Congratulations on getting your dream job!!! But wait…it’s on the other side of the country?
That is just one reason why a person may have to sell their house quickly. It is actually a pretty exciting reason!
Some distant relative just named you as their only living relation and left you a little bungalow in their will! A nice wind fall! Except you have a home and don’t have the time or desire to become a landlord.
Some other reasons may not be so great. Maybe you’re close to losing your house because you lost your job and now you are struggling to make your mortgage payments. If you bought your property at the peak of the market, and your house is still worth less than what you owe, you may be getting nervous about the proposed interest rate hikes looming on the horizon.
Or that little bungalow you inherited is in such bad shape you are having a hard time even getting people to look at it, let alone buy it. You thought having a little rental property was a smart investment, but your tenants trashed the place and now you are stuck with huge repair bills. Maybe you've had some unexpected expenses that you need to pay off.
You might have contacted a traditional Realtor, but he or she hasn’t been of much help. Realtors factor in their commission into the asking price. If you have no equity, you typically have no help from them!
Do not despair! Even if your house has no equity or negative equity, it is still possible to sell. If it is in such bad condition that no bank is willing to finance any potential buyers. Or even if it has legal problems and code violations, you still have some choices.
So what do you do?
If you have a little equity or have broken even on the value of your house compared to what you owe, your best bet may be to sell your house by yourself.
Not just an old game show, any more…The price has to be right!
lowest price you can live with. Compare your neighborhood’s houses for sale with similar features and use a critical eye and price your house LOWER. Nothing makes you look more desperate than making small price reductions again and again after months of being on the market.
If your house is priced right, you will likely get multiple offers. If this still makes you nervous, say you are looking at all offers and will decide the “highest and best” on a specified date (make sure this is legal in your state). Consider all the offers and pick the best one.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a better buyer will come along at some later date. The longer your house is up for sale, the lower the offers will be. People will think there is some major problem with the property if it is available for too long. If it was a good deal, someone would have already bought it, right?
Get out as soon as you can
This year, property prices are slowly rising, and more and more people are reaching zero or positive equity. That means that there will be more and more people who have lived through the same hardships and will be looking to sell. Combine that with the announced interest rate hike, and that puts the real estate market in a period where there will be sufficient supply with possibly weaker demand – depending on what the increase in interest rates will be.
Here are some Ninja house-selling tactics that will get you the highest price!
A picture is worth 1000 words –or maybe even a couple of extra 1000 dollars!
Hire a professional real estate photographer for a couple of hours. Be sure you house is in PERFECT shape before they get there. Don’t make them stand around while you fluff pillows or trim that over grown bush!
Can’t afford it? Keep that cell phone camera away from your house! Be resourceful. Call local photography clubs and find someone who will do it for a nominal charge (ask to see their photos first). This is your second best bet because these enthusiasts will probably still have great equipment - particularly a wide angle lens which will make all your rooms look bigger! If that fails, find a friend or colleague who took those great vacation pictures with their new camera and ask them to come and help you out.
This is important! Do not discount the power of pictures. Buyers now look at photos on line before they ever go to see houses. If they don’t like your pics – no matter how nice your house is – they will never come to see your house!
Take lots and lots of pictures. Lights on, lights off. Curtains open and closed. Slightly different angles. Then sit and pick ONLY the best ones.
Even better? Take a video tour of your house! Plan your route through the rooms and be as steady as you can. Try not to move the camera too much as you walk, but pan through each room. Do this a few times, the watch all the videos and pick the best one. More on what to do with this video coming up!
Now for part II of the plan…sell your house yourself on line!
Put your house on YouTube
Make a slide show of your best pictures, or upload your video. Add a description with essential information – square footage, number of rooms, lot size, taxes, etc. just like a regular listing. Then share, share, share the link!
Put pictures and links on the following sites and repeat daily (so they don't sink to the bottom):
- Facebook – ask your friends to share it!
- Ebay classifieds
Put an ad in your local news paper directing them to your Youtube video!
Buy a listing on ebay
Don’t be frightened! It’s not going to sell for a buck like that old CD! There is a fee for this listing, but the auction is noncommittal, so even if someone meets your asking price, you can cancel.
Organize an open house
Hold your own open house and tell all your neighbors in advance. Ask them to invite their kids, parents, siblings, good friends who always loved the neighborhood – anyone who likes their house and wants to move nearby. Put up posters on lamp posts, any store bulletin board, or other location to announce the day and time. Ask neighbors if you can put signs in their yard to direct traffic. Follow what the pros do and put out balloons and streamers so drivers can find you easily from the intersection. Don't forget to offer drinks and snacks to keep people in your house. And above all, be sure your house is immaculate for the buyers!
Be open to creative financing
Maybe a buyer needs a little more time to get the sale done. Try to work it out so that the deal can go through. Sometimes buyers don’t have enough of a down payment for a traditional mortgage. Think about letting them pay you over time.
Offer incentives if the deal is close to what you want. Offer to prepay taxes or closing costs. Throw in a few months of landscaping or pool service till they settle in.
If you are under water you may be able to refinance your mortgage to lower payments. If that is not possible and you need to get out; creative financing is your best bet.
Offer to let the buyer take over your mortgage. In your ads, say you are open to creative financing. This is attractive to buyers who may not have enough of a down payment for a traditional mortgage. Typically they pay you a lump sum and then pay you your asking price over time. These payments should cover your principal, interest, and taxes. If the house stays in your name make sure it covers your insurance, too. Depending on how much you owe and your monthly payments, it could offer you a little extra, too.
Your title company can set it up so that this is a safe transaction. Speak with several title companies to understand what all your options are in your state before you put your house up for sale, and certainly before you agree to any offer!
If you have come to the decision that it is time to move to have a better life. If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself, then there are people who specialize in the sale of problem properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. I am one of these people. Contact me for details.
Next time we will take a look at what to do to prepare your house for a summer sale.
So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here!
And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can
Turn Your House To $OLD!
Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.