Part of the American dream is to buy and own your home. A little place on earth that belongs to you and your family, security and potentially even an investment. Unfortunately for some people, that dream turns into a nightmare, and rather than being the springboard for their future, their home becomes an anchor dragging them down.
Life is constantly changing and evolving, and there are many reasons why you might want to sell your property. Perhaps you get a job promotion, which requires you to move to another city, or maybe you are blessed with twins, which means that your current home is too small. Whatever the reasons, once you have decided to sell your home, the hope is that it will be a quick and easy process. But what happens when your home won’t budge? Then what do you do?
The first thing to do is to keep calm and not panic, although selling your property is the preferred solution it is not the only option. Let’s consider some of the alternatives or ideas that you could implement in the hope of either selling your property or at least giving you options for your future.
Consider Ways Of Improving Your Property To Make It More Attractive To Buyers
Although the idea of throwing money at a property you no longer want may be frustrating, it might be worth analyzing which small changes and improvements you could undertake that would make the property more attractive to a buyer. There may even be some options which could actually increase the value of the property, although that should not be your priority. Remember that first impressions count when selling a home so consider things such as painting the front of the property, or maybe adding a deck. These small additions need not cost a lot of money, but they could be enough to seal the deal.
It Might Be Worth Looking at Remortgaging
Sometimes people choose to try and sell their home because they are struggling to make ends meet financially, and so they feel that the only option left available to them is to sell their beloved home. This may not be the only option, depending on when you last took out or reviewed your mortgage, rates have changed drastically. It may be that a simple chat with your bank would enable you to change mortgages, or even lengthen the term, drastically reducing your monthly payments. Sometimes when people feel trapped in a terrible situation, they forget to look at the easy options, because they are simply so stressed about their current plight. Talking to your lender is always a good idea, just to get an idea of the options available to you.
Renting Is Always An Option
If you have no choice whatsoever and have to move for work reasons, then there is always the opportunity to rent out your property. Sometimes even if you are forced to accept $100 a month less than your current mortgage payment, this is still a preferable option and provides you with the freedom to move forward with your life.
If you do decide to venture down the renting route, utilize the services of a professional real estate management company. They will have the skills and facilities to run proper checks on any prospective tenants, and they are also a barrier between you and the tenant. The alternative is to continually be disturbed by your tenant at 11 pm complaining about a leaking tap. Many real estate investors have only discovered the benefits of using an agency once the problems start to arise.
The same thing applies to any work or repairs that need to be completed on the property. Tempting though it may be to complete the work yourself, unless you are a fully qualified tradesperson, it makes sense to employ the services of the professionals, so that all of the work is guaranteed and completed to a high standard. This is not only beneficial when you are renting the property, but also further down the line when you try to sell it again. Having paperwork from qualified builders demonstrates to any potential buyer that the property has been well maintained and looked after.
Enquire About The Possibility of a Short Sale
This is a relatively drastic solution and one that will have repercussions on your credit score, so it is not an option to take lightly. A short sale is when you sell the property for less money than you owe on the mortgage. This is not applicable to every property and is dependent on the lender accepting the arrangement. It is generally used in situations of negative equity, where the property has dropped significantly in value during the course of your ownership. However, if the situation is drastic, then it may be an option that you should consider. Here are some of the negatives of a short sale.
- It will put a large black mark on your credit score; a short sale is one step short of a foreclosure. For some people in this situation, their credit score is already destroyed so this might not matter.
- You might end up owing the IRS tax on the amount of forgiven debt. Speak to a tax professional regarding this before you commit to the process.
Consider Dropping The Price – Money Talks
It might be an option to lower the price of your property, reducing the profit you make, but extracting yourself from the situation. This is a purely financial decision; you need to work out how much the property will cost you every month it remains unsold. Let’s assume that it costs you $500 a month over the course of a year that will total $6000, plus extra maintenance, hassle and worry, and with no guarantee that it will sell during that time. Alternatively, if you drop the asking price by $8000, you might get a quick sale, and be able to put the problem behind you. Many people are so determined not to lose money on the sale that they fall into this trap and end up spending a lot more money than they saved. Sit down and work out the costs so that you can make an educated decision.
Although it may seem that you are trapped in a hopeless situation, the reality is that there are always numerous options. Sit down and evaluate which solution is the best option for you at the present moment, and then re-evaluate things every six months. With the exception of a short sale, none of the other options are permanent, and all of them give you scope to change or alter your decisions over time.