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Everything is bigger in Texas. Unfortunately, so is the sale process for homeowners who find themselves saddled with properties that are difficult to market. If you aren’t sure how to sell your property, it’s time to research the options you have available to you. Some reasons you may want to sell involve legal stipulations, and you’ll need to make sure you’re acting in accordance with Texas law.

NO MATTER YOUR SITUATION WE CAN HELP

You can sell your home on a whim, or you can sell your home as a solution to a pressing issue. Whatever your reason is, make sure you’re approaching the situation from a legally sound perspective.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SALES METHOD FOR YOUR HOME

SELLING THROUGH A REALTOR

If you have a highly desirable modern property located in a major city, your home will probably sell quickly on the traditional real estate market. Most homes in this category sell in less than 60 days, which is more than reasonable.

If you have two months to spare, it’s likely to be worthwhile to list with an agent. In reality, most homeowners will find that their properties don’t fit this description though.

Though 17.2% of listings sell at a price cut, homes are still selling. If you have a desirable home and don’t mind losing sale proceeds to realtor commission, you’re in luck. If your property isn’t ideal, you aren’t going to experience quite a success story.

Sell Through a Realtor

CURRENT HOUSING MARKET IN TEXAS

Texas is a very diverse state with a multitude of different communities, and this often causes a disparity in home values. The median value for Texas homes is $157,700. That number spans a broad range however. Corpus Christi, Lubbock, and El Paso comprise the lower end of the spectrum, with average values between $110,000 and $130,000.

The higher end of the spectrum sees Austin and Plano competing for the top spot, with average values between the upper $280,000’s and the lower $290,000’s.

Taking this wide disparity into account, a homeowner can expect to hand over anywhere between $6,600 and $17,500 to a real estate agent at the standard commission of 6%.

The reality is, Texas has one of the healthiest real estate markets in the country. Homes are listed for an average of 52 days before being sold. It’s hard to beat that statistic in other regions of the USA.

Austin Texas

Austin Texas

For Sale by Owner

FOR SALE BY OWNER

If your home will be harder to sell, you can expect to take down a few price cuts. In order to maximize proceeds, you might decide to eliminate real estate commission via selling your home by owner.

Though this may seem tempting, it may not be worth the hassle. On top of the price cuts you’ll likely need to make, you’ll also have to pay out of pocket to prepare, list, and market your home. At the end of the day, it may be less expensive to work with a real estate agent.

If you’ve attempted to work with a real estate agent before, your house is in dire need of repairs or renovations, or you require an expedited sale, there’s always the option of turning to a home investor.

Home investors aren’t dissuaded by variables that put off a lot of buyers. Things like structural defects, code violations, or bad neighborhoods aren’t likely to impact their decision to sell. They’re essentially renovators, so they actually prefer a home that can be used as a blank slate.

SELLING TO AN INVESTOR

Homes that are hard to sell will sit on the traditional market for a while, taking numerous price cuts and possibly relisting several times before finding a buyer. In the end, not only are you getting much less than you expected, but you’ve also spent money maintaining the home, as well as making mortgage and utility payments. This can add insult to injury, and some homeowners don’t have the time to wait around.

If your situation is urgent and your property is less than luxurious, home investors provide you with the quickest way to sell your home. They’ll buy up any property in any condition, and they’re willing to work within time constraints that may be imposed by court processes like foreclosure or asset liquidation.

They won’t offer full market value for a home, but chances are slim that you’d receive full value no matter how you sell. Real estate agents take commission, by owner homes often sell for 25% less than what a realtor would fetch, and damaged properties cannot command full market value anyway. If you’re itching to get the property off of your hands, this is always your best option.

FINDING HONEST INVESTORS

Real estate scams pop up all over the place, and Texas is no exception. All home investment businesses need to make a profit, but some have been known to swindle unsuspecting homeowners in their journey to fill their bank accounts. Being aware of how the process works can help you spot shady investors before they put you in a vulnerable position.

You want to work with an investor that utilizes transparency, and is available to answer any questions you have about the process. An investor’s offer will always be below market value, and a reputable investor will be able to tell you how they drew up that figure. They’ll want to purchase your home outright, update and repair the property, and sell or rent the finished product.

Reliable investors will never offer to purchase your home and allow you to live there. This is a scam to purchase the property and price you out through charging you rent that is substantially higher than the mortgage you already couldn’t afford. Be wary of any investors who aren’t willing to go over paperwork with you to explain the small details. Investors will never ask you to sign documents in private, or give you the runaround when you question the legality of the process.

Always read an investors reviews and testimonials before you proceed with the transaction, and don’t sign anything until you’re sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’ve had a bad experience with an investor who you believe is running a scam, you can contact the Texas Real Estate Commission with the details.

TEXAS INVESTORS SPECIALIZE IN HELPING HOME OWNERS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS

What to Do in Foreclosure

While Texas law allows for both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures, the majority of lenders will use the power of sale clause in a mortgage contract to utilize nonjudicial foreclosure. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

The usual timeline of a Texas foreclosure is 60 days, and those two months will fly by a lot faster than you may expect. If you’re looking to avoid foreclosure, you need to jump into action the moment you’ve received your first notice.

Your notice may have included a clause about compliance that would allow you to pay the full amount owed before a specific date. When you know you don’t have that money on hand, the best thing to do is investigate your sale options. The foreclosure is completed when your lender auctions off your home to the highest bidder, but it’s still yours to sell until the moment that’s done. Since selling your home can take a while, start as soon as you know you’re out of options for a resolution.

An important thing to consider is the potential for a deficiency judgement. Some states allow lenders to pursue homeowners if a home sells for less than the amount required to fully settle the mortgage debt. Texas is one of those states, so you’ll need to face the reality that you may not be off the hook. Whether you sell the home or it actually forecloses, you may be liable for the deficiency between the sale price and the value of the home.

The best way to walk away with the minimal amount of financial damage is to find a cash buyer who is willing to buy quickly. Often, home investors do a good job of snatching up homes before they hit foreclosure. Contact an investor, have them prepare an offer for your lender, and begin negotiating terms for a short sale. Foreclosure costs your lender money. Preparing an auction is time consuming and expensive, and seeking a deficiency judgement will also run up a significant tab in legal fees.

Your lender may agree to a short sale in order to recover as much of their debt as possible. If you’re timely in presenting them with a cash buyer, they may agree to waive their right to pursue you for a deficiency judgement. This requires a legal document and you may need the help of an attorney to draft up the paperwork, but paying an attorney is ultimately far less expensive than being caught on the hook for a deficiency judgement that’s tens of thousands of dollars. Not all lenders will agree to waive their right, but it’s always worth a shot. The sooner you act, the better your chances are of coming to an amicable conclusion.

If you sell your home before it’s been officially foreclosed on, this transaction will show on your credit report as something akin to a problematic loan. This can sit around on your credit report for 3 to 5 years, where a foreclosure will hang on for a full 7 years. It’s not a perfect fix, but it’s a much easier scenario to rebound from. If you’re careful in rebuilding your credit, you may be able to purchase another home much sooner when you find yourself in a stable financial situation.[/read]

What to do as a Landlord

Texas does not allow landlord to evict tenants without a real reason. If you have tenants with no history of lease violation who always pay their rent on time, your best course of action is to talk to your tenant. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

Tell them you don’t want to be a landlord anymore, and you don’t intend to renew a lease. Offer to give them their deposits back, write them a letter of recommendation, and allow them to leave when they’re ready.

Tenants can be evicted for nonpayment, causing property damage, holding over (refusing to leave after a lease has expired without renewal), criminal activity, failing to abide by a pet policy, housing people who are not on the lease, or lying on a lease application. Unless there is a serious state of emergency, most evictions require a 30 day notice to comply or quit.

During this 30 day period, tenants will either have to either resolve lease conflicts, pay late rent along with any associated fees, or leave the property. It all depends on the specific situation. If the terms are met, the tenant cannot be evicted. Make sure the tenant is directly served with the notice, and that it clearly outlines what issues need to be resolved and the forms of resolution you’ll accept.

If your terms aren’t met by the end of the 30 day period, you can serve your tenants with a Notice to Vacate. This should detail what terms weren’t successfully met, and give them a minimum of 3 days to vacate before you can formally file for legal eviction. At the end of the 3 days, you can submit copies of all of your notices along with your eviction request to the Justice of the Peace. You’ll also need to submit a Military Affidavit which outlines the military status of the tenant, and a Civil Case Information Sheet that provides the court with all of the particulars.

Once the court begins the formal eviction, your tenants will have an opportunity to speak in court. If they decline, you’ll be awarded a default judgement. As long as your eviction isn’t viewed as violating the rights of your tenant, you’ll be granted your property and the court will prescribe a time period in which the tenant can leave before being forcefully removed. If the tenant is not out by that time, contact law enforcement and have them remove the tenant.

Any self eviction measures are illegal. This means you can’t disconnect utilities or change locks on a tenant until after they’ve been formally removed. Eviction courts have a tendency to protect tenants, and if you act out of turn, you can face some serious repercussions.

In the event that an emergency situation is taking place that calls for an immediate eviction, contact law enforcement. This includes things like tenants using your property as a methamphetamine lab, or serious domestic violence that jeopardizes the safety of the neighborhood. Never attempt to intervene on your own.[/read]

What to do if you're in Probate

Texas offers three distinct probate processes. If you want everything to work out according to plan, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right kind of probate. Probate with a will is the easiest. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

Without a will, there is both a formal and informal process.

With a will, you’re entitled to use the Muniment of Title process. This can be used when there are no unpaid debts that aren’t tethered to real estate, and federal medical insurance (such as Medicaid) cannot make a claim against the decedent’s estate. For this process, the will is filed along with the Muniment of Title request. Whoever files the request is essentially considered the executor.

If the request is accepted, all assets are transferred to the individuals who are assigned to inherit them. The processed is considered fulfilled once the person who filed the paperwork submits a letter to the court that illustrates how the terms of the will were carried out, including any workarounds that may have needed to be implemented. The matter is closed, and any property can be sold.

When there is no will but all of the heirs can come to a reasonable agreement, the Independent Administrative of Estates process needs to be initiated. Through this process, whoever is elected to be (or has volunteered to be) the executor is largely free to handle the estate with help from the other beneficiaries and minimal court intervention.

In order to fulfill the requirements of an Independent Administration of Estates, the executor needs to inventory the assets of the estate, and submit this inventory to the court. He or she will then need to publish a notice to inform any creditors to whom the decedent may owe a debt that the estate is in probate. Valid claims need to be paid from the estate.

Texas has a slightly unusual law that allows the executor to be entitled to a 5% commission fee on all transactions directly related to the estate. This commission excludes the money that already existed in the estate, or money that was already assigned to an heir.

If you’d like to sell the house while it’s still in probate in order to satisfy debts left by the estate, you’re free to do so without court approval. Just make sure the other beneficiaries agree if the decision is voluntary. Otherwise, the home can be sold as soon as the probate process is completed.

When heirs disagree, Dependent Administration of Estates becomes necessary. This probate process requires court approval for nearly every move. The court will need to agree to distribution of assets, the sale of any real estates, or any debt payments made out of the estate. If you want or need to sell the home during this process, you have to adhere to the court’s instruction.[/read]

What to do if Home needs repairs

To repair or not to repair: that is the question. If your home has seen better days, buyers will be able to tell when they tour your property. Serious defects are very off-putting to buyer, as the majority of them would prefer a home that’s move-in ready.  [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

Homes in need of serious repairs cannot command full market value, so it might seem like a good idea to get the home in better shape.

Sometimes this works out, and other times it doesn’t. Some repairs cost a lot more than the value that they add, which will put you at a lost. Other repairs, like roof repairs, are always a good idea. If you have a bad roof, repairing or replacing it is always a good idea. This reliably offer excellent return on investment, and potential buyers are often concerned with the condition of roofs.

In Texas, homeowners can expect to pay an average of $4,440 for a new roof. If you have that money at your disposal, it may be worthwhile to spend it. If you have more to fix than a roof, you’re in for some trouble. There’s no sense in repairing a roof when the rest of the home is in bad shape. Driving yourself into debt for a home that may sell for less than what it’s worth is never an economical decision.

You can always sell the home to someone who is willing to purchase properties as they are. Most casual buyers won’t fit into this demographic, so seek out a home investors. Home investors buy homes in cash, and their offer reflects the cost of necessary repairs. Rather than spending money you don’t have for a hope that may not come to fruition, you simply won’t sell your home for top dollar.

You can also leave sooner when selling to a quick cash buyer, allowing you to forego existing payments or maintenance costs on the property. If the condition of the home is worsening, you won’t have to worry about things spiraling out of control while you wait for the right buyer to come along. You always want to sell your home while the damage is minimal. Waiting longer drives down the sum you can reasonably expect to receive from the sale of your home, as the damage will worsen during the waiting period.[/read]

Working with a legitimate Investor

Home Buyers USA is a home investment team comprised of experienced individuals who are very knowledgeable in the business of home investment. Selling a home is always stressful, even under the best of circumstances. If you’ve found yourself experiencing financial hardship, a pressing urgency to move, or a legal matter that requires you to sell your home, this amplifies the stress level.

In our years of experience, we’ve helped plenty of homeowners just like you sell their homes quickly. We try to make the process as simple as possible, and we’re prepared to answer any questions you may have about the home investment process.

Contact us as soon as you need us. Provide us with a brief outline of your situation and some basic details about your home. One of our experts will get back to you as soon as possible with a cash offer on your home.

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