Do you need to sell the home for an elderly loved one who lives in a different state?
Are you suddenly a custodian or owner of a house in another state?
Are you looking for information on how to sell a home remotely?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, the information in this article might have the answers you are looking for.
Selling a home you live in can be a stressful and time-consuming task – selling a home in another state can be daunting and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Many people don’t know where to start or what is the best way to sell the home. A recent Daily Mail report says that selling a home may be more stressful than bankruptcy, divorce, or the death of a loved one. We have found that the easiest and best way to approach the sale of a home remotely is to break the process into several manageable pieces and work through the process step-by-step.
A vacant home poses unique challenges and risks, so the first step in the process is to ensure the property is protected, insured, and maintained.
Make sure all doors, windows, and gates are locked and that a key is left with a local friend, house sitting company, or in a lockbox located on the property.
If there is a security system, make sure it is functioning and being monitored. If not, it would be wise to activate. Additionally, make sure the bills are sent to you for payment and have the contact information for alarm notification updated so you will be notified if an alarm is tripped.
Even with a security system and everything tightly locked, there is the possibility that young kids in the area will break in to use it as a party house, a homeless person may move in, or thieves break into stealing anything of value including the copper pipes and wiring. This may be thwarted by having a trusted person frequently visit and inspect the home. It is best if you can arrange this with a friendly neighbor, but if not, you will need to hire a professional house sitting company to inspect regularly.
You will need to make sure that the home is properly insured and that the premium payments are made as required. Since a typical homeowner insurance policy does not cover a loss on a home that has been vacant longer than 30 days, you will probably need to have the homeowner policy converted to vacant home policy. Due to the high-risk home when a home is empty, a vacant home policy is typically more expensive and has additional exclusions versus a typical homeowner policy. You may need to shop around to find a policy that provides the coverage you need at an affordable price.
Nothing advertises a vacant house like a mailbox stuffed with weeks of junk mail and grass that is 2 feet high. Request the post office to stop delivery of all mail and forward relevant mail as needed. Arrange for the lawn to be maintained and the foundation to be watered by a landscaper (especially during summer in North Texas). You will also need someone to clean the area around the outside of the home to remove signs that it is vacant, such as door hangers, business cards, and other items left by sales and delivery people.
Call all utility service providers to ensure utilities are left on and that the bills are set for autopay or sent to your location. You will also want to set the thermostat to a temperature that prevents freezing in the winter or becoming too hot in the summer. Turn the water heater off. Have one or two lights with low consumption LED light bulbs left on or connected to a timer.
Contact the local taxing authority to make sure taxes are paid current, all future bills and notices are sent to your address. If the home is located in a community with a homeowners association, you will need to verify payments are current and change the mailing address.
Now that you have arranged for the home to be maintained and protected for the short term, we can turn our attention to the personal items left in the home and overall condition of the property.
Life changes seem to happen suddenly, and when least expected, so the home you need to sell may be full of personal items. What to do with a house full of personal items when you are hundreds of miles away can be very difficult and will depend greatly on the resale value of the items. Here are several options to consider.
The first option is for you to schedule a time to travel to the home to sort through the items yourself and decide what needs to be kept, discarded, donated, or sold. Unfortunately, that takes money and a lot of time, which can be in short supply. Plus, the cost of travel may be greater than the resale value of the items.
The second option is for you to hire a personal property appraisal company to inventory, appraise, and provide a detailed report of what is inside the home. With the report in hand, you can decide on what should be done with each item. This may not be a viable option if the resale value of the items is minimal.
The third option is to hire a reputable estate sale company to inventory, market, and sell as much of the items as possible. This may be a good option as the estate company typically charges a percentage of all total sales. If the sale brings in a substantial sum, you will make money. If sales are disappointing, you will not lose anything.
If the items in the home have minimal resale value, the best option may be to donate the items to a local charity. Most large charitable organizations will remove the items for free, and you can take a tax write off for the value of what was donated.
Preparing the property is the toughest and most important activity before putting the home up for sale. But before you proceed with any work, it is important to have the property inspected to identify any repairs, upgrades, or improvements that are needed. Many times a detailed home inspection will uncover issues that can cost thousands of dollars to correct, like replacing a roof or antiquated mechanical systems.
Using the information from the inspection, you will need to create a rough estimate of how much it will cost to complete the repairs, and calculate the amount of time it will take contractors to do the work. Taking the time to do this task thoroughly is critical as it is needed to decide on the best method to sell the home.
Now that you are armed with the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision let’s look at your options.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
If the inspection report showed minimal repairs needed and the home is in overall good condition, selling the home with the help of a real estate agent will probably be your best option. You will still need to have the home cleaned and prepared for sale, but a good real estate agent can help you arrange these services.
We recommend that you interview several agents to ensure you find one who is a good fit, preferably with experience in working with out of state sellers. Remember, you are placing all of your trust into a real estate agent you never met in person, so ask questions and choose carefully.
It is also important to remember that time is money. As a seller that is paying for maintenance, utilities, taxes, and insurance, every day that the sale is not completed is a day you lost money. Understand that selling through a real estate agent will take time and includes the following steps:
- You have to find a real estate agent with experience who will help an out of state seller.
- The house needs to be cleaned and prepped for sale.
- The listing is created, photographs are taken, ads prepared and posted.
- You can wait for days, weeks, or months for a buyer to make an offer you will accept.
- Even after a contract is signed, it takes weeks for surveys, title searches, home inspections, and buyer loan approval to be completed, and you finally receive the proceeds from the sale.
A real estate agent does not charge you upfront; instead, they are paid through commission on the final sale price. A typical commission is 6% if the home sells for $200,000 sale you will pay the real estate agent $12,000. This will require a considerable investment of your time over several months of the sales process.
Sell the Home to a Cash Buyer
If the home inspection revealed some major problems that would be costly to repair or the home needs major updating, the fastest and easiest way for an out of state seller to sell a home is to sell to an investor, like OutFactors. This is the better and less risky way to sell the home if you do not have the time, money, or a trusted contractor to fix the property. OutFactors can make it easy for you to sell your house fast and for cash. For an out of state seller with a home that needs extensive repairs, this could be your best option.
Our process is so fast and simple we can usually close in 10 days or less. To get started, all you need to do is answer four simple questions. OutFactors will conduct an initial review of the home and offer you a fair price for the home based on its current condition. We will then schedule a walkthrough, conduct a quick inspection of the home, and complete the paperwork. With OutFactors, it is simple for an out of state seller to sell a vacant home that needs extensive repairs.
One of the biggest benefits of working with OutFactors is how simple we make it to get the cash you need when you need it. No worries about vandals breaking into the home or the amount of money you are losing every day the house sits vacant. We take care of the problems – you get the cash.
Sell your Dallas – Fort Worth home the stress-free way. Work with the professionals at OutFactors who will help you get out of your house fast and get you the money you deserve.
We hope this helps, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at OutFactors.com.
Easily Sell the Home of an Elderly Loved One from Out of State | OutFactors — Dallas, Texas