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Can I Still Sell My House in Foreclosure?

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If your house is in foreclosure, you likely fell behind in paying the mortgage, and you may also be incurring the lender’s attorney fees for your delinquency. Different people have different feelings and reactions when in this situation. From feeling sad, ashamed, disappointed, in panic, or even paralyzed or in denial, and having the instinct to ignore the problem, as if it could just go away…but it won’t, and when in pre-foreclosure, time is of essence. But wait! All is not lost. Foreclosure doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process, for you and the lender. The worst thing you can do is do nothing.

Do not wait until your foreclosure is 30 days away, when the lender takes possession of the house with the intent to auction it.

Are you in Pre-Foreclosure or in Foreclosure?

Although the term “foreclosure” is often used to describe both circumstances, there is actually a significant difference that comes down to ownership. 

Pre-foreclosure is part of the process to foreclosure. Most times, it starts 3 to 6 months after your first missed payment.

At that 3-month mark, you’ll likely receive a Demand or Notice to Accelerate letter from your lender to pay up in 30 days, or they’ll foreclose on your house. From the date of notice, it may be 2 to 3 months till the scheduled sale of your house at auction. 

Foreclosure is at the end. Your house is no longer yours. The bank repossesses it or sells it at auction. The foreclosure is also marked in your credit history for a period of seven years, making it extremely hard for you to be approved for a new house mortgage.

Pandemic Exceptional Circumstances

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has offered mortgage relief options and the type of mortgage you have may have different requirements. Many mortgage lender servicers couldn’t even start the foreclosure process before January 1, 2022 and without contacting you to review your options.

Can I Sell My House in Pre-Foreclosure?

If you’re behind in payments because you fell on hard times, you can try to strike a Forbearance Agreement with the lender, but this does not void what you owe. Payment is only postponed. It is also less likely to be approved, if you’re already in pre-foreclosure, to request forbearance.

If you get approved for forbearance, this will give you more time to sell your house or, if you change your mind, to try to make up for missed payments.

The time you have is important because, even in a hot market, depending on the condition of the house and its location, it may be hard to sell within a short timeframe, using the traditional method of listing it with an agent.

Selling your house during pre-foreclosure is one way to prevent foreclosure, and if it’s done early enough, you may be able to get the market value for your property. If you want to list it, it’s important to find a top agent who can help you sell it with the intention of paying off the mortgage and potential lender attorney fees.

In the potential of a short sale, you need to notify your lender, as it requires their authorization. 

Can I Sell a House in Foreclosure?

When the house is foreclosed, meaning the bank takes ownership, the bank will usually send an agent to help you relocate. Most people think a sheriff will come and kick them out, but that only happens if you fight the bank.

Once the bank forecloses the house, it starts the courthouse steps to have it sold at auction. It is not immediate. Until the day of the auction, you can still attempt to sell. Most banks and servicers would rather avoid the auction, if it can be sold prior, and may even be willing to extend terms and negotiate to have it done.

Step 1: Calculate What You Owe

If you’re behind in mortgage payments, there are likely late fees attached. Also, you may have accrued fees owed to the mortgage company’s attorney which are associated with your delinquency.

Add up the sums of what you owe, plus any interest, and subtract it from your estimated sale price.

Step 2: Subtract Selling Fees Too

That’s right: it costs money to sell a house. Selling fees include staging and cleaning costs, as well as the realtor commission, closing fees, seller concessions, and moving costs. Deduct these from the sale price.

Why all the deductions? Because you want to find out if selling your house will cover what you owe your lender, as well as closing costs and selling expenses. With any luck, you’ll have some money left over. If, however, you’re in the black, then perhaps you should negotiate with your lender to do a short sale.

Step 3: Hire a Realtor or Sell FSBO

If the foreclosed house goes to auction, you may still end up with debt due to legal fees. Plus, you will pay taxes for the “forgiveness” of the mortgage. The best situation is to get it sold and hopefully, get some of the excess funds.

Your timeframe to sell is short. Your options include:

  • If the house is in a hot market, a good location, and in great shape, it may sell fast with an experienced Realtor, who knows how to navigate the extra paperwork and evaluate potential buyers.
  • Otherwise, your best option is to sell it yourself to an investor. Investors with experience in purchasing foreclosed properties know how to speak with banks and have their own lawyers ensure a successful transaction.

Step 4: Whatever Path You Decide – Keep the Lender in the Loop!

Keep your lender informed of progress throughout the house selling process. Communicating with the lender is vital. Many will work with you to get it sold rather than foreclose.

SolidOffers Can Help You Sell Your Foreclosed House

When time is of the essence, your best option is to sell your house in foreclosure to a real estate investor. SolidOffers screens hundreds of real estate investors, confirming their reputation, and connects you with legit investors in your market who can help you. Not all investors are the same. When the house is already foreclosed and set to be in auction, you need an experienced investor who will essentially do all the heavy lifting, using their resources to work it out with the bank.

If you are in pre-foreclosure, or your house is already foreclosed, contact us ASAP, so we can ease the process of selling your house in foreclosure.

how to sell a haunted house

Can You Sell a Haunted House?

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A haunted house? Seriously? Yes. Selling a haunted house is not an unusual inquiry, especially during October, the spookiest time of the year.

64% of millennials and 55% of baby boomers say they’d be willing to purchase a haunted house.

There are four states that deal with paranormal activity or the supernatural in their real estate disclosure laws. We will go over these and answer two questions: (1) can you sell a haunted house, and (2) how?

States that Deal with the Paranormal in Housing

New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Minnesota discuss the paranormal in real estate.

New York says that a court can overturn a house sale if the seller was not forthcoming about the property’s ghostly reputation, after spreading rumors that it’s haunted. An example: let’s say your New York condo features on a reality ghost hunters television show. If later, you sell the place without telling the buyer it’s haunted, the court can cancel the sale.

New Jersey insists that if a buyer asks about phantoms, the seller disclose the truth.

Massachusetts and Minnesota directly mention “paranormal or supernatural activity” as a “psychologically affected” attribute of a property that does NOT need to be disclosed.

States that Deal with Death in Housing

Other states, while not acknowledging hauntings, do insist that a death on the property be disclosed.

In California, a death on the property must be disclosed within three years. In Alaska, within one year.

Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and South Carolina all state a death on the property should be disclosed only if the buyer asks.

South Dakota insists a homicide must be revealed to buyers.

Whether or not you believe a death on the property is followed by the spirit haunting the premises does not matter in these or other states not mentioned.

How Do You Sell a Haunted House?

Can you sell a haunted house? Yes. On a rare occasion, with the right audience, it can be a selling point. Most times, though, it discourages buyers who believe in the mysterious and unnatural. So what can you do?

1. First things first: confirm you live in a haunted house

Sometimes weird occurrences can be explained. Get the house inspected for maintenance issues and make repairs. If, after doing this, strange things keep happening, keep a log to establish a pattern that points to the paranormal.

2. Talk with a realtor

If your house is haunted or cursed, or where a homicide, suicide, or other criminal activity occurred, or as they call it in the real estate industry, is “psychologically impacted” or a “stigmatized property,” talk with your realtor about associated laws and selling options.

3. Unless Law Requires, Say Nothing

If you live in a state where real estate disclosure laws do not require revealing deaths and hauntings, why say anything? If after you sell, the buyer claims the house is haunted, they have to prove to a court first that the house is in fact haunted, and then that you knew about it. Impossible, right?

Sell the Property and Its Ghosts to an Investor

Real estate investors are not afraid of no ghosts. They will pay cash for a property “as-is,” be it damaged, neglected, or inhabited by spirits. The investor buys without traditional sale warranties or inspections, and covers the closing costs and additional sale fees. You can offload your haunted property in less than 30 days and use the cash proceeds for a down payment on a new house with no specters.

room with water damage How to Sell a House with Flood or Water Damage

How to Sell a House with Flood or Water Damage

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Hurricanes, flash floods, or burst pipes after a freeze – you never know when water damage will occur. It frustrates the majority of homeowners and leaves them wondering, “What now?”

Selling a house with water damage is intimidating but not impossible. You have options, depending on your budget and timeline to sell.

Here are the essential steps to sell a house with flood or water damage.

Step 1: Call Your Insurance

Water damage claims put home insurance policies to use more than any other claim. Most policies cover overflow, accidental discharge, or sewer and water backup, but not flooding.

The damage has to be accidental; you could not have predicted it. Any water damage as the result of negligence or a lack in maintenance is NOT covered.

The insurance company will send an adjuster to assess damages and estimate costs to repair. You should document the loss of personal belongings and damage to your property, before or while the adjuster is there. Take plenty of photos and guestimate the value of your loss.

Collecting insurance can take several days or weeks. There is no guarantee the insurance will cover the full cost to restore your house.

If you decide to sell the property “as-is”, filing a claim may not be necessary. I recommend you discuss options with your insurance agent.

Step 2: Turn Off Utilities

No doubt you shut off the main water supply valve to stop water flow. But you also need to turn off the power because water and electricity do not mix. Same with your gas lines.

By turning off the utilities, you prevent additional damage and put yourself and professionals out of harm’s way.

Step 3: Start Water Damage Cleanup

Pump out standing water and dry the affected areas. Gather those belongings the water missed and throw out anything that is ruined. You want to do this fast because mold sets in after 24 hours.

Open windows to let in fresh air, and if a professional says it’s safe to restore power, use floor fans and dehumidifiers.

Depending on the extent of damage, and if mold is present, you might consider hiring professional water damage and restoration services. Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured.

Step 4: Start Restoring the House

Repairs could take several months, depending on the amount of damage. Flooring and sometimes walls need to be replaced. Electrical wiring and corroded parts must be switched out. Bad plumbing needs to be changed and the spaces around them refinished.

Water and mold remediation should be done by licensed professionals. It is not the type of work you do alone, not without risks to your health or the house, or without significant loss of time.

Step 5: Disclose the Truth to Buyers

Even if damages are remediated, you must disclose water damage and mold to buyers. If you never corrected the problem, legal remedies can be pursued against you if, after closing, the buyer discovers the truth.

Disclosure requirements vary between states. Research these and maybe ask a real estate agent to explain them.

Step 6: Alternatively, Sell “As-Is” at a Lower Price or Offer Credit

If you cannot afford repairs, and want to roll the dice on the market, you have two options. You can either lower your asking price or credit the buyer to cover repairs.

The issue here is lenders have strict loan requirements, and buyers cannot secure funding to purchase a property with water damage.

Step 7: Alternatively, Sell “As-Is” to a Cash Buyer

Your best option, if you want to sell fast and without repairs, is to sell to a real estate investor. Investors pay cash for properties in any condition. It can have water damage, mold, and be full of soaked furniture and belongings.

Investors do not need an appraisal or inspection, and they skip traditional sale warranties. All closing costs and additional sale fees are covered by the investor, saving you money. All you have to do is choose the closing date.

You can close in a few months, 15 days or less, giving you plenty of time to pack up anything left untouched by the water. You enjoy a quick closing on a washed up problem property for a sure deal without getting all wet.

burned interior Selling a House with Fire Damage

Selling a Property with Fire Damage

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If you experience a house fire, the loss is stifling. Not only are your personal belongings gone up in smoke, but you lose thousands of dollars in damages to your property. Most times the insurance money is not even enough to cover repairs.

So what do you do? Here is what you need to know if you decide to sell a property with fire damage.

1. Contact Your Insurance

The first thing you need to do is call your insurance and report the fire. You’ll start a claim and provide a copy of the fire report to your insurance agent. They’ll send out an adjuster to take pictures and assess the damage and needed repairs.

Insurance can take a few days or a few weeks. You ONLY need to deal with insurance if you plan to make repairs. If you decide to sell the property “as-is”, filing an insurance claim is not necessary. I recommend you talk it over with your insurance agent though to understand your options.

2. Contact Utilities

While the property is damaged, it is dangerous to continue running electricity, water, or gas. Contact your utility providers to have these shut off till the property is restored. Otherwise, you risk additional damages.

3. Recover Your Possessions

Once a fire department official gives you permission to reenter the premises, retrieve anything of value the fire did not destroy. Also, take pictures and document the damages. When it comes time to sell, you’ll have to disclose to buyers this incident, even if it’s remediated. Keep a copy of the fire report for your records too.

4. Get an Assessment from a Fire Restoration Contractor

This step may be optional, depending on how you feel about the insurance adjuster’s report. It never hurts to get a second opinion. A fire restoration contractor will assess the damage and estimate repair costs.

5. Start the Cleanup Process

If you hire a contractor for repairs, their team will likely do the cleanup for you. This is preferred because exposure to soot can cause health issues. Moreover, you need the proper clothing and equipment to remove contaminated materials and debris.

There may also be water damage and mold from the water used to fight the fire.

Be sure to open the windows to vent smoke and charred odors from the house, but also to ventilate it so it dries out.

6. Make Repairs

Repairs can take several months, depending on the extent of damage. The cost of remediation after a small fire can fall between $3,000 to $5,000. Significant damage though can run up to tens of thousands of dollars.

7. Alternatively, You Can Sell “As-Is” to a Cash Buyer

Chances are you will not find a traditional buyer who can or will purchase a property with fire damage. Even if a buyer were interested, a mortgage lender will not give them a loan unless the house is in good condition.

The good news is a real estate investor will pay cash for a house “as-is”, be it damaged and full of charred belongings. You can skip the formalities of a traditional sale, like warranties, an appraisal, and an inspection. Also, the inspector pays all closing costs and associated sale fees.

You can sell in 15 days or less, or in several months: the investor lets you choose the closing date! You enjoy a quick closing, taking the heat off owning a problem property, and get cash in hand without getting burned.

mold water damage 8 Steps to Sell a House with Mold

8 Steps to Sell a House with Mold

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Mold is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a common problem, and most owners are unaware of it. It can hide inside walls, under floors, or even in the HVAC system. But if you know it’s there, if it’s in plain sight for every walkthrough, what do you do?

Is selling a house with mold even legal? Yes, but lying about the presence of it is not. You must disclose all issues with a property.

Most buyers walk away from a house with mold because it compromises the appearance and structural integrity of the property. Some species are also harmful to your health.

To avoid a price hit or failed listing, here are eight steps to sell a house with mold.

1. Get a Professional Inspection

Hire yourself a professional, before listing, to discover hidden mold, what type it is, and the conditions promoting its growth. This way, there are no surprises when the buyer’s inspector comes through, because you’ll have been forthcoming about these issues.

2. DIY Mold Cleanup

It is tempting to clean up the mold yourself to save on budget. DIY mold cleanup typically involves a bleach solution and a set of small hand tools. You want to be careful not to damage surfaces where the mold colonizes. Less harmful solutions include vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil.

If the affected area is greater than 10 square feet and goes below the surface, you’ll want to hire a professional remediation service.

3. Remediation

Remediation involves the removal of mold, but also remedying the conditions that promote growth. EPA guidelines again suggest that you hire professional services if the mold:

  • Covers more than 10 square feet;
  • Is in your HVAC system; and/or
  • Goes beyond your ability to remove it safely.

Removal requires proper clothing and equipment. Also, the wrong cleaners will promote the spread of mold rather than kill it.

The cost for professional remediation depends on three things:

  • The type of mold;
  • The degree of spreading; and
  • Your geographic location.

Make sure whichever company you look at has the proper certifications.

4. Always Disclose Mold Issues

Whether the issue is remedied or not, it must be disclosed to buyers, using the proper disclosure forms. If remediated, buyers can then take the steps to prevent the mold from coming back.

5. Document Cases and Steps to Remediate

Just like you would if there was fire or flood damage, it is a good idea to document mold cases. Proper documentation includes inspector reports, photos, receipts from remediation services, or DIY steps written out to show how you treated the area.

Each state has its own disclosure rules, and you can check these with a real estate agent.

6. Prevent Further Growth

After removal, keeping the house dry and well-ventilated is an absolute must. Open windows and run fans and even dehumidifiers, if necessary.

7. Alternatively, You Can Lower the Price or Offer Credit

If you would rather NOT go through the hassle of remediation, and the type of mold is non-threatening, there are other options. You can either lower your asking price or credit the buyer for the cost to remedy the issue.

8. Sell “AS-IS” for Cash

If you want to forgo repairs, traditional sale warranties and inspections, you can sell the house “as-is” to a cash buyer. Real estate investors are eager to buy problem properties, so they can fix and flip them. Investors pay the market value, minus repairs, and also cover 100% of closing costs and additional sale fees. You enjoy a quick closing, on a date of your choice, and walk away from a potential hazard, with cash in hand.

electric panel ways to sell a house with code violations

3 Ways to Sell a House with Code Violations

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Code violations often occur when a property is neglected or suffers damage from a disaster. Building codes protect the general welfare and safety of occupants. Failure to maintain a property leads to citations and costly fines.

A house that is not up to code is NOT impossible to sell. The big concern is if a buyer can obtain financing and insurance. Mortgage lenders often require issues to be resolved by the seller prior to closing. But even if a buyer closes on the house “as-is,” house insurance will be pricier.

Here are three options for selling a house with code violations.

Option 1: Make Repairs Before Listing

If you want the best possible price for your property, your best option might be to make repairs. It all depends on the scope of the problem. Simple violations are often inexpensive and do not take long to fix. Larger problems though, like plumbing or foundation, take more time and money. If neither your savings nor your timeline allow for repairs, you may want to look into other options.

You must also take into consideration the market condition. If buyers have property options, they can demand repairs or walk away from a sale.

Option 2: Lower the Price or Offer Credit

If you cannot afford to make repairs, but still want to list, you must disclose all code violations to buyers. You can offer them credit at closing or reduce your asking price. The difference will help the buyer cover repair costs.

Whether you can actually make a sale depends on the sort of violations. If they threaten safety and health, chances are a traditional buyer will not make an offer.

An inspection is required by most loan types. If you are not forthcoming with all issues, and a home inspector uncovers the truth, the buyer will walk away. However, if the inspector misses something, the house closes, and then later it’s discovered, legal action can be taken against you.

Option 3: Sell “As-Is” to a Cash Buyer

If your priority is to sell fast, without repairs, selling “as-is” to a cash buyer is your best option. It is difficult to find a traditional buyer who will pay cash for a problem property. Only real estate investors and house flippers find difficult houses attractive and will throw out offers to purchase.

At SolidOffers, we work with investor buyers who pay cash for properties in any condition. Most pay 70% of the market value AFTER repair value. They also pay 100% of closing costs and do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections. Even better: they let you pick the closing date, in several months, 15 days or less.

If you have questions about selling to an investor, we have the answers.

key to house how to sell rental property

How to Sell a Rental Property

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Selling a rental property has more challenges than selling a primary residence. Often, it is easier and more profitable not to sell it the traditional way. Here are the steps to selling your rental property, even if it is occupied with tenants.

Step 1: What to Do with Your Tenants

Review the lease. Is it a month-to-month lease? If so, give your tenants notice to vacate and when they need to move out. If they and their belongings are not gone by the scheduled date, you can start the eviction process, or opt to sell with tenants.

If the lease is for a fixed term, check for an early termination clause. Early termination means you, the landlord, can break the lease if you need to sell the property. If no such clause is in the lease, your options are limited. You can either:

  • Wait for the lease to expire;
  • Pay your tenants to vacate; or
  • Sell with an active lease

Only investors will purchase occupied rental properties.

Step 2: Evaluate Repairs

Whether your tenants stay or go, a rental property has to be up to par with health codes and regulations. It is your job, as the landlord, to perform regular maintenance and make repairs.

Evaluate the property and assess its damages, if any. Schedule time to make repairs when your tenants are not home. If your reason to sell is because there is property damage, you can sell to an investor who intentionally seeks out properties that need TLC.

Step 3: Clean!

You are going to have walkthroughs with potential buyers. Remember to give notice to your tenants prior to every showing. Ask them to clear clutter and not be present at the scheduled time.

Bad tenants are less inclined to follow your requests, so you may have to pay for professional cleaning and landscaping services.

Step 4: Hire a Realtor

Being a landlord is hard work. If you do not want to sell FSBO, you can hire a real estate agent to manage the sale for you. They will list the property, schedule walkthroughs, and help with sale negotiations.

A few things to keep in mind though:

  • Agents/realtors receive a commission of 3% to 6% of the sale price upon closing.
  • If your rental has damage, and you plan to sell AS-IS, your property is less likely to sell to a regular homebuyer and more likely to be of interest to investors.
  • Tenant-occupied properties will only be purchased by investors.

When your most potential buyer is an investor, you will profit by selling directly to the investor instead of bothering to list the property.

Step 5: To List or Not to List

Identifying your ideal buyer is perhaps one of, if not the, most important step in this entire process. It will save you time and stress, and even prevent you from losing money to identify the target buyer. How do you choose?

You should list your rental if:

  • It is vacant;
  • In great condition; or
  • Needs only minor repairs or quick fixes, which you plan on having done.

You can sell directly to an investor if:

  • The rental is tenant-occupied. You’ll need to disclose if they are non-paying tenants.
  • The property is outdated or needs major repairs.
  • You already tried listing it but it didn’t sell. Failed listings often get the “something must be wrong” label after 30 to 45 days on the market, and consequently sell for less than the asking price.

Step 6: Conduct Walkthroughs

If you are trying to sell, and the lease is expiring, but the tenants still live at the property, ask them about their schedule. Just like with regular listings, and the owners are asked to not be present, ideally your tenants will not be present during showings. However, if you decide to sell to an investor, meeting the tenants may be beneficial since an investor is the only type of buyer who will purchase a rental with tenants. Keep the parties separate though if you suspect there is a risk of bad impressions.

Step 7: Pay Capital Gains Tax

When you sell an investment property, you pay tax on depreciation recapture and capital gains taxes. The amount you are expected to pay depends on multiple factors:

  • The total depreciation expense claimed;
  • Your tax bracket;
  • If you plan to buy a replacement property within 180 days of selling your rental; and
  • If you sell to receive a lump sum or installments (via seller financing).

We work with investors who specialize in purchasing rental properties, and you can discuss options with them. Even so, we recommend you also speak with a tax advisor to find out possible deductions and do the math to break even or maybe get a refund.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous reasons to sell a rental property. High equity, high demand, an increase in value, and the house being in good condition all make it favorable to place it on the market.

Other times the best option is to sell to an investor directly, so you can avoid costly fees and repairs. If your rental is occupied with good or bad tenants, your best, if not your only, option is to sell to a real estate investor.

Our investors offer to pay cash, as a lump sum or installment payments, to purchase the property “as-is.” There’s no need for an appraisal or inspection. Plus, you choose the closing date, in several months, 15 days or less, giving you time to handle last-minute items.

tenant arguing with landlord tenant issues

5 Common Landlord-Tenant Issues and Solutions

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Being a landlord is not easy, especially when you have bad tenants. Here are common landlord tenant problems and possible solutions.

1. Late or No Rent Payment

The most common issue with bad tenants is their inability to or refusal to pay the rent.


If your tenants often pay late, discover if they are having financial problems. You could set up a temporary payment plan for them and prorate late fees.

If your tenants refuse to pay at all, you can send them a pay or quit notice. It outlines how much is owed plus late fees and when they must pay. If they ignore this, you can pay them to move out. It is a less satisfying option, but your goal then is to find a new paying renter as soon as possible.

If worse comes to worst, you can evict non-paying tenants. This requires lengthy court proceedings and money out of your own pocket though. If the court sides with you, law enforcement will remove the bad tenants by force.

2. Noisy Tenants

Sometimes your tenants are noisy, and they disturb their neighbors. These neighbors then complain to you or maybe call law enforcement.


It is a tricky situation, but the best you can do is talk to your tenants about the noise.

You might include a clause in your agreement that says what happens if a tenant disturbs the peace. It does not have to be a solution your tenant likes. It can be a penalty fee or so many strikes, and they must leave. Discuss your options with an eviction attorney.

3. Damages (Intentional or Otherwise)

There is nothing more frustrating than a tenant who is destructive to the property. They neglect maintenance, break appliances, stain carpets, put holes in the walls, and leave trash lying everywhere. Sometimes they do it out of spite because you spoke with them on another issue. Other times, they are just dirty tenants.


To minimize damages, you can have in your agreement that you will perform monthly visits to inspect the property. If there are damages, tenants must pay a fine, and if this bad behavior persists, you will evict them.

4. Rule Violations

Your lease agreement should list tenant rules and requirements. These include restrictions on pets, subletting, noise, etc. If a tenant breaks the rules, the agreement will also outline the forthcoming penalties.


Most times you can fine bad behavior. Other times, if the tenant does not give you too much trouble, you might adjust a rule in exchange for compensation. For example, if you do not allow pets, but the tenant gets a dog, you can amend the lease to require a pet deposit. That extra money will cover any damages caused by the animal.

5. Tenant Files for Bankruptcy

Most times, when a tenant files for bankruptcy, the court grants them an automatic stay. You cannot evict them and may lose money on unpaid rent till the case is settled. The tenant has 60 days (or more) to decide if they will assume or reject their lease.

This situation is a massive headache, and there is little you can do but file a Stay Relief Motion and wait for the court and tenant decisions.


Sometimes you need a fresh start. You can sell your problem property and use the money to buy a nice rental property in a better location. However, selling by way of a traditional listing takes time. You often have to evict the bad tenants, make repairs and perform maintenance. It gets costly! Consider instead selling to an investor.

Most investors pay cash for a rental property “AS-IS”. They will buy it with its damages and its bad tenants still living there. Most are also open to seller financing, and you gain interest over time. You do not have to do anything but choose the closing date, which can be in 7 days or less.

gavel and block at probate court

How to Sell a House in Probate?

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Are you going to inherit a property you cannot afford to keep? Is it in probate? Probate is a legal process by which the estate’s debts are settled. It also ensures all beneficiaries receive what is promised to them in the will.

You can reject your claim by signing a disclaimer of interest, but a property is not something you just set aside. It has value, and you can sell it, even in probate. There are strict sale procedures outlined by the probate court and real estate law in your area. You may want to check with these first, but here are the basic steps to sell a house in probate.

Step 1: Hire a Probate Attorney

A probate attorney advises you and helps prepare legal documents. They can represent you in probate court, sparing you the stress, and handle important matters involving title, insurance, and tax returns.

If you hope to sell, and the house is in good shape, a real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of probate can also help. They can evaluate the condition of the property and assess what needs to be done to make it sellable. They also recruit appraisers and inspectors and navigate buyer negotiations on your behalf.

Steps 2 and 3: Appraise Property, and File a Petition with Probate Court

To sell a property in probate, you must file a petition with the probate court. With your petition, you must also provide an appraisal that estimates the current value of the property. It is only with the court’s approval can you list the house on the market or auction it off.

Step 4: List for Sale

If you decide on an open market sale, offer buyers disclosure. You must disclose the house is in probate, all material issues, and that the purchase agreement is dependent on approval from the court. Waiting for court approval can add a month or more to the sale timeline; so will repairs and necessary upgrades.

If a buyer makes an offer, collect a 10% deposit from them.

Steps 5 and 6: Petition Court for a Hearing, and Advertise the Sale

Petition the court to confirm the sale. The court (or you) publicizes the date in local news to give others a chance to bid on the property. This is to get the best price for the estate, which helps if there are debts to pay.

Should someone outbid your prior prospective buyer, you will refund them their 10% deposit. The winner will present a cashier’s check for a deposit to the court. If the court accepts a buyer’s bid, their deposit applies to the purchase price.

Step 7: Close on the Sale

Only the executor or the court-appointed representative can sign real estate documents. This is on behalf of the deceased. Check the legal description of the property before the deed is recorded with the county.

Make sure the buyer’s financing is sufficient. The full amount goes into the estate fund, and once the debts are paid, the remainder of the funds is divided among the beneficiaries.

Step 8: Report Sale to IRS

You must pay capital gains taxes from the sale of an inherited property. The IRS taxes the difference between the fair market value and the price at sale.

For example, if the house is valued at $200,000, but you sell it for $250,000, you pay capital gains taxes on the $50,000.

There are ways around paying taxes, and you can ask your probate attorney for solutions.

Need to Sell Fast? Skip the Hassle

You can forgo some of these steps by selling the inherited property to an investor. Our investors have knowledge and experience buying real estate in probate. They will buy the house “as-is,” whether it is degraded, vacant, or mid-renovation, for cash.

They also pay all closing costs and fees associated with the sale. You choose the closing date, which can be as soon as you have the court’s approval of the investor’s offer.

how to sell a house after a hurricane damaged flooded houses

How to Sell Your House After a Natural Disaster

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Selling a house is difficult enough without damage from a storm, hurricane, flood, or fire. Most homebuyers are dissuaded by the house’s poor state and insist on repairs, or you likely have to sell to a flipping investor.
Follow these steps to sell your house after a natural disaster.

  • Sell “As Is” or Restore

Ask yourself if you really want to make repairs to the property. Doing so improves your chances of making a sale. However, the restoration process will be expensive. If you sell the house “As-Is,” you are guaranteed to earn less money. Buyers will insist on a lower purchase price for a property they have to pay to fix up themselves.

  • File an Insurance Claim

File a homeowners insurance claim with your insurance company. Find out what is covered under your policy and how much damage it covers. Photograph and inventory damages, and keep a record of estimated repair costs. Once you file your claim, you will have a better idea of what your insurance will pay out and decide if it is worth restoring the property.

  • Decide How Much to Fix

The bottom line, you need to make the house safe. If damages force you to live someplace else temporarily, renovations are necessary. Avoid drastic changes because buyers may not share your taste in remodeling. Your repairs must make the home livable and might go so far as to increase its value.

  • Make Repairs

Depending on how extensive the damages are, repairs can take several months. This delays you in listing the home on the market. During that time, you may lose prospective buyers or miss out on a trending time to sell.

  • Determine Area Value

Consider this: if you live in a high-risk area for flooding or fires, does your property value dip? Buyers lose enthusiasm for a property if it is in a hot spot for natural disasters. Even if you restore the house state, be prepared to negotiate with buyers over lowering the price.

  • Prevent Damage from Future Disasters

If the property is in an area prone to disaster, prevent future losses and damage, if possible. For example, if you make repairs after a big freeze, but are still in the height of winter, take precautions. These include the addition of extra insulation, cleaning gutters, and guarding water pipes. It would be unfortunate to invest in repairs after one disaster, to then pay new repairs after a second calamity.

Skips These Steps

If you would like to sell your house “as is,” consider selling it to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer regardless of a property’s condition, location, or state of livability. You can forgo repairs, save money, and enjoy a quick closing on a property that would take months to fix and sell.