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Many people in other states dream of retiring in Florida, but a lot of people living in the state dream of retiring anywhere else. The Florida real estate market has been a very bumpy road for a number of years, with unpredictable highs and lows. If you’re looking to sell your Florida home, all you need to do is approach the sale process in a way that’s cohesive with your current situation.
NO MATTER YOUR SITUATION WE CAN HELP
We help Florida home owners in difficult situations every year
Other than deciding that you want a change of scenery, most reasons you would want to sell your home will require some special considerations on your part. Always make sure you check with Florida law about the proper way to sell a home under unique circumstances.
There are a lot of reasons why someone may decide to sell a home after someone has died: some of them financial, and some of them emotional. No matter the reason, Florida law does not require you to disclose if the deceased person passed away in the home you’re trying to sell.
Foreclosure is a real train wreck in Florida. If your lender can avoid it, they certainly want to. If you know you won’t be able to continue making payments on the home, let your lender know immediately. They’ll be able to work with you to get the home sold before you amass some serious debt.
Bad neighborhoods are an increasingly common issue in Florida. A struggling economy coupled with low property values has really taken a toll on the suburbs. Nobody is waiting in line to buy a property in a bad neighborhood, so you may need to sell through alternative means
Don’t let yourself get any further behind than you already are. If you’re certain you won’t be able to settle your debt with your lender before they begin the foreclosure process, look into selling your home as quickly as possible.
Nobody wants to pay the mortgage and upkeep costs on a home they aren’t living in. It’s wasteful, and you’ll need your money to support your family in your new location. Selling your home before you depart is the wisest decision.
The climate, the terrain, and the storms can make for some seriously run down homes in Florida. It’s expensive to repair all of the damage a home can face, and sometimes it’s more economically efficient to sell. If you want to sell a home that’s run down, an investor may be interested in purchasing and renovating your property.
Bad tenants can make life stressful, and you’ll need to get them out before you sell the home. Investigate Florida eviction law to determine which methods you can use to remove bad tenants. Just be careful not to escalate the situation, as vengeful tenants have a tendency to damage properties on their way out.
If you didn’t have proper fire insurance, you’ll find that costs for repairing fire damage are very humbling. If it isn’t in your budget, you can sell your home as a fixer upper to a buyer who will take the property as-is. A home investor may be able to help.
In order to sell your home during a divorce in Florida, both parties will have to agree. The proceeds from the sale, if any, will go into the assets of the divorce and be divided equitably. If the property is awarded to one individual, that person can sell the home after the divorce is finalized.
Unfortunately, the military doesn’t pay the kind of salary that would allow you to pay the mortgage on your old home while living in your new one. The best possible solution would be to sell the home quickly, before you’re transferred to your new destination.
If you’ve had enough fun in the sun to last a lifetime, you’ll want to sell your home and move on to the next journey in your life. Relocating independently is expensive, and you’ll want to start the process with as much cash as possible. Selling your home before you relocate will make the transition much easier.
Foreclosure is alarmingly common in Florida, and navigating the process is massively difficult. You have until the lender auctions off your home to sell it on your own, but utilizing a solution like a short sale with a deficiency judgement waver will provide you with the best outcome.
If you’ve inherited a property outright, it’s yours to sell. If the deceased didn’t leave behind a will, left a will that was old, or a will that is contested, you’ll first have to navigate the Florida probate process. The home can be sold while the estate is still in probate, pending the approval of the court.
Termites, storms, and sinkholes galore. Your home needs repairs, and they’ve very expensive to contend with. You’ll need to find a buyer who is willing to take your home as-is. Home investors love buying properties that need repairs.
Florida law is very serious when it comes to code violations. Homes are often condemned and owners can be jailed for failing to pay fines associated with code violations that have not been resolved. If you know you can’t afford to bring your home up to court, it’s time to start looking for a buyer who will take your property in any condition. You need to sell quickly.
Some divorce or bankruptcy proceedings may require you to liquidate some assets, including your home. The faster you sell, the faster you can bring these stressful matters to their conclusion.
Expired listings are a regular occurrence in many areas of Florida, as the market is constantly swooping down. Rather than constantly relisting, consider selling through another method. If you can’t sell with an agent, selling by owner may be even harder. A home investor is a reliable alternative.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SALES METHOD FOR YOUR HOME
SELLING THROUGH A REALTOR
With the average real estate commission being 5.4% and the median home value being $191,300 statewide, you can expect to pay up over $10,000 after the sale of your home. If you live in a great neighborhood, this is the reality you’re facing. While this is the median home value, it can be a little misleading. Certain parts of Florida are home to very expensive, luxury properties. Other parts of the state are on a completely different side of the spectrum.
In areas like Pasco county, homes are valued very low and aren’t selling as quickly. In cities like Holiday and Port Richey, most of the properties are valued under $60,000 and are sitting in a very cold market. Things are slightly better in the Tampa, Clearwater, Saint Petersburg metropolitan area, and along the coast in resort towns. The nature coast, north Florida, and central Florida outside of Orlando will generally see very meager home values.
If you live away from these major cities and resort towns, you’ll probably experience difficulty selling your home with a real estate agent. The economy has encouraged more families to opt for rental properties or apartments, as purchasing a low-value home that’s out of date becomes more of a project than a place to live.
FOR SALE BY OWNER
Rather than running through real estate contracts until they’ve expired, some Florida homeowners prefer to sell their homes by owner. This means the homeowner is responsible for preparing and showing the home, and will pick up the tab for advertising and maintenance costs until the home has sold.
If you can’t afford it, don’t want to wait, or have realized that the repairs aren’t worth it, you can still sell the home. Home investors take property in any condition. They won’t offer you full market value, but it’s often a guaranteed sale. They’ll pay in cash and take on all of the repairs themselves. It’s a great alternative if you want to avoid treading in murky financial territory.
FLORIDA'S CURRENT HOUSING MARKET
As of late March 2016, home sales drastically plummeted. New research by JP Morgan suggests that the probably of another recession starting within the next two years is startlingly high, and foreclosures are already disproportionately common in the state of Florida.
Things aren’t getting better, so if you want to sell, you need to do so as quickly as possible. With no buyers on the market in many areas, both selling through a realtor and selling by owner aren’t very feasible options. The Florida real estate market is in trouble, and if you’re looking to get out, it’s best that you act quickly.
The majority of people listing through traditional methods have spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to sell their home. Turning to an investor is your best alternative. Waiting around puts you at risk of the market getting worse, making your property even harder to sell than it already is.
South Beach Florida
SELLING TO AN INVESTOR
Investors will purchase your home fast less the cost of necessary repairs and renovations, and buy it in cash. Leave the hard stuff to the investors – especially if your prime concern is getting your home sold and moving away.
Florida is full of shady home investors. The bad market, low home values, and constant collapses have drawn them in. They see an opportunity in a vulnerable homeowner, and they’re ready to strike. Commonly, these investors will offer to purchase your home and allow you to remain living in it. No legitimate investor would actually do this.
These investors intend to become your landlord, and charge you more than your monthly mortgage rate to live there. They know you can’t afford it, and they’re waiting to evict you after they’ve backed you into a corner. They’re taking advantage of you, and adding insult to injury.
Always research any home investment company before you decide to work with them. Choose someone with a lot of experience, and check out reviews that other homeowners have left for them. Legitimate investors will always offer you less than fair market value for your home, but they’ll be able to tell you how they calculated that offer. They’ll never ask you to sign confusing documents in private, and they’ll always be willing to answer your questions about how the process works.
WORKING WITH HONEST INVESTORS
Home Buyers USA is a home investment team with many years of experience. We’ve dealt with a large variety of homeowners, all of whom were selling homes for different reasons. We have a wide range of expertise, and we’d like to be able to use it to help you sell your home. If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest way to sell, we’re here to offer that to you.
We know that selling a home is stressful, and we understand that when most homeowners choose to go through an investor, it’s because they’re facing unfortunate circumstances. You may have a lot of questions about what lies ahead, and we’re more than glad to answer these questions for you.
Contact us with information about your property and your current situation. We’ll be able to prepare a quick cash offer for your home. Whether your property is in bad shape, facing foreclosure, or simply not selling on the traditional market, we may be interested in purchasing it.
HOME BUYERS USA SPECIALIZES IN HELPING FLORIDA HOME OWNERS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
What to Do in Foreclosure
Foreclosure in Florida is a unique beast. Backlogged foreclosures are completely out of control, and the average timeline for the completion of a foreclosure is 893 days. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Most states cap their timelines out at 120 days, but with lenders in Florida being so foreclosure happy in a struggling economy, the process has become a real nightmare for everyone involved.
In 2013, House Hill 87 was put into effect, and it largely changed the foreclosure process. Rather than helping lenders and homeowners move through the overwhelming back catalog of foreclosures, it actually convoluted the process much more. In the majority of states, lenders prefer to utilize nonjudicial foreclosure methods. In Florida, that’s not an option. Every single foreclosure has to be processed through the court system – and court proceedings are long and costly.
Though the law was designed to make the foreclosure process faster by offering an expedited procedure, even an expedited procedure can take a few months to complete. While all of this is going on, you owe interest on your defaulted loan. Since the housing market is so poor in many areas, many homes sell for virtually pennies on the dollar once they finally go to foreclosure auction.
This is also bad news for everyone. Florida allows deficiency judgement. If your home (which is already low in value for many areas of the state) has a fair market value of $70,000, it may sell at auction for as little as $15,000 in the current market. Your lender is then allowed to file a suit for a deficiency judgement, which would allow them to hold you accountable for $55,000. Your lender will stop at nothing to get that money, though they may not be able to actually recover it from you due to bankruptcy after a foreclosure.
Your lender hates having to follow through with foreclosure, and you’ll hate to have it happen to you. Don’t let your lender complete the foreclosure. Short sale is a great alternative. It may be complicated to navigate and it could take some time, but it’s nowhere near as lengthy, difficult, or damaging as the actual foreclosure process.
Find a home investor who is willing to purchase your home as a short sale. They’ll work with your lender to negotiate a reasonable sale price. Investors don’t buy homes at full market value, but that’s okay. After all the money your lender will have to spend, and all the lost income that will occur as a result of an unreasonably lengthy foreclosure process, they’d rather take what they can get and move on. It’s a better economic decision on your lender’s part to accept the offer.
In the process of the short sale, you can draft up something called a waiver of deficiency. If your bank signs this, it means they’re giving up their right to pursue you for a deficiency judgement This means that after the short sale, you’re off the hook with your lender. Short sale is something of a loophole, but it’s a loophole that benefits everyone. You aren’t in a massive amount of debt, your lender can recover a lump sum of money without having to work tirelessly for it and lose income in the process, and the investor gets an affordably priced home.
All you need to provide is proof that you can’t continue making the payments. Considering that you’re already in foreclosure, this will probably be really easy for you to do. Show pay stubs, bank statements, outstanding debts, tax returns, and write a letter of hardship. Your bank will most likely be eager to approve a short sale, especially if you act quickly.
Short sales appear on your credit history as a loan that was settled, rather than paid in full. This is very bad for your credit, but foreclosure is much worse. If you’re smart about rebuilding your credit, you can negate the effects in 3 to 5 years. With a foreclosure, you’re trapped for a full 7 years – no matter what you do. [/read]
What to do as a Landlord
You can sell your property, but you can’t sell your tenants. If your home is currently occupied, you’ll need to handle your tenants first. If your tenants are great, tell them that you don’t want to be a landlord anymore. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
If you have empathy for your great tenants, you can treat them with gentle hands.
Give them the option to complete their lease, and let them have plenty of notice that you don’t intend to renew. Allow them to break their lease without consequence if they find a new place, and offer them their full security deposit back. You can write them a letter of recommendation that they can show to potential landlords, and offer to let them use you as a reference.
If you aren’t the empathetic type or pressing circumstances require you to get rid of the property quickly, Florida is one of few states actually allows landlords to evict tenants on a complete whim, as long as discrimination or retaliation isn’t at play. For no reason at all, you can serve tenants with a 15 day notice to vacate. Make sure you serve this notice at least 15 days before the rent is due.
If you’re looking to evict bad tenants, you’ll need to follow the proper legal procedures for the state of Florida. For nonpayment of rent, you can serve tenants with a three day notice. Their three days starts the day after they’ve received the notice, excluding any weekends or holidays. For this reason, many landlords prefer to serve the notice on a Sunday before a week that doesn’t contain any holidays. If the tenant doesn’t pay within three days, you can proceed with eviction.
For noncompliance issues of any kind, you’ll serve a 7 day notice. For minor violations, such as unauthorized people or pets living on the property, this notice gives the tenant 7 business days to fix the violation or be evicted. For serious offenses, such as criminal activity or property damage, the 7 day notice does not allow the tenant to remedy the violation. It’s simply telling them to leave voluntarily or face eviction.
To evict noncompliant tenants, you need to serve them with an eviction summons. This has to be formally served by a member of law enforcement or a process server. The tenant has 5 days to object, and if they do, they’ll be awarded a hearing date. If they don’t, you’ll receive a default judgement. Law enforcement can forcibly remove tenants from the property at this point, and it’s yours to sell however you please. [/read]
What to do if you're in Probate
In Florida, properties held in joint tenancy or properties designated to a specific individual are not subject to probate. Outside of these circumstances, you have to proceed with probate. You do not have the option to skip probate in estates that contain properties. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Everything is subject to what is called “formal administration” under Florida law. If you need an attorney, Florida is an odd state – it implements statutory attorney fees that correspond to the value of the estate. Essentially, formal probate consists of all heirs agreeing that the will is valid before the assets are distributed. If anyone disagrees, the court decides how distribution should be handled.
Whoever is elected to represent an uncontested will needs to take an inventory of everything the estate includes and submit it to the court. Then, the representative will have to present a plan for how everything will be paid from the estate before the assets are distributed.This person will also need to show the court that all debts, expenses, and relevant taxes have been paid out of the estate before the matter can be closed.
In Florida, the probate process takes six months on the shorter side, and a year on the longer side. You can sell the property while it’s still in probate, liquidating the profits into the estate. If the will did not contain a “power of sale clause” that would allow the representative to sell the property, the court can approve a sale measure if no one objects to the sale. [/read]
What to do if Home needs repairs
Fixing a home is not an option for everyone. It requires a significant amount of available funds. If you have the cash to spend, you may think it’s worthwhile to repair the home in order to make it more attractive to buyers or improve the potential listing price. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
This is true sometimes, and a misleading waste of money in other scenarios.
The prime example is roofs. Virtually no buyer will be willing to purchase a home that needs a full roof replacement – especially not at full market value. As a Florida homeowner, you know how quickly roofs go. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and even regular summer storms can be brutal on the coast, and roofs just don’t last as long as they should.
The average cost of a roof replacement in Florida is just shy of $5,000. Florida buyers are very skeptical of old roofs, because they know the toll that all of the storms take. Having a great roof can be the difference between making the sale and being passed over by potential buyers. It’s a worthwhile investment if you can afford to do it. If you can’t, you may be in trouble.
Florida is a veritable haven for home damage. Aquifers, sinkholes, storm damage, fire damage, and ineffective roofs plague so many homeowners. This damage is all serious, and it’s all expensive to fix. This doesn’t even include renovations for out of date homes, which are tens of thousands of dollars by themselves. Repairs and renovations can actually end up costing more than the value they add to the home, which will turn out to be a waste of money.
If you can’t afford it, don’t want to wait, or have realized that the repairs aren’t worth it, you can still sell the home. Home investors take property in any condition. They won’t offer you full market value, but it’s often a guaranteed sale. They’ll pay in cash and take on all of the repairs themselves. It’s a great alternative if you want to avoid treading in murky financial territory. [/read]
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