A house with a for sale yard sign in the front lawn.

If you’ve had your house on the market for a while and have seen no interest from buyers, it’s understandable that you would be frustrated. And the longer a home sits on the market, the more buyers start to wonder what’s wrong with it.

If you’ve watched the seasons turn (maybe more than once) and still your house won’t sell, you need to make a new plan. Which option is best for you will depend on your personal financial and life situations, but here are the five best avenues to explore.

1. Postpone Your Plans

What if you had your heart set on selling, but so did all of your neighbors? If the market is flooded with available homes (especially if they’re in better condition or at a better price point than yours), it’s going to be tough to make a sale. That kind of buyer’s market often spells disappointment for the sellers.

If you’re not in a time crunch or in a bind financially, your best bet may be to pump the brakes. The real estate market fluctuates constantly, so six months from now your house could be one of only a few available in your area, creating scarcity that will drive demand. If you’re able to hold off, your patience may prove quite profitable.

2. Get an Agent

If you’ve had no luck trying to sell your home on your own, it may be time to call in a professional. You’ll get the benefits of professional staging, photography, and listings as well as someone to coordinate showings and handle the extensive paperwork that comes along with selling a home.

Do your research first, make sure the agent has a proven sales record, and understand the costs up-front. While an agent may be able to help you sell your home on a faster timeline, they will take a percentage of your sales profit for their commission. You have to decide if the trade-offs are worth it to you.

3. Consider a Short Sale

If you’re upside down on your mortgage and scraping to make it by, selling your home quickly can feel like a desperate necessity. But what if you owe more than the house is realistically worth? You’re in a much tighter spot than the normal seller, but you do have a possible out.

If you can speak with your lender, they may agree to the terms of a short sale. This means that you’ll sell the home for the maximum amount possible and pay that amount in full to the lender, even if it doesn’t equal the total you owe them. They’ll agree to take that “short” cash and let you off the hook for the rest.

Be forewarned that short sales are not always an option. (It’s totally up to your lender to allow it.) In addition, these sales can take months or even years to complete.

4. Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

Maybe you’ve had your home listed with an agent and been unimpressed with the results. You could always go the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route. This means that every penny you make from the sale will stay in your pocket because there won’t be any fees or commissions to pay out.

However, you’ll need to retain and pay a title attorney, and you’ll need to make absolutely sure you fully understand all the necessary paperwork and financial elements of the sale. It will also be your responsibility to make any needed repairs, to stage and photograph your home, and to create and manage the listings and showings.

5. Sell Quickly for Cash

If you’re tired of waiting around for the perfect time or the perfect set of circumstances to sell your home, selling quickly to a cash homebuyer may be your answer. You won’t be required to make any repairs or upgrades, nor will you need to photograph or stage your home. There will be no need to endure months of showings or hand over a percentage of your profits to an agent.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to a house that won’t sell, give us a call. The Buy Guys team works exclusively with individual homeowners, and we can get you a fair cash offer almost instantly and have you at the closing table in 30 days or less.

Don’t let your home become an unnecessary burden. Call today, and let us help you sell.

House icon sitting in the grass.

The question on many homeowners’ minds these days is, “Should I sell my house?” Like most things in life, timing is everything when it comes to real estate.

The industry is notorious for its fluctuations, so putting your home on the market this week could mean something entirely different from doing it three weeks from now. If you’re debating the best time to sell a house, there are a few things you should consider first.

1. What Does the Local Market Look Like?

There are a lot of elements involved in this one. First off, consider the broader market: Are homes selling in your city? How about in your neighborhood? If so, how quickly are they selling?

The shorter the DOM (days on market) number is for comparable homes in your area, the better likelihood you have of successfully selling your home—perhaps even for a higher price. If the market is flooded with available homes—especially ones comparable to yours—you may want to hold off for a bit.

Scarcity drives interest, and you’re likely to get a better price for your home if there is less competition from other sellers. If homes are flying off the market in record time, though, your area might in the midst of a boom that you should take advantage of.

It’s also smart to look for patterns in your local market. Spring and summer have always been considered high-season for home sales, but it may vary depending upon your specific location. Warmer climates often have more stable year-round markets, whereas many markets dry up once the school year begins. Florida specifically sees its peak home sale numbers yearly in the month of May.

2. What Is Your Timeline?

Deciding to move is frequently very emotional for a homeowner. You’ve put so much into your home over the years, and walking away can be tough. But if the space no longer meets your needs, it’s time to go.

Perhaps your kids are grown and gone, and your space is simply too hard to maintain anymore. Or maybe your family is growing, and you feel like you’re bursting the seams of your current home.

If you have the luxury of a bit of time to repair, stage, and show your home while looking for new accommodations, then you can watch the market more closely before making your move. If, on the other hand, you need to move quickly due to a change in employment or a sudden family issue (aging parents, an ill family member, a surprise pregnancy, etc.) you may not be able to wait until the timing is perfect.

3. Does It Make Financial Sense?

If you’ve lived in your home for a short amount of time, it can be hard to recoup your investment by selling. You need to have lived in your home for at least two of the last five years before a sale to avoid paying capital gains taxes on any profit you make from the sale. Likewise, if you’ve gone upside down on your mortgage (in other words, if you owe more than your home is worth), then selling now could mean taking a big loss.

On the flip side, if you have earned some equity in your home and the market conditions are favorable, selling now could be a smart financial move. The proceeds could help finance the purchase of a larger home if that’s what you need, or it could mean more available income for life’s necessities if you’re retiring or downsizing.

Time to Sell?

After evaluating your situation, if you feel like now is the best time to sell your house, consider what you want out of the experience. If you go the traditional route, you’ll be able to get slick professional photos and listings thanks to the assistance of a realtor, but you’ll lose out on some of the profit from the sale due to fees and commissions. It’s also likely that you’ll need to make repairs and upgrades to your home in order to fetch the best price possible.

If you don’t have a ton of time (or the budget) to fix things up and sit through months of showings and back-and-forth with potential buyers, then a cash homebuying company might be a better fit. You’ll be able to sell your home as-is and walk away with cash in hand. You’ll get the fair market value for your home with none of the hassle.

If you’ve been asking yourself, “Should I sell my house?” and the answer is yes, give us a call. The Buy Guys work exclusively with individuals and have helped thousands of homeowners move on to the next chapter of their lives by making their home sales quick and painless. We’d love the chance to help you do the same!

A home foreclosure sign.

The housing market crash of 2008 was a disastrous time for many homeowners. Home sales had been booming for years, and banks were handing out irresponsible—and untenable—zero-down loans like candy. When the recession hit and layoffs rolled in, many homeowners found themselves out of work and quickly upside-down on the mortgages they could barely afford in the first place.

The market has been focused on rebuilding and rebounding in the decade since, but many experts estimate that the bubble is once again becoming unstable and may burst soon. If you’re worried about the next housing crash potentially tanking your finances, you may be wondering how to protect yourself and asking, “Should I sell my house?”

It’s hard to know the best time to sell a house, but there are a few big things you need to evaluate if you hope to protect yourself from the next housing crash, which may be more a matter of “when” than “if.” To avoid defaulting on your mortgage, do the following.

1. Understand Your Budget

Lending isn’t as out of control as it once was, but many lenders still allow buyers to put down as little as three percent or less on the cost of their home. And real estate agents benefit—through their commissions—from selling higher-priced homes, so it’s in their interest to convince you that you can afford that spacious stunner you’ve got your eye on.

But don’t let a lender or an agent be the one to determine what you can afford. You should be spending no more than 25 to 28 percent of your monthly income on housing costs (mortgage, insurance, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance combined). This way, if you fall into financial hardship, you’re not on the hook for a number you simply can’t meet.

2. Know Your Timeline

Many people buy a home simply because it feels like “time” to do so. But they often don’t think ahead about what the next five to 10 years of their life will look like.

If you think you may need to sell a home within five years of purchasing it, don’t buy it! It takes at least that long to level out your finances considering all the costs involved with buying and selling a home.

“Flipping” homes has also become very popular, but be aware that in today’s somewhat volatile market, you never know if you’ll be able to resell the home for a profit—or at all! It’s always a risk to buy a home you don’t plan to stay in for more than five years, so understanding your timeline and being comfortable with staying somewhere for a while if necessary is key. Otherwise, you’re better off renting.  

3. Protect Your Equity

Taking out loans against your home or leveraging that equity for other purchases is a very risky business. Yes, your home is a valuable asset, but you should avoid borrowing against its equity unless absolutely necessary.

Emergencies happen, but short of that, try to avoid tapping that well. And even for emergencies, do your best to have a different primary source of backup funding, such as a savings account or a mutual fund. Your home’s equity should be your last resort.

4. Get Out Now

If you’re worried that you’ve bought above your means or won’t be able to make your mortgage payments when the market inevitably takes a downturn, now might be the best time to sell a house. Prices hit a peak in the last quarter of 2018, and many major markets are starting to see falling prices and stagnation of sales. The time is now; if you’re in over your head, you need to take steps today to protect your family and your money.

If you’ve found yourself in a tight spot financially and are asking yourself, “Should I sell my house?,” give The Buy Guys a call today. We work exclusively with individuals, and our experienced team can get you a quote right away and help get you to the closing table in less than 30 days. Don’t take a chance and risk losing everything; make the smart call before it’s too late.

A distressed home for sale.

If you find yourself located in a less-than-desirable area of town, your home can easily become a hard-to-sell house. Whether the cause is heavy traffic, noisy surroundings, crime, or simply aesthetics, selling a house in a bad neighborhood comes with its own unique set of challenges.

Many homeowners find themselves in a situation like this when they decide to sell. Perhaps the area was lovely when you moved in but has since seen an increase in traffic or crime. Or maybe the surrounding homes have aged and fallen into disrepair, making the entire neighborhood look bad.

Whatever brought you here, the simple reality is that it’s harder to find buyers for a home in a neighborhood like yours. But not all hope is lost! You may not be sitting on property in the hippest part of town, but you still have a few viable options, including selling your house quickly for cash.

1. Drop the Price

It may pain you to realize this, but buyers won’t pay top dollar for a house in a bad neighborhood. Even if your house is in good shape, the downsides of your location remain. This is especially true if you live in a high-crime area.

There are buyers, however, who will accept the tradeoffs of a somewhat lackluster neighborhood if the price is right. Oftentimes when families are searching for small starter homes, they’re more willing to buy in the less ritzy part of town if it means they can stay under budget. They may also be willing to take on homes that need a little bit of TLC, which is often the case in more rundown neighborhoods.

Play around with the numbers, and see how much you’re willing and able to flex on your sale price. You might be surprised by how much interest you get.

2. Repair and Refresh

Doing some minor repairs and cosmetic touch-ups can make a hard-to-sell house come alive. Try applying a fresh coat of paint to brighten the walls, or plant some flowers in the front yard to enhance curb appeal. Small, affordable fixes like this can help potential buyers refocus on the positives of your home rather than fixating solely on the negatives of the surrounding neighborhood.

A word of caution here: Don’t spend too much. Many people think that doing expensive revamps of their homes will help cancel out the fact that it’s sitting in a bad neighborhood, but that’s not the case.

Costly upgrades will drive your asking price up and leave your wallet significantly lighter, and they still might not make enough difference to help the home sell. The name of the game here is keeping all changes minimal but impactful.

3. Sell As-Is to a Cash Homebuyer

If you’re not interested in investing time and money to make repairs or improvements to your home, but you’re also not ready to sell it for a loss, selling it as-is to a cash homebuying company could be a perfect fit. You’ll get a fair market price for your home but without having to set aside the time and money to go through the traditional real estate process.

If your neighborhood isn’t exactly known for its charms, it can be discouraging to figure out how you should go about selling your property. But selling a house in a bad neighborhood is possible! The Buy Guys have worked with many sellers in this exact situation to sell their homes quickly, and we’re happy to help you do the same. Call us today to learn more!

Green road sign that has the word inheritance on it.

Inheriting a home can be a very complex business. Depending on how you came to be in possession of the home (whether it’s paid for, and whether or not you have any co-owners), there could be many potential next steps from which to choose.

If you’ve recently inherited a house in Florida, you may be questioning your next move. This guide is here to detail your options, including your ability to sell the house fast for cash. First off, though, we need to answer a few questions.

1. How Did You Inherit—Deed, Will, or Trust?

It might not seem like it matters, but there is actually a big difference in how an inherited house in Florida should be handled based upon how exactly it became yours.

If you were given the house by deed, this means you were appointed the “remainderman” for the deceased’s estate, and when they passed, the house moved into your hands. There is no need to go through probate proceedings, and if you do choose to sell, you should have no issue, as your name will be on the title.

If your loved one died with them listed as the sole property owner but left you the house in their will, you’ll need to go through probate proceedings in order to move the title into your name officially. This means if you want to sell the home, you’ll need to complete that process first, which can sometimes take a few months.

If the deceased drew up a trust agreement declaring that you (or you and others) are entitled to the house upon their death, it will pass directly to you (and any other co-owners). If, however, the deceased leaves behind a spouse or minor children, you will have to go through the probate process in order to move the title to your name.

2. Do You Know The Tax Implications? 

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. Do you know your options? 

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

3. How Do You Handle Probate?

If you need to file probate on the estate and the deceased has been gone more than two years, chances are things will move pretty quickly. With a good attorney, you could be set in as little as a week. If the person died very recently and you’re trying to sell the house, however, you may be in for a bit of a wait.

The probate process involves posting a notice to creditors in the local newspaper and giving any creditors who are owed by the estate four months to come forward. Selling a house in probate in Florida can take a little longer than normal, but once the judge declares you the new owner, you’ll be set to do whatever you wish with the property.

3. Is There a Mortgage?

If you inherit a home with an outstanding mortgage, you must assume the payments if you hope to avoid foreclosure. Each company will have its own process for how to deal with the homeowner’s death and move the account to your name, but you should alert them as soon as possible.

What if you can’t afford the mortgage? Under Florida law, a mortgage company cannot go after your personal bank account or assets if you choose to walk away from an inherited home and allow it to be foreclosed on. But should you choose to do so, retain a probate attorney to protect your interests.

4. Are There Other Owners?

The trickiest of all inheritance situations is when you inherit the property jointly with other family members. Under Florida law, all of you will be equally responsible for all financial obligations pertaining to the property, including debts and liabilities.

Typically one person takes point on being property manager, but beware that this can cause tension and resentment. If one of the owners is living in the house, that can also complicate things, as they may not want to pay their fair share, or they may refuse to sell despite everyone else wanting to. Immediately upon inheritance, all the heirs should discuss the situation and make a plan that’s agreeable to everyone (which is, sadly, often easier said than done).

If you have inherited a home, your options are typically to a) live in the home (or let one of the co-owners live in it); b) rent it; or c) sell it. Selling a house in probate in Florida can be a bit trickier, but if you quickly tackle the probate process, you’ll be good to go.

If you’re not interested in renting the home and being a landlord, and you want to avoid the infighting that often stems from sharing ownership of a home with siblings, selling may be your best option. If you’re ready to sell your inherited house in Florida quickly, call The Buy Guys today. We work exclusively with individuals, and we can have you ready to close and walk away with cash in your pocket in just 30 days!

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.