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Georgia’s real estate market is a little bit spotty, and some of the laws concerning the sale of a property are a little spotty. Great properties in great areas can sell quickly, while average homes in unremarkable neighborhoods aren’t exactly flying off the market.

NO MATTER YOUR SITUATION WE CAN HELP

Selling a home is an involved process, no matter how or why you choose to sell. No matter what the case is, you’ll need to make sure you’re abiding by Georgia law while you’re making the sale. Some reasons for sale may require a legal process or certain obligations to be fulfilled before the home can be sold. Make sure you’re in the clear before you hike up that “for sale” sign.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SALES METHOD FOR YOUR HOME

SELLING THROUGH A REALTOR

In Georgia, the median home value is $148,500, and the average real estate commission is 6%. This means the average real estate agent will receive just about $9,000 from the sale of your home. Property values aren’t always the same across the board. Home values in Augusta average out at $80,800, while homes in Cumming command a significantly higher average at $264,600. Depending on the value of your home, commissions generally range between $5,000 and $16,000.

The average Georgia home sits on the market for 86 days. 14% of listings will see price cuts, and 18% sell below the previous sale price. Georgia was hit particularly hard by the real estate collapse, but the market is slowly building itself back up to full strength. It isn’t unheard of for a less desirable property to sit on the market for as long as 200 days before selling, but great properties do have hope in the current market.

Sell Through a Realtor
For Sale by Owner

FOR SALE BY OWNER

If you don’t want to lose that 6% commission or you can’t wait the duration of the average listing time, you can choose to sell your home by owner. The only issue with by owner sales is that you will always rack up out-of-pocket costs. Staging your home, making repairs, listing, advertising and showing the property are all your responsibility. In some cases, you may even want to hire a real estate attorney to go over your sale documents for your own protection.

Sometimes this is worth it, and sometimes it isn’t. If you don’t have cash on hand to sell the home without help, it’s not worth driving yourself into debt. Even with a realtor’s expertise and connections, the average sale time is still nearly 3 months. By yourself, it could take longer – and ultimately become more expensive.

SELLING TO AN INVESTOR

If your home isn’t a conventionally desirable property, you might consider turning to a home investor. Investors offer less than fair market value for your home, but when all factors are considered, you’re unlikely to receive full fair market value no matter how you sell the property. Investors buy homes in any condition, and they buy homes quickly. If you’re looking to cut financial ties with the property and move on, this is an excellent alternative.

Home Buyers USA is a team of professional investors who have been purchasing homes for years. We understand that in most cases, turning to an investor is not a homeowner’s first choice. Whether you’re facing foreclosure, navigating a difficult probate, living in a run down home, or on a tight schedule to relocate, you’re probably facing a lot of stress due to your circumstances. We know that, and we’re here to help.

Contact us as soon as you’ve made the decision to sell to an investor. Provide us with information about your current situation (including any time restraints) and the details about the property you’re looking to sell. In many cases, we’ll be able to draw up a quick cash offer for your property. The sooner you sell, the sooner you’re free to move on from your obligation to the property.

INVESTORS IN GEORGIA SPECIALIZE IN HELPING HOME OWNERS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS

What to Do in Foreclosure

The short answer: act immediately. Make sure you have a full understanding of Georgia’s foreclosure laws. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself and minimize the damage of impending foreclosure. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

If you take a proactive approach, you may be able to avoid it entirely.

Georgia allows for both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures. Most mortgages contain something called a power of sale clause that allows lenders to independently foreclose on homes. This saves a lot of time and money with court proceedings, and allows the lender to conclude the matter without incurring a lot of additional expenses. It takes about 90 days to complete a nonjudicial foreclosure, so that’s all the time you have to work against it.

Georgia lenders send something called a 30 Day Notice of Intent to Foreclose by registered mail. During these 30 days, you can sell your home. If you don’t the home will be put up for auction, and the lender will be able to pursue you for a deficiency judgement. This entitles them to the difference between the selling price of your home and the remainder of your mortgage.

In a market like Georgia, houses can sell for unpredictably low prices at auction. This means the deficiency judgement can be staggeringly high. The more you can sell your home for, the less your deficiency judgement will be. You’ll need to find a buyer who can quickly complete the purchase, but you won’t have time to list your home and go through the traditional real estate process.

An investor might be your saving grace. Investors buy homes immediately. They don’t care about defects or damage to the property – they’re interested in fixing the home up themselves. Even the most unattractive homes have value to an investor. Contact an investor once you’ve begun the foreclosure process. The investor will be able to work with your lender to help you arrange a short sale, and reduce the size of your potentially enormous deficiency judgement.

You’ll still have to recover from the financial effects. Even if the foreclosure isn’t completed, your credit score will still need a lot of TLC to return to its former state. Foreclosure is very hard to rebound from. Short sales are also difficult, but they can go away sooner if you actively attempt to rebuild your credit.[/read]

What to do as a Landlord

If you like your tenants but don’t like being a landlord, make sure you don’t take it out on them. You can’t run a quick eviction for tenants who haven’t violated their lease or failed to pay rent. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

Talk to your tenants, and let them know that you don’t intend to renew once the lease term is up. Offer to give them their deposits back, and write them a letter of recommendation. Do all you can to make it easy for the tenants to leave voluntarily.

For month-to-month leases or tenancy at will, you can inform your tenants that they have 60 days to vacate or face eviction. If you’re facing some desperate circumstances, this is your only option to remove tenants who are technically in good standing.

If you’re dealing with bad tenants, they can be evicted for nonpayment or lease violation. Georgia has some oddly lax eviction laws, and they can work in your favor. You can decide to provide the tenant with a written notice, but you don’t have to. You can simply call your tenants and tell them to pay a late payment or remedy a lease violation, and give them as little as three days to do so. If they don’t, you can go right ahead and file the eviction lawsuit.

The tenant has within 7 days of being served with the official eviction lawsuit notice to pay any unpaid rent and late charges they’ve accumulated. If they do, you can’t proceed with the eviction lawsuit. If they don’t, you win the judgement. The tenants need to be formally removed by law enforcement. Any attempt to self evict, disconnect utilities, change locks, or remove possessions is illegal – let the proper authorities handle it. [/read]

What to do if you're in Probate

First and foremost, see if you can skip probate. Georgia actually allows heirs to skip probate under certain circumstances. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

If the deceased didn’t leave a will, all of the heirs agree with the way the assets should be divided, and the estate did not leave debts, you can request a court order to skip probate. As long as creditors don’t object, you can bypass the entire ordeal. See if this is an option for you.

If the estate left significant debts, heirs disagree on the handlings of the estate, or there are any conflicts with the will, you’ll have to utilize the probate process. In this process, someone files to become the personal representative of the estate. It’s the job of the personal representative to inventory everything within the estate, appraise all necessary assets, and pay taxes and debts.

The personal representative will need to keep detailed records of everything involved in the estate, including the sale and trade of assets. Everyone who is a member of the estate is entitled to copies of these records. The property may need to be sold to satisfy debts. If that’s the case, you can sell the house with the help of the courts. Quick sale methods will allow you to conclude probate quickly.

If the home doesn’t need to be sold to satisfy the debts, the person who inherits the home can sell the house after the probate process is over.[/read]

What to do if Home needs repairs

It’s not uncommon for a homeowner to find themselves in a position where the cost of necessary repairs actually exceeds the value of the home. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

This is especially true for homes that are very out of date and desperately need to be modernized. If you’re looking to get full market value for your home, you may be considering making some vital repairs. In some cases, it’s worth it. In other cases, it’s an unwise investment.

Roofs are very important to buyers. Roofs are obviously a necessary structural part of a home, and they get beat up pretty quickly. Roofs protect a home from the elements as long as they’re well maintained, and a damaged roof usually leads to damage in other places. Old or damaged roofs dissuade buyers who don’t want to pay the full cost of a replacement on a home they’ve just purchased.

If you need a new roof, you can expect to spend an average of $4,957 in the South Atlantic region of the United States. If you have $5,000 for a new roof, it may be worthwhile. If your inadequate roof has caused damage to your attic or water buildup within your walls, there’s no point in putting a new roof on unless you intend to fix those problems as well. It’s not worth a $5,000 bandage for a problem that really costs three times as much to fix.

To add insult to injury, many repairs and renovations don’t add as much value as they cost. With poor return on investment, you’re actually losing money. Best case scenario, you’ll recoup your investment, but you’re stuck with the property for longer. Repairs and renovations can take quite some time to complete, and you’ll be paying the mortgage, utilities, and maintenance costs of the property in the meantime.

It might be a better choice to find a buyer who will take the home as-is. Investors aren’t intimidated by properties that need a lot of work, and they’re willing to buy them in cash. Investors will offer less than fair market value, but when all is said and done, buyers almost never receive full market value anyway. The investor deducts the cost of repairs and buys them home quickly, taking the problem out of your hands. [/read]

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