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Even if you’re excited to move on to your next adventure, selling a home is rarely a fun process. A lot goes into selling your home, no matter which method of sale you choose. Sometimes, circumstances become stressful and your time-frame to sell your home becomes limited. Whatever the case, there’s a method that will work for you. Just make sure you’re familiar with Arizona law regarding the sale of your home.
Why Are You Thinking of Selling?
While some people may want to sell their home for the change of scenery, your situation may be different. If you're in one of the situations below, it’s important to understand what your options are when needing to sell
If this death resulted in the property being inherited, you may need to complete a probate process before you can sell the home. Some states require disclosures about any deaths that have occurred on the property, but Arizona does not. If a buyer asks about a death on the property, you are not allowed to lie, but you can politely decline to answer.
If you find yourself in financial distress, you don’t have any time to waste. Contact your lender before you’ve missed a mortgage payment, and let them know the details of your situation. Your lender may provide you with options to prevent foreclosure, with short sale being the most common.
If you can’t wait to get out of your bad neighborhood, you’ll probably have a hard time finding someone else who is willing to move in. If your neighborhood is very noisy, either because of loud neighbors or businesses located nearby, you’ll have to disclose this information to potential buyers.
If you’re behind on your payments, chances are that your lender has already begun to draw up the paperwork necessary for a foreclosure. Rather than digging the hole deeper and allowing your home to enter foreclosure, you may want to investigate fast sale methods.
If you work for a major corporation, your employer is probably paying you relocation assistance. This is great for moving, but it won’t cover the costs you’re leaving behind back home.
If you need to move to start the next leg of your career journey, you’ll need to sell your home fast. If not, you’ll be sending home checks to cover the mortgage and maintenance of your unoccupied property.
It’s hard to find a buyer for a run down home. People envision themselves moving into a home that’s already perfect for them, or a home that only needs minor adjustments. Run down homes require buyers who are willing to put in the work to fix them, and you’ll do much better selling your home substantially below the typical market value.
In Arizona, tenants that have been egregiously awful can be served a 24 hour notice with no right of redemption. Determine whether or not a tenants actions make a 24 hour notice feasible. If they haven’t you’ll need to serve a notice appropriate for the offense, and follow through the proper legal procedures for eviction.
If you didn’t hold a fire insurance policy before the damage, you were probably astounded to learn how much fire damage repairs can cost. Though it may seem unbelievable, you can still sell a home that’s seen significant fire damage. It may be time to start checking out home investors, who are prepared to fix the damage themselves.
You can sell your home after divorce if you were exclusively granted the home. If you’re still in the divorce process, you’ll need to work with the Arizona courts. If your spouse disagrees to the sale and his or her name is on the legal paperwork for the home, you may not be able to do much. If you both agree to sell, the house will be turned into a liquid asset to be distributed equitably in the divorce.
The military will tell you where to go, but they won’t tell you what to do with the home you’re leaving behind. If you need to make it to your next destination quickly, you may not have the time required to work with a realtor or sell your home by owner. A cash buyer will work best, unless you intend on paying for the home while you’re gone.
Unless you plan on sending money back home to cover your mortgage and pay someone to maintain your home in your absence, you shouldn’t leave until you’ve already closed a sale on your home. How you choose to sell depends on how long you’re willing to wait to relocate.
You can sell your home up until the moment the bank puts it up for auction, and doing so will prevent “foreclosure” from being etched into your credit report for the next seven years. Cash buyers like home investors may be able to help you arrange a short sale, and prevent things from coming to the worst possible conclusion.
When you don’t have any more money coming in, you’re probably worried about how much longer you’ll be able to pay your mortgage. Contact your lender as soon as you’ve lost your job, and let them know what’s going on. They may be able to provide you with alternatives. If the situation won’t get better any time soon, your lender may suggest a short sale.
Inherited properties over $100,000 in value are subject to a probate process in most cases. If no probate is necessary due to joint tenancy, you can sell your inherited home as soon as the estate is settled.
If your home needs so many repairs that you see selling as the only viable option, you’re going to have a difficult time finding a traditional buyer. You’ll get the best results contacting home investors that are willing to purchase properties in any condition.
Code violations that you cannot afford to content with can become a slippery slope. Most buyers don’t want to purchase a home with violations hanging over it, as the time to fix the violations will probably run out as soon as the home comes into their possession. Stick with cash buyers who don’t mind properties that need work.
Certain bankruptcy or divorce proceedings may require you to liquidate your assets. The longer it takes you to sell your home, the longer you’ll be locked into the court process. Focus on selling your home the quickest way possible.
With lengthy listing times in many areas of Arizona, expired listings are becoming increasingly common. For whatever reason, your home just isn’t appealing to the average buyer. You may want to consider selling your home another way.
ARIZONA'S CURRENT HOUSING MARKET
The housing market in Arizona has drastically declined since mid 2011, and is now similar to where it was in 2007. This may be a jarring statistic to take in, but the market is actually getting better. It’s currently in a healthy state, and the risk for further collapse is very low.
In many areas, homes have seen a value increase. It may not be as fast and as bustling as it once was, but it’s no longer dangerous or unpredictable. While this is a comfort to many homeowners, it’s important to remember that a healthy market is not necessarily a fast market.
Averages show that properties that would be considered highly in demand, such as modernized homes in good neighborhoods with no need for repairs, sell in about 70 days. On the further end of the spectrum, some homeowners can expect their homes to sit on the market for 180 days before the closing process can begin.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SALES METHOD FOR YOUR HOME
SELLING THROUGH A REALTOR
If you’re considering selling through a real estate agent, you’ll want to understand the facts and figures that will affect that sale. The average real estate commission is 5.4% in the state of Arizona, with the median home value at $208,400. While homes in major metropolitan areas are generally more expensive than homes in outer areas of a state, this is not true for Arizona.
The median value of a home in the Phoenix metro is actually lower – sitting at $194,200. Homes may be listed for more, but this is the average offer that sellers typically wind up accepting. This means the average commission for a real estate agent translates to somewhere between $10,500 and $11,250.
Depending on what area of Arizona your home is located in, you can expect to wait for an average time as long as 180 days for your property to sell if you list it with a real estate agent. Since the market is still recovering, you may find that it takes much longer. The longer it takes, the more price drops a real estate agent will want to enact. This will go on until your listing expires or you finally find a buyer. It’s a little unpredictable.
FOR SALE BY OWNER
You can also sell your home by owner. At the end of the sale, you won’t be short the commission you would have to pay a realtor – but you will have to spend money out of pocket. Staging your home (which means fixing it up to make it appealing to potential buyers), listing your home, and showing your home will all rely solely on you. This can get to be expensive, but it probably won’t be nearly as expensive as commission.
You’ll also have to do all of your documents yourself. This means your sale contract and disclosures. You may want to hire a lawyer to help you with the legal documents associated with the sale of your home. This is another expensive you’ll pay out of pocket, but it’s worth making sure all of your bases are covered. Faulty contracts or misleading disclosures can result in a buyer filing a civil suit against you, which is far more costly than making sure you have it done right the first time.
If you’re attempting to sell your home by owner and it hasn’t sold within 45 days, you probably need to drop the price and re-advertise the home. This is more money out of your pocket for advertisement and a lower sale price all rolled into one package. Too many price drops can quickly put you on a sinking ship.
SELLING TO AN INVESTOR
When time is of the essence it's always good to be aware of alternative options for the sale of your home. While not a traditional method, the absolute fastest way to sell your home is to sell it directly to a Real Estate Investor.
Approach reputable investors about your home & ask them about their process and what they can offer you for your home. Since most investors will aren't concerned about the homes condition, they'll be willing to provide an all cash offer for your home in "as-is" condition. Since not all investors work the same, make sure to get offers from multiple investors and speak with them first before you consider which one offers you the most value for your home and situation.
Please be aware that offers will often come in at less than full market value. The benefit for you is that you won’t have to spend anything to sell the home. There are no commissions, no advertising costs, no repairs, no renovations, no closing costs - nothing. When working with an investment company what you're doing is skipping from the beginning of the sales process directly to the end so you're able to unload the property as quick and painlessly as possible.
FINDING HONEST INVESTORS
New Investment companies are popping up all the time. These companies aren't always run by experienced professionals. Experienced investors will understand your benefit is more important than the potential profit to be made from your property.
Honest investors will tell you whether or not they're your best option or if there's a better alternative. Inexperienced investors can take advantage of desperate homeowners to line their pockets, with little regard to the impact they’re having.
These types of investors will often make promises that seem too good to be true. And have a "do anything to get the deal" mentality. If you feel your investor is speaking a foreign language when discussing your contract - something's off. Experienced investors can answer your questions in plain English. They’ll explain their offers, how they arrive at their numbers and tell you what they intend to do with your home.
If you’re turning to an investor for a short sale, that investor should act as an advocate for you when it comes to your lender and the court. They’ll want to help you avoid foreclosure at all costs.
Always thoroughly research an investment company before working with them. Read testimonials from other sellers who've worked with this company. If things aren’t adding up or you’re sure an investor is trying to pull a fast one, you can always contact the Arizona Attorney General with a complaint or turn to a more professional company.
ARIZONA INVESTORS SPECIALIZE IN HELPING HOME OWNERS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
Arizona allows both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures. Because most mortgage contracts contain stipulations about what will happen in the event that you’re delinquent, the majority of lenders won’t need to take you to court in order to foreclose. Your lender can foreclose in as little as 90 days after they’ve sent you the notice. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Time is really of the essence when your home is in foreclosure, but if you can find a buyer in such a short period of time, you may be able to stop the process. Arizona does not allow redemption after sale, so you’re going to lose the home no matter what you do. It’s better to attempt to end the process, and walk away without any debt obligation to your lender.
Some states allow what is called a deficiency judgement. This is where, after a foreclosure, your lender can sue you for the difference between the sale price of the home and the full market value of the home. In some states, the lender can sue you for everything left on your loan, less the sale price of the house. The great thing about Arizona is that, while deficiency judgements are allowed, they’re only allowed under very specific circumstances. Unless your property is unique, deficiency judgements probably will not apply to you.
In Arizona, a deficiency judgement is not allowed on single family homes, two family homes, or homes on less than 2 and a half acres of property. Since the overwhelming majority of homes fall under these exclusion, there’s no real reason to worry about your lender taking you to court for a deficiency judgement.
Without the deficiency judgement hanging over your head, it’s fairly easy to solve foreclosure with a short sale. Every minute your lender spends in the foreclosure process is a minute they’re losing money. Whether they used a judicial or nonjudicial method, it’s still costing them money in man power, legal fees, and advertising your home. If they don’t have to do it, they’d rather not. It’s a great idea to approach them with a short sale buyer.
Home investors will buy homes in virtually any condition. It doesn’t matter if the property is highly in demand or dressed up to sell – an investor intends to renovate and repair the home anyway. A great investor will be able to contact your lender with a short sale offer. They’ll come to an agreement, and the investor will buy the home in cash. This puts an end to the foreclosure process before the home is actually foreclosed on, and because your lender probably isn’t allowed a deficiency judgement, you don’t owe them any money once everything’s said and done.
It is worth noting, however, that a short sale will not immediately fix your credit. While it’s ideal to avoid a foreclosure from becoming completed, and a lack of deficiency judgement will help you from going further into debt, you will not walk away unblemished. A short sale will appear on your credit report as a settled loan, rather than a paid loan. When all is said and done, it’s easier to rebuild from a loan gone awry than a full-on foreclosure. They both have significant impact, but a foreclosure will make rebuilding even harder.[/read]
BURNED OUT LANDLORD
You can sell your property, but you can’t sell your tenants. You’ll need to get them out before you can sell the property. Great tenants will be understanding. Let them know as soon as possible that you won’t be renewing the lease simply because you’re no longer interested in being a landlord. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Offer to write them a letter of recommendation that notes their exemplary tenant status that they can provide to new potential landlords. Give them the option to end their lease without penalty and offer them their full security deposit back. You can’t make great tenants leave, but you can make it easier for them.
If you need to evict bad tenants, make sure you’re doing so in accordance with Arizona law. You can evict with as little as 24 hours of notice in serious situations. If blatantly unlawful behavior (such as irresponsible gun use or drug dealing), substantial damage to the property, or serious violence has transpired on the property, a 24 hour notice is all that is necessary. Everything else falls under a 5 day or 10 day notice.
If your reason for eviction is nonpayment, you must first begin with a five day notice to pay the rent or face eviction. Five day notices can also be used for violations of lease agreements that can be considered health and safety risks. This includes an excess of trash on the property, or even damage to the wiring in the home. Ten day notices are for minor lease violations, such as a dog for which a deposit was not paid or a tenant living in the home who was never properly added to the lease.
In every scenario except for an emergency scenario, the notice is for the amount of time the tenant has to either comply or willfully leave before the eviction lawsuit will begin. Most tenants don’t want to go through the trouble of being evicted via the court system, so those unwilling to comply will sometimes leave voluntarily. Make sure you’re directly serving the notice to someone on the lease, sending it by registered mail, or affixing it to the door. Keep a copy of the notice and prepare a written statement about its delivery for your records.
If the tenant doesn’t comply and cannot use a defense (such as claiming discrimination or retaliatory eviction), you need to have a document prepared called a forcible detainer. This document outlines the reasons for eviction, the service of your compliance notice, a list of all tenants on the lease, an outline of the money owed to you by the tenant (including your legal fees), and a writ of restitution.
This notice needs to be served at least two days before the court date, and it must be served by a process server. The tenant is required to provide the judge with a written response and pay all applicable fees. If they don’t, the court will place a default judgement in your favor. After the judgement, the tenant has not left after six days, the writ of restitution can be given to the police, who may forcibly remove tenants from the property.
After this has occurred, you’re free to remove any property the tenants have left behind, change the locks, and disconnect the utilities. It is imperative that you wait until after the writ is used and law enforcement has removed the tenants, as self eviction measures are illegal in Arizona. [/read]
Arizona has some unique shortcuts in their probate laws that allow simplified probate for certain properties. Disregarding the entire value of the estate, you can file an affidavit with the court to claim any property valued at less than $100,000. If the home you’re inheriting is in a state of disrepair, you may be able to skip formal probate. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
The only stipulations behind the affidavit method is that it can be filed no less than 6 months after the individual has died, all debts have been paid from the estate, and the estate does not have a personal representative.
Though it seems like it’s impossible to fit all of the criteria to expedite the probate with this affidavit, it’s a great alternative for families looking to skip probate altogether. If you’re starting off late, this option may be available to you. If you’re acting immediately, you’ll have to utilize either a formal or informal probate process. Informal probate is the most common, and if the decedent’s family is getting along, it’s the ideal way to go.
If the will hasn’t been challenged and everyone agrees to abide by it, the heirs will appoint an executor (sometimes called a personal representative) to the court. This person is responsible for handling all aspects of the probate. The court will oversee minor details, such as the payment of debts to legitimate creditors. They’ll also make sure that no one contests any decisions. Once you’ve handled informal probate and the matter has been closed, you’re free to sell the property.
Formal probate is a little different. If the will can be perceived as invalid or outdated, this commonly leads to formal probate. Formal probate is also used when the family cannot decide on a personal representative, or everyone essentially has their own version of what the will is supposed to mean. The major debts and distribution will be settled first, and the house will have to be awarded to someone before it can be sold. If it isn’t, the home can be sold and liquefied into the estate.
Supervised probate is only used when things are especially complicated. Estates that leave behind large debts that may not be able to be satisfied by the assets of that estate will sometimes go through supervised probate. After an executor is appointed, that executor will need court approval for every decision that they make, including the sale of the property.
You’ll want to avoid complicated probate procedures if you’re looking to handle everything in a reasonable amount of time. Before anyone files to be the executor, sit down with your family and have a discussion. You may have some disagreements, but it’s better to handle them outside of the court room. The court’s actions cannot always be predicted, so privately resolving as much as you can before starting the probate process will lead to the best results for everyone involved. [/read]
NEED REPAIRS / UPGRADES
How you handle a property that needs repairs depends on how much money you have to invest. Never run yourself into debt attempting to a repair a home, particularly because a lot of repairs and renovations don’t offer substantial return on investment. Some projects (such as kitchen remodels), might not offer any return on investment at all. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Roofs have always been of the utmost importance to potential homebuyers. Nobody wants a property with a roof that’s going to allow rain into their living room, and roof replacements can be costly. Arizona home owners can expect an average roof to cost $5,043. A buyer doesn’t want to purchase a home at full market value, and then have to spend time and money getting the roof replaced.
If you can afford to do the work, it may be worthwhile. If there’s only one or two things that need fixing and you’re able to pay for these repairs and wait for their completion, you might want to do that. If the home has a laundry list of problems, it may not be worth your investment. Kitchen cabinets can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and you could be spending this money just to bring your home up to bare minimum standards.
You can avoid the whole debacle by finding someone who is willing to accept the property as-is. Home investment companies set out to by these kinds of property in specific. They intend to remodel the home to make it more attractive to buyers, so they aren’t intimidated by big issues. An investor will make on offer on your home that’s less the cost of any necessary repairs or renovations. They’ll buy your home in cash, so you can sell and move immediately.[/read]
ABOUT HOME BUYERS USA
Home Buyers USA is made up of competent professionals with years of experience in home investment. We’ve worked with enough homeowners to know that contacting an investor is usually a response to a dire set of circumstances, and you may feel overwhelmed.
We’d be glad to walk you through the process and help you sell your home in any condition, under any scenario.
All you need to do is contact us the moment you’re ready to sell. Provide us with some information about you and your home, and we’re prepared to draw up a quick cash offer on your home.
Time is of the essence. Damaged properties will only become more damaged if left unmanaged. If you’re looking for a short sale, you only have a few weeks to avoid foreclosure. Let us be your ally.
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