Do you own a property that you’re no longer keen on having? Do you need to unload it quickly in order to move on? If so, you have several options. It’s simply a matter of homing in on the correct one.
First Things First: You Aren’t Alone
If you have a property that’s burdening you, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one. Everywhere you go, people are talking about how great real estate is, how meaningful it is to be a homeowner, and how investments in real estate can help you build wealth. But to you, it’s nothing more than a financial drain, time-suck, or nagging reminder of past wounds that you’d like to leave behind.
Your situational factors might be unique to you, but there are plenty of others who feel the way you do. Common scenarios include:
- An older couple whose primary residence has become too burdensome to maintain. It’s costing thousands of dollars a month to cover property taxes, insurance, lawn care, and basic maintenance. Unloading the house would provide enough cash to get a small condo close to the grandkids.
- A young real estate investor who bit off more than he could chew, and now needs to sell the property fast just so that he can break even on the investment.
- A single mom with four kids who inherited a house from her recently deceased grandparents. The thought of selling her current house, fixing up the inherited property, moving, and switching school zones is just too much. She’d rather have a quick and clean transaction that would allow her to use the proceeds to invest in her children’s future college education.
Whether your scenario fits into one of these examples, or you have a totally unique situation, the point is that there are times when it’s wise to quickly sell a house you no longer want. The question is, how do you do it?
3 Options To Consider
If you’re looking to unload your house quickly, these are the most common options:
1. Traditional Sales Listing
The first option is to go the route of a traditional sales listing. This isn’t always a good choice, but in a white hot market where financing is cheap, buyers are aplenty, and inventory doesn’t sit for very long, you might be able to get the property under contract in one weekend.
The key with this approach is to be clear about what you want. Your agent needs to let buyers know up front that you want a quick close (30 days or less) and no contingencies. (You’ll probably have to knock the price down a bit to make the listing competitive, but these stipulations will rule out the tire kickers.)
2. Cash Buyer
The better option is to find a cash buyer who can close on your property without involving inspectors, banks, and other parties that typically slow down a sale process and lead to prolonged due diligence periods.
You’ll find seasoned cash buyers in almost every market. Take West Palm Beach, Florida, for example. With HomeWizard.co, you simply input your address and you’ll receive a cash offer within a few hours. You should be able to find a similar service in your area.
A cash buyer isn’t going to offer you a premium price, but they will play fair. And because there are no inspections, repairs, and back-and-forth, you typically walk out ahead. Best of all, it’s fast!
3. Short Sale
If you’re underwater on your payments and need to sell the house quickly to avoid a foreclosure, you have a few options. One of the first options to consider is a short sale.
With a short sale, you work with the bank to price the property lower than market value in hopes of finding a buyer and completing a quick transaction.
“When foreclosure is imminent, the bank participates in the sale process and must agree on the final price and terms of the sale,” real estate professional Kimberlee Leonard writes. “The homeowner is still the seller of the home and keeps the house in top condition to attract top dollar. The lender usually accepts a lesser amount from the sale and writes off the difference.”
You’ll end up with less than you probably should, but a short sale can at least prevent you from going through the frustrating and embarrassing process of foreclosure.
Make the Decision That’s Right For You
You’ll have a lot of people telling you what you should do. But at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with your choice. Stop worrying about appeasing everyone and make the decision that’s right for you.
If that’s selling your house to a cash buyer, great! If it’s working with the bank on a short sale, so be it. The choice is ultimately yours to make. Gather the facts and proceed with poise and confidence.