has left that property to you for a reason if there was a will. If there wasn’t a will, then the property is a legacy for someone who’s gone. It’s perfectly ethical for you to take responsibility for inherited property and try to get the most out of its sale.

Here are five costly mistakes that are made all too often by loved ones selling inherited property, plus real world tips on how to preserve the value of that property throughout the process.  

1 – Trying to avoid inheritance tax

Capital gains taxes

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There are two things that everyone has to deal with at some point in their lives, and taxes are one of them. Inheritance taxes are baked into North Carolina law, and it’s no use in trying to get around them. 

Before you even get there, keep in mind that assets held by the estate will need to cover outstanding debts left before the new owner takes hold. This is one place where probate will come into the picture.

No matter whether the property comes from a will that’s laid out exactly who gets what or if the property has come to you through a Mecklenburg County probate court, if you have inherited a property, you’re going to owe inheritance tax on it in North Carolina. 

If you’re unsure about whether you owe inheritance taxes on something you’ve been left by a loved one, speak to a real estate attorney in Charlotte, NC. In North Carolina, those taxes are levied the moment someone passes away. This means that interest and fees start accruing, even if you are not initially aware of your ownership of the property. 

For federal estate tax, there’s something called the legacy tax exemption. For property that’s valued under twelve million dollars, there’s no federal inheritance tax. That’s the current number, but it goes up every year to compensate for inflation. 

Capital gains taxes are the amount of money that you owe the federal government on an inherited house. On the federal level, capital gains tax is done on a stepped up basis. This means that the capital gains taxes don’t start accruing until the moment you inherit the property. That’s when the clock starts ticking, not when your love is done buying the house.

Capital gains taxes will vary widely depending on the fair market value of the property. In North Carolina, state capital gains taxes are folded into income and taxed at the same rate. They’ll go into the tax filer’s personal income when it comes time to pay taxes the year following when you inherit property.

The other issue to contend with is property taxes. Property taxes are levied by the local government in Charlotte, NC and in Mecklenburg County. These tax implications don’t come in the form of taxable income as they do on the state level, or in capital gains tax as they do on the federal level as they are assessed yearly. You have to pay taxes on the fair market value of the home to the municipality that it’s located in. If you aren’t in Charlotte proper, you might owe those taxes to the city of Matthews, Gastonia, Indian Trail, etc.

It’s always worthwhile to consult with a real estate accountant to make sure you’re doing your taxes properly in regards to an inherited house. There could be a home sale tax exclusion that you aren’t aware of, or some tax liability that you need to find out about. Tax law is complicated. Unless you’re a certified tax professional, you wouldn’t know all of the ins and outs about how to pay tax on an inherited house.

Every moment that you put off trying to take care of North Carolina tax implications on your Charlotte, NC home is one that you’ll accrue interest and fees. There is no way around this tax from the state or from the federal government, so it’s much better to go ahead and address it as soon as you can. There’s no use trying to avoid paying taxes. You could find yourself in default if you owe money to the state of North Carolina, and no one wants to deal with that. 

2- Trying to do it all on your own

Losing someone is hard on us. Most often, if you inherit a home, you’re inheriting it from someone you were close to. Even if you inherited a house from a distant relative, there could be conflicting feelings or family drama surrounding it. Sometimes people need to sell an inherited house that was left after losing a spouse, in which case children or grandchildren can come forward with claims on the property. 

All the way around, selling an inherited property is generally complex. 

If there is more than one heir, then multiple people will have their own ideas about how to sell the property. One person might have the property as their primary residence, which could force the rest of the family members to have to figure out what to do with the piece of real estate while still gaining their inheritance.

Even without a purchase price, those inheriting the property will have to pay capital gains tax on the amount it’s worth. If a family member doesn’t want to sell and there’s money owed to the federal government, that’s stressful on everyone involved.

If there are joint heirs on an inherited property, speak to a financial advisor. Other assets such as personal belongings will require a different kind of support to get through, but something as significant as a house will be subject to lots of people wanting a piece of the property.

You don’t have to do it on your own. Getting support from either professionals in the home selling field for the sale, or emotional support in the form of a therapy group or counseling will help you to not feel overwhelmed. There are a few options available to you, and it’s well worth the investment up front to preserve your peace of mind.

You can’t make smart decisions about selling an inherited house if you’re not in a good headspace about it. 

3 – Forgoing legal counsel

Before you make any move towards selling an inherited property in Charlotte, be sure to find an attorney who knows what they’re doing in the case of inherited property. Even if the will is straightforward, you want to have the whole process investigated to make sure that you know what’s what. 

It’s unlikely, but possible, that someone would have a second will stashed away somewhere. The last thing you need is to find out that someone else has a significant claim to the property you’re trying to sell. 

Depending on the conditions of your inheritance in North Carolina, you may have to make sure that all taxes are paid before you sell a home. Inherited property in North Carolina is governed by different laws than traditional property sales. You might even need to get a letter from the court stating that you have the legal right to sell the property. 

Inherited properties in North Carolina are subject to the probate process if there’s no will. This means that the deceased relative didn’t leave a clear direction for the real estate to go in after they were gone, so the courts have to decide. In Charlotte, that means working with the Mecklenburg County court system.

The probate process inheriting property regulations are there to make sure that property goes in the right direction. If a property was put into a living trust, has a second person’s name on the deed like a spouse, or who had named beneficiaries outside of a will can usually avoid probate in North Carolina. The legal probate process usually takes less than a year in Charlotte.

Having a clear inheritor simplifies matters considerably, but inherited properties are always subject to local, state, and federal statutes when they change hands. All of the legal side has to be figured out before you can even consider trying to get fair market value for the inherited home.

Whether you think that your piece of inherited property is clearly willed to you or even if your name was on the deed of the Charlotte, NC home, you want to contact legal counsel to be certain before you take any steps to list the house or sell the property.

4 – Skipping the home inspection

Woman researching home inspectors in Charlotte, NC

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Even if a home was well kept by the person who you’re inheriting the house from in Charlotte, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t unseen things hiding behind the walls. Even when a homeowner has had consistent use of the house prior to a sale, home inspections commonly uncover issues that they weren’t even aware of. 

If you’ve decided on selling inherited property, or if you’re just exploring the idea of selling inherited property, getting a home inspection will help you to get through the process much more easily. 

North Carolina real estate law requires that owners disclose problems to potential buyers. If you’re not aware of the existing issues, then it’s not possible to let potential buyers know that they exist. Though you aren’t technically liable for home repair issues like termites, foundation cracks, structural problems, electrical issues, etc. that you aren’t aware of, it’s much better to know about existing problems than to attempt to convince potential buyers that you were ignorant. 

It’s a smart idea to do this before putting the home on the market. From here, you can decide to do the repairs yourself or to leave them for the next owner. 

A home inspector is a fantastic resource for information about what repairs will be needed and how much they might cost. While this won’t be an official estimate, it will give you a clear idea of what’s going to be done and how large the scope might be. Though it’s not a free evaluation, it’s something that your real estate agent can use to sell property for the best price.

An inspection is especially important if there was a single homeowner for a long period of time. If there is no recent sale on the books, then there hasn’t been a thorough inspection of the home in a long time. Hidden problems can develop shockingly quickly and easily. Other improvements might have also covered up festering issues with the home.

Sellers who don’t commit to a home inspection are a major red flag for potential homebuyers. In previous housing markets, almost all buyers required a home inspection – more than ninety percent. In today’s market, things are decidedly different. It’s such a seller’s market in recent years that many buyers are willing to forego a home inspection. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do one. A home inspection can help to increase the price point on a home. 

5 – Leaving the home as is

It can be tempting to try to sell an inherited home as-is because you’re so emotionally exhausted from the death of your loved one. Often, it’s a good idea from a mental health standpoint to sell a house fast. 

You won’t necessarily get the best possible price for a house if you sell it as-is for fast cash. Puting the time and effort into the house can really raise the price. 

You don’t have to do this all yourself. Hiring a professional home stager, a professional cleaner, and even yard and home maintenance providers can make a huge difference in how much of a mental and physical load it leaves on you. 

A house in excellent condition is always going to command more money than a home that’s in disrepair. Even if you don’t want to do extensive maintenance on the home before you sell an inherited home, you can do the basics of cleaning and refreshing. Whether it’s amending the curb appeal or putting a fresh coat of paint on the home, you’ll command a higher price with a well-staged house. 

Don’t be afraid to declutter relentlessly in this situation. Ask family and friends to help you with an inherited home to get rid of whatever excess things might be hanging around the house. It’s so worth it to get this taken care of early, rather than putting off purging your loved one’s things. 

If you’re really at a loss about what to do with items, offer them to friends and family, then put everything else out on the curb with a sign that says “free” and watch it disappear. 

Takeaways about selling inherited property 

Grey and White House for sale in Charlotte, NC

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The process of selling an inherited home is a double edged sword. In some ways, it’s easier to deal with selling inherited property because there is a clearly delineated set of practical steps to take. The hard part is finding the clear headspace to take those steps in the wake of losing a loved one. 

Whether the loss of a loved one who left your property was sudden, or whether it was long expected, the choice to sell inherited property can be difficult. Working with a real estate agent or a law firm in Charlotte, NC to support you can make a big difference. There’s always the option to go for a quick sale, but unless you’re the sole owner, that can be a real challenge. No matter the property value, there are lots of reasons to take your time and make a smart decision.

With these guidelines for putting an inherited house on the market, you can find your way through to getting the closure you need while preserving the financial legacy left to you in this inherited home.

25 Amazing real estate agents in Tampa, FL

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Finding the right buyer for your property or the right home for you to buy can feel like wading through a swamp, especially when you’re in Florida. A professional Tampa real estate agent will make all the difference in making the process go smoothly.

Though it might be tempting to jump onto the first real estate agent you come across in an online search, in reality it’s better to look a little deeper before you make a decision. Where a real estate agent is located, how well they know the local market, and how they handle real estate transactions are all important factors in which agent is right for you.

Working with a real estate professional in Tampa

Home keys to a recently sold house in Tampa, FL

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Working with a top real estate agent in the Tampa Bay Area will expand your ability to search for the right buyer for your home. So much of this industry is about who you know and what you know.

The best real estate agent will be able to give you a window into potential buyers that you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.

Real estate transactions are complicated during traditional sales. There are a lot of moving pieces required to figure it all out. The entire process in the Tampa Area is a lot for a novice home seller.

Working with top agents who sell homes in the Bay Area day in and day out will make it easier than if you go it alone.

Tatum Praise at McBride Kelly & Associates
Profile photo of Tatum Praise, Tampa Bay Realtor

Image via LinkedIn

phone number

(813) 528-1121

Standout skill:

Flowing from corporate to family clients effortlessly

Part of a women owned & operated agency in Hyde Park, Tatum is known for her professionalism and thorough support of both buyers and sellers in Tampa. Repeat customers keep coming back to work with Tatum as they buy and sell their homes in the area.

A graduate of the University of Tampa, Tatum has been working with McBride Kelly and Associates Realty to buy and sell homes in the Tampa Area since 2016. She works with both corporate clients and families. 

Phillipa Main at Future Home Realty 

Image via Realtor.com

Phone Number:
(813) 501-5498
Standout skill:

Honesty – she went viral for her frank description of a dilapidated home in Tampa

Consistently listed as one of the best real estate agents in Tampa, Florida, Phillipa has been working with clients for almost a decade. She’s a certified Probate Real Estate Specialist and a certified Client Protection Expert. Her real estate services are LGBTQ+ friendly, and she’s got a history of meeting and exceeding the expectations of clients all over the area. 

She’s been in the real estate business for almost a decade, working with a huge range of homeowners on budgets up to and beyond one million dollars. Phillipa is consistently one of the top agents in Tampa.

Kris Kennedy Team at Compass

Tampa Bay real estate agent Kris Kennedy

Image via Compass

Phone number:
(407) 543-2235
Standout skill:

Forging long term client relationships by building genuine personal connections

Based out of Heritage Park, Kris works as a real estate professional in both the Orlando and Tampa Bay markets. After graduating from Louisiana State University, he landed in Florida and turned to real estate.

Kris specializes in real estate negotiation. He’s one of the top real estate agents in Tampa. His services are a great fit for buyers and sellers who like to dig deep into the planning and want someone who pays close attention to detail. One interesting feature of his business is that he accepts cryptocurrency.

Ohmaira Cabrera at EPIC Realty Group International

Image via EPIC Realty

Phone number:


Standout skill:

Clear communication with both buyers and sellers

Based in Channelside, Ohmaira is a powerhouse real estate agent with a passion for helping homeowners and buyers get through the process with as much ease as possible. Her past experience is with huge properties in New York, but she’s been working as a Florida real estate agent for nearly a decade.

As one of the top real estate agents in Tampa, Ohmaira has a reputation for following through and for treating everyone who’s part of the buying process with dignity. To really get a feel for her as a real estate agent, check out her real estate Tiktok!

Sophia Sanchez at Sanchez & Co.
Sophia Sanchez, Tampa Real Estate Agent

Image via Sanchez & Co

Phone number:

(813) 433-0444

Standout skill:

Creating win-win scenarios for everyone in a real estate transaction

Sanchez & Co is a full service real estate firm in Tampa. Founded by top real estate agent Sophia Sanchez more than a decade ago, this real estate company has connections to the National Association of Realtors, the Graduate Realtor Institute, and is a Certified Luxury Home Guild Marketing Specialist as well as being a Certified Residential Specialist.

Sanchez specifically works well with those looking to relocate to the Tampa Bay Area from out of state, as well as working with first time home buyers to negotiate the home buying process. There’s a focus on community and preserving relationships with past clients at Sanchez & Co.

Understanding the Tampa Real Estate Market

Interior of a home for sale

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All of the top agents listed here have a solid level of experience in the Tampa market. They know where to go for leads, how to sell property in different parts of town, and what the history of getting a home sold has been.

Be sure to ask lots of questions about how specific agents have helped past clients get their home sold in the area. You absolutely want to have someone who can deal with the minutiae of getting a home sold in this part of Florida.

Michael Phillips at Pineywoods Realty
Michael Phillips of Pineywoods Realty in Tampa, FL

Image via Pineywoods Realty

Phone number:

(813) 658-8882

Standout skill:

Lifetime Tampa, FL resident who has a one-of-a-kind knowledge of the market

For Michael, being part of the community is an essential part of his work as a top real estate agent in Tampa. Having lived in Tampa, FL all of his life, he’s got a unique understanding of the market and the history of the city and the surrounding areas.

Diligent and detail oriented, Michael has a businesslike understanding of real estate. A graduate of the University of South Florida with a Masters in Business Administration, he’s got a thorough understanding of the marketing and money that flows through every real estate transaction.

Christina Adams at Re/Max
Christina Adams of Re/Max in Tampa

Image via Re/Max

Phone number:

(813) 480-2071

Standout skill:

Building trust with both buyers and sellers to create the best environment possible

Christina Adams is a real estate agent who works in Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas, specializing in one-on-one interactions with clients. Adams is a second generation real estate agent, which explains her comfort in the business and her focus on the client experience.

What home buyers and sellers consistently say about Christina is that she cares about them. In the often stressful world of real estate, with so much money on the line, her consistency and caring stand out. Her real estate business often comes from word of mouth connections, a fact that speaks to the satisfaction of her past clients.

Julia Troupe at BEACHAM Realty Group
Julia Troupe realtor in Tampa

Image via LinkedIn

Phone number:

(813) 580-3714

Standout skill:

Wading through complex real estate transactions

Julia is a bilingual real estate agent in Tampa, FL who offers both English and Spanish speaking clients a personalized experience. A longtime notary public, she’s got a thorough understanding of all aspects of the real estate process. This expertise allows her to give her clients the best outcome possible in every transaction.

Troupe specializes in complex real estate transactions. She works heavily in probate real estate, tax deed property, off market homes, and land investment property. She’s also well versed in luxury real estate.

Chelsea Vecchio at Tampa Realtor 360
Chelsea Vecchio Tampa Realtor

Image via Chelsea Vecchio Tampa Realtor Facebook

Phone number:

(813) 602-6003

Standout skill:

Working with non-profit organizations

Understanding market trends in the Tampa Bay Area and supporting new owners interested in making that first home purchase are some of Chelsea’s strongest skills. She’s deeply knowledgeable about effective marketing and working across the aisle with other agents.

Chelsea is a rising talent in a field of many realtors in Tampa Bay. This is why she’s the best agent for people looking for someone with hustle and passion. In addition, she has the unique perspective and experience of working with non-profit organizations extensively on real estate transactions.

Branden Jordan at Global Lifestyle Realty
Branden Jordan, realtor

Image via Gulf Coast Property Solutions

Phone number:


Standout skill:

Straight talking and cutting to the chase on every transaction

Located in St. Petersburg, Branden Jordan serves the wider Tampa metropolitan area. For those on a search for services that extend westward towards the gulf, he’s absolutely the man for the job.

Branden has extensive real estate experience with waterfront homes and satisfying accommodation requests from both buyers and sellers.  

The most important markers of a great real estate agent

Interior of a bedroom in a home for sale

Image by Keegan Checks via Pexels

Real estate agents come in all shapes and sizes, but finding the best real estate agents is all about knowing what to look for.

The first thing to know is that your real estate agent should be licensed. Whether they are independent or work for a large firm like Coldwell Banker, they should hold a license from the state to practice real estate in Tampa, FL.

Another important part of getting properties sold in today’s market is tech savviness. It’s not easy to get a sale in today’s market for the sale price that you want without great photos, virtual tours, and an understanding of internet marketing.

Finally, look for strong references from people who have had this realtor sell their home. Selling is about trust, and if someone has great references for past home selling experiences with a realtor, that will give you the peace of mind you need to feel good about the relationship.

Kasia Pyz at Lombardo Team Real Estate
Kasia Pyz real estate

Image via Kasia Pyz on Facebook

Phone number:

(813) 508-4116

Standout skill:

Knowledge of leading edge marketing techniques

Originally from Poland, Kasia is a passionate and experienced real estate agent who advocates for her buyers and sellers in the Tampa area. When crafting listings, she works with an eye towards the highest level of visibility and the right kind of marketing to effectively sell a house.

Connecting with customers to build trust is important to Kasia. For this reason, her work in real estate listings is highly rated in Tampa and beyond. When looking for a real estate agent who can be detail oriented and hardworking, Kasia offers the right mix of ingenuity and experience.

Mike & Michelle Team at Compass
Mike and Michelle Grizzell real estate agents in Tampa, FL

Image via Mike and Michelle Team

Phone number:

(813) 485-4255

Standout skill:

Understanding families and making every client feel at home

Mike and Michelle have been working together as top real estate agents in the Tampa real estate market for a decade. These native Tampa real estate agents work with clients from Westshore Blvd. to Dale Mabry Hwy. to Linebaugh Ave. and everywhere in between.

Many realtors approach buying and selling homes from a business standpoint, but Mike and Michelle come to their home purchase services from more of a family feel. For that reason, a huge percentage of their clients come from referrals and past clients coming back for repeat business.

It’s notable that they have a larger team behind them. They work with house listings all over the area, including St. Petersburg, Tampa, and all along the coast.

Annie Wright at Dream Home Selling
Annie Wright, Tampa Bay realtor

Image by Annie Write Realtor via Facebook

Phone number:


Standout skill:

Guiding first time homebuyers to getting their dream house

Annie Wright is a standout among agents because she has an intricate understanding of the specific criteria that make a house a home. This agent has worked with buyers and sellers across the greater Tampa Bay Area to help them get through the home purchase process with the greatest amount of ease possible.

Offering bilingual buying and selling services, Wright is able to meet the needs of her clients in both English and Spanish. She’s got a significant amount of experience in property management and has consistently sold homes across the market in the Tampa area.

Stuart Hurry at Nu Home Finders
Stuary Hurry, Tampa Realtor

Image via Nu Home Finders on Twitter

Phone number:


Standout skill:

Longevity in the real estate market, with four decades of experience

The real estate market moves fast, and in it, every home sold can feel like a journey unto itself. Stuart Hurry has been in the business of real estate for four and a half decades, and is one of the longest running top real estate agents in FL. He’s sold properties in excess of one billion dollars through that long career, including several homes in the highest price bracket.

His company, Nu Home Finders, is an amalgamation of his market experience. It’s expanded city by city in the last twenty years, starting in Lakeland, FL and going on to encompass Tampa Bay and South FL properties in the last two decades. The market knowledge that Stuart and his team hold make them some of the top real estate agents in FL.

Heather Padgett at S&D Real Estate
Heather Padgett, Realtor in Tampa

Image via Heather Padgett, Realtor on Facebook

Phone number:

(863) 225-3632

Standout skill:

Leveraging the resources of buyers to get the most house for their money

When people contact Heather for real estate agent services, they can be confident in her skill in both the sale and purchase process. Focusing on service and trust building, her market experience is focused on Lakeland, FL and the surrounding areas.

She’s one of the top real estate agents in Polk County, having been named Realtor of the Year in 2021. Her clients consistently say that she helped them navigate the market, and that she followed through to support them even after the sale of the house was finished.

Tips for choosing the right Tampa real estate agent

Wooden bookshelf in a home for sale

Image by Karl Solano Via Pexels

Top agents might not be part of a big company like Coldwell Banker, but they will have a passion for the profession and for helping people. The best agent for you could be one who specializes in the kind of sale you need to make, or they could have a special resonance with your family or situation.

This is an instance where it’s a good idea to go with your gut to get your home sold. Selling real estate can be a shady business if the wrong person steps into the selling process, but with an honest agent, you’ll be able to get to the sale table at closing with the best outcome for you.

Search for a Tampa, FL agent that’s sold houses in the area before, and one who doesn’t put selling as their only skill. Honesty, dependability, and attention to detail matter too.

Pete Gomenis at Exit Bayshore Realty
Pete Gomenis from Exit Bayshore Realty in Tampa, FL

Image via LinkedIn

Phone number:


Standout skill:

Helping clients see the possibility in the real estate market through diligence and creative sales negotiation

Pete has a long history of sales experience that positions him uniquely among Tampa real estate agents. With three decades of history in sales and real estate, he has on the ground experience in negotiation and goal setting.

A member of Exit Bayshore Realty, Pete has worked with both residential and commercial properties. He’s knowledgeable about the Tampa, FL market and understands the personal touch that’s necessary to make everyone involved feel at home and comfortable throughout the process.

Nicole Musgrave at Keller Williams Tampa
Photo of Nikki Musgrave - Keller Williams Tampa Central - Tampa, FL, United States

Image via Yelp

phone number:


Standout skill:

Negotiating the best real estate deal for property owners and buyers

Pete’s significant experience in the sales process is a central part of his success for property owners. He has an eye for the market and for market trends in the Tampa area, and is experienced in sales across the city of Tampa.

With an office on Dale Mabry Hwy in Tampa Bay, sellers in Pinellas County, Polk County, Sarasota County, Manatee County, and Hillsborough County can contact Pete for help moving their properties.

Bustin Vanderson Group at Engel & Volkers South Tampa
Jeramiah Bustin and Shane Vanderson, realtors in Tampa

Image via Bustin Vanderson Group

phone number:


Standout skill:

Crafting deals on high level properties and luxury homes

One of the largest and most successful real estate groups in the Tampa Metro Area, Bustin Vanderson Group is a polished and experienced real estate agency. These real estate professionals are experienced seller’s agents who help homeowners sell their vacation home, get their luxury condo on the FL market, and support corporate clients in their pursuit of successful business through well negotiated commercial properties.

Jeramiah Bustin is a member of the National Association of REALTORS, the Florida Association of REALTORS, and the Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS. Shane Vanderson is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® (CLHMS) – Million Dollar Guild and a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Both men are top seller’s agents in FL.

Theresa McDonough at Keller Williams Tampa Central
Photo of Theresa McDonough - Keller Williams Tampa Central - Tampa, FL, United States

Image via Yelp

phone number:

(727) 709-4372

Standout skill:

Bringing the whole package of home services to clients in Tampa, FL

What really makes Theresa different from other real estate agents in Tampa are her holistic service offerings. As a professional organizer and licensed real estate agent, she’s able to offer clients in Tampa, FL multiple facets of what they need for successful sales a great living.

As one of the licensed real estate agents with Impact Realty Tampa Bay and Keller Williams Tampa Central, she’s got access to all of the supportive technology and networking that sellers need to get their home on the market quickly and off the market at the right price.

Vanessa Maresca-Cruz at VMC Florida Group
Vanessa Maresca-Cruz at VMC Florida Group

Image via LinkedIn

Phone number:


Standout skill:

Attention to detail coupled with warm and welcoming customer relationships

Working with homebuyers who are unsure about where to go and how to tackle finding their dream home is Vanessa’s wheelhouse. She’s been supporting first time homebuyers in the Tampa, FL area and beyond for decades, and her track record of getting families into their dream home is both impressive and heartenting.

What sets Vanessa apart is her ability to visualize exactly what a homebuyer is looking for, then help them find it in the real world in the Tampa Bay area. The home search isn’t always an easy one, but she’s there to offer the kind of knowledgeable support that people are looking for in the best realtor.

Vanessa’s background prior to becoming an agent is in interior design. This unique perspective gives her the ability to help homebuyers visualize a property before the final sale.

Why choosing the best real estate agent matters

home for sale in Tampa

The best real estate agent will help you get your home sold without making you feel stressed out about the process. In fact, the right agent can make selling an enjoyable experience.

The real estate agents who are able to get homes sold for the right price do it by building relationships. Those relationships matter long after the transaction is done.

Laurie Dykeman at My Tampa Home Team/Keller Williams
Photo of Laurie Dykeman - My Tampa Home Team/Keller Williams - Tampa, FL, United States

Image via Yelp

Phone number:

(813) 264-7754

Standout skill:

Making luxury home sales shine in the modern world

Working with Keller Williams Tampa Properties, Laurie has become one of the top real estate agents in Tampa through her hard work and attention to detail. My Tampa Home Team is known for its marrying of technological innovation with old fashioned personal connection. This philosophy has made Laurie consistently a top real estate agent in the area.

Laurie partners closely with her husband, Matt Dykeman, to offer a broad range of agent services to people in Pasco, Hillsborough, and Pinellas Counties. Matt offers specific agent services to members of the military who are relocating.

As some of the top seller’s agents in the area, this Tampa home group provides concierge style services to all of their clients. A core part of their business is in repeat customers and referrals in Tampa, FL. This consistent care makes them top real estate agents in Tampa, FL.

Crystal Brady at Homeward Real Estate Group
Photo of Crystal Brady - Homeward Real Estate - Tampa, FL, United States

Image via Yelp

phone number:

(813) 298-6950

Standout skill:

Helping first time investors and first time homebuyers in Tampa, FL leverage real estate to meet their goals

Working closely with first time homebuyers, short sales, and bank owned property, Crystal has a long history of supporting Tampa, FL buyers and sellers. A particular focus of her business is as a seller’s agent, helping homeowners get the most out of their home fast if they need to get it sold.

With nearly two decades of experience in new home construction and the real estate agent business, Crystal has a proven track record of supporting the goals of clients who need to get a sale in the books or who are looking for a property that will work for them. A native of Tampa, she knows the area well and is able to give clients a high level of care and compassion throughout the process.

Jessica Scrivani at Compass
Jessica Scrivani, real estate agent in Tampa, FL

Image via Selling Tampa

phone number:

(845) 242-8165

Standout skill:

Giving clients the lifestyle they’re looking for, not just the properties they want

Working in both home sale and property management avenues, Jessica is well versed in how real estate agents affect the lives of the real people. With her keen eye for detail and her solid sense of community, she helps navigate buyers and sellers through the process to reach the final sale. It’s not about selling pieces of property so much as it is about meeting people where they need to be.

Jessica is one of the top real estate agents in Tampa, having worked on a huge range of property types in her years as a top real estate agent. She’s the perfect real estate agent for anyone who wants someone that knows local history and how to find the right space in the burgeoning city of Tampa.

Katrina Madewell, LLC
Team Madewell | Tampa Home Talk | Keller Williams Realty | Connect

Image via Tampa Home Talk

phone number:

(813) 377-2775

Standout skill:

Providing a wealth of essential information for both sellers and homebuyers

Top real estate agents don’t always have a large presence online, but Katrina Madewell of Team Madewell at Keller Williams Tampa makes the most of social media and online resources to give her clients the most up to date and relevant information on real estate in Tampa, FL.

Team HomeTalk airs on local radio stations weekly in the Tampa area, offering home search tips and advice from all aspects of the real estate process. Hosted by Katrina and Leo Cannyn, this long running talk show gives free expert advice. Episodes are also available on YouTube, Google Podcasts, and Apple.

Offering real estate agent services in Lutz, Wesley Chapel, Clearwater, Land O Lakes, and Tampa, FL, Team Madewell is composed of some of the best real estate agents in the area. This realtor is the perfect real estate agent for first time homebuyers, as Madewell also offers connections to financing.

The Ricardo Team at La Rosa Realty
The Ricardo Team at La Rosa Realty in Tampa

Image via Yelp

Phone number:

(813) 480-1244

Standout skill:

Prioritizing building connections while also making financial headway for clients

This bilingual team of real estate agents in Tampa, FL offers client services in both English and Spanish. Experienced real estate agents, they work as part of the Homesphere Realty group to help homebuyers, sellers, and investors find the right price and the right service to reach those real estate goals.

Homesphere Realty is a women-owned real estate company with top agents and a history of communicative and supportive real estate services. This is the perfect real estate agent service for home investors interested in expanding their footprint in the Tampa, FL area, or for single families looking for their first home purchase.

Takeaways for home buyers and sellers in Tampa

Whether you’re a homebuyer looking for the right property to purchase in Tampa, FL, or you’re looking for an amazing group of seller’s agents because you’re a property owner needing to get out from under a burdensome house, finding the right real estate agent is all about choosing someone you can trust.

Always do your research on any potential partner in this major transaction. Look for Tampa real estate agents online and thoroughly vet their credentials before you sign on. As this piece shows, there are a huge number of options for real estate agents in this area of Florida. Don’t settle for one that doesn’t fit your needs.