The front yard of a Florida home trashed by bad tenants.

Being a landlord isn’t for the faint of heart. While a vast majority of renters are reasonable and respectful people, there are definitely nightmare tenants out there. Even if you think you’ve vetted them thoroughly, you might end up surprised by the destructive and negligent actions they take on your property.

If you’re dealing with a tenant-trashed rental property, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed. How do you handle moving forward? How do you stop the bleeding in terms of the financial loss you’re facing? Could this happen again? There are a few steps you can take to salvage this rotten situation.

1. Eviction Time

If the tenant is still living in your property, it’s time to serve them with an eviction notice. Some landlords are fine drafting this on their own, while others look to an attorney for help. Either way, make sure you’re abiding by the landlord-tenant laws in your state so that you’re protected. Also be aware that this process can be lengthy, and an irate tenant may do more damage to your property once they’re notified that you intend to evict them.

2. Lawyer Up

Once you remove the troublesome tenant, you may want to go about recovering cash for the damage they caused. This means taking your tenant to small claims court to seek compensation. But remember that legal fees will apply, and (if your tenant is truly destitute) there may be no way for you to get any money from them for repairs.

3. File a Claim

If you want to avoid the legal circus, your best bet is often to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance. Your policy should cover damages made by your tenant. Be aware, though, that every time you file a claim, there is a risk your rates rise. (Once you make a claim, the likelihood that you’ll make another increases, making you a bigger insurance liability.)

4. Make the Repairs

If you want to get your rental house back on the market so you can continue generating income from it, repairs will need to be done. No one wants to live in a trashed house.

If the damage is small, you may be able to address it yourself. If all you need is a fresh coat of paint or some new window panes, it may be doable. But if the damage was more severe, you’ll likely need to bring in contractors to mediate things, which will of course incur additional costs.

5. Unload the Property

As the landlord, you have certain rights to your property. Your tenant, however, also have rights. Depending on your state, you may be required to give several days’ notice before you’re able to evict them. You may also be required to give a certain amount of notice before showings. Selling your house for cash to a company that deals with homes in need of repair is the easiest option for selling your house fast without infringing on your tenants’ rights–and without having to run the risk that they’ll scare off potential buyers.

What About a Fixed Term Lease?

Keep in mind that if you have a fixed term lease, you may have to wait for the lease to end before you’ll be able to sell the house and evict the tenant. Make sure you’re keeping track of how much time you have left so that you can be done with it as soon as possible! If you’re in a bind and simply ready to be done, look for an investment company that will be willing to purchase the house while the tenant is still there, adhering to the terms of their lease until it ends. In this case, the investment company will essentially purchase the lease along with the property, which means that you can move on with your life sooner. This method is ideal for many landlords, since it means that you’re going to have income from the house until it sells. Selling the home to your tenant is also an option, and some states may require you to give them first refusal before you put the house on the market.

Secure Tenant Cooperation

If you don’t plan to sell the house with the tenant in residence, the best way to proceed is to gain their cooperation in the process. There are several things you should consider when dealing with your tenant.

  • Explain how the process is going to work. Set out guidelines for when the house can be shown, how much notice you will give, and what condition you’d like the house to be in when you show it. This is, of course, most effective with a cooperative tenant.
  • Offer monetary incentive to help your tenant move on, whether that means returning their deposit in spite of damage to the house or even offering to pay their first month’s rent and deposit on a new residence.
  • Consider a discount on rent for tenants who are cooperative with the showing process. 

For you, your rental property is a source of income. For your tenants, whether good or bad, that property is a home. They may not be eager to move or to accept a new landlord, but most tenants will be willing to work with you in order to help the process proceed more smoothly. By selling your house for cash, especially if you work with an investment company who will keep the tenants on for the duration of your lease, you streamline the process and make it easier for everyone involved.

Cracks in the foundation of a Florida home.

When you’re looking to sell your home, discovering structural issues can be a huge blow. It’s also pretty easy for these sorts of issues to go unnoticed, as they’re typically much harder to see. But they affect the overall integrity of your home and can be a real headache to mitigate.

In Florida specifically, a number of factors can contribute to structural damage. The tropical weather conditions can lead to both porous soil and excessive moisture within the home itself. Many of the buildings across the state were built decades ago, so the natural aging of materials also comes into play. The abundance of insects in the area can also leave structures vulnerable to damage.

If you’re looking to sell a house with structural issues, you have your work cut out for you, but it’s not impossible. First, you need to evaluate your home and identify the root of the problem. The following are the three most common structural problems found in Florida homes.

1. Cracked Foundations

This is perhaps the mother of all structural issues, as it involves damage to the base upon which your house sits. It’s not unheard of for homeowners to be completely unaware of foundation issues until the time comes for a potential buyer to do inspections.

Once you’re in that situation, you could be on the hook for costly repairs or risk losing the deal. The biggest telltale signs of foundation issues are things like cracks in the walls, spots where the molding doesn’t meet the ceiling, doors that don’t quite fit in their frames, and uneven floors.

2. Compromised Siding

Given Florida’s abundant sunshine and abundant precipitation, homes in this state are very susceptible to siding damage. Whether wood or vinyl, siding can easily sustain cracks from things like scraping tree branches, debris from lawnmowers, and prolonged exposure to sun.

If those cracks aren’t repaired, they’ll allow moisture to leach into the structure of your home. From there, you could be dealing with mold, mildew, termites, and more. Water damage can be very costly to repair and fundamentally challenge the stability of a structure, so examine your siding closely for damage.

3. Damaged Roofs

Much like siding, roofs can take a real beating in Florida’s climate. Near-constant moisture can cause the growth of things like algae and moss. While these might seem like only a cosmetic nuisance, they can lead to a serious breakdown in your shingles.

Excessive heat can also cause buckling and warping. Beyond that, there’s the danger of tropical storms and hurricanes, which bring with them wind, rain, and downed trees. If you see any of these happening with your roof, you’ve got a problem brewing.

If you’ve discovered structural issues with your home, your temptation may be to throw in the towel. Looking down the barrel of tens of thousands of dollars in repairs would make anyone feel hopeless. But don’t count yourself out yet!

There are often buyers willing to invest in a home as-is, despite structural issues. But if you’re not interested in bringing in a realtor and going through the process of listing and showing your home, only to give away a percentage of what you earn on the sale in fees and commissions, then a cash home buying company would be a great fit for you.

The Buy Guys purchase Florida homes in a wide variety of conditions, including those with structural damage. Give our team a call today to get started, and let us help you sell your house with structural issues in less than 30 days, for cash!

There are two words that can instantly strike fear into the heart of any homeowner: water damage. Whether it comes as the result of a busted pipe, a leaky roof, a faulty component in your HVAC system, or even the sometimes-cruel hand of Mother Nature, dealing with water in your home is a monumental headache.

The immediate aftermath of a flood can be an incredibly trying and emotional time for a homeowner. If you find yourself in a position where you need to sell a house with water damage, the intensity can feel even greater. But there are steps you can take to mitigate the stress and set yourself up for success.

When It Rains, It Pours

Water is a powerful force, and it can lay waste to your home in a matter of minutes. In addition to destroying or damaging prized possessions and valuable assets, it can also seriously compromise the stability of your home’s infrastructure. Addressing water damage properly will cost you.

If you’ve started requesting estimates, then you’ll already know this. To fix the problem and get your house back to normal, you’ll be looking not only at pricy repairs to any malfunctioning equipment but also remediation for the damaged parts of your home’s interior (patching holes, replacing carpet and drywall, etc.).

Additionally, you’ll probably also need a deep cleaning. If not addressed immediately—especially in a humid climate like Florida’s—retained water inside your home can result in the growth of severe mold and mildew. In addition to further complicating the repairs process, mold and mildew can prove to be a serious health risk for your family. Exposure can trigger the onset or worsening of conditions such as allergies and asthma.

Maybe the water damage to your home is especially extensive. Or perhaps it has just been left unaddressed because you were overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. In these cases, you may find yourself needing to vacate the home in order to have repairs done safely and effectively. So you can go ahead and add the cost of alternative accommodations to your rapidly growing bill as well.

1. Minimize the Damage

Floods can happen quickly and with very little warning. As soon as you are able to access your property, you’ll need to work fast to contain the damage in any way you can. The quicker you address these issues, the better chance you have of preventing a total loss.

Begin by contacting your insurer to inform them of your claim so they can send an adjuster your way. Then move on to cataloging any and all damage.

Take photos and make extensive notes. Don’t throw anything away, though—your insurance company may require visual evidence of damaged items before they will honor your policy.

Attack water damage in the walls by removing damaged drywall or sheetrock immediately. Running fans and dehumidifiers throughout the house will also help dry things out.

Remember, mold can grow in just 48 hours, so time is of the essence when it comes to removing water from your home. It’s not impossible to sell a house with flooding damage, but it will be a lot more difficult to sell if it’s also full of mold.  

2. Get A Repair Estimate

Once you’ve gotten the situation under control and hopefully cleaned well enough to prevent mold and mildew growth, it’s time to get the big picture on the damage that’s been done. This isn’t a necessary step in selling your house, of course, but it will certainly put buyers’ minds at ease to know that a licensed professional has evaluated the property.

Whether you plan to fix the issues or not, having an inspector lay out in detail what needs to be done will be a huge help. You may even want to get a few different opinions so that you can present a fully fleshed-out plan to any potential buyers. Hopefully, they’ll be comforted by knowing what to expect financially.

3. Fix It Up

From here, you may choose to do some repairs before selling your home. If you have experience with things like drywall or sheetrock, it may be cost-effective for you to handle those things yourself. Or perhaps you have it in your budget to hire a contractor for those tasks.

Making smaller improvements—as well as cosmetic things like putting fresh, neutral paint on the walls and polishing the floors—could greatly improve your home’s selling price. If your issues are larger or more structural, though, be aware that remediation may set you back a pretty penny, which you might find isn’t worth it in the end.

4. Sell As-Is

So what if you don’t have insurance or the time or money to do repairs? If you need to sell a house with water damage quickly, you always have the option to sell the house as-is. Buyers understand that houses in this condition will be in need of some work.

There is always a market for fixer-uppers, and many buyers aren’t scared away by flood damage, provided that they feel they got a good enough deal on the property. You could go the traditional route with a real estate agent, but be aware that your home may sit on the market for a while (which can negatively impact the eventual selling price), and you’ll be on the hook for fees and commissions after the sale.

Going with a cash homebuying company, however, removes both the time and cost concerns of the traditional marketplace. The Buy Guys have worked with hundreds of individuals when they needed to sell a house with flooding issues. We’re here to help you sell your water-damaged home quickly and easily. Call us today to learn more!

US dollars on a table with tax papers and a pair of reading glasses.

Inheriting a house can be incredibly overwhelming. While it’s wonderful to know that someone you cared for trusted you enough to appoint you the caretaker of their home after their passing, it can also be a big financial strain.

There are a number of tax implications that come into play when you inherit a house. And they will vary drastically depending upon what you do next. Let’s break down the types of taxes you may be required to pay when you receive or attempt to sell an inherited house.

1. Estate Tax

This tax is thankfully one that most people don’t have to worry about. The current federal minimum for the estate tax to be levied is $11.8 million. In other words, the deceased’s entire estate (including all real estate, cash, and assets like stocks or bonds) has to add up to more than $11.8 million before the federal government will tax it.

A dozen states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) plus the District of Columbia, however, do levy their own taxes on estates as well. The threshold for these is much lower than the federal minimum, but it still floats somewhere around $1 million.

2. Inheritance Tax

This tax is collected only at the state level. It has stipulations, and its application varies from state to state. As of 2018, six states collect an inheritance tax: Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The tax rate in each of these states is different and may be anywhere from one percent to 20 percent of the value of the house or other assets you’ve inherited.

There are exemptions, of course, and again, this tax is often not levied on those heirs whose inheritance is valued below $2 million. There are also allowances depending on your relationship to the deceased. No taxes are applied when a spouse inherits a property in one of these states, and of the six listed, only Nebraska and Pennsylvania collect taxes on property that’s passed from a parent to their child or grandchild.

3. Property Tax

When you become the owner of an inherited home, you will, of course, become responsible for the property taxes owed. You’ll keep paying these as long as you own the house. Depending on the location of the inherited home, this could mean having a significant new bill on your plate.

Whenever someone inherits a home (just like if they bought one), the property is reassessed at the current market value to determine what taxes should be paid on it. While many states do cap how much property taxes can rise from year to year, there is a decent chance this reassessment could bring an increased tax burden compared to what your loved one was paying before their passing.

Some states do allow for exclusions for spouses and children or grandchildren. But to receive this often involves reapplying for exemption programs, which can be labor-intensive and cost you quite a bit of time and energy.

4. Capital Gains Tax

Selling any asset for more than you paid for it can trigger capital gains taxes. But what if you didn’t pay for it, but rather inherited it? Unfortunately, you can still be on the hook for taxes if you inherited a house and want to sell it.

What Is Capital Gains Tax?

There is often a false assumption that the capital gains tax only applies to rich people, but in reality, the things many of us own (car, big screen TV, stocks and bonds, home) all count as capital assets. If you ever sell those things for more than you paid to acquire them, you may be facing a tax burden.

This tax comes into play often in real estate transactions. If you bought a home for $100,000 years ago, but the area has become a hot spot and you’re now able to sell it for $400,000, that $300,000 in profit you made will be subject to taxation. Thankfully, there are ways to qualify for exemptions so that you’re not penalized for the entirety of the gain.

Capital gains tax on inherited property behaves a little differently though. Since you didn’t purchase the home in the first place, the calculation for profit is done on what is called a “stepped-up basis.”

Say your Aunt Marge bought the home for $75,000 back in 1950, but you’re able to sell it for $250,000. Instead of being taxed on the full $175,000 difference, you’ll only be taxed on the difference between the sale price and the fair market value at the time of her death.

In order to find out the stepped-up basis of the home, you’ll need to have it appraised as soon as possible after the owner’s death. This will give you an idea of what you’re working with and whether it’s a good idea to hold on to the house or to go ahead and sell it.

What Are the 2019 Rates?

Tax rates change slightly every year based on inflation and other political factors. For the 2019 tax year, the tax percentages on capital gains range from zero percent to 20 percent, depending on the amount of profit you made from the sale.

If you’re single, you won’t be taxed on any gains under $39,375. If you make between $39,376 and $434,550, your rate will be 15 percent. Over $434,551 and you’ll be charged a 20 percent rate.

If you’re married, those thresholds increase, and anything under $78,750 will be exempt. $75,751 to $488,850 will be at a 15 percent rate, and anything over $488,851 will be at 20 percent.

How Can I Avoid It?

Receiving bequeathed property from a loved one, while a beautiful gesture, can be very stressful. You can avoid the capital gains tax by making the home your primary residence for two years, thus qualifying you for the homeowner’s exemption on any gains under $250,000 (if you’re single) or $500,000 (if you’re married).

But if you already have an established home, moving into the house may not be an option. It could be in another neighborhood, city, or even state. It might be too small for your family’s needs, and you may have no interest in maintaining it and renting it out. (Landlord life isn’t for everyone!)

Stay, Rent, or Sell?

When inheriting a property, you have a few options. You can:

  • Move into the home and make it your primary residence.
  • Rent the home out.
  • Sell the home.

Moving in can be a good option if the home is fully paid off and you could use a break from paying rent on your own place. Owning and living in the home, however, does mean you’re on the hook for property taxes and utilities, plus any upkeep. It also may not be an option if the house you inherit is located in a different geographical area than your current job and you’re unwilling or unable to move.

Renting could be a good fit if you already own your own home or you live in a different town or state than the house you’ve inherited. The funds generated from renting the home could offset the cost of upkeep and any tax or mortgage payments. Some people aren’t cut out to be landlords, though, and you’ll run the risk of tenants damaging the home or falling behind on payments.

Selling an inherited home is often the best available route for an heir. As mentioned above, consider how the capital gains tax will affect you before jumping into selling, but if you’re not prepared to live in the home or manage renting it out for the foreseeable future, selling it and getting it off your plate is usually the easiest solution.

The Buy Guys have worked with a number of sellers after they inherited a property. We work exclusively with individuals and can close on your property in just 30 days. If you’ve recently inherited a house and want to sell it, please call us today.

A sold house sign.

If you receive code violations about your property but you do not have the funds to repair the violations or pay fines and interest that accrue daily, you might be thinking, “I need to sell my house fast before anything else goes wrong.” A big concern for homeowners, when faced with violations, is that buyers will not consider a property that does not comply with local codes and will try to drive the price down.

If you are wondering if you can sell your home without revealing the violations to the buyer, the answer is “no.” The law requires you to reveal all building code violations. If you fail to do so, you may be responsible for any financial loss the buyer accrues due to the violations.

First Step after You Receive Code Violations

Contact a local realtor who can help you address the violations. Code violations can be confusing and seeking professional help will help you resolve issues quicker. The realtor can schedule an appointment with the violation code officer to discuss the details of non-compliance. Most realtors have experience negotiating with code officers to sanction down the violations and get your house in compliance before selling.

Determine Which Violations Are Worth Repairing

There are six common code violations that homeowners encounter. Some code violations are just a matter of cosmetics and you can comply with them for little cash output. Some of these violations include mowing the lawn, landscaping the property to improve the appearance, draining an unused pool, removing asbestos, or scraping and painting peeling paint. Repairing these types of violations could increase your home’s value and attract potential buyers.

Other common home code violations include:

  • Electrical errors
  • Missing or broken fire alarms
  • Windows in dangerous locations
  • Missing expansion tank for water heater
  • Not having handrails installed on railings

Arbitrate a Deal with the Buyer to Pay for Repairs

After disclosing the violations to potential buyers, especially serious violations, such as, fire hazards, electrical violations, structural damage or zoning issues, some of them might be willing to repair code violations themselves. If this is the case, they will negotiate for a lower purchase price. Most buyers considering this option, hire a contractor to inspect your home to determine if repairing the code violations are worth their while. Building codes change all the time and buyers want to make sure that the house does not have structural violations that will be a headache for years to come.

Sell Your House As-Is to an Investor

In many cases, buyers would rather not invest money to repair a house with multiple code violations. If all else fails, you can contact a real estate investor who will buy your house as-is, which saves you all the money needed to bring your house up to code. In fact, you can forgo selling your house through a realtor and find an investor who will pay cash for your house, ending the code violation nightmare. According to the National Association of Realtors, cash sales made up 23 percent of home sales in January 2017, increasing from 21 percent in December. Of these sales, investors bought 15 percent of the properties and fifty-nine percent of the investors paid cash. So, this option could be your best bet if you need cash fast.

When making your decision to sell your home for cash, consider these other benefits. With a cash sale to professional homebuyers and investors, you do not pay realtor commissions, inspection fees or closing costs. This gives you cash-in-hand to help relieve your financial burdens or use the cash for relocating.

If you reside in Florida or Georgia and need help selling your property, we can help find an investor for your situation, no matter what the condition of your home or code violations incurred. Contact us to find out what you can do about selling your house fast. If you are a real estate investor looking for properties for cash sales, we can find home investments that fit your needs, as well.

A sold house sign.

If you are interested in selling your house fast, for cash, you may begin investigating the various buyers available. While some make unrealistic promises and guarantees, it is better to get all the information before making a decision. To avoid we buy houses scams, it’s important to know your options and to ask the right questions.

Here you will find some of the most frequently asked questions, which will help you decide whether or not you should work with a certain fast cash home buyer.

Are you purchasing the home or are you the end buyer?

Residential real estate transactions with fast cash home buyers are very different from commercial real estate loan companies. In many cases, companies are going to purchase a home and then “flip it” or resell it to make a profit. While this isn’t always the case, it is a real possibility. While you can ask the company if they are going to be the end buyer, this should not really matter if you are trying to sell. A problem may arise if you are speaking with a “middleman.” In these situations, it may be best to request to speak with the end buyer so you don’t run into any issues or problems with the sale.

If inherited home from a family member, who handles it and how will the probate be handled?

The majority of companies offering quick cash for properties have dealt with inherited property in the past. As a result, they know what has to be done to get through probate and will have no problem with this situation. However, it is a good idea to make it known in the beginning to prevent any roadblocks once the buying process begins.

If the property is owner-occupied, will you be able to stay there?

The conditions upon whether or not an owner will be permitted to remain in the property after the sale is going to depend on the company. In some cases, this is possible, but in other situations, the buyer may be planning to flip the house and resell it. It is good to find out ahead of time so you can make the necessary plans and arrangements.

Will the property be purchased as is?

The majority or companies offering cash for houses have no problem purchasing a home “as is.” Again, this can vary from one company to another and any issues have to be disclosed before the sale, in most cases. The point of cash for houses buyers is to help individuals who may have a hard time selling get the process handled quickly.

Does the house need to have repairs done?

The Buy Guys purchase properties “as-is” so you don’t have to do anything to the house, no matter the condition.

Significant structural issues such as foundation or roof instability, severe water damage, or plumbing/electrical problems could cut a lot into the profit you’ll get if you’re choosing to sell on your own. If you have the time and the money, investing heavily in major repairs like these could help bring your home back up to snuff and give you a shot at securing a better selling price.

You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of spending that cash to determine if you can truly make it back through a more robust asking price.

Are there any hidden fees or closing costs?

Most companies are going to pay all the closing costs associated with the sell. In most cases, the only fees that the property owner is going to be responsible for paying is the prorated portion of the property taxes, the state tax and any leftover mortgage payment. There are never any hidden costs when you use the services of a reputable cash for houses company.

Have you purchased many homes in my area?

A reputable cash home buyer will be knowledgable and know your neighborhood. Talk with the company to understand how many homes they’ve purchased and how they evaluate the surrounding area.

Can you provide a same day offer?

Same day offers are available in some cases, but it all depends on the location and condition of the house. Speak with the company you are considering using to determine whether or not this is possible.

Do they have reviews they can share?

Any legit cash home buying company with have dozens, if not hundreds, of reviews from satisfied sellers. When you talk with each company, make sure you ask how long they’ve been in business and if they are accredited by The Better Business Bureau (BBB).

As you can see, there are several factors that may affect your cash for houses buying experience. The key is to find and work with a reputable company to achieve the best results possible.

House with interior mold.

Is it possible to sell a house in bad shape? Of course it is! Whether your home sustained damage from a hurricane—which is a very common situation for Floridians—or from some other calamity such as fire or a flood, you still have options.

It’s not an unachievable dream that you could sell a bad house for a fair price, but you do have to be more purposeful about how you approach the selling process. Depending on your financial situation and your timeline for selling, you could do one of these three things to sell a house in bad shape. 

1. Make Some Repairs

If you’re not in a rush to get out of the home and you have some cash to put towards fixing it up, making some minor repairs could be a huge help. You’d be surprised how different your house may look after a heavy-duty cleaning and some refreshing (think new paint or freshly buffed floors). You’re sure to get a better asking price if your home looks more appealing to potential buyers.

If the repairs needed are of a more substantial, structural variety, though, you may have more on your hands than you realized. While fixing things like a broken window or a leaky faucet might be doable on a DIY budget, things like foundation repair and extensive electrical or plumbing work are likely to cost you thousands. You’ll have to weigh whether that cost is worth the potential difference in selling price.

2. Advertise It as a Fixer-Upper

Not all buyers are looking for a picture-perfect house. If the price is right, many people are willing to put in the work to restore the home to its former glory. If you don’t have the money to make repairs, you can simply put it on the market as a “fixer-upper” and see what interest you generate. You may also find that developers are looking to buy property in your area to renovate.

Make sure to disclose all of the home’s issues to any potential buyers, of course, and be prepared to be lowballed on the price. Depending on how much you truly need to make on the sale and how long you can wait for the right buyer, this can be a great way to sell a damaged house. 

3. Sell for Cash 

If you’re too strapped to make any repairs to your home, and you can’t sit around forever waiting to find someone willing to take on its many issues, you’re not totally up a creek. Selling for cash to a licensed and reputable home buying company is probably going to be the best avenue for you. Since the process is so fast and easy, many owners of damaged properties go in this direction.

We know that it can be difficult to sell a house in bad shape, but The Buy Guys buy homes in all sorts of conditions throughout Florida. We’ve seen it all, and we’re not scared!

If you need to sell a damaged house and you’re not in a place where you can make thousands of dollars of repairs before you do it, it’s time to look into selling your home as-is to The Buy Guys team. You’ll get cash fast, and you won’t have to take on any of the expense or stress of fixing the house yourself. Call us today to get a cash offer on your house in under 10 minutes!

The exterior of a house with lead paint that is chipped.

If your home was constructed prior to 1978, it is a simple reality that you’ll encounter some lead-based paint. Real estate regulations require sellers to disclose a host of details about their properties, but selling a house with lead paint is the only one that is federally enforced. The Environmental Protection Agency takes a very serious stance on this, and withholding that information can result in heavy fines.

The EPA’s approach is understandable, as these days, the health risks of lead paint are well known and, frankly, pretty scary. Lead is highly toxic, and ingesting it can negatively impact nearly every organ system in the human body. You, of course, would never want to be responsible for someone getting sick after purchasing your home.

Small children are particularly susceptible to the effects of lead, and lead poisoning can cause both physical and mental delays, not to mention—in extreme cases—brain damage. Kids are prone to chew on things and are the most likely to be affected, but adults also run the risk of getting very sick if lead paint begins to flake or peel, disseminating dangerous particles into the air.

How to Find Out If Your House Has Lead Paint

How can you confirm whether or not you have lead paint before you attempt to sell your home? If it was built quite a while ago (think 1950s or earlier), and it hasn’t been remodeled since then, lead paint is almost certainly present. If your home was built in the 1970s, chances are likely there is still some lead in the paint, but the amount used in paint was dwindling by then, as we first began to understand lead’s side effects.

Either way, you’ll probably want to confirm its presence and concentration before selling your home. You can purchase a DIY kit, but be aware that they often show false negatives, so you’ll want to repeat the test multiple times. Also remember that if you say you’re sure there is no lead in the home and it’s found later, you’ll face a hefty fine.

Hiring a professional to assess your home is the only guaranteed way of knowing how much lead is there and where it’s located. It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but that’s better than the thousands you’ll pay for not properly disclosing it.

Note that you are not technically required to test for the presence of lead yourself if you’re not already aware of it, but you do have to give any potential buyer a 10-day window in which to have testing done themselves. The presence of lead paint can seriously affect your asking price, so it’s probably something you want to know up front.

Cost of Remediation

You might be thinking that if you have lead paint, painting over it with a newer paint will fix the problem. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Lead can leach from the old paint into the modern non-lead-based stuff, making it just as unsafe.

DIY lead remediation isn’t feasible. Lead is an incredibly dangerous substance, and its removal is best handled by a professional. You can find a certified professional lead inspector via your local EPA office.

Depending on how much paint you’re dealing with, you may have the option of a “wait-and-see” approach, monitoring for any paint peeling or flaking and making sure any future repairs are done by lead-safe certified companies. Abatement (completely removing the lead from your home) is the best possible option, but it also costs thousands of dollars.

How to Sell a Home With Lead Paint

Having lead paint in your home can make it difficult to sell. Potential buyers with children will be especially wary. You may also only get lowball offers if people assume they’ll have to take on thousands of dollars in remediation in order to make the home safe and liveable for their family.

But selling a house with lead paint isn’t impossible. Not everyone wants to have kids, and some buyers who love older homes may be willing to accept the cost of replacing the paint if it means they get a house with true character.

Going the traditional route is an option. Be aware, however, that some real estate agents may be hesitant to take on your home, and it could sit on the market for significantly longer than a home without lead issues.

Before you spend thousands of dollars on lead paint removal, consider selling your house as-is to The Buy Guys team. You can sell your house for cash without shouldering the expenses of dealing with toxic lead paint yourself.

A house damaged in a fire.

A house fire is one of the most traumatic things you could endure as a homeowner. Though you and your loved ones may escape safely, you may still suffer major losses in the wake of the blaze.

From the destruction of beloved heirlooms and memories to the very tangible damage done to your property, fire is a cruel element. Life after a house fire is never the same. And staying in your home after a fire might not be the right move for you.

If you’re looking to sell a fire damaged house, you’ve got a lot of thinking to do first. Here are the key steps you should take.

What Now?

The first thing you should do after the fire is contained is contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Ask to speak with someone who can help you understand your benefits and assist you in figuring out all of your options for moving forward. Your agent can help set you up with temporary lodging and food assistance as well if needed.

You’ll also want to involve a restoration company. Cleaning up soot and ash is one thing, but the water used to put out the flames can do major damage to your home. Water damage needs to be addressed ASAP, so ask your insurance agent to help you find someone right away.

Mr. Fix-It

If you can afford to do it, it might be best for you to make repairs to your home before thinking about selling. Depending upon the extent of the damage, it could be something you can handle on your own or with the help of friends and family. If there is no structural damage, it might only cost a few thousand dollars to repair.

If the damage is more significant or structural, hopefully your insurance will help cushion the blow and keep the out-of-pocket expenses on the lower end. Repairing the damage the fire caused will make your home easier to sell. It’s highly likely it will help you fetch a higher sale price as well.

Find a Buyer

If you’re not able to make the repairs, whether because of finances, lackluster insurance benefits, or time constraints, that doesn’t mean you can’t still sell your house. Finding the right buyer for a home with fire damage can be tricky, though. The traditional real estate market isn’t usually kind to less-than-perfect homes; chances are it will sit on the market for quite some time before you get any serious interest from potential buyers.

Cash homebuying companies, however, are in a unique spot to rehabilitate damaged properties and are likely your most promising avenue. The industry is rife with scammers, though, so make sure to do your research and find a reputable buyer before engaging further. Look for positive, detailed online reviews, and check in with the Better Business Bureau to verify they’re on the up and up.

Selling a home is almost always an emotional experience, but it’s even more so when you’ve just gone through something as horrific as a fire. When you sell a fire-damaged house, the real benefit is not the money—it’s the peace of mind that comes from putting the fire behind you, moving on, and making a fresh start. If you’re ready to sell your house after a fire, call The Buy Guys team and get a cash offer today.

Inheriting a house with siblings can be both an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. Most often, this means your parents have both passed away, so in addition to figuring out the logistics of how to move forward with the home, you’re also all grieving.

Often, one or more siblings want to sell the home, while others don’t. How do you approach dealing with the sticky situations that can arise from trying to sell an inherited house with siblings? Let’s talk out a few of the major questions it will present.

1. Who Gets to Live There?

Say you inherit a home with your brother and sister. You technically own one-third of the house, but how do you take advantage of that if you can’t all live in it at once?

If one of the siblings in question was already living in the home—perhaps taking care of their elderly parent—then naturally, they may feel they have a stronger claim to the ownership and occupation of the house. If that sibling is able to live in the home, do they take on all the responsibility for it? Otherwise, what value does it present to the remaining two siblings who aren’t living there?

2. Can a Resistant Sibling Be Forced to Sell?

If everyone is in agreement but you have one sibling holding out, whether for emotional or financial reasons, you may be wondering if you can override them. Unfortunately, there are very few avenues to do that.

This is especially true if the will is not clear on the owner’s wishes for the property. If the will directs that the house be sold and the profits be split, that’s one thing. But if mom or dad was leaving it up to the kids to make the decision that worked best for them, you’re stuck with having to convince everyone to get on the same page.

3. Will We Have to Get the Courts Involved?

If there is division among the siblings about selling versus not selling, and an accord can’t be reached, there is legal recourse. But beware that it comes with a steep price.

You can file an inheritance partition, where the courts force the sale of the home and divide the profits into chunks that are proportionate to each heir’s designated interest in the estate. This often means that the home sells for significantly less than it would have on the market, making everyone’s portions smaller, not to mention the havoc it will wreak on personal relationships. Frankly, this should be your last-ditch option in a worst-case scenario.

4. How Can We Push for the Sale?  

Finding an amicable way forward with your sibling(s) while also unloading the property won’t be easy, but it is doable. Consider discussing adjustments to the percentages each sibling receives.

If one sibling is hesitant to sell because they need to be able to live in the home, consider allocating a larger portion of the final sale price to them in order to help with relocation.  You’ll find that it’s usually worth a reduction in your personal share to keep the peace in your family and get the property off your plate. Or, if you work with The Buy Guys, we can buy your house and let your sibling live in it for up to a full year.

The Buy Guys have worked with a number of clients to sell an inherited house with siblings. We work exclusively with individuals and can close in 30 days. If you’re stressed out about inheriting a house with siblings and want more information on selling it for cash, please call us today.