Need to Sell Your Home in North Carolina?
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The North Carolina real estate market has experienced its fair share of turmoil, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell a home. No matter the condition of your home or the situation you may be in, there’s always a way to successfully sell your home. All you need to do is make sure you understand what your options are, and how to act in accordance with North Carolina law when it comes to more pressing matters.
NO MATTER YOUR SITUATION WE CAN HELP
Whether you want to sell your home for economical reasons, legal reasons, or leisurely reasons, the process may have some stipulations you’re required by law to follow. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you start packing up your boxes.
Losing a love one can be just as traumatic as it is expensive. In the end, you may decide to sell any homes affected by the passing of the deceased. Thankfully, North Carolina law does not require that a homeowner disclose any deaths that may have occurred on the property. If asked directly about deaths in the home, a homeowner is not allowed to lie.
If you’ve not yet entered foreclosure, you may be eligible for a short sale. You’ll need to act fast, as it sometimes takes lenders weeks to approve this method of sale. The quicker you find a buyer who can work with your lender, the quicker you can get a short sale approved. In the end, this means less missed payments and a smaller debt.
Bad neighborhoods often dichotomize popular cities. Raleigh, for example, is a shining example of this phenomenon. Half of the homes sell quickly, while the other half are rarely touched. People want to move to the side of town where the grass is greener, and if your home isn’t on that side, you might feel down on your luck. Thankfully, buyers like home investors don’t place a lot of emphasis on neighborhoods.
If you’re behind on your mortgage payments, it’s better to sell before foreclosure starts. If you can’t afford your mortgage, this likely means that your utility bills are also difficult in this troubling time. Selling fast will reduce the debt you leave behind. Talk to your lender about a short sale, and shop your home to fast buyers like investors.
Corporate relocation assistance doesn’t account for the property you’re leaving behind. Unless your salary is doubled, you won’t be able to afford your new property as well as the one you’ve moved out of. To keep costs manageable, sell your home before you transfer.
The repair bill for a run down home can be almost as high as what the home was originally worth. You don’t want your family to be stuck in a run down home while you struggle to find a buyer, so finding an eager buyer is imperative. Most buyers aren’t interested in run down homes, but an investor will be glad to take one off your hands.
You need to get your tenants out before you sell your home. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to evict bad tenants in the state of North Carolina. All you need to do is make sure you’re following the state’s eviction laws.
Fire damage usually results in tragedy, and that tragedy is expensive to recover from. Repairing a fire damaged home can surmount to exorbitant costs, and it’s difficult to locate buyers who are interested in properties with significant damage. Try turning to a home investor – they’re least intimidated by difficult cases.
Divorces can be lengthy and complicated process. If you and your former spouse agree to a sale, the profits can be equitably distributed as a liquid asset. Finding a fast buyer is essential. If your house sits on the market for a long time, it can lengthen your already complicated divorce.
Unless you’re being transferred overseas, your lender can foreclose on your property if you cannot afford to send mortgage payments back. You’ll also need to worry about maintenance costs on the property, as any code violations can result in large fines. It’s always better to sell before you transfer.
Maybe you’ve just had a child, and you’re looking to move into a better school district. Perhaps you have family out of state, and you’d like to be closer to them. Selling your home before you leave may give you more capital to work with during your relocation, and it’s a lot more practical than paying for a remote property that no one is using.
If you choose your course of action wisely and act fast, it’s possible to sell your home in order to stop an impending foreclosure. Since you’re working with a limited timeframe, you need to focus on finding a buyer who is willing to purchase the home as quickly as possible.
Don’t wait until your savings account is empty before you make a move. You need to take what you have and apply it to a living situation that you can afford until you get back on your feet. Job loss contributes to what can be considered a financial hardship. Submitting a letter of hardship to the court and to your lender may grant you special access to foreclosure preventative sale processes.
Unless the will specifically named you as the sole inheritor of the property, you may need to go through a probate process or file an affidavit to opt out of probate. If you’re in the clear and probate isn’t necessary, you’re free to sell the home immediately.
Some repairs are worthwhile to make, and others offer no return on investment. If you’re considering the sale of your home as an alternative to making these repairs, you probably already know that the tab will be unrealistically high. Home investors buy homes as-is, and aren’t put off by homes that need some elbow grease.
Code violations beget more code violations, especially if you can’t afford to fix them. Fines and tickets pile up high, creating an endless cycle that’s seemingly impossible to escape. You can always sell your home to someone who is willing to repair the code violations, such as a home investor.
Managing estates of the deceased, selling off marital homes during a divorce, or filing for certain chapters of bankruptcy may require you to sell your home. Listing on the market the traditional way may be a lengthy process, and this will only prolong your situation. You may need to think outside of the box when it comes to sale methods.
If it’s been six months and your home still hasn’t sold, you’re probably beginning to lose faith in the real estate system. This is a common problem for North Carolina homeowners, especially in neighborhoods with lesser home values. Using a real estate agent isn’t your only option. It’s time to look into your alternatives.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SALES METHOD FOR YOUR HOME
SELLING THROUGH A REALTOR
In North Carolina, the median home value currently sits at $153,300. This spans from a low average of $104,400 in Fayetteville, to a high average of $306,700 in Cary. At the standard 6% rate of realtor commissions, this means you’ll be handing over anywhere between $6,300 and $18,400 to your agent after the sale of your home, provided the property actually sells for its market value.
Due to the current real estate market health in North Carolina, only hot listings are selling within the first 75 days. Other properties are falling by the wayside, and hitting price cut after price cut on the way down. If this is your main concern, or if you’ve already found yourself in this situation, you may be grasping at straws in search of a sale method that will work for your undesirable or hard to sell property.
NORTH CAROLINA'S CURRENT HOUSING MARKET
North Carolina homes have not completely rebounded from the real estate collapse. With 13% of listings seeing at least one price cut, and 18.5% of homes selling for less than their previous sale price.
The toll you’re paying may turn out to be far larger than what you had initially expected. Price cuts and lower sale values are on the rise, thanks to the current conditions of the housing market. Market health is below average, and the typical listing time is about 75 days. Within that time frame, homes either sell, relist, or expire without being relisted.
Ideal homes sell for more money, and in a much shorter time-frame. Homes that need work, homes that are in bad neighborhoods, and homes that haven’t been renovated in the past decade will usually sit on the market for much longer.
FOR SALE BY OWNER
If you’re feeling ambitious enough and you aren’t intimidated by all of the paperwork, you can always attempt to sell your home by owner. If your home is high value and will be easy to sell, you may choose to go that route. It won’t require much advertising to sell a property that buyers would consider to be the highly sought after variety. If you know your house is about to grow wings and fly right off the market, this may be a feasible option.
If your home won’t be an easy sell, selling alone can be difficult and expensive. You’ll have to take on all the costs your real estate agent would typically adopt on your behalf. This includes staging costs, as well as fees for advertisement and listing. After you’ve spent money promoting your home, you can also expect it to sell for far less – sometimes as much as 25% less without the help of an agent.
SELLING TO AN INVESTOR
If neither of these options seem as though they’ll suit your needs, you always have the option of calling up a home investor. Home investors don’t much care about the factors of a home that reduce its value or make it difficult to sell. In fact, difficult properties are specifically what they’re looking to purchase. They won’t offer full market value, but virtually no sale method will result in the buyer receiving full market value for their home – especially not in North Carolina’s market.
If speed is a concern, there’s always home investment companies. They aren’t going to offer you full market value, but at least they’ll make you an offer. The longer your home sits on the market, the lower your sale price will drop. In the end, it’s nearly the same as what an investor would offer, only you’re actually selling your rather than waiting around.
Investors buy homes fast with cash, and emphasize the speed of the process. If you’re trying to avoid foreclosure, settle an estate, or move out of a damaged home, investors are your best option. They don’t care about the condition of the property because they’re going to renovate it regardless. You don’t need to wait for repairs to be completed, or for a buyer to come through.
FINDING HONEST INVESTORS
Home investors want to purchase your home quickly with a cash offer. Any investors who offer frilly promises, other than offering to consult with the court or your lender in times of financial hardship, are likely up to no good. Investors don’t usually propose rent to own schemes, or ask you to sign the title over to them so they can sell a home on our behalf. Legitimate investors want to own your home outright, and use it for their own purposes.
A great investor will be able to tell you exactly what that purpose is, and how they prepared their offer. They’ll never ask you to sign confusing documents in private, or ask you for any money in a continual contract. You want an investor that’s transparent, and backed by the reviews of satisfied customers. A quick web search can help you determine whether or not a company has a good reputation.
There are plenty of investors who are really willing to help you, and it’s natural for these investors to make a profit in the process. Home investment is a business. You want to work with an investor who treats you as an equal, rather than a money making opportunity. Report any shady investor to the North Carolina Consumer Protection Division by calling their hotline or contacting them via their website.
NORTH CAROLINA INVESTORS SPECIALIZE IN HELPING HOME OWNERS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
What to Do in Foreclosure
The vast majority of North Carolina’s foreclosures are subject to a nonjudicial process, although there is a small amount of court involvement in a nonjudicial foreclosure. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
North Carolina law requires that a hearing is held with a court clerk who will review all relevant foreclosure documents and certify an actual sale. This is for the protection of the homeowner in foreclosure, and is to ascertain that the lender is actually within their rights to foreclose.
In general, a foreclosure can be completed as quickly as 60 days. In most cases, 90 days will pass between receiving the first notice and the actual approved auction of the home. Since 90 days is the best case scenario, it’s safer to assume you have 60 days to work with. If you act quickly, you may be able to sell the home before the foreclosure has been finalized.
Foreclosure costs your lender money. They’ve already lost money due to your defaulted loan, and they have to spend more to foreclose. Homes typically sell for less than full value at an auction, and in some states, lenders can pursue you for a deficiency judgement. This deficiency usually helps lenders make up the difference of their loss. In North Carolina, lenders cannot seek deficiency judgements on purchase money mortgage loans.
This is good news for you in two ways – the first being that you can’t be held accountable for the difference, and the second being that your lender will be willing to let you sell your home before the completion of the foreclosure. Always seek out a home investor. They don’t offer full market value, but it’s very unlikely that your home would sell for full market value at auction. If your lender and an investor can come to an agreement about a sale price, the home can be purchased before the foreclosure and prevent the destruction of your financial history.
It’s worth noting that selling your home this way will still negatively affect your credit score, although it won’t have as significant of an impact as an actual foreclosure. The smaller hit you take, the easier it is to rebound. It’s essentially the difference between walking away with a skinned knee or a broken leg. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a much better alternative.[/read]
What to do as a Landlord
You cannot evict good tenants who abide by the lease and always pay their rent on time. If you like your tenants, you probably wouldn’t want to do so anyway. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Explain to your tenants that you’d like to get out of land-lording, and tell them you won’t be renewing the lease. Write them some letters of recommendation that they can use to find new housing, offer to return their deposits, and remove any consequences for early termination of the lease.
Bad tenants are a different story. Failing to pay rent is the only scenario in which a landlord needs to serve a formal compliance notice. In this case, it’s ten days to pay rent or leave. If ten days passes and the tenant still hasn’t paid, you’re free to pursue legal eviction methods.
Lease violations are much different. North Carolina law doesn’t require a specific compliance period, making it completely voluntary on your part whether or not you choose to give your tenants a period of time to resolve the issue. If you’re looking to get the tenants out as quickly as possible, it’s as simple as telling them to get out in as little as one business day. Prepare a notice that states the reason, hand it to the tenant, and keep a copy for yourself. Tenants who fail to leave within the designated period are then considered holdover tenants, and are subject to a 30 day legal eviction process.
If the violation was serious, such a felony crime, a danger to public health or safety, or significant destruction of a property, things can move even faster. With month to month tenancies, the legal eviction process can run as short as 7 days before the constable or sheriff can remove the tenants from the property.
Never change locks, shut off utilities, or remove property until the eviction has been completed. These are considered self-service eviction tactics, and they’re illegal in North Carolina. Tenants can sue you for violating their rights. If you aren’t sure when you’re allowed to do these things, ask the sheriff. It’s usually after the tenant has been legally removed.[/read]
What to do if you're in Probate
North Carolina offers a valuable probate shortcut that can be used when there are no extraordinary circumstances at play. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
This means a modest estate, a clear and uncontested will, and a family of beneficiaries that are all getting along. If the value of the estate minus the property is less than $20,000 or less than $30,000 when the inheritor is the spouse of the deceased, there’s a simple form you can use to bypass the majority of the probate process.
This form is very easy to fill out, and it’s called the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent. This paperwork is submitted to the court in the county where the decedent lived, and send copies off to people or institutions that own (or partially own) any assets of the estate – including its debts. Once everyone responds, the property is turned over to you. You only need to go to probate if anyone objects. After a 90 day waiting period, all you need to do is provide a document to the court that shows how the assets (including any properties you want to sell) were handled.
If legitimate probate is necessary, the process is easy to manage. North Carolina offers a sole probate process, rather than specialized varieties that address a whole host of circumstances. The court offers forms online that can be filled out and submitted. The executor of the estate is responsible for inventorying the assets, having them appraised, selling anything that needs to be sold, paying debts and taxes out of the estate, and distributing what’s leftover.
If the will specifically states that the property should be sold to settle debts, the executor doesn’t need court permission to do so. If it doesn’t, the court will need to agree. If you’re looking to take care of the debts left behind in an estate, choose a fast sale method to expedite the probate.
Once everything is settled and creditors are satisfied, the executor prepares closing paperwork, submits it to the court, and the court closes the probate. If you completed the probate process without selling the home but would like to sell it after the fact, you can do that as soon as the estate is officially considered to be fulfilled. [/read]
What to do if Home needs repairs
Most buyers aren’t interested in homes that need a lot of work. Families picture themselves signing the paperwork and moving into a home that’s already theirs to customize. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
If the home needs serious repairs, particularly if they are structural, this can drive away even the most eager of buyers. Depending on what needs to be done, it may be worthwhile to invest in home repairs.
Every real estate agent and home appraiser in the country will emphasize how important a roof is. Since North Carolina is in a hurricane zone, this is especially true. Storms take a huge toll on roofs, and a bad roof can lead to water damage throughout a home. In North Carolina, the average cost of a roof repair is $4,957. If it’s too late, and water has seeped into the structure of your home, the repair cost becomes much higher.
While a major structural repair such as a roof repair will usually yield a significant return on investment, it’s only a feasible option if you have the cash to spend. Since repairs aren’t completed overnight, you should also expect to spend some time waiting for things to get done. If time and money are both short, you can sell the home as-is.
You won’t make much progress on the traditional market, but you can always sell a damaged home to a home investor. Home investors are people who grab up properties that need work, purchase them at a discount, and do the work themselves. Their offer will be less the cost of the repairs, but it saves you from having to invest up to tens of thousands of dollars that you may not have. [/read]
Working with a legitimate Investor
Home Buyers USA may be able to help you. We know it’s hard to find a reliable investor, and that time is of the essence for most homeowners. If your property has been difficult to sell or is caught up in probate or foreclosure, we’ll work as fast as we can to prepare you a cash offer for your property.
A lot of the circumstances that prompt homeowners to contact a home investor are stressful, and we’re happy to take some of the burden off of your shoulders.
Contact us as soon as you know you need the help of an investor. Provide us with an outline of your situation, and some details regarding your property. One of our experienced home investment experts will be able to draw you up an offer as quickly as possible.
We’re available to answer any questions you may have about the home investment process, and what it means for your property.
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