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Selling a Home in Pre-Foreclosure in Raleigh, NC

When you hit some bumps in life, it can be devastating. After the hard work and wonderful feeling of buying your home in Raleigh, to find your home in pre-foreclosure is a hard place to be. The good news is that pre-foreclosure is not a dire situation and there’s still time to make a change. There’s a straight line to a positive outcome if you take proactive steps.

Getting market price for distressed properties from real estate investors upon reaching pre foreclosure with a lending institution isn’t out of the question.

What is a pre-foreclosure letter

When you miss several mortgage payments, you home can fall into pre-foreclosure. You’ll know that this has happened because your mortgage lender will send you a letter in the mail notifying you that you’ve entered into pre-foreclosure. In all likelihood, you had an idea that this was happening well before the official notice comes in the mail. 

Though this is definitely a serious situation, it’s not the point of no return. Not by a long shot. You have lots of options when that letter comes in the mail before you lose your house. If this is your situation, step back and take a deep breath before you get emotionally involved. It’s a scary situation, but this notice is still early in the process. Above all, don’t panic!

A property owner who is behind because of unpaid taxes won’t be formally foreclosed on for a while. Making backdated payments or working out monthly installments can prevent a home from getting to the sheriff’s sale or public auction. The foreclosure process begins with delinquent payments, but being served with a letter is not the end of the process.

Just the first step in North Carolina

Pre-foreclosure is the first phase of the long and complex legal process that sometimes ends in a piece of property being taken back by the bank. Whether a family is ultimately evicted from their home in Raleigh depends on a lot of things happening in the interim. 

For homeowners in Raleigh who are behind on mortgage payments, the first step in the foreclosure process happens when the mortgage holder files a notice of default with the Wake County Clerk of Court. 

There are set amount of delinquent payments that a homeowner can fall behind with before they get a notice of default. This is set out in the terms of the mortgage. If you’re a Raleigh homeowner who’s in a tough spot, it’s important for you to look over your mortgage paperwork and find out what the terms of the home loan are. 

Judicial foreclosure in Raleigh, NC

brick house with trees in Raleigh, North Carolina

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Before a mortgage holder can move out of the pre-foreclosure stage of the process, they have to go in front of a judge to get approval. The Wake County judicial system doesn’t move swiftly, so that leaves homeowners in Raleigh some time to pull the loan out of default before the house goes into foreclosure

There are four kids of foreclosure in North Carolina:

– Power of sale foreclosure

– Foreclosure by civil action

Tax foreclosure

– Homeowners association/condo owner’s association foreclosure

All four of these kinds of foreclosure in Raleigh, NC are handled in the court system. The last two involve a homeowner being behind on either taxes or fees associated with their home. The first two are done by a mortgage company or bank lender. The North Carolina General Statues make provisions for all four of these foreclosure processes in North Carolina. 

What is a short sale?

Short sale sign in Raleigh, NC

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In all four foreclosure situations in North Carolina, the homeowner has the power to negotiate a  short sale of the home or to go through with a traditional real estate sale or an all cash sale.

A short sale is when the home is sold for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. Though this is a preferable outcome to a full on foreclosure, a short sale often means that the homeowner will still ower money to the bank. Sometimes the difference in the price of the sale and the amount still due on the mortgage is forgiven by the bank, but not always. 

Often, a short sale situation involves a homeowner selling to an investor or a home buying company. In any case, the mortgage lender has to approve the sale of the home under these terms. Homeowners in Raleigh, NC facing foreclosure will need to contact their lender to negotiate these terms. 

In many cases, the mortgage holder will agree to a short sale if the homeowner agrees to a default judgement. This pulls the house out of foreclosure, but the homeowner will still have to make payments on the amount due to the lender. 

Pros and cons of a short sale

The benefit of a short sale is that it keeps foreclosure off of the credit rating of the homeowner. There’s no massive hit to the credit rating either, though there is still a detrimental mark placed in the credit file. A foreclosure stays on a person’s credit report for seven years. 

 It can take up to a year for the whole short sale process to go through, and it takes a lot of paperwork. 

 Fair, all cash offers for houses in foreclosure can also be part short sales. Pre foreclosure means that the mortgage loan is behind, but there’s still lots of time before the final foreclosure sale. The lending institution might still be able to work with a home owner to create a plan for affordable payments for people in financial distress. Short sales are not the preference for most lenders. They’d prefer backdated payments for a home in default status.

Banks don’t like foreclosure

One wonderful piece of news for Raleigh homeowners facing foreclosure is that banks don’t want to repossess your house. When a loan goes underwater and the bank has to sell the property, they lose money. The best outcome for the homeowner and the bank is to come to an agreement to keep you in your house. 

You can work with the bank to arrange a short sale. This allows you to get out with your home equity and them to avoid the costs of foreclosure. Whatever they can do to prevent you losing your house, within reason, a mortgage lender will do. 

Pre foreclosed properties are a top priority for banks. There are also government programs that can help pull a pre-foreclosure property out of the negative.

Options for homeowners in pre-foreclosure

front door of a pre-foreclosed home in Raleigh, NC

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Lenders are generally willing to work with you and negotiate to keep your house out of foreclosure. 

Though the notice of default means that the wheels are turning towards a foreclosure, there’s still plenty of time to get back on track with your home loan. You might be able to catch up payments in a lump sum or to grade them out over time. There’s even the option to potentially refinance your Raleigh house in foreclosure. For that, you might need to get a cosigner or agree to a higher interest rate. 

If you’ve gone into default because of some life circumstance like a divorce, a job loss, or the death of a family member, you should talk to the mortgage company. Life circumstances happen to everyone, and these are usually temporary situations. You can negotiate a loan modification, make backdated mortgage payments, or arrange for a short sale of your house. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were lots of provisions put in place to help homeowners stay out of foreclosure. For government-backed mortgages, evictions and foreclosure proceedings were halted. Though the crisis is past now, there are still government agencies that can help homeowners stay out of foreclosure. 

Is it too late to sell your home in Raleigh?

Selling a pre-foreclosure home in Raleigh is possible if you step into action. All the way up to the final foreclosure auction of the home, it’s possible to strike a last minute real estate sale of the property in Raleigh. 

Mortgage borrowers can connect with prospective buyers to get market value for their home. Short sales are sometimes the only options if you’ve missed payments on your home. Real estate-owned properties are a common, if unfortunate reality in Raleigh, NC.

To avoid foreclosure, either work with a real estate agent or reach out to a home buying company. As soon as you’re behind in monthly payments, it affects your credit history. The outstanding loan balance might seem like a huge hurdle to overcome, but paying down the mortgage balance with a quick, all cash sale can save your pre foreclosure property.

Keep in mind that once the lending bank reaches out to the county recorder’s office, that’s only the beginning. As a property owner, you have a lot of leeway to save your credit score. A foreclosed property isn’t out of the hands of the owner because a default notice is sent out.

Cash home buyers can help Raleigh homeowners in foreclosure to pull out of even the worst situation. 

Top 5 Home Stagers in Charlotte, NC

Hands down, one of the best ways to make sure that your home sells quickly and for a high price is to use a Charlotte-area home stager. Given that the Charlotte metro area runs from Matthews, North Carolina, all the way south to Rock Hill, South Carolina, there are lots of home stagers to choose from.

Accredited staging professionals help home sellers to be distinct in the local real estate market. Home staging companies do everything from facilitating a deep clean to providing interior design services to renting out modern furniture to homes in Carolina spaces.

What do home stagers do?

A home stager basically prepares a home for sale. The reason is to make the house look more appealing to potential buyers. It also allows potential buyers to imagine themselves inside the home, rather than seeing what your home looks like with your personality. 

Essentially, they’re an objective third party that stands between you and the buyer to let you meet in a neutral middle. That middle also happens to be on-trend. A home stager brings in art pieces, furniture, and other kinds of home accessories to make sure that the house looks fantastic when it’s on the market. 

Homeowners are paying for the design services of the Charlotte home stager, but they’re also renting the home decor. Pieces of art and furniture are rented from the home stager during the time that the house is on the market in Charlotte, North Carolina

How much does a home stager cost?

The process varies slightly for each individual home staging company, but it’s essentially in two parts. 

Home stagers usually start off with an initial design consultation. This is when they meet with the homeowner for the first time and determine their goals. It’s also when they evaluate the property and negotiate a price. That first home staging consultation costs somewhere around three hundred to five hundred dollars. 

After that first consultation, the Charlotte home stager will then agree to a monthly fee or an hourly fee for their maintenance on the property and the use of their materials. Homeowners should expect to pay several hundred dollars per month while their house is on the market for the services of a professional home stager. 

All total, the average cost of a home stager in the United States is just below fifteen hundred dollars. The range is around six hundred to twenty-four hundred dollars. A staged home in Fort Mill, South Carolina, or elsewhere in the Charlotte, NC metropolitan area won’t even look like your own house anymore! That’s how good a house can look, and it’s why sellers get more money for their Charlotte project.

What a home staging entails

Note that the cost of a home stager in Charlotte will vary greatly depending on what services you need. Here are some options for what your home staging package might look like. 

  • Staging furniture and accessories
  • Decluttering the home
  • Addressing major repairs and design issues

If your home staging requires big changes in the layout or fixtures to make it more appealing to potential buyers, this could add significant costs. For example, you might need to change the layout of your home or paint the walls. Those are additional costs on top of the home staging fee. 

Sometimes, a real estate agent will cover part of the costs of home staging. This is unusual, but it’s worth asking. For sellers who are looking for a cash offer, home staging fees are all on them. 

Getting a fresh look design plan can get a home sold by changing just a few things about the house. Using design software and similar technologies to virtual reality or augmented reality, NC professionals get the best looking home possible on the market. If you want to find home stagers who can get the job done, look no further than the amazing service sector around Charlotte, NC.

Benefits of home staging

room designed by home staging services

Image by Andrea Davis via Unsplash

Though home staging means an additional cost, it can also make a big difference for people in Charlotte, NC who are selling their home. Here are some big benefits of home staging

  1. Quicker property sale. Staged homes spend a lot less time on the market.
  2. An objective view of the property. Homeowners can’t always see problems with their homes that are obvious. A home stager can refocus attention and seize opportunities.
  3. Higher sale price. Because a home stager makes a property look more attractive to buyers, it’s easier to get a better price for a home in Charlotte, NC. 
  4. Less stress for home sellers. There’s already a lot of stress to be had around selling your home in Charlotte. A homeowner doesn’t have to worry about being an interior designer as well as the logistics of selling a home.

Using a home stager is a cost-benefit situation. Paying someone to stage your home will allow you to get money and sell your home faster. The cost will also eat into your profit from the home sale. A professional business that focuses on one-stop interior design services will give your project a lease on life.  

Top home stagers in Charlotte

Interior design in North Carolina

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If you’re selling your home in Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll want to explore the possibility of using a home stager. You can get a free quote from different home staging companies in the Queen City. Find out which one works best for you and your goals. 

1. Staging Magic LLC

Most home sellers don’t realize that color consultations are a powerful way to maximize the look of their home for sale. Staging Magic specializes in helping homeowners refresh the color of their home to improve its look. 

Known for her friendly, laid back approach, owner Ronda works with clients across the Charlotte area. She works with an entire team of support staff when needed to give homeowners in North Carolina and South Carolina exactly what they need to attract absolutely amazing buyers.

2. Stella Home LLC

This home staging company in Charlotte focuses on local products and support for North Carolina homeowners. That approach is important for families who are selling their home. The home renovation philosophy of owner Cassee Cunningham is focused on repurposing pieces and renovating existing spaces. 

Don’t miss the wonderful gallery of photos of Cassee’s work on wide ranging homes in the region. The transformations are truly extraordinary. 

3. TNT Staging

This award winning home staging company in Charlotte has a combined experience of more than twenty years. One of the founders of this company is the president of the Real Estate Staging Association, and the other is an Accredited Staging Professional and a member of the International Association of Accredited Home Staging Professionals. Their team is backed by a professional business model and a highly qualified, service-oriented group of interior design professionals.

TNT Staging is fully insured and has a long history of partnering with real estate investors, realtors, and brokers in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Clients offer rave reviews for their model home design and report coming back to work with this team on a very regular basis.

4. Bella Staging & Design 

Offering professional home staging, this company is known for its services in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Owner Natalie Sanchez is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Real Estate Staging Association. Check out her professional portfolio of before and after pictures to get an idea of what her services look like. 

Sanchez has strict standards and does a great job of picking out paint colors that work hard to get a home to sell faster in areas like Lake Wylie or Fort Mill. Her services don’t cost top dollar, but they do give homeowners a wonderful experience.

5. Creative Home Stagers

Decluttering and depersonalization of homes to bring in a neutral aesthetic, Creative Home Stagers is both experienced and affordable. Photography and videography of your home in Charlotte are essential services of this staging company. They’ll offer you a top ten priority list to get you off on the right foot. 

You can get a reasonably priced home staging consultation from this staging company in Charlotte. They offer vacant home staging, occupied home staging, and real estate agent staging partnerships. 

Consider your home staging options

Real estate styling in Charlotte, NC

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There are lots of options for home staging in Charlotte, NC. Whether you work with an interior designer or a moving company to improve your home before sale, you’ll sell your home faster if it’s staged. Potential buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in the home. That’s not as easy if the homeowner’s furniture and decor is too distinct. Working with a professional staging company can give a space a modern sense of style, even if it’s just through new paint colors and freshened furniture.

Even if you decide to sell your home as is, without doing any repairs or freshening up the exterior, it’s still worthwhile to explore home staging. You might well decide that the best way to get a good price for your home is to work with an experienced home stager.

The Easiest Way to Sell Your House in Charlotte, NC

If you want to sell your house fast, it’s easier than ever to make that happen, depending on how you define “fast”. You can sell your house fast in Charlotte in as little as seven days if you forego the traditional real estate process. 

The best buyer doesn’t always connect with property simply through open houses and MLS listings.

The best solution isn’t to jump through hoops or deal with miles of red tape when you have a burdensome house that you want to sell fast as is. Real estate agents and hefty commission fees that drag out the selling process might still be the norm, but that doesn’t have to be your experience. Though real estate has been slow to change, now more than ever there are tools to help you sell your house fast in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina

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Think about your timeline

Before you even start the process of selling your Charlotte home, you should get an idea of what kind of timeline you need to meet. 

Many homeowners in Charlotte have a compelling reason to sell their homes. If you’re struggling financially because of a divorce or a job loss, you might really need to sell your home fast. That puts you in the category of a highly motivated seller. 

Your situation will be left unchanged if you don’t make an effort to find the right buyer for your property. A closing date could be far down the line, or you could get more cash in your pocket quickly.

Do keep in mind that you’ll need to go through some steps for validation purposes. Understanding how long it will take to evaluate your home to get a fair offer for your property from home buyers will keep you from getting hit with any surprise delays.

Homeowners in Charlotte selling their property for a fair cash offer, whether through a real estate agent or other real estate solutions, always have to make choices about the timeline. Remember, you are in charge of how fast your home sells.

Options for selling your house fast in Charlotte, NC

staged home for sale in Charlotte, NC

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Understanding the wide variety of options available for you to sell your house fast begins with research. There are tons of companies out there that offer fast cash for homes. You’ve probably heard of Zillow, OpenDoor, OfferPad, and iBuyers. These cash buyer companies work across the country to buy unwanted homes from buyers. 

You can also work with local Charlotte cash buyers who aren’t attached to a larger company. Small real estate cash buyers like Harmony Home Buyers, Zack Buys Houses, and Your Home Offer Today are based in the Queen City or nearby. These companies work with local homeowners in and around Charlotte. 

Over one-third of home sales in the United States are cash transactions. That’s right, you don’t need to work with a bank in order to sell your house. Conventional agents for houses won’t tell you that, but knowledge is power for Charlotte home sellers. Circumventing the bank process will help you sell your house fast, no matter where your house is in Rock Hill or the surrounding areas.

Consider a short sale to sell your house fast

If you need to sell fast because of a mortgage that’s underwater, consider a short sale. This is really applicable if you owe more on the mortgage than the home is valued at. In other words, there’s no equity in the house. This most often happens when there’s the death of a spouse, a divorce or some other financial situation like bankruptcy. If there’s no income to keep the house payment going, there’s a chance of foreclosure

Homeowners facing this situation can ask the bank to consider a short sale. If you’ve only got one mortgage on the property, you’ve got a better chance of getting a short sale through than if you have multiple mortgages. Go to the mortgage lender and ask if they’re willing to work with you to get your home out of foreclosure before it starts. This is a quick way for Charlotte homeowners to avoid foreclosure and sell your house fast. 

Talk to multiple buyers

It’s a good idea to talk to several potential buyers before you commit. Though this might slow down the process ever so slightly, you’ll rest assured that you’re getting the best deal for your home. 

If you’re thinking about selling your house to a wholesaler, know that there are no banks involved. Though you won’t get as high a price for the house as you might get with an agent for houses, you’ll save money on closing costs and home repairs. By talking to lots of potential buyers for your Charlotte house, you’ll feel confident that you’re getting a great price. 

You may want to have a sit down with a real estate agent as well. Most of these professionals will give you a realistic timeline that the house can be sold, but that process is not likely to be easy. You’ll need to clear your home out and stage it in order to get a high price. 

Unfortunately, many house agents fall into the list-it-and-forget-it category. They’ll put your house on the market, then just let the wheels turn instead of pushing the process forward. This isn’t a recipe for selling your house fast. You’ll get out from under your burdensome house eventually, especially in a seller’s market. You’ll also end up paying a commission that’s as much as six percent. 

The home selling process

home closing in Charlotte, NC

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The process of selling a house necessarily involves a certain number of steps. Most people assume that there are more steps than there have to be. The traditional process for houses isn’t the only way to do things!

Here’s what must happen in a house transaction.

  • Buyer & seller connect
  • Offer extended
  • Offer accepted
  • Closing

That’s it! Four little things. Everything else is optional. None of the following things are necessary to get a home sold. That’s true for homes that are distressed, in foreclosure, inherited, rented houses, and homes in probate. There are certainly unique details to each of those home selling situations, but the essential steps are always the same. None of the following are a must for any kind of home sale in Charlotte.  

Cutting out the extra steps can help you sell houses in Charlotte fast. With a cash buyer, the transaction is easy and fast. All of those hidden fees can be avoided when you sell a house as is in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

Home buyers are interested in helping homeowners with a cash offer to make life easier for everyone. They’ll only do what they have to do for validation purposes on the property, just like they do with other homeowners.

Avoiding We Buy Houses scams

Whether you’re working with a large real estate investor conglomerate or a small hometown real estate investing company, you need to vet them thoroughly. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cash buyer scams out there. Always take the time to vet the company or investor that you’re thinking of selling to. 

A reputable company won’t try to get you to pay any closing costs upfront. A home sale company often has reports with the Better Business Bureau. All you have to do to start the ball rolling is to turn over some property information for validation purposes. The good news is that cash buyers are often problem solvers. If you need to sell your NC house because of bad rental tenants or a problem with a vacant house you inherited from a family member, you can get out from under your house quickly.

Property owners should make sure that they aren’t dealing with a fake investment firm or the perpetrator of a false home buying process. Instead, do your research about what options are available from investors who want to buy houses in Charlotte. Though homeowners sell their

Home sellers should keep an open mind

homeowner in Charlotte contemplating a cash offer

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The housing market has changed dramatically in the last decade. The rise of the internet has led to an increase in the options that you have to sell your house in North Carolina. Not only that, but changes in finance options have made it easier for buyers to find sellers who can pay cash for their homes. By working with a cash buyer, Charlotte, NC homeowners are able to make the most of the burdensome house. 

A fair cash offer is within reach for most homeowners who need to sell a house fast. Real estate solutions can help you get your burdensome rental property or a property that you owe liens on out of your hands without agent fees. Even if you home needs expensive repairs, you can get an honest price for your unwanted property in the Charlotte area. There’s no obligation whatsoever if you get a quote for your home, and you can sell it as is.

Make your life easy! Whatever your reason for selling your home in North Carolina, come to the process with an open mind and you’ll be in great shape. 

How to Sell Your House with a Tax Lien in Charlotte, NC

Tax debt can sometimes feel even more daunting than other kinds of debt. That’s because the government is unforgiving and the timeline of tax repayment is fairly unmovable. If you need to sell your house with a tax lien in Charlotte, NC, then you have options! 

Though it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, the process of selling your home when you face a tax liability is not impossible. In fact, your home is your most valuable asset. Selling a house with a tax lien can be the key to getting out from under crushing debt and starting over. 

Types of tax debt

There are lots of different kinds of tax debt. 

  • Unpaid property taxes
  • Behind on child support
  • Outstanding income tax
  • Large business tax debts
  • Court judgment

People who are under the crunch of tax debt, whether it’s local county taxes or federal taxes, aren’t without recourse. The best course of action is to face the problem head-on. Otherwise, tax penalties and interest can raise the amount you owe in tax debt. 

Whatever your path to getting into tax debt, there is always a way to attack the problem. 

How does a home tax lien work?

coffee mug near open folder with tax lien paper

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Delinquent tax burdens can quickly roll over, causing the government to put a tax lien on your home. A home tax lien can affect the path that you take to sell your home in Charlotte, but it doesn’t prevent you from selling your home. 

A tax lien is just a claim for money against your assets. This can be against any kind of asset, but the home is the largest piece of property that most people own. That’s why the government is most likely to come for your house if you have significant back taxes.

A homeowner with a tax lien cannot pocket the equity from a house sale before paying the government. They are free to sell the property, but they have to pay the government first. This is true of any kind of tax lien. The three possibilities are:

  • Federal tax lien – a person has unpaid income taxes and so the United States federal government comes for their assets through the IRS
  • State tax lien – a person has unpaid back taxes owed to the State of North Carolina through the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR)
  • Property tax lien – a person has unpaid property taxes that are owed to Mecklenberg County or the City of Charlotte. 

Who handles a Charlotte tax lien?

Homeowners in Charlotte who want to know how to sell your house with a tax lien have to consider what kind of tax they owe. Though the government that the taxes are owed to is usually who the property owner will work with, there are times when a private entity gets involved. This is most common with a property tax lien through the City of Charlotte or Mecklenburg County. 

A tax lien certificate from the city government or the county government can be sold to outside investors. If a Charlotte homeowner doesn’t take charge and pay off the tax lien, then the first thing that will happen is there will be additional interest and fees tacked onto the debt. After that, if the homeowner still doesn’t take care of the debt, the private investor can foreclose on your home. 

A private investor isn’t always a bad thing for Charlotte homeowners. These individuals are often more flexible than the government. You might be able to negotiate a timeline or even scale down the amount owed on a tax lien. 

The IRS, the North Carolina Department of Revenue, the City of Charlotte, and the Mecklenberg County Government are all able to foreclose on your home. If a tax lien isn’t paid in full within their timeline, there’s not much to stop the wheels. If you don’t want to have the government foreclose due to tax debt, you will want to negotiate quickly. That’s if your tax lien is with a private investor or with a government agency. 

How to pay off a tax lien

Sometimes the only way to pay off a tax lien is to sell your home. If you can pay off your lien with cash from savings or through a personal loan, well that’s great! Some people talk to family to try to get a family loan to pay off tax debt. It’s worth it to take on a side hustle or a second job for a few months to get out from under a tax burden too. 

If none of these are options for you, you can put your house on the market as fast as possible to stop ongoing penalties. Otherwise, you could shrink your home equity significantly. A fast sell with a cash buyer might well save you more money than if you wait for a real estate agent to sell the home for a higher price. Compounding fees on a tax lien will eat into your home equity and take out any profit that you might make selling your home for a higher price. 

Are tax liens discoverable in a title search?

man sits doing a tax lien search on a piece of personal property

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Yes. If you have a tax lien on your home, it’s going to show up in the title search. Any buyer, whether it’s through a traditional mortgage company and a real estate agent or with a fast cash buyer is going to do a title search

The North Carolina Property Records search will uncover a Mecklenberg tax lien on a property. The Mecklenberg County lien index will show all claims against the equity in a property. Even if it’s not an exact match for the name on the home’s title, a tax lien will show up. 

Don’t try to hide your tax lien from potential buyers. This will only slow down the sale process. Instead, work with a real estate attorney or a tax attorney to sort out your problem. If you have a low cash flow or are underwater with your loan, this can be embarrassing. This is the moment to swallow your pride so that you can sell your house. Simple tax liens can be handled quickly, but a complex tax lien might take more time and effort. Either way, always disclose this information to potential buyers. 

Sell your house with a tax lien

You can’t transfer a tax lien by selling your house in Charlotte, NC. This is an issue that has to be resolved before a home sale can close. That’s worth repeating – you have to settle a tax lien before you can sell your house. 

There are ways to get rid of a tax lien without paying the government. 

  • Dispute a tax lien with the government. This process isn’t easy, but it does work in some cases. Maybe the tax lien was filed in error or you don’t own the property. 
  • Ask for a certificate of discharge from the IRS. There are some special cases where a federal tax lien can be discharged without resolving the tax debt. You’ll still have to pay it, but this removes the IRS tax lien from the house so that it can be sold.
  • Use your home equity. You might be able to pay the lien off with a home equity line of credit (HELOC) prior to closing, but that only works if you have a lot of equity in the home. 
  • Wait it out for a decade. This is an option in rare cases. After ten years, the statute of limitations on tax debt expires. If you’re close to the decade mark on your home tax lien, it might be worth your while to wait it out. Know that the IRS has ways around this if a debt is big enough to be worth their time. If the IRS files a tax suit against you in court, that tax judgment never expires. 

You cannot pay off delinquent taxes with the proceeds from the sale of a house after the closing. It’s sometimes possible to pay off a tax lien at closing. You’ll need to consult with a real estate attorney about the process. This might delay closing, but it can be a workaround. 

Don’t give up when you want to sell your house

Sign for paying IRS lien amounts

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No matter what you do, don’t give up on selling a house with a tax lien. State tax liens or even a mortgage lien can be taken care of through a direct debit installment agreement. Unpaid income taxes owed must come before other creditors. Taxpayer requests to a state’s department of revenue can result in partial payment, and if you’re proactive then a lien holder will potentially work with you on a lien release.

Though IRS claims on your home can be emotionally bankrupting when you don’t have enough equity in your home to cover a lien discharge, that doesn’t mean hope is lost. Even if you have other debts that you need to pay and don’t have enough money on hand to take care of a specific lien right now, you still have recourse! Educate yourself on your property and talk to a tax advisor. You can sell your house, even if you have a heavy tax burden.

How Long Does the Eviction Process Take in Durham, NC?

No one wants to see an eviction take place. Both tenants and landlords want to keep everyone in the home in Durham, NC. It’s costly to landlords to have to remove a tenant, and it’s costly to tenants to have to move unexpectedly. Understanding the Durham eviction process can empower all parties to make smart decisions. 

There are several steps to removing a tenant from a property in North Carolina. Though this process was paused during the pandemic, Durham evictions restarted in 2021.  Here’s what you need to know about the Durham County process of eviction, step by step.

Step 1 – Notifying the tenant

The timeline for the North Carolina eviction is pretty straightforward. When a tenant is five days late with their rent, the landlord can then charge a late fee. Ten days after the late fee is assessed, they can start the eviction process. That means a tenant has fifteen days to get their rent current before the landlord can file paperwork. An eviction notice is a jarring step in the civil process. 

Non-payment of rent isn’t the only reason a landlord can evict a tenant. Breaking the terms of the lease can also lead to eviction. For example, if a renter has unauthorized pets or brings too many people into the house. If a renter damages the home, this can also break the terms of the lease. Tenants renting can also be evicted for illegal activity or for staying after the lease is up, though these are different processes. 

A landlord has to notify the tenant of both of these parts of the Durham eviction process. This notification can come via email or mail, but most often it comes in written form. This paper trail is important should the case go to eviction court. if a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they have to go in front of a district court judge. There are certain legal constraints on what a landlord can do. Proper notice of eviction procedures within the legal time frame allowed must be followed.

Step 2 –  NC Eviction Court Summons

Eviction court gavel

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North Carolina eviction law allows landlords to file a complaint with NC eviction court. This costs about a hundred dollars and takes place in small claims court. Court costs are up to each of the parties involved and are paid to the Durham County Clerk’s Office.

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office serves an eviction notice to the tenant when the landlord files in small claims court. They can either hand deliver the paperwork to the tenant or post it prominently on the property. This has to be done at least two days before the court date. It also has to be served within five days of the complaint being filed. 

If a landlord wants to evict a tenant, only the sheriff can serve the individual with the paperwork – not the landlord. When you’re served with eviction paperwork, it’s a good time to seek legal advice. Eviction procedures move quickly. Tenants should move quickly by contacting legal aid or the Durham County Department of Social Services if they’re in danger of being evicted.

Paying rent has to be a personal priority. Evictions are a matter of public record. Even if you can put a security deposit on a new place to live, a prior eviction will make it hard to get a home in the future.

Step 3 – Durham County Eviction Hearing

Durham County Courthouse

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The hearing in Durham County eviction court usually takes place within seven days of the summons being served. This is in cases of non-payment or if a tenant breaks the lease. Both of those are handled in small claims court in Durham County. 

If a tenant commits illegal activity in the home, then the process goes through Durham County District Court. This process happens within thirty days if there is an expedited eviction hearing. If there’s not an expedited eviction then it could take longer. 

Tenants rights groups in Durham like Disrupted and North Carolina Legal Aid layout what renters can do if they are faced with eviction. The most important thing is to attend the hearing at the Durham County Courthouse. If the tenant can bring the rent current before the court date, then the eviction is halted. When a tenant comes to court, they can likely negotiate terms to stay in their home, assuming they can make payment. If the tenant doesn’t come to the hearing, then a default judgment is made in favor of the landlord. 

Step 4 – Writ of Possession & Removal

When the hearing is done, if the tenant is ruled to be evicted then they’ll be removed from the property. The writ of possession is a legal document that notifies the tenant that they’ll be removed from their home in Durham. Within ten days of the hearing, the Durham County Sheriff will serve this paperwork to the tenant. This is the same process as the court summons, either posting on the house or serving the tenant personally.

During the ten days after the hearing, the tenant has the right to appeal the decision. It’s not too late for a tenant to stay in their Durham home if they make an effort to pay the rent. Once the writ of possession is served, the tenant has five days to remove their property. Durham County in North Carolina has many resources for tenants who can’t pay rent. No matter where you are in the civil process, you can make an appeal before summary ejectment.  

In the Durham eviction process, all personal property is either removed by the tenant or it’s taken to a local storage facility. The Durham County sheriff’s department can ask the landlord to pay for the removal and the storage. If they refuse, then the writ of possession goes back to the clerk of the court’s office. 

If the reason for eviction is an illegal activity, then the property is removed immediately. Note that this isn’t the same as being removed for nonpayment of rent. Summary ejectment is still the outcome after the court hearing, no matter the reason for eviction.

How long does Durham eviction take?

Rental property moving boxes

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The whole process happens quickly for eviction in North Carolina. All in all, it’s less than sixty days from the missed rent payment. Paying rent on time is important and should be a top priority for tenants to prevent this. 

To recap, the initial notice happens when the rent is five days late. After fifteen days, the landlord can file eviction paperwork. The summons is issued and served within five days after that. The Durham county court will hear and rule on the eviction from seven to thirty days after the summons is served. If the eviction hearing results in the landlord taking possession of the property, then a writ of possession is issued within ten days. The property is returned to the landlord five days later. 

Exceptions to the Durham eviction process

The first thing to know is that it’s illegal in North Carolina to evict someone because they complained about a problem. This is called retaliatory eviction, and it’s a nonstarter. Tenant rights in North Carolina are clearly laid out in NC state law. No one can be kicked out of their house for contacting a local official about an issue or organizing a tenant union. 

Certain domestic violence cases can also result in legal eviction. Find an organization that can provide legal advice if you’re dealing with child custody cases in civil court or if you’re the victim of domestic violence. The sheriff’s office should be able to refer you to helpful resources.

The other thing to know is that squatters are not the same as tenants under North Carolina law. If there’ hasn’t been tenant/renter relationship established because a person has been living in an abandoned property, then the eviction process doesn’t apply. It can in fact take longer to get someone out of a property who hasn’t ever paid rent than to get one out who has been paying rent. 

Knowing your rights matters

Both for tenants and landlords, knowing the Durham eviction process is important. North Carolina eviction laws are there to protect both sides. Affordable housing in Durham isn’t easy to come by. Free legal assistance is available through Legal Aid of North Carolina.

The landlord tenant relationship is governed by either a formal lease agreement that’s put into writing, or it can be a verbal agreement. Either way, landlords have the right to evict tenants who don’t pay rent or who violate the terms of the lease agreement.

If you’re unsure of your ability to pay rent, reach out to programs like the Durham Eviction Diversion Program who can help with a tenant’s ability to pay rent. There are ways to get legal advice before your landlord goes to the Durham County clerk to begin eviction on a rental property.

Note that the landlord will then have to turn over the property to get a new tenant and start getting rent again. The whole eviction process is costly for landlords. Durham rental assistance programs can help. Tenants who are communicative and working with landlords will most likely be able to stay in their homes. 

Tips for Selling Your House Fast in Raleigh, NC

The real estate market in the Triangle has been moving higher for decades, but in the last few years, it’s even easier to sell your house fast in Raleigh, NC. Thanks to the recent housing boom across the country, homes stay on the market for less than thirty days on average. The tightness of the market in Raleigh creates a seller’s market, but you still need to know what you’re doing in order to get the best price for your home. 

Even in this seller’s market, you’ll still need some insider tips if you want to sell your home fast for cash.  To sell your house fast in Raleigh, NC for a fair cash price with a quick closing date, empower yourself with knowledge!

Know your property

What kind of Raleigh, NC property are you trying to sell? The difference between a home that sells quickly and one that takes its time has everything to do with a smart seller who is read to sell their house fast. A real estate agent or real estate investors will often try to leverage their experience to get you to sell your Raleigh house with them, but you can get more money in Wake County if you find an honest price yourself.

The condition of your property, your motivation for selling it, and the location and size of your Raleigh property are all factors that will affect your selling method. Here are some examples of homes that would require different strategies for sale.

  • Abandoned property in Hillsboro
  • Home in need of repair in Zebulon
  • Inherited home in Cary
  • Foreclosed house in Wake Forest
  • Condo in Downtown Raleigh

Unique properties in Raleigh that are surrounded by new residential developments could have special conditions. If you want to sell your house after divorce in the Triangle, you might also have different parameters than someone who’s selling an inherited home. Anyone who wants to buy houses will do some kind of walkthrough for validation purposes before they buy houses in Raleigh.

Know the area around Raleigh, NC

Even if you have a vacant house or a home with bad rental tenants, there are still real estate solutions for property owners in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas. Buyers in Johnston County, Franklin County, and Durham County are all interested in Raleigh houses. The NC house market is not captive to just the immediate area around Raleigh, NC.

If your property address is further afield than the Triangle, you can still complete a short property information form and then have a home visit for validation purposes to sell your house quickly. Unwanted property for any reason can be sold without an agent’s expensive fees. A fair all cash offer from a company who wants to buy houses in Raleigh, NC often doesn’t involve any fees at all.

Think about your situation in the context of the Triangle market. Though your circumstances might seem familiar, competing sellers will have different situations. Factor in what else potential homebuyers in Raleigh are looking at.  Real estate solutions are available for helping homeowners avoid the time-consuming expense of traditional sales.

Know your home selling goals

Depending on your situation, you might just want to sell your house fast for cash or you might want to take your time with an agent. If your goal is to buy another house in Raleigh and move in, then you’ll need to have a timeline that accommodates that. 

Think about your financial goals too. Do you want to make the most profit possible, or are you ok with making less money in exchange for a more hands off process? Is your goal to move out fast or to transition in a few months?

The process of selling a home is not the same for everyone. Your goals might be better served with a we buy houses company or an independent cash buyer if you don’t want to make home repairs before sale. If you need to take your time and have a relationship with an experienced real estate agent, then that might be the way to go. All that hassle with making repairs isn’t necessary to sell your Raleigh house. Your house can be left unchanged and you can get cash quickly if you take control of the selling process.

A burdensome rental property can still qualify for traditional bank financing. Cash buyers are often willing to pay closing costs if you’ll sell your house fast Raleigh. Unlike selling to an investment firm, burdensome houses can get an honest price and a no obligation cash offer from cash buyers. Property simply doesn’t have to sit there. If you’re facing a difficult situation with a family member, sometimes you need to sell quickly. A no-hassle offer is a way of helping homeowners.

Sit down and write out your goals for the sale of your home before you decide on a strategy to sell your house in Raleigh. This will make it easier for you all along the way. 

Know the value of your Raleigh home

Fayetteville Street Condos in Raleigh, NC

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How much is your Raleigh home worth? It’s worth as much as a buyer will pay for it. 

Fluctuations in the Raleigh real estate market change the price of homes constantly. If you sell your North Carolina home today it will go for one price. If you sell your Raleigh home in six months it will go for a different price. You can’t know the exact price ahead of time, but you can get a range. Look at how much comparable homes have sold for recently in your area. 

It can be tempting to look at websites like Zillow and Redfin for estimates of Raleigh home prices, but those are wildly changeable. Don’t look at the projections on websites. Instead, look for the actual sale prices of properties within the last six months. That’s a much more accurate way to find the market value of your home. 

“Comparative analysis” is the method that professionals use to decide the list price of a home. Through this process, they look at sale prices of similar properties. Projections from real estate sites are not generally accurate. You can always talk to an agent to list your home and do this for you. You’ll pay a hefty commission, but it does take the legwork off your plate. 

A cash buyer or a we buy houses company is likely going to make you an offer at the low end of the price range that you determine for your house. That’s not just because they’re looking for a deal. Cash homebuyers generally buy homes “as-is”. That means you don’t have to make repairs to your Raleigh home. The lower price is also a trade off for fewer steps and a faster home sale.

Know how much you want to put into your home sale

Unwanted real estate property in Raleigh, NC

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Do you want to make repairs to your Raleigh home, or do you want to sell the home “as-is”? Maybe you’d like to work with a Raleigh home stager? Do you want to freshen the interior and exterior? Home tours and open houses in the Triangle can get you a higher price for your house, but the trade off is that you’ll put more time and money into the process. 

It’s notable here that you must always, always let a potential buyer know of any issues with the house. If there’s been a flood in the basement every spring due to North Carolina rainfall, let them know. Maybe the HVAC started acting up in the Piedmont heatwave last August. Don’t hide things from a buyer, even if you’re selling your home as-is.

Property information for both traditional homes and rental properties must be communicated. Your property can still be left unchanged if you need to sell quickly. An all-cash offer for an as-is house can be reasonable no matter what its condition is.

Just as you’d like honesty and transparency in the process, so do buyers. Disclosure laws in North Carolina preserve the right of homebuyers to know that’s going on with a house before purchase. It’s much better just to be honest if you don’t want to make repairs. You’ll still be able to sell your house fast in Raleigh if you want to sell it as-is.

Know your options to sell your house fast

Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina

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It’s easy enough just to throw a “for sale” sign up in your front yard with your phone number on it and see what happens. FSBO isn’t going to get you the fastest sale, the highest price, or the easiest process. However, Raleigh homeowners can list on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, or in local newspapers like the Raleigh News & Observer. These are all tactics to get the word out about your home for sale. 

If you decide to work with a real estate company, find one with experience. In the fast-changing market in Raleigh, experience matters. There are dozens of independent agents who can help walk you through the process in exchange for a commission. 

Finding a company to buy your house fast

Choosing a home buying company like a we buy houses company is another way to go. These companies will buy your home as-is and will waive some steps in the process. Don’t ever pay anything upfront. A common homebuying scam is to ask buyers for fees before the sale. If a cash buyer or agent asks you for payment, find someone else to work with. 

Selling your home fast in Raleigh doesn’t have to be stressful! With these tips, you can navigate the process quickly and get your Triangle home sold. 

How to Sell an Inherited Property in Charlotte, North Carolina

Losing a loved one is something that everyone must face at some point in their lives, but it’s never easy. When a parent passes away or a grandparent crosses over, their property generally passes to children and grandchildren. It’s a way that they pass down their hard-earned wealth to the next generation. Sometimes, families want to hold on to a house in Charlotte that’s been in the family. Sometimes they want to sell an inherited property.

Before you make a decision, know what you’re facing. Inherited items are subject to a period of probate and to inheritance taxes on the appreciation of the property. That’s true even if repairs are needed ahead of the sale. How long you decide to keep the home and how much you’ll owe the government in inheritance taxes could affect your decisions about what to do with what someone has left to you.

Understanding probate in North Carolina

Probate is the entire method of dividing up personal property in the wake of someone’s death. The first thing to know is that the NC process applies to most homes that are inherited in Charlotte. It can take up to two years. During this time, the property is held in a living trust and the property is left unchanged. The only way to avoid probate court in North Carolina is to put a piece of property into a trust while someone is still alive. In this case, probate for an inherited property in North Carolina is avoided.

If you have a house in Charlotte in probate, know that you’ll need to head to the Mecklenberg County Courthouse for hearings. In these hearings, the Clerk of Superior Court will review the status of the estate and make determinations about any property. Depending on how complex the debts and assets of the homeowner are, this could mean several court appearances.  

When someone has a will with a named executor, it can make the process easy and take a great deal of the pressure off because there aren’t as many steps needed for validation purposes. Unfortunately, without a named executor, people could spend thousands on making sense of the wishes of their family member. The court will first check to make sure the will is authentic. Once that’s determined, they’ll authorize the executor to pay off any lingering debts. When all debts are paid, the executor distributes any remaining property.  

Note that all property is subject to probate in Charlotte, both deeded and non-deeded property. Appliances, vehicles, jewelry, etc., are all taken into account for validation purposes by the executor or the Mecklenburg County judge. 

What if there’s no will?

last will and testament for inherited home
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If there is no will for the home of someone who passes away in Charlotte, North Carolina the NC Interstate Succession Act governs the distribution of the property of the deceased, including what happens to their home. The home then goes through the probate process. The Clerk of Superior Court of Mecklenburg County acts as judge and divides up assets between surviving family members. 

The NC Interstate Succession Act is a complicated piece of legislation that delineates exactly who gets how much of a person’s estate and outlines the legal rights of everyone involved. For example, if a person is married with two children, their spouse inherits the first $50,000 worth of their property. The balance is split evenly among the children. There are contingencies for every kind of family structure within this law, as well as provisions for people who have no living close relatives. 

When there’s no will, the estate administrator will sell any property and split up the funds according to NC law. That’s only after settling any debts. This all happens through the time of probate. It requires problem solvers to determine what the will of the deceased might have been. The estate administrator is under no obligation whatsoever to look at anything but the law.

Settling debts before selling an inherited house

Though we’d love to tell you that it only takes a few days to get through this and that you’ll have a fast sale for an unwanted house, the reality is that you’ll have to wait in order to get fair market value.

If there was a prolonged illness or some financial problems before the homeowners passed away, you might be faced with paying down debts and you won’t be able to sell the house fast in Charlotte without more info. There could be unpaid property owner’s association fees or bills from recent home repairs. The homes age could also mean that it’s not easy to get rid of burdensome houses in today’s market.

The first debt to think about is the mortgage. When someone is behind on their mortgage payment and dies, the mortgage holder can attempt to foreclose on the house of the deceased. Under North Carolina law, creditors can initiate foreclosure proceedings to get the money that they’re owed. 

Paying down the homeowner’s debts

When the person has a will, what assets will be used to pay down debts are delineated in the will. There could be multiple assets that can be sold to make up the amount that’s needed to pay off whatever debts linger after the loss. Getting a fair cash offer to sell the house fast can make a big difference. Paying off property taxes or other debts in the wake of a loss must be a priority.

Without a will, the bank or other creditors can come directly for real property in Charlotte. This usually exists as a piece of family property. In this case, foreclosure can mean that the house goes for less than its market value. If this is the case, the Mecklenberg County estate administrator can petition the court to allow the family to sell the house in Charlotte, NC. The family can sell for more cash either to a cash buyer or through the traditional real estate process. this will let them preserve any equity. 

All of these things happen within the inherited house sale process in Charlotte, North Carolina. There are also issues of estate taxes, closing costs, costly repairs, and potentially unforeseen fees associated with getting rid of burdensome houses.

Care for emotions when you sell an inherited property

selling an inherited house after loss
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Though the financial realities press hard on families in the wake of a death, the emotional realities are just as important. If you’ve experienced the death of someone close to you,, put yourself first. Take steps to care for your mental health as you deal with selling an inherited house in Charlotte.

Looking after your emotional wellbeing

Here are four steps that you can take to look after your emotional wellbeing when you’re working to deal with the inherited items of your loved one.

  1. Ask a close friend to go through their things with you – don’t do it alone if you can avoid it. Sharing memories and giving yourself space to grieve while you clear out your loved one’s things is essential to the healing process.
  2. Allocate items to be given to friends and family, to be donated, and to be thrown away. Feel free to do this in whatever way feels right for you.
  3. Take lots of pictures and video of the house before you sell it. This will allow you to revisit your memories and to have a kind of time capsule. You don’t have to resort to spending thousands of dollars to try to hold onto a house to preserve your memories. It’s impossible to hold all of that in your heart without the physical property.
  4. Contact a grief support group or a therapist to help you understand what’s happened. Letting go of the personal property of a loved one is difficult, and you don’t have to do it alone. Charlotte has lots of opportunities for grief counseling and loss support, and you are under no obligation whatsoever to do this on your own.

The probate process in North Carolina is challenging, even when there’s a will and an estate executor. Throughout the experience of selling an inherited house to investors in Charlotte, make sure that you look after your emotional wellbeing as well as your financial interest. Property in today’s market is selling fast. You can get a fair price for houses of all kinds without extra fees no matter where you are.

Engage with a trusted real estate agent or a cash buyer

Finding someone who you can really trust to work with you to sell your inherited house in Charlotte, NC is a major part of this. When someone passes away, it’s naturally disorienting. 

Whether you’re searching for a cash buyer through a we buy houses company or a traditional real estate agent with a great track record, make sure that you’re working with someone who is compassionate about your situation. If the homebuyer or investors that you’re talking to starts to put pressure on you, then it’s a good time to look for another buyer.

Getting a fair all cash offer or working with an investment firm to get your fair cash for an inherited home should be easy. Professional buyers will treat you with respect as they are in the business of helping homeowners. That’s even more true because the market can be confusing. You deserve to have the support of problem solvers who have your best interests in mind when you sell an unwanted inherited property.

This area is full of high-quality options for you to sell an inherited property in Charlotte. You have lots of options to sell! Part of looking after your emotional well-being through the NC selling process is working with a great buyer.