Do You Need to Sell Your House in Tennessee?

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Whether you’re voluntarily selling your home to relocate, you’ve been given a property you don’t want to handle, or your home has received such significant damage that you cannot afford to repair it, it’s still possible to sell your home in a timely manner.


In Tennessee, you have to make certain disclosures when selling your home. Sometimes, processes change depending on whether a home is in probate or foreclosure. You have a lot of options available to you, but you’ll have to tailor your approach when dealing with special circumstances. Just about every home, even under the most unfortunate circumstances, can be sold to the right buyer.



When you picture a house for sale, you probably see a realtor’s signpost in the front. Most people attempt to sell their homes first by working with real estate agents. In the state of Tennessee, the average commission rate for a real estate agent is about 5.2%.

The average home value in Tennessee sits at $133,500, so the typical homeowner can expect to hand over $6,942 in commission to their real estate agent. Some agents include full services within their commission, but others may add fees for extra advertisement or staging costs, which can be as high as $1,000 per month.

Highly desirable homes in great locations usually sell within a month or two, while homes in a neutral stance typically take a little longer. Don’t forget about closing periods, which can also take up to two months.

Sell Through a Realtor
For Sale by Owner


You can also sell the home on your own in order to avoid paying commission costs, but doing so won’t necessarily save you a significant amount of money. While real estate agents take their commissions out of the sale, you’ll have to lay out some money up front.

For example, you’ll need to stage the home for buyers out of your own pocket, or hire a staging company do it for you. You’re responsible for listing and advertisement costs, as well as compiling your pre-sale disclosure paperwork for potential buyers.

If the home needs any major repairs, you’ll need to consider making them. Things like roofs are very important to potential buyers. If yours needs to be replaced, the average cost of replacement is about $4,794 in Tennessee. Selling by owner will require an investment on your part.


Your other option is to sell to a home investor. This requires no costs out of pocket, and the home can be sold in absolutely any condition. It won’t sell for market value, but you don’t have to worry about bleeding cash during the process.If you need to sell your home fast or the circumstances surrounding your home make it undesirable to potential buyers, an investor may very well be your best option.

If you have a gorgeous home in a perfect state of repair located in a great neighborhood in a high demand city with a thriving real estate market, your home is going to sell quickly no matter what you do.

Not everyone is that fortunate. If you need to sell faster than 60 days to avoid foreclosure, move, or unload a property that’s continually deteriorating, your best bet is to sell your property to an investor. If you’re in financial trouble, and investor may be able to work with your lender to arrange a short sale.

Investors will offer you less than your asking price for your home, but that’s not always a bad thing. You won’t have to make any repairs or pay any fees for commission, staging costs, or advertisements. You also won’t have to keep up the bills and taxes until the property is sold. It’s the quickest fix for selling a property and moving on with your life.


Business is business, and some people will do anything to make a quick buck. Some investors are looking to purchase your home and rent it back to you for rates far higher than what your mortgage was.

This is a ploy to buy your home for a cheap price and take it from you, in order to renovate and resell it. Some will attempt to swindle you by speaking in misleading jargon, ultimately stealing from you.

Always research the reviews of investment companies before you sign a single piece of paperwork. The Tennessee government has protections in place for citizens who fall victim to investment fraud.

It may be worth looking at the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s guide to spotting investment fraud in conjunction with reading testimonials about a particular company.


What to Do in Foreclosure

If you’ve received a foreclosure notice, you have 60 days to take action. If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to preemptively take action to prevent the foreclosure. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

Allowing the foreclosure to be concluded can significantly damage your financial history, preventing you from finding a new home when you’ve come to a point where you’re stable enough to take on another mortgage.

Tennessee is a state that allows deficiency judgements. At some point during the foreclosure process, whether it’s in the pre-stages or at the end of the foreclosure, the home needs to be sold. In some states, lenders can come after homeowners for the difference between the sale price and the remainder of the mortgage. In Tennessee, lenders are only allowed to pursue homeowners for the difference between the mortgage value and the fair market value of the home.

Selling is always better than allowing a foreclosure to be completed. If the home goes into foreclosure and your lender holds an auction, there’s no telling what the home will sell for. A property that needs a ton of repairs may go for an abysmally low sum. In these scenarios, lenders are more likely to seek a deficiency judgement due to the magnitude of their loss. If your home valued at $150,000 winds up selling for $15,000 at a foreclosure auction, it’s safe to assume your lender will come looking for the rest of their money.

Consider finding an investor who is willing to purchase your home as-is. This investor may be able to work with your lender to come up with a reasonable selling price for your home in the form of a short sale. Investors don’t purchase homes at fair market value, but they will be able to provide your lender with a guaranteed number. If your lender deems the offer acceptable and decides to go forward, they may be less likely to come after you for the deficiency.

A short sale won’t completely fix everything, but it’s most likely to lead to a favorable outcome. Your lender will prefer a guaranteed cash sum over the uncertainty of auction, especially if the housing market is bad or the property is less than ideal.[/read]


What to do as a Landlord

If you don’t currently have any tenants in your home, you’re free to sell it like you would sell any other unoccupied property. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

If you do have tenants you need to get rid of, you’ll need to adhere to the eviction laws.

Ten counties in Tennessee have to follow a strict legal process for eviction, entitled the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. URLTA notice requirements are different, and they apply to the following counties in Tennessee: Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Montgomery, Shelby, and Sumner.

You are not legally allowed to self-evict tenants who refuse to leave or comply with your rental agreement. You’ll need to serve most tenants with a 30 day notice. This is standard for minor lease violations, such as nonpayment. If you’re evicting the tenants for a reason not listed within your lease, you can still serve them the 30 notice as long as the reason you’re evicting them cannot be perceived to be discriminatory.

In your notice, you’ll need to outline the reason for the eviction if the tenant is at fault, and give them a 14 day period for redemption. If they don’t fix whatever they need to fix within that 14 days, then they have 30 days to vacate. If the tenants resolve the issue but violate the lease again for the same reason within six months, you only need to serve them a 14 day notice. Tenants don’t get another opportunity to comply, and this 14 day notice marks the countdown to the end of the lease.

If the offense is something serious, such as severe intentional damage to the property, felony crime, or violent threats, you can bypass all other notices and go directly for a 3 day notice.  This is true for landlords in any county of Tennessee.

If you live outside of a county where URLTA is in effect, you can start with a 14 day notice for the majority of lease violations, including nonpayment. These tenants are afforded with the same opportunity to redeem themselves within that period. Minor offenses, such as a pet for whom a deposit was never paid, will require a 30 day notice.[/read]


What to do if you're in Probate

Not all properties go into probate. Things like payable or transfer on death accounts go directly to the assigned beneficiaries, survivorship designations for married couples [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

and specific assets with beneficiary designations aren’t touched by probate. Anything outside of this realm will have to go through probate court.

First and foremost, someone needs to be named the executor of the estate. If the deceased has left clear instructions in the will as to who the executor should be, that person immediately assumes the role. If this is not the case, spouses or children of the deceased need to petition the court to be named the executor of the estate before anything can be used or distributed.

Tennessee has some of the easiest probate options in the country. Some estates may be eligible for what is called simplified probate, and knowing how to use it can save you a lot of time and money. If the total value of the estate is less than $50,000 excluding any real estate, all heirs can come together to file an affidavit with the probate court to request simplified probate.

To be granted simplified probate, you need to prepare a complete list of assets along with the death certificate of the individual whose estate is being handled. All heirs must prepare a written statement that signifies that they agree to the procedure. The court will then approve or disapprove the claim. If the claim is approved, the executor of the estate is immediately free to release all of the assets to the inheritors – including any properties.

Larger estates call for more complicated procedures, and beneficiaries have 60 days to complete this process with the court. If there is a will, the will must be validated by the court. If there is not, what happens with the assets, including the properties left behind by the deceased, falls solely into the hands of the appointed executor.

First, an inventory of assets has to be compiled and presented to the court if there are any disagreements among beneficiaries pertaining to the inventory. If all beneficiaries agree that this is not necessary, you may be able to bypass this step. Then, everyone who is entitled to an inheritance by the will or Tennessee state law must be notified.

Next, you need to file a release request with TennCare. This is a document that states that the Medicaid offices won’t come after the estate for costs of care. During the 60 days of the probate process, any other creditors or lenders may come forward to seek restitution on outstanding debts. Once these debts are settled out of the estate, the matter is closed. At this point, any funds can be distributed and properties are free to be sold.[/read]


What to do if Home needs repairs

If your property needs repairs, you have two options: either fix it, or don’t. What you fix depends on your budget. If you cannot reasonably afford to make repairs, it may be unwise[read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

to go into debt repairing a problem that won’t even guarantee a worthwhile return on investment. If your home is in bad shape, you have to find someone who will purchase it as-is.

When you sell a home in Tennessee, you are required to make disclosures about the defects of your home. You don’t have to hire an investigator to walk the property and make a report, but you are expected to disclose everything “in good faith”. You need to outline everything you know about and be honest with potential buyers if something’s not right with your home. If a defect turns up later that you were not aware of, buyers are not allowed to take action against you.

This is both a blessing and a curse. Since defects are reported in good faith and some sellers aren’t accountable for hiring an investigator, buyers are a little more discerning. They don’t want to feel like a seller is pulling the wool over their eyes, and they want to know the real extent of any damage to the property. Because of this, truly interested buyers will hire an investigator to walk the property before they make an offer.

Deceiving buyers about the extent of the damage or intentionally covering something up can lead to litigation. By “in good faith”, the Tennessee code means you aren’t allowed to knowingly lie. This can have legal repercussions for you if a buyer can prove that you knew about or disguised a defect. It’s not worth misleading potential buyers. You may have to reduce the price of your home to sell it if it’s in need of significant repairs, but legal fees will cost far more.

If your house needs very serious repairs that are blatantly obvious upon sight, you’re going to have a hard time getting buyers in the door to view the home, let alone drawing up offers to purchase it. The majority of buyers are looking for a home that’s move-in ready. Investors, on the other hand, are looking for fixer uppers. If your home is in really bad shape, an investor may be willing to pay cash to take the property off of your hands. They’ll do all the fixing up.[/read]


Working with a legitimate Investor

Home Buyers USA is a company that has long been established in the world of home investment.

We’ve worked with homeowners in a variety of situations to purchase properties in any condition in as short a period of time as possible. If you’re in dire straits and you need some serious help, we may be able to provide that for you.

Contact us today with information about your situation and your property, and we may be able to prepare you a quick cash offer.

We know that most situations that lead a homeowner to seek the help of an investor aren’t always pleasant, and we want to make the sale of your home as swift and easy as possible.




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