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Missouri’s neutral real estate market has posed unique challenges for a lot of homeowners. If you feel as though the market is stagnating in your area, your assessment may very well be correct. If you want to successfully sell your home in a reasonable time-frame, you’ll need to investigate what options are open to you in your current situation.

NO MATTER YOUR SITUATION WE CAN HELP

There are a multitude of ways in which a home can be sold. Knowing how to weigh the pros and cons of your situation against the methods you have available to you will lead you to the right decision.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SALES METHOD FOR YOUR HOME

SELLING THROUGH A REALTOR

The median home value in Missouri sits at a modest $134,500. The average real estate commission for the state is at 5.2%. This means homeowners can expect to pay a real estate agent about $7,000 out of the sale for successfully selling their homes. Homes in the St. Louis metro typically go for around $143,100, so people with homes in this area can expect to fork over about $7,500 in commission.

Property values in Missouri are still relatively low, as the state is still making a slow recovery from the recession. The numbers may seem disheartening on the surface, but they’ve actually gone up in the past few years. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s certainly not that great. The market is in a neutral stance, and homes aren’t moving as fast as they used to.

Many homeowners aren’t selling their homes through a real estate agent because they feel as though it isn’t worth it. The combination of low home values as relatively high commissions are making people with great properties less likely to sell, and people who aren’t selling aren’t moving. This means that Missouri homeowners who do want to sell may have a hard time finding someone who is actively looking to buy. This creates a seemingly unsolvable conundrum for many homeowners who choose to list with a real estate agent.

Sell Through a Realtor
For Sale by Owner

FOR SALE BY OWNER

If you don’t want to list with an agent, you may decide to go the “For Sale By Owner” route. The only issue that lies with this solution is the fact that it will cost you money. Real estate agents take their payday out of the back end – you don’t give them anything up front. When you sell the home yourself, you’re going to have to pay for everything.

Your listing fees, advertising costs, and home staging will all come directly from your pocket. You’ll also be responsible for drawing up the legal paper associated with a sale, and sometimes this means paying a lawyer to work on these documents.

You’re dealing with a slow moving market, whether you sell on your own and or with an agent. Another thing you’ll need to consider is the fact that you’ll still be paying the mortgage, property taxes, bills, and maintenance costs for the property until it sells in the slow market.

SELLING TO AN INVESTOR

Investors buy homes quickly, and with cash. If you have the time and money to list through traditional means, that’s great news. If you don’t, an investor may be your best option. If you find your home isn’t selling, or you notice that your neighbors have had “for sale” signs in their yards for a disproportionately long period of time, it may be wise to choose an investor.

In the current market, the fastest way to sell a home in Missouri is to sell it to an investor. The traditional market isn’t moving as fluidly as it should be, and it may be a while before things turn around. While they’re slowly getting better, you may not have time to wait a few years for the market to fully recover before attempting to sell your home.

The only downside to working with investors is that they won’t offer you fair market value on your home. They intend to buy it quickly, renovate it, and sell or rent it to someone else. In some situations, this has a lot more pros than cons. You won’t have to spend any money repairing or renovating your home, and the waiting game for a buyer becomes the investor’s burden – not yours. With the market the way it is, a lot of homes are selling for offers that are less than market value, so the financial outcome may not be too different than if you were to sell in another way.

Real Estate Investor Offer

FINDING HONEST INVESTORS

Home buying scams pop up all over the place, because real estate is a high value transaction. Whenever there’s a lot of money to be exchanged, there’s an unsavory character waiting to get their hands in the mix. Most scams are spotted and stopped quickly, but that doesn’t mean that shady companies cannot approach you with offers that seem too good to be true.

Before you decide to work with a home investment company, make sure you fully understand exactly what you’re signing when you agree to sell. A legitimate investor won’t ask you to sign documents in your home that are written in complicated language that you don’t understand. Always fully review a contract of any kind.

No investor is going to offer you fair market value for your home, because they intend to make a profit after they’ve put work into your home. A legitimate investor will explain these numbers to you, and show you how they’ve calculated the facts and figures related to the offer on your home. Transparency is a great sign, so it’s best to make sure your investor is as transparent as possible. They should be willing to take the time to answer any questions you have and familiarize you with the home investment process.

Use the internet to research investment companies you may be interested in working with. Many people share reviews of products and services on the internet, and a legitimate investor will provide you with reliable avenues to read the feedback of homeowners who have worked with them in the past. If something seems fishy, you can always contact the consumer protection division of the Missouri Attorney General’s office about investors who appear to be misleading you.

MISSOURI INVESTORS SPECIALIZE IN HELPING HOME OWNERS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS

What to Do in Foreclosure

In the state of Missouri, foreclosure can be started and completed in as little as 60 days. When you’re in a frantic scramble to get things together, that time will go by a lot faster than you expect. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

State law allows lenders to select either judicial or nonjudicial foreclosures, but most lenders will choose to go nonjudicial. These foreclosures are more cost efficient to your lender, and they also transpire faster – particularly if you cannot reasonably contest them.

You need to start formulating your next move the moment you receive the foreclosure notice. Everything takes time, and paperwork is a process. If you know you cannot pay in full and recover your home, it’s better not to take the chance and have your credit ruined. You need to find a buyer immediately, and sell the home before your lender finalizes the foreclosure.

Missouri is a state where deficiency judgements are a gray area, and a lender’s actions won’t always be predictable. Under certain sets of circumstances, your lender may seek one against you. What a deficiency judgement does is hold you liable for the remainder of the value of the home if it sells for less than fair market value. Though they’re very difficult for a lender to obtain, they can still decide to do so.

Deficiency judgements can be avoided with a short sale, provided you take measures specifically for that purpose. If you can find an investor for your home before the foreclosure is completed, you can ask your lender to sign a document that waives their right to pursue you. Since pursuing the debt is expensive (as is continuing with a foreclosure), most lenders will oblige. The market isn’t working on their side, and they’d rather accept a predictable sum of money.

The best thing you can do is sell your home before the completion of your foreclosure. You need someone who is willing to buy any home in any condition, as quickly as humanly possible. Investors are generally your best bet. A home investment company may be able to work with your lender to propose a short sale agreement. Your lender and the investor will negotiate with each other, and your lender will consent to a short sale.

During the short sale, talk to your lender about waiving their right to file a deficiency judgement lawsuit against you. If they’re willing to do it, you can close the whole matter and have no financial liability left relating to your home. The loan will be closed as paid, but having ended on negative terms. This will hurt your credit to a significant degree, but it won’t damage your financial future as significantly as a foreclosure would. You’ll be able to rebuild your credit faster, and eventually purchase another home when you’re in the position to do so. [/read]

What to do as a Landlord

Before you can even think about selling your home, you have to get rid of the tenants who are living in it. If your tenants are good people and you just don’t want to be a landlord anymore [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

talk to them about your situation.  You can’t evict model tenants who pay on time and never violate the terms of their lease, and you probably have the empathy to understand why.

Tell good tenants that you’re looking to sell the home, and you won’t be renewing the lease for that reason. Offer to write them a letter of recommendation for future landlords to review. Let them know if they want to go before the lease is up that you’ll give them back their deposits and allow them to prematurely break the lease without consequence. If they don’t want to break the lease, you’ll have to wait it out.

Bad tenants are a different story. No self-eviction procedures are legal in Missouri, so you’ll have to formally evict all tenants. Some states allow tenants redemption periods, but Missouri doesn’t. You can evict a tenant after serving them with a ten day notice to vacate. They’re not given a period of time in which they can comply with your terms – they just have to leave.

Because of this, tenants can use defenses against eviction in court. It’s important that you strictly adhere to the laws surrounding eviction and never make any risky moves. If you step outside of the proper process and the tenant can prove it, your tenant can take you to court and postpone the eviction. If you want to get things over with quickly and smoothly, take a cautious and thorough approach to eviction.

It’s easiest to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent. All you need to do is make a demand for unpaid rent. Missouri law does not specify how long the landlord must wait for the rent. To be on the safe side, give your tenant at least three business days to pay up. You’ll need to be able to prove that you made the demand for rent that was not met, so sending a letter with a signature required on delivery or handing a clear written demand to a tenant of legal age in person is the best way to approach the situation.

The moment your demand period has run out, you can file a formal eviction lawsuit. You can start filing before the time period is up, but you aren’t allowed to proceed with the eviction if the tenant pays before the end of your demand period.

For lease violations, tenants are to be served a ten day notice informing them that if they do not voluntarily leave within the period of ten business days excluding holidays, you’ll formally file for eviction. You’ll want to serve this notice the same way as a payment demand, so the tenant cannot say they never received the notice. Most tenants will prefer to voluntarily leave rather than face an eviction. If the tenants aren’t gone within ten days, you can file the eviction lawsuit.

If a tenant contests an eviction and loses, they’ll be responsible for paying any fees you’ve racked up as a direct result of the eviction, such as your lawyer and court costs. They won’t want to do that, so in most cases, tenants will not contest.[/read]

What to do if you're in Probate

Some states allow heirs to skip probate for small estates that do not exceed a specific monetary value. Often, this value will exclude homes. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

In Missouri, it does not. Unless the entire value of the state including the property is less than $40,000, you have to go through the probate process if the decedent hasn’t left behind a valid will. The only exception to this rule is if someone else’s name is on the title of the property or the mortgage loan. The property will then directly pass to any joint owners, who can do with it as they please.

As far as probate goes, Missouri offers a formal and an informal process. Independent administration requires that all heirs appoint an executor, who is accountable for the estate’s decisions. Once the executor is appointed, it is this person’s responsibility to use the assets from the estate to pay any legitimate debts left by the deceased person. They’ll have to notify creditors and give them a chance to come forward before the estate is closed. The executor is responsible for distributing the property, and notifying the courts once the estate has been settled. Once the probate is closed, property can be sold.

Formal probate is required when no one is getting along. This is called supervised administration, and it requires heavy involvement of the courts. An executor will also be appointed, but this individual isn’t necessarily able to make decisions freely. Anything they want to do (which includes paying debts, transferring assets, and selling the property) has to be run by the court first. The court checks with all other heirs before making a decision about whether or not the action is permissible.

If the home is not sold during formal probate and turned into a liquid asset to fulfill other matters within the estate, the home can be sold after the probate is completed by whoever was deemed the inheritor of the property.

If you’re looking to settle the estate quickly, do everything you can to talk to your family about avoiding formal probate. Grief is a strong emotion, and strong emotions only bring about more strong emotions.[/read]

What to do if Home needs repairs

If your property needs real repairs or renovations in order to command fair market value, you should pay for those repairs or renovations if you want to sell the home to a regular buyer. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

The only issue is that it can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and if your bank account isn’t stacked, you may not have the funds the funds available to do so.

Roofs are a primary area of concern for the average home buyer. No buyer is willing to pay full market value for a home that needs its roof replaced. In the Northwest central region of the United States, the average cost for roof replacement is $5,120. If you have a few thousand dollars to invest into your home, it may be worthwhile to replace a bad roof. A roof replacement adds about 15% to the value of your home, so you can expect your return on investment to be about $15,000.

Time and money are important factors. If you cannot afford to pay for a major repair and wait for the repair to be completed, you may want to forego the repair. With the Missouri housing market in a neutral state, there’s no telling whether or not your home will actually sell faster with the repairs completed. If you need more than just a new roof to make your home attractive to buyers, this can mean tens of thousands of dollars without the guarantee that your home will sell in a reasonable timeframe.

Rather than spending the money on the repairs, you can sell your home to an investor. This investor will purchase your home less the cost of the repairs that need to be made. You won’t have to take a gamble and spend money out of your pocket without the guarantee that your personal investments will actually help the home sell. [/read]

Working with a legitimate Investor

Home Buyers USA is comprised of a team of highly experienced people who have been buying homes in any condition under a variety of circumstances.

We understand that the situations that often lead people to choose an investor as a method of sale can be stressful, and we’re prepared to do anything we can to help you navigate the process.

We may be able to work with your lender to arrange a short sale, and we can help you sell your home before a foreclosure is finalized.

All you need to do is contact us the moment you know you’ll need our help. Provide us with details about your situation and your home, and we’ll be able to give you a quick cash offer. You can sell your home easily and safely to us.

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