Estate (or Tag) Sales are a means of selling some or all of an individual or family’s possessions, including the home, and usually take place as a consequence of major life events such as relocation, divorce, bereavement or severe financial problems.
On the announced day of the sale, interested buyers will be able to tour the house and purchase any items which are tagged for sale. Depending on the way the sale is structured, it may sometimes be permissible to place bids below the marked price, but buyers who do so, of course, run the risk of being outbid by later visitors.
Why Work With A Company That Pays Cash For Estates
If you’re not interested in having people walk through your home and haggle price then you should consider a company that makes all cash offers for estates.
1. You’ll receive an all-cash offer in 48 hours
2. Easy and simple process that allows you to sell the estate quickly and without headache
3. We’ll respect your time and family heirlooms
4. Professional and discreet
Choosing The Right Estate Sale Company Is Crucial
As with buying most services in life, there’s nothing more reassuring than a personal recommendation, so start by asking family members, friends and co-workers you trust if they have used an Estate Sale firm or know of one.
If that doesn’t work, go to the website of the American Society of Estate Liquidators (ASEL – www.aselonline.com) which has contact details for thousands of accredited firms across the US. This is not a formal regulatory body but does run checks before admitting firms as members.
ASEL recommends contacting them to double check on a firm before signing any contract, but it’s important to remember that in hiring an Estate Sale company you will potentially be entrusting some or all of your loved one’s most valuable possessions to the care of strangers. So it’s important to do your own due diligence as well.
Start with a telephone interview
- How long have you been in business, and how many Estate Sales have you conducted?
- What are the professional qualifications and experience of your team?
- Do you work on flat fee or commission, or a combination of both?
- Do you have recent references from professionals or satisfied customers?
- Are you fully licensed, bonded and insured?
If all seems satisfactory to this point, then continue your research. A simple Google search should quickly reveal any complaints made against the company. You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB). If all still seems fine, then proceed to a face to face interview – ideally at the property where the sale is to take place.
You need to be sure that the people you see are professional, knowledgeable and able to answer your questions promptly.
They Should Have Great Answers To The Following Questions
- how long the process will take;
- how they will advertise the sale, and at what cost;
- how they will supervise the sale day process and take care of the property;
- how will they assess and take care of any higher value items, which might be better sold through an auction house.
Estate Sales, almost by definition, tend to take place when the individuals or families involved are going through a time of stress or grief.
But good advice and assistance from properly qualified and experienced professionals can go a long way to mitigate the emotional difficulty of the process.
Follow the above steps carefully and you can have confidence in a successful outcome.
Homeowners who need to sell their properties quickly are turning more and more to real estate investors. These “We Buy Houses” businesses are booming mostly because of the uncertainty of the real estate market. With the promise of fast cash, sometimes within days, it is tempting to latch onto these offers. However, with adequate research, prospective sellers can avoid scams and find reputable home investment firms.
Better Business Bureau Accreditation
Accreditation through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an essential component of choosing a home investment company. This distinction means that the company is expected to operate with integrity in order to keep their accreditation. The BBB gives each company a rating based on their reliability and how well they interact with their existing customer base. Ratings are determined by years in business, customer complaints, transparency of business, and government-sanctioned actions against business.
Locally Owned and Operated In Austin
Prospective sellers should avoid using “We Buy Houses” companies that are based in another state or worse yet, another country. Sellers should have the opportunity to meet face to face with potential investors. Local companies will also have a high familiarity with local real estate markets and able to provide comparable home sale information.
Member of the Local Chamber of Commerce
A local chamber of commerce has similar goals as the BBB: protect consumers from companies with unsavory business practices. In a 2012 survey conducted by The Schapiro Group, two-thirds of customers reported that they found active members of a local chamber of commerce to be trustworthy in participating in good business practices. Local chambers of commerce screen their members in order to maintain a positive community image. Real estate investment companies must provide reputable care to their customers in order to be accepted into the organization.
Look For Online Reviews
Online reviews of a company will give sellers insight into whether they can trust the business before handing over their deeds. Although a single negative review shouldn’t deter sellers, red flags are raised if multiple reviewers have written negatively about the company. Sellers need to look at more than one source for reviews as well. Browse online review websites and social media platforms such as Yelp, 5 Star Reviews on Facebook, and Google Home Buyer Reviews.
Ask For References
Before choosing a real estate investor, sellers need to ask the company for a list of references. The references can be past home sellers or the title company that the investor uses. Years in business need to be taken into consideration as well. Receiving referrals from friends and family members who have used the “We Buy Houses” company can also steer customers to a reliable company.
Shop Around But Don’t Be Greedy
A reputable company will not be pushy over signing the dotted line. Although the agency may promise up and down that they are offering the best deal, sellers can’t be sure unless they compare offers from multiple vendors.
Investor Or Company Provides A Simple Contract
Although “We Buy Houses” negotiations are meant to be quick and painless, the information given to the seller over the phone after the home inspection isn’t always accurate. The contract may show completely different terms. Prospective home sellers need to have every aspect of the sale spelled out on paper before signing on the dotted line.
Consumers may turn to “We Buy Houses” companies for fast closings, but they should not skimp out on the research. There’s always a risk of fraud when dealing with cash real estate transactions. Avoid scams by reviewing all paperwork thoroughly before signing over the property.
Many seniors have found themselves ready to move to an assisted living facility or perhaps downsize to a smaller home or apartment. Problems arise when they encounter difficulties selling their current home. The following information provides the best ways for a senior citizen to sell a home.
Best Ways To Prepare To Sell A Home
There are a few steps to take to make sure a home has the best chance of selling as quickly as possible.
- Make the Necessary Repairs – It’s much easier to sell a house that doesn’t need any major repairs. Most people would rather pay a little bit more and buy a house that is ready to move into than to have to worry about making repairs, even at a reduced price.
- Remove Clutter – Seniors have had many years to accumulate a lot of items. Everything from pictures of children and grandchildren to knick-knacks received through the years often fills counter tops, shelves, and tables. While these items may be precious to the owner, having excessive personal items can make the home appear messy and disorganized.
- Price the House Competitively – Trying to make even a little bit of money on a home by over-pricing will simply make the house more difficult to sell. Seniors may factor in what price they “need’ to get when selling a home as opposed to the true market value of the home.
Looking for a hassle-free way to sell your house?
- Is your house vacant? In need of repairs? Is it just plain ugly? No problem! No job is too large!
- Must sell your house quick? Need to move? Relocating? Job loss? We can buy it in a matter of DAYS!
- Facing foreclosure? Behind on payments? No problem! Foreclosures are our specialty.
- Considering bankruptcy? Owe liens? Title problem? We know creative ways to solve these problems.
- No equity? Trouble selling? Divorce? No problem! We are here to buy your property.
- Need to settle an estate sale? Death of a loved one? We will help put this behind you quickly.
- Tired of being a landlord? Bad tenants? Eviction troubles? We will solve your problems.
- Don’t want to move, but in a financial bind? We have rent-to-own and equity sharing programs that help you to stay!
Tips For When a Home Hasn’t Sold
Here’s a short list of tips and strategies for homes that have been sitting on the market for more than 30 days.
- Rent Out Your Home – Renting out a home doesn’t necessarily mean the owner has to move out. If the home is large enough either the upstairs or the downstairs can be rented out. The home could also be turned into a duplex. This way the owner can stay in the home while obtaining an income from a renter.
- Take Out a New Mortgage – There are several options available here. If it can be afforded, an individual may want to take out a home equity loan. If paying a higher monthly rate isn’t possible it may be a good idea to renegotiate a loan modification plan.
- Postpone Selling the Home – If a home is on the market during the winter months, especially the month of December, selling can be extremely difficult. This could also mean taking new, high-quality photos of the home and writing a compelling home description when putting the house back on the market.
- Find a Good Real Estate Agent – It may be a matter of finding a real estate agent that understands the needs and issues related to senior citizens. Certain agents may have experience with the Housing for Older Persons Act as well as a variety of senior housing options that are available.
When it comes to selling a house there are no guarantees and market conditions can change without warning. Following these few tips, however, can help seniors prepare their home to make it more marketable. If the house isn’t selling there are still several options available.
The housing market crash of 2007 and 2008 left many homeowners facing a home worth less than what they owed on it. Refinancing became difficult, if not impossible to do, and selling these homes was difficult as well. Now that the market is improving, many homeowners want to sell and still want to break even – not lose money on their investment. How can you accomplish this?
#1: Determine your home’s market value
Keep in mind this may differ from what you owe on the home. The most accurate method for doing this is to use a local appraiser. For a basic idea of your home’s worth, you can use a site like Zillow.com. This gives you a starting point.
#2: Determine your break-even point
This sounds more difficult then what it really is. You’ll need your monthly mortgage payment paperwork and a calculator. Once you’ve determined the principle owed then you’ll need to determine the value of the home. Don’t worry you kind find a rough estimate on Redfin or Zillow.
Take the market value and subtract it from the principal owed. Once you’ve determined the difference you’ll need to factor in all of the real estate fees; 6% commission, closing costs, and you might have to fix or repair a few items.
If you don’t have enough equity in the home then you should consider working with a real estate investor. They can offer some alternative methods to sell your home which costs you nothing.
#3: Price your home for sale
To break even, you need to sell your home for at least what you owe plus any fees to sell the home, such as real estate agent fees. However, your home is only worth what someone else will pay for it. In other words, you’ll need a comparative market analysis report, usually completed by a real estate agent, to help you gauge what the current market within your local area is most likely to give you for your home.
If you can’t sell your home within the first 90 days then you should consider working with a local company that buys houses. They can offer cash and a quick close.
#4: Be careful with upgrades
Very few home improvement projects yield 100 percent value added. That is, if it costs $5,000 to upgrade the kitchen, you may only add 50 to 70 percent of that onto the home’s sale value. Only make upgrades that give you as close to 100 percent value added.
#5: Beware of closing costs
Traditionally, the buyer pays closing costs. However, during negotiations, you may have a buyer wanting you to split the closing costs with them. If you have not done so, factor this into your home sale price as well. These costs can amount to 5 to 6 percent of the home’s sale price.
#6: Consider renting for a while
In many areas, home values are rising (which increases what you may be able to sell for). If you can, consider renting the home out for a while – for at least what your monthly mortgage, insurance, and tax costs are – until you can sell at a higher value.
#7: Talk about the short sale
Short sales are complex and difficult to get approved. They require the lender to agree to take less than what is owed to sell the home to a new buyer. Not all agree to them, but if you want to sell your home and break even in a tough market, this may be the only option.
To break even, you need to sell your home for what you owe on it now. However, many home sellers need to work with a highly skilled agent to help them sell the home at its top value. Your area, the home’s condition, and what you owe will also play a role in your success.