The process of selling a home can be an emotional one, no matter the reasons for the transfer. Some estimates say that nearly 40% of Americans cry during the home sale process. Buyer negotiations, a lengthy timeline, uncertainty over the sale price, and a fear the sale might fall through were cited as common stressors.
That stress—in addition to the fast transaction—is one of the best reasons to go to a cash home buyer! If you’re starting to think “Maybe it’s time to sell my home fast for cash,” you’ll be blown away by how much work and stress the process can help you circumvent.
Of course, cash home buying comes with nuances of its own, including several costly mistakes to avoid wherever possible. Before you head to a cash home buyer, read on to learn what not to do when selling a house.
1. Selling When You Owe More Than Your Home Is Worth
Even if you feel ready to sell your home fast, you should consider the timing with care. If your property went down in value, meaning that you owe more money than your home is currently worth, it may not be the best timing to make the sale.
If you sell your home when you’re upside-down, you may not make enough to pay off what’s left of your mortgage, meaning you’ll need to pay the rest out of pocket. The alternative is to stay put, working to build up value and equity before selling.
Of course, if you need to sell fast to deal with a tricky personal situation like divorce, bankruptcy, or foreclosure, you may not have a choice in the matter—but it’s always worth seeing if waiting makes sense, especially if your reasons for moving offer a little more leeway!
2. Listing With a Real Estate Agent
If you’ve already listed your home with a real estate agent, you may be out of luck for a while if you’re seeking a cash sale instead.
When you partner with a listing agent, they’ll require you to sign a listing agreement with them. These contracts often last for a specified period of time, and they state that you must pay the listing agent for help selling the house. This includes selling the house yourself!
In other words, even if you turn around and go to a cash buyer, you’ll still be obligated to pay the listing agent’s commission fee in full, even if the agent has done nothing to help you.
If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll have to read the fine print of your contract with care to understand whether selling your house for cash is still a viable option. Otherwise, you might want to wait until your contract with the listing agent expires before you sell.
3. Putting Money Into Home Updates
When you sell your home through the traditional process—by working with a real estate agent—you need to jump through certain hoops to attract attention. This can include making expensive repairs to increase the value of your home, upgrading older appliances, or staging your home for sale.
If you’re thinking of finding a cash buyer, you may wonder, “Should I fix my house before selling it?”
However, when you sell your home for cash, you don’t need to worry about the appearance of your home. Cash home buyers are real estate investors, and they’re skilled at looking beyond the initial appearance of a home to understand its value. Through the purchase of your home as an investment property, an investor plans to make more money by selling for more than they paid you.
To do this, they’ll purchase your home “as is.” This means that tossing your money into updates and upgrades is pointless: the cash buyer doesn’t expect any of this!
That said, you may be able to negotiate a better price with a clean, orderly home whose rooms and appliances aren’t in a state of disrepair. If you can do small things to enhance your home, feel free to do so—but there’s also no problem with selling an older inherited home without working on it first, for example.
4. Demanding an Unrealistic Price
Of all the home-selling mistakes you can make, this is one of the most common. Many homeowners expect a high price for their home, often comparable or more than what they initially paid for it.
However, because cash buyers are looking to make a quick return on investment, they won’t pay market value for your home. You’ll still receive a fair and reasonable price, but it won’t be the top-dollar price you’d earn from repairing, upgrading, and waiting months for the perfect interested buyer. Of course, you also won’t have to worry about fees and commissions, either!
5. Underestimating the Added Costs
One of the most common mistakes about selling homes is a failure to consider added costs. Even when you aren’t going through a listing agent—meaning that you won’t have to pay their fees—there are added costs inherent in any property transfer.
This is especially true if you’ve moved out before selling your home. When this happens, you may end up paying two mortgages, in addition to your utility bills.
You’ll also have to factor in taxes. When you sell a home for more than you first paid for it, you’ll have to pay a capital gain tax. Most of the time, homeowners can exclude part of the profits from this tax, but it’s important to consider how this will affect your federal tax return. It’s also worth noting that you’ll still have to pay property taxes, prorated until the date of your home’s sale.
6. Not Creating Move-Out Plans
One of the biggest benefits of a cash buyer is how fast the transaction takes to process. In most cases, you can close the sale in under two weeks!
Many sellers are surprised by the speed of the process, which is very different from the six months it takes on average for a traditional home purchase. As a result, it’s common not to be ready to move out on time. Make sure to work with the cash buyer to understand the timeline, and to know your move-out date!
Sell My Home Fast for Cash
If you’re set on a quick transaction, even these common mistakes can’t keep you from thinking, “It’s time to sell my home fast for cash!” Keep them in mind as you move forward, but don’t hesitate to get the quick cash you need.
If you’re ready to get a cash offer today, fill out this form to get started. You’ll get an offer within 24 hours, putting you on your way to a stress-free and speedy transaction!
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