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A lot goes into selling a home, no matter what you reasons for selling may be. Sometimes, urgent situations prompt homeowners to make quick decisions about the sale of their homes. Other times, homeowners approach the sale process with leisure. Your approach should depend on your situation, and there’s usually a clear path to success for every scenario. Understanding what rights you have under Utah law is key for a seamless sale.

NO MATTER YOUR SITUATION WE CAN HELP

There are a multitude of reasons why you may want to sell, some of which may involve more complicated procedures than others. Sales that are totally voluntary at their core are usually the easiest, but sales that spring from unfortunate scenarios or pressing time constraints to move may be a little trickier.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SALES METHOD FOR YOUR HOME

SELLING THROUGH A REALTOR

As far as real estate agents go, it’s worth crunching some numbers. In Utah, the average realtor commission comes in at 5.2%. The most common way to list a home in Utah is through the Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service, which is generally 6% commission.

With the median home value for the entire state of Utah at $229,200, and a median value of $248,500 specific to the Salt Lake City area, homeowners in Utah can expect to hand over between $13,000 and $15,000 in sale proceeds to their real estate agent. For desirable homes, the market is running very smoothly in many parts of Utah – especially close to the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.

If you have a great home that features current design and isn’t in need of any repairs, you can probably sell the home through an agent within 2 months, completing the process in a total of 3 to 4 months when you include closing. Highly desirable homes will sell for full market value, and you’ll get what’s left over after your agent is paid commission.

Sell Through a Realtor
For Sale by Owner

FOR SALE BY OWNER

If you know your home will be easy to sell and you want to avoid paying that commission, you can sell your home by-owner. Instead of paying a real estate agent to list, stage, and advertise your home, you’ll do that all on your own.

Well staged homes will generally fetch much more, as buyers are easily able to see themselves in a home that’s made to look welcoming. It may be worthwhile to stage your home. You can hire a professional staging company or paint and decorate on your own to save a few bucks.

You’ll have to pay for listing and advertisement, and you’ll have to perform the actual work of showing the home, but it won’t be nearly as much as realtor commission. You may want to consider springing for a home appraisal to help you price your home.

In Utah, this will set you back about $450, but that’s a modest price to pay when you consider how much you’ll save. Homes for sale by owner can take about a year to sell, so this option is great for people who are in no rush. Selling your own by owner can take up to a year, but you won’t have to pay commission. This is a longer process, but if you have the time to wait, it could be worth it.

SELLING TO AN INVESTOR

All of this is great news for sellers with great homes in desirable locations who can afford to wait on a sale to be closed, but not everyone will be in that boat. For homes that are in dire need of renovation or repairs, things may not be so easy.

Out of date or run down homes cannot command full market value, as the majority of buyers are looking for homes that are move-in ready. They don’t want to incur additional expenses having to fix or modify the home.

If you have a large budget to facilitate these repairs and renovations, that’s excellent. If you don’t, you can always sell your home to an investor. Investors buy properties that are in need of work with the intent of completing the work themselves.

Investors will deduct the cost of the work from fair market value of your home, and present that to you as an offer. If you can’t wait or can’t afford it, this is the best way to break even.

THE FASTEST WAY TO SELL

Selling to a cash buyer who is willing to purchase the home as-is will always be the fastest method of selling your home. It doesn’t require any work or waiting around on your end. The cash buyer is responsible for repairing the property and making things look nice, so you won’t have to spend any time or money handling things on that end.

Property investors don’t offer full market value however, but you’re getting a beneficial trade-off. You can sell as quickly as humanly possible, save the expenses, and move on with your life. If you’re experiencing dire financial trouble that can lead to foreclosure (or already has), or the damage to your property is unfixable in your current situation, an investor will purchase your property "as-is" through an expedited sale process.

Real Estate Investor Offer

FINDING HONEST INVESTORS

Some shady investors may offer you deals that seem wonderful on the surface, but you need to consider why a business would be so generous when they need to turn a profit. It’s imperative that you're sure you're working with a legitimate company. Working with an unreliable investor can have consequences similar to being stolen from.

Working with nationally recognized investors is far safer than working with an individual who has popped up out of the woodwork offering you cash for your home. Reliable home investment companies will be available to work with the courts should you be selling your home as a short sale or foreclosure alternative. They won’t ask you to privately sign documents or conceal any information.

Never sign anything unless you’re absolutely sure of what you’re agreeing to. You may think you’re alleviating your debt by working with an investor, but unclear contracts can actually implicate you in crimes such as short sale fraud. Legitimate investors will never put you in jeopardy. They’ll be completely transparent about why they’re offering what they’re offering and what they intend to do with your home once they purchase it.

They’ll also be able to answer any and all questions you have about the process in a way that’s easy for you to understand, free from confusing jargon that muddles the process. Make sure you have a clear answer to every question, and look up testimonials from other homeowners who have used an investment company in the past.

A little research can save you a lot of trouble. The Utah Department of Securities acts as a safeguard against all kinds of investment scams – including those that prey on property. If you believe you’ve spotted something shady, contact them about the matter.

UTAH INVESTORS SPECIALIZE IN HELPING HOME OWNERS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS

What to Do in Foreclosure

Once you’ve received the notice stating that you have 30 days to resolve your debt or enter foreclosure, it’s safe to assume foreclosure has already started.  [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

If you already know you can’t pay, it’s time to start thinking of alternatives to foreclosure. When your obligation to pay your lender in full is not met by the end of the 30 days, you’ll enter a 120 day foreclosure process that ends with the seizure and auction of your home.

Most Utah lenders prefer nonjudicial foreclosures, as they’re less complicated and expensive than foreclosing through the court system. After a nonjudicial foreclosure, Utah homeowners do not have a right of redemption. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s not worth attempting to fight that battle – the best you can do is take adequate measures in the way of damage control and prevent the foreclosure from severely damaging your credit history.

Allowing your lender to auction off your home will be recorded on your credit report as a foreclosure, where negotiating sale terms to prematurely halt a foreclosure basically translates as a problematic loan. A problematic loan is easier to recover from than the total loss of an asset.

It’s also worth noting that the state of Utah allows deficiency judgements. If the house sells for less than fair market value, your lender can file a lawsuit seeking the remainder of market value. The longer you wait to act, the more money your lender is losing. They’re more likely to pursue you for the deficiency if they continue to lose profits due to your nonpayment. A swift conclusion is the best one, and it will prevent you from falling any further behind than you already are.

The best way to do that is by selling your home as quickly as possible. Your lender would most likely prefer to avoid going to auction. The 120 days you continue to live in the home is another three months of unpaid mortgage, and to top it all off, the lenders aren’t sure how much they’ll get for the home at auction, or how long it will take to sell. Lenders like predictability, and it’s for this reason that they may agree to a short sale.

Short sales are quick cash offers that are paid directly to your lender. Cash buyers who take properties in any condition or situation, such as home investors, will prepare an offer for your lender. They’ll work out the details and purchase your home before the foreclosure process can go any further.[/read]

What to do as a Landlord

If your property is currently unoccupied, there’s nothing holding you back from selling it in whatever way you choose.  [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

If you have tenants living in it, you have two ways to handle the situation: allow the lease to run out without renewing, or evict the tenants. You obviously cannot evict good tenants, but you have several options for bad tenants.

Severely problematic tenants can be evicted with an unconditional quit termination. Landlords in Utah are allowed somewhat liberal use of unconditional quit terminations, which do not afford tenants with the right to redeem their leases. In Utah, you can use them to evict tenants for subletting a property without your consent, causing extensive damage to the property, committing a crime on the property, running an illegal business in the home, sustaining an unreasonable level of nuisance behavior, or camping out after the lease has already expired.

These are 3 day notices (three business days, weekends or holidays excluded) to vacate. If you serve the notice to a tenant or an adult living on the premises on a Sunday and there are no holidays in the following week, your tenants will need to be out by Wednesday. If they refuse to leave, you can take legal action. Just make note that any self-eviction procedures are illegal in Utah, and taking action without the assistance of a lawyer or a police officer can result in you being held liable for civil damages.

For minor lease violations, such as unauthorized animals or unkempt property that is not destroyed, you must issue a 3 day compliance notice. The same goes for nonpayment of rent. This notice is served the same way an eviction notice or unconditional quit termination is served. It should state what the violation is, and give the tenant three days to resolve the issue or face eviction. If the issue is not resolved at the end of three business days, you can serve the tenant with a 15 day notice to vacate.

It’s important to remember to be firm but polite with your tenants. If they feel you’ve harassed them or been discriminatory in any way, they may be able to seek action against you. Angry tenants also don’t care about the state they leave your property in, especially if they already know there’s no way they’re getting their security deposit back. Trying to work together with your tenants in a level headed way can help reduce the risk that they’ll cause intentional property damage while they’re moving out.[/read]

What to do if you're in Probate

If you’ve inherited a property that’s subject to probate, you’ll have to find the right probate process for your situation. Utah offers several kinds of probate, some of which can be completed with barely any intervention from the courts. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

These place the executor in charge, and work best when the family of the deceased all agree on how the assets should be handled – including any property.

Small estates may be able to avoid probate entirely. If the entire value of the estate is below $100,000 (after encumbrances, liens, and vehicles that were registered within the state), everyone can sign an affidavit requesting to bypass probate with proof of the value of the estate and a copy of the death certificate. If a clear executor was named in the will, you can probably go straight for the affidavit method. In this scenario, you’ll be able to sell the property immediately.

There are certain circumstances under which probate is mandatory, and one of which is when no executor was named. If everyone is playing nice with each other, informal probate is the best solution. It is the responsibility of the executor to notify the deceased’s creditors and pay any legitimate debts out of the estate. Once this requirement is satisfied, the probate process is closed and you’re free to sell the home.

There are two kinds of formal probate in Utah: supervised, and unsupervised. These are used primarily when instructions are unclear or members of the estate have objections to the way assets and property are to be distributed. No matter the amount of supervision in the process, you’ll need the approval of a judge to sell any property. If there are large unsettled debts from legitimate creditors, the proceeds from the sale of the home will go to fulfill those requirements. If you’re looking to sell the home to settle the debts, you can do so with judicial approval during this process. [/read]

What to do if Home needs repairs

If you can afford to pay for repairs out of pocket, you may want to do that. Properties in bad shape don’t sell for nearly as much, as common sense would dictate.  People want fresh new homes that are dry and safe. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]

They don’t want to wait on a home to be fixed before they can move in, and they certainly don’t want to pay for repairs on a home they’ve just purchased.

Roofs are always the perfect example when trying to determine whether or not the costs are worthwhile. They’re a crucial structural component of a home, and they often need to be repaired or replaced. In the Mountain zone of the US, the average cost of a roof replacement is $5,043. Virtually no buyers want a home with a dilapidated roof, so that leaves you with two choices: either pay to have the roof replaced, or sell for a substantially lower price to a buyer that’s willing to replace the roof after the purchase.

Some properties need so many repairs that they may begin to feel like lost causes. Repairs can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars, and remodels are just the same. If a house hasn’t been updated for a few decades, it’s bound to have some kinks to work out. All of these kinks are expensive, and they don’t always provide the return on investment you’re expecting.

Kitchen remodels, for example, can run anywhere between $18,000 and $90,000 for a Utah homeowner. If your home is close to Utah’s median value of $229,200, you could be spending nearly 40% of your home’s value on remodeling a single room. Even for the least expensive remodel, you’re spending $19,000 and only adding $15,000 in retail value. You’ll also have to continue to pay the mortgage and the upkeep costs for the home while the repairs are taking place. You’re losing money, and it may not be worth the investment.

Your best option will most likely be to sell your home to an investor. They have teams that handle repair labor for them, and will deduct the cost of necessary repairs and renovations from the offer they make on your property. This will save you a lot of time and grief, and you won’t be responsible for paying the bills while the repairs are taking place. [/read]

Working with a legitimate Investor

Even if you’re voluntarily selling your home to build a new life in a location you love more, selling your home is a complicated, arduous, and daunting process. At Home Buyers USA, we know that.

Most of the homeowners we work with have found themselves in a difficult position, and they’re looking for the simplest solution to their problem. Since we have a vast catalog of experience when it comes to buying homes in trying situations, we’re prepared to help you.

Contact us as soon as you know you’ll need our help. Provide us with details about your situation and the property in question. We may be able to provide you with a quick cash offer, helping you draw a stressful matter to a swift conclusion.

Acting fast is essential in order to prevent debt from growing worse, and we’ll do everything we can to help you resolve your situation in the shortest time-frame possible.

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