Who Pays What Closing Costs When Selling House by Owner

Who Pays What Closing Costs When Selling House by Owner (FSBO)?

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Seller closing costs average 8% to 10% of the sales price. But how much does the seller pay if they’re selling the house themselves?

Sorry to say the closing costs you pay at an agent-assisted sale are the same if you sell FSBO, with the exception of the real estate agent commission.

Who pays what at closing can depend on your location but more so on how negotiations with the buyer go. Real estate agents help sellers and buyers get the best deal, so each party pays a fair dollar amount. But if you have no representation, and the buyer does, you need to know what you’re doing, so you don’t end up paying a larger portion of the real estate closing costs.

What are the Seller Closing Costs?

What follows are the common closing costs a seller typically pays when finalizing a home sale.

Buyer’s Agent Commission (~3%)

What? But the whole reason for selling FSBO is to save money on commission fees. Sorry. The truth hurts, and we don’t like saying it, but the seller is responsible for the buyer’s agent fees.

If you had a seller agent, you’d pay a 6% commission that would then be split between the seller and buyer agents (3% each). Since you are selling FSBO and do not have representation, you’ll pay the seller’s agent 3% of the sale price.

So let’s say you sold your house for $200,000. You would end up paying the buyer’s agent $6,000, which is still better than if you had representation too, in which case you’d dole out $12,000.

When You Know the Buyer

57% of FSBO sellers know their buyers, so neither party needs representation. Instead, you’ll each hire a real estate attorney to handle the necessary paperwork at the closing table. This way, you can save the 3% and put that money back in your pocket.

When You Need to Find a Buyer

If you do not have a buyer lined up, and you don’t want a seller agent to help you find buyers, you can still benefit from paying a real estate agent a flat commission fee to list your property in the MLS. 

Potential buyers will find your house For Sale By Owner and have their buyer agent contact you to schedule tours. A good buyer agent will have already secured a pre-approval document from the buyers, indicating how much they can afford, which also serves your best interests.

When getting offers from regular home buyers, always ask for their mortgage pre-approval document.

Why do Buyer Agents Want a Fee?

Homeowners who sell by owner (FSBO) often have no concept of the responsibilities they are assuming and can make costly mistakes. You will have to do the common tasks of a listing agent, who knows where to list, how to list, how to boost your property appeal, perform market analysis, and market to find you qualifying buyers and filter out looky-loos.

On the other side, the buyer’s agent wants compensation for bringing their buyer(s) to you. They help arrange showings and qualify the buyer, and since there’s not a seller agent, they often shoulder more responsibility, getting parties to the finish line.

Think of the buyer’s agent commission as your way of saying “thank you” for their efforts. You can pay them the 3% (or whatever percentage is normal for your area), a flat fee, or reduced fee (if they accept).

Pre-Listing Appraisal ($400-$600)

A real estate agent conducts a comparative market analysis and pulls comparable properties to help you determine a fair asking price. Since FSBO sellers do not have access to these helpful resources, flying solo and all, they need to find another way to accurately price their house for sale.

Pricing a property wrong can cost you buyers or dollars. If you price it too high, it’ll likely sit on the market till you bring the price down, and if you price it too low, you may lose out on more money.

A pre-listing appraisal (or pre-listing inspection) is when you hire a professional home inspector to identify potential repairs and estimate the value of your property. This way, you’ll have an idea of the repairs a buyer might ask for and can address them before you list.

Seller’s Attorney Fees ($150-$350 per hour)

FSBO sales warrant legal and professional oversight to avoid legal snafus. A real estate attorney prepares and reviews documentation, including the purchase agreement, mortgage contract, title papers, transfer documents, and necessary disclosures, to make sure everything is legally sound and correct.

Transfer Taxes (0.01%-4%)

Transfer taxes are incurred when you transfer ownership of the title of a property to another party. It’s essentially a transaction fee charged by state AND local governments when real estate changes hands. Transfer taxes are calculated based on the sale price of the house and the tax rate for the state, county, and city you live in.

13 states do NOT charge a transfer tax: Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming.

Property Survey Fees ($300-$800)

Also known as a boundary survey, a property survey is a precise, professional measurement of a plot of land a house is built on. Property surveys are important when building additions, because you need to know the property lines.

Unless you have a recent copy, you’ll need to pay a surveyor to create a property (or land) survey. The survey will serve as a legal documentation of the topography and boundaries of the property and be part of the record of sale.

Who Pays What Closing Costs When Selling House by Owner buyer closing costs What are the Buyer’s Closing Costs?

The average closing costs for a buyer are 2% to 5% of the loan amount. So what does the buyer pay for at closing that the seller does not?

Loan Origination and Processing Fees (1%-3% of the Loan)

Loan origination and processing fees are essentially the lender’s fee for the preparation and evaluation of a buyer’s mortgage.

Buyer’s Attorney Fees ($150-$350 per hour)

Should a buyer not have a real estate agent, they need some form of legal representation to help them with the necessary paperwork without assuming legal risk.

Third-Party Appraisal ($400-$600)

If the buyer is taking out a mortgage, the lender will require an up-to-date appraisal to assess the value of the property versus the requested loan amount. This way, the lender will decide if they’ll lend out the money.

Professional Home Inspection ($300-$500)

More often than not, a potential buyer is going to hire a home inspector to check the condition of the property and uncover necessary repairs or improvements. A typical inspection includes the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical system, HVAC, and other systems, plus any water damage, mold, or evidence of termites.

Recording Fees (varies)

Recording fees are charged by the county to make the purchase of a property a matter of public record. Recording documents include the sale price of the property, number of pages and documents, and the mortgage value. The cost varies by county and sometimes depends on the size of the document.

Negotiable or Split Fees

You may be able to negotiate or split additional closing fees with the buyer before closing day. Again, without representation, you’ll have to look out for your best interests but also make an attractive deal for the buyer.

Seller Concessions or Closing Cost Credits (varies)

A seller concession is a closing cost you (the seller) agree to pay. Why would you do this? To sweeten the deal and entice buyers to make an offer, of course. Also, in some states some concessions are customary. For example, in Texas, house sellers often pay for a year of the home warranty.

Another example: let’s say you need to sell your house fast, and you want to avoid repairs. You might lower your asking price to make up the difference in repairs, which the buyer will then pay out of pocket post sale. Keep in mind though, this only applies to minor repairs that the buyer’s lender doesn’t deem necessary for the buyer’s mortgage approval.

If a lender requires extensive repairs, you really only have two options at that point: (1) make the repairs or (2) sell to a cash buyer who purchases houses As Is.

Seller concessions may also include a couple months of HOA fees, or making a monetary contribution towards buyer closing costs or escrow fees.

Settlement Fees ($800-$2,000)

The title company, escrow company, or real estate attorneys charge a handling fee for final paperwork and distribution of funds to the appropriate parties. Settlement fees cover costs associated with closing costs, including title search fees and loan origination fees, plus any expenses that are in excess of what a person pays to sell or buy a property. The numbers vary by loan amount, property value, and city.

Property Taxes (varies)

You (the seller) need to settle all property taxes accrued during your time owning the house up to the date of closing. The buyer will assume responsibility for property taxes after the closing date.

It’s not uncommon to prorate (or split) the property tax bill by a portion of time, such as by the number of days (for the portion of the tax year) a homeowner owned (or will own) the property, between the buyer and seller.

Title Fees (1%)

Title fees encompass a number of items, including:

Title Search ($75-$100)

A title search discovers any discrepancies with the ownership of a property. For example, it might uncover outstanding liens or a claim on the property. Maybe the seller is not the legal owner, or they share the title with a sibling, as can be the case with an inherited property. A real estate transaction cannot be completed without a clean title.

Owner’s Title Policy (0.05%-1%)

The owner’s title insurance policy protects the homeowner in the rare case a valid claim against the property comes up which the title search missed. It’s not unusual for the seller to put up a one-time payment for the owner’s title insurance.

Lender’s Title Policy (0.05%-1%)

A lender’s title insurance policy protects the lender should a title defect be discovered. Lender’s title insurance is often required to get a mortgage loan, but it does not protect the buyer’s investment in the property (their equity) – that’s what the owner’s title insurance does.

Skip Paying Closing Costs and Repairs When You Sell to a Cash Buyer

Rather than deal with closing fees or the usual stress of a sale by owner, consider instead selling to a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is”, so your house can be damaged, in need of repair, or mid-renovation. 

Their offer will deduct repair costs, since the investor fixes up the house on their dime, BUT STILL you’ll be saving money. How?

  • First, because they pay cash, an investor does not need mortgage financing;
  • Second, an investor does not require an appraisal nor an inspection, so you can go straight to closing; and
  • Third, most investors cover both buyer and seller closing costs and additional sale fees, and don’t ask for or expect any concessions, putting money back in your pocket for moving costs.

Finally, neither you nor the investor needs representation, so there will be no real estate agent commissions.

SolidOffers is happy to connect homeowners like you to trusted investors in your real estate market, so you get the most out of selling by owner, without any of the hassle or costs. Click below to request a free, no-hassle offer today.

When is the best time to sell a rental property

When is the Best Time to Sell a Rental Property?

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Was your rental property once a great source of passive income, but now it’s a constant headache? Do you find yourself stressed out with maintenance and tenants and actually losing money? Maybe you’re not breaking even but actually in a black financial hole?

One of the smartest things you can do as a rental property owner is periodically evaluate your rental options to buy, hold, or sell. This is especially true if you rely on a rental portfolio as a primary investment vehicle to fund your way of life and your retirement. Holding onto a rental property for too long sometimes creates a risk.

Ask yourself, what makes the most sense for you and your financial goals in the long run? After all, your money could be invested elsewhere, maybe in another property in a better location. But what do you consider, what are the right questions – how do you know when it’s time to sell? There are several factors to consider, so we’re going to answer common questions real estate owners ask when deciding if now is the best time to sell a rental property.

Should I Sell My Rental Properties if…

…there’s a Seller’s Market?

Yes, if the profit is guaranteed to outweigh future property value growth as well as the passive income you might have earned if you kept it. In a seller’s market, conditions favor the seller with housing price increases, adding to your equity, potential bidding wars, fewer price cuts, and faster sales.

…I have substantial equity?

Absolutely! If you bought your investment property years ago for an affordable price, and it’s significantly appreciated since then, by all means, cash out, BUT ONLY if market conditions are good. If the market does not favor sellers, then you have to evaluate, based on your property situation and cash flow, if it is better to wait, so you can access your full equity, or sell to avoid continuous loss due to the property needing repairs or remodeling, non-paying tenants, or tenants that damage the rental.

When is the Best Time to Sell a Rental Property equity rent price drop …rent prices drop?

Yes, but try to get ahead of price drops. Keep a watchful eye on local market trends, so you can predict when rent rates will drop too low to cover the mortgage, taxes, and maintenance costs for your investment property.

Rent growth typically stalls when there’s an overabundance of rentals in your area, and supply outpaces demand. Watch for an influx in new residential construction. Once all those units flood the market, growth may stagnate or worse drop. Another sign to look for is low interest rates, making homeownership more affordable, so rental demand goes down.

…there’s a low cap rate?

Yes, a low cap rate is persuasive, since it’s the cap rate that indicates how strong an investment rental property is and how much cash flow it’ll yield.

What is a Cap Rate?

A cap rate is a calculation of an investment property’s profitability. If, for example, you bought a rental at discount but then rent it for a high price, that’s a high cap rate, thus a great deal. It also depends on where you live: in the city, rental costs are high, but in rural areas, they tend to be lower.

How to Calculate Cap Rate?

Cap rate is the net operating income (NOI) of your investment property divided by its purchase price. The NOI is your gross rental income (from all your renters) minus expenses. Operating expenses include insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs, and property management fees.

As an example, let’s say you paid $110,000 for your rental property. Gross annual rental income is $22,000, minus annual expenses of $9,000. So you have an NOI of $13,000.

$13,000 divided by $110,000 gives you a cap rate of 11.82%. Of course, this cap rate is based on a 0% vacancy rate; if your rentals are vacant, your cap rate lowers.

The higher the cap rate, the better. Keep in mind, cap rates also fluctuate based on market conditions.

When is the best time to sell a rental property repairs …if it needs repairs?

Yes, BUT ONLY if the cost of repairs is too much of a financial burden. Most cosmetic improvements and routine maintenance are manageable, but if you measure both expected and unexpected repairs and find it outweighs your gain, it is probably time to sell.

An example is when you need to replace the roof or HVAC or make other expensive repairs to the property. Or you know that the property is starting to show foundation issues or any other underlying issues. If the cost of repairs and maintenance is too high, it may be worth selling.

…if property taxes are high?

Yes, because property taxes are part of your annual expenses, and thus a factor in calculating your cap rate. High taxes minimize your profit. If you sell, you can then invest in another market with lower property taxes.

…if I have bad tenants?

Depends. Let’s say you have one rental with bad tenants. These tenants do not pay the rent, and they damage the property. If the rental has property value growth and is certain to turn a profit with good tenants, it may be worth it to evict the bad ones. You can then make repairs and interview new tenants.

Evictions are expensive. So if the rental house is losing value and costs more than it’s worth, it wouldn’t make sense to go to all the trouble of legal action and spend more money on a lost investment. You’d be better off selling it to a real estate investor “as-is”, with its bad tenants still living there.

Additional Considerations

At SolidOffers, we meet and work with hundreds of landlords, eager to sell for one reason or another, and they often ask us the following questions to inform their decision.

When is the best time to sell a rental property capital gains tax Will I owe Capital Gains Tax on My Investment Property?

Chances are, yes, you will owe capital gains taxes when you sell a rental property. Depending on how long you held the property in your investment portfolio, you’ll pay a short-term or long-term capital gains rate.

Short-term capital gains apply if you own the rental property for less than a year. The tax rate is the same as the normal income tax rate, and the maximum you’ll pay is 37%.

Long-term capital gains apply if you sell your rental property after owning it for more than a year. Tax rates are 0%, 15%, or 20% and apply according to income and filing status.

You might be able to Avoid or Lessen Capital Gain on an Investment Property if you…

  • Complete a 1031 Exchange
  • Offset capital gain with losses
  • Convert rental home into your primary residence

When does Selling a Rental Property Make Good Financial Sense?

Financial sense is a concern for every rental property owner. You want a rental property that provides a steady cash flow but is as little trouble as possible. So what are additional considerations when deciding to sell real estate investments?

Has the Depreciation Expense Run Out?

In the context of a rental property, its depreciation is a tax deduction. You can deduct expenses used to purchase and enhance the property. Only the building depreciates, not the land.

The Depreciation Formula is as follows:

  • Purchase Price – Land Value = Building Value
  • Building Value/27.5 = Annual Allowable Depreciation Deduction

*You depreciate the rental over its useful life, which according to the IRS is 3.63% of the cost basis annually or 27.5 years for a straight-line depreciation method.

  • Annual Rental Property Income – Annual Allowable Depreciation Deduction = Taxable Net Income (excluding property tax, maintenance, and HOA fees)
  • Annual Allowable Depreciation Deduction x 0.25 (if you’re in the 25% federal tax bracket) = Total Tax Savings

You can try to select accelerated depreciation instead, which front loads the depreciation costs for a bigger reduction. And even if the property value grows, you can still claim depreciation.

What is a Depreciation Recapture Tax?

For each tax year you own your real estate investment, the depreciation deduction lowers your tax liability. But when you sell, you’ll owe depreciation recapture tax. Depreciation recapture is a gain from the sale of a depreciable capital property and reported as income for tax purposes.

When is the best time to sell a rental property earn higher returns elsewhere Could the Money I’m Investing in One Property Earn Higher Returns Elsewhere?

It depends on rental market conditions and where you are. One example might be, if headquarters for a major industry are relocating, its people are going to move with it. You’ll lose tenants. Maybe then you should sell and buy where demand has shifted.

Another example is, if you bought a rental property in an area that is growing, you’d do well to hold onto it and profit from higher rent prices.

Do You Need Money Fast?

Sometimes a major life event demands your immediate attention. Whether it’s a relocation, job loss, divorce, or other emergencies, you need money fast, and rather than sell your primary residence, you can profit from selling your rental.

Is Maintaining the Property Putting a Strain on Your Lifestyle?

The goal of owning investment real estate is to earn a passive rental income. But if being a landlord is too much of a hassle, and the rental has too many expenses, it may be time to sell off your problem property. If you’re losing money hand over fist in repairs, renovations, constant maintenance, or it’s become a tax burden – you pay tax but market rents are low, and you don’t break even – whatever the reason, it’s costing you. The rental has become a source of negative cash flow, and you’d be better off selling than keeping.

Are You a Remote Landlord?

Rental property ownership can be tricky if your rental is located in a different market than the one you live in. How do you handle maintenance, tenant complaints, and the day-in-day-out requirements? Maybe you have a property manager who takes care of things in your absence, but even that additional help is not enough sometimes.

Is Your Rental Property Worth More Now than When You Bought It?

Part of the real estate investing game is appreciation. If your property is worth more now than when you bought it, selling it could earn more than renting.

Is Your Net Worth Tied Up in One Portfolio?

In investing, asset diversification is also key, whether it’s in real estate or the stock market. If your net worth is tied up in a single property or one portfolio, it’s time to diversify your holdings.

Did You Inherit the Rental Property?

Rare as it is, it is not so unusual for one rental property to be left to a beneficiary. If you’re not interested in owning real estate, you can sell the inherited property for cash and be free of its responsibilities.

Are You Ready to Move On?

That’s the big question! Maybe it comes down to do you still want to be a landlord? If there’s another opportunity calling your name, or you’re just tired of the strain of managerial responsibility, it’s okay to throw in the towel and sell.

Or Are You Ready to Expand?

Maybe the next chapter means more growth. Sometimes a rental property owner sells because they want to build a real estate investment trust, but rather than start up where they are, they’d like to start over someplace else.

What is a real estate investment trust? A REIT is a company that owns and operates income-producing real estate. REITs own several types of commercial real estate, including office and apartment buildings, warehouses, shopping centers, and hotels.

How to Sell a Rental Property in Less than a Week

If you’re looking to sell an investment property fast and cash out, consider selling to another real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a rental “as-is”, whether it’s damaged, mid-renovation, or still has bad tenants living there. No evictions needed, nor appraisals nor inspections. Closing can be in 7 days or 7 months – whenever you want to be rid of the property. Moreover, the investor will cover closing costs and additional fees, saving you money for capital gains.

divorce couple splits marital house

Important Considerations When Selling a House During Divorce

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During a divorce, splitting assets, especially the marital home, is one of the most unpleasant realities of the process. In the midst of the chaos, your divorce attorney may advise you and your ex-spouse to consider selling the family home during a divorce. Let’s discuss what you’ll typically encounter when selling a house during divorce and how to solve common problems in the process.

First, What Does It Say in the Divorce Agreement?

In the Divorce Agreement there should be a divorce property settlement which outlines the division of assets. Both parties need legal representation in the drawing up of the Agreement so that the division of assets is fair and does not cause problems.

How much time does the divorce property settlement allow for you to sell the marital home and divide the proceeds? Time limits vary between the states, but it does not necessarily begin once the settlement is finalized. Seek legal counsel on the matter, but keep in mind: if you sell the family home before going to divorce court, it saves you a massive headache.

What if There is No Equity in the Marital House? 

Equity is the value of your interest in the property. In the case of the divorce court, it’s the fair market value minus the mortgage balance, secondary loan balances, and outstanding bills connected to the property.

Rather than guess at this number, it’s best you get the property appraised. Once the marital home is correctly valued, deduct all financial obligations to get your equity.

If a lot of money is owed on the house, then there’s no equity to divide. It might be better then to sell and pay off what is owed. Any remaining debt after the sale can then be divided between you and your former spouse.

What if Your Spouse Owned the House Before You Were Married?

If your ex-husband or ex-wife owned the family house before you were wed, selling it becomes a bit more complicated. Instead of focusing on the present day value, you need to look at the market value of the marital property at the time of your marriage.

Let’s say when you married, the family residence appreciated for $250,000. Throughout your marriage, you contributed to the mortgage, which means you increased the joint equity of the house – using separate property. At the time of your divorce, the marital house is worth $375,000. If your name was not added to the title, you have no ownership stake. However, you can argue that, when the house is sold, you should be given the value of the equity earned to match your contribution to the mortgage payments.

Additional financial contributions to consider include:

  • Home improvements
  • Home insurance
  • Property taxes

Always check with legal counsel to understand your position with the marital home and what is owed to you versus what you owe.

What if You Want to Keep the House During Divorce? 

One spouse may want to purchase the family house from the other spouse. What happens is, the buying spouse buys the other spouse’s portion of home equity, also called a house equity buyout. Then the spouse who keeps the house can have a change of mind and decide to sell the property.

If you want to keep the family home, your spouse needs to agree on (1) how the buyout will occur, (2) when you will pay the buyout amount, and (3) how you’ll pay – lump sum or installments.  There are issues if both your names are on the mortgage, in which case, you’ll need to refinance. Without refinancing, both parties are still legally responsible for mortgage payments, and the ex has claims on the house. Working with a divorce attorney increases your chances of a positive outcome, if you want to keep your house during a divorce. 

The Timing of Selling the Marital House Impacts Divorce 

Besides the emotional hurdles of ending your marriage, you have a hefty to-do list before divorce is final. You need to gather information for your divorce attorney, decide alimony and child support, sort out taxes and insurance policies, pay out divorce fees, and divide belongings. It’s a lot of stress, and you’ll have plenty of headaches and heartache.

If you want to sell before going to divorce court, but skip navigating a traditional sale, consider then selling to a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is.” They do not ask for repairs but rather deduct repair costs from their offer to fix up the house themselves. There’s no lengthy mortgage approval, no warranties, appraisal, or inspection. Moreover, the investor covers all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money.

You can enjoy a quick closing, on a date of your choice – in 30 days or less, and worry about one less thing during a difficult time.

Conclusion

The timing for a property sale is affected when divorce happens. Sale after divorce, when the house is owned by both spouses, means ongoing legal advice and extending the cost of divorce.

Collaborating with an investor who has experience working with couples who are divorcing can expedite the process. So, not only can you sell your house fast during divorce, but also, you can make sure the divorce and division of assets happen more quickly, thus easing divorce legal fees.

house cash credit card calculator sell house fast

How Do I Sell My House Fast?

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Even in a hot market, where houses don’t seem to last long on the market, it takes 45 to 90 days, at best, to get from listing to close.

You need to factor in the mortgage house buying process. The typical homebuyer requires lender approval, and the home loan process usually takes 30 to 45 days. It can take longer if the lender has requests, which usually means asking you, the seller, to make repairs or improvements.

But maybe you do not have that kind of time. Maybe you’re relocating for a new job, or you’re getting a divorce, or facing foreclosure or bankruptcy. Whatever the reason, whatever your situation, you want your house sold fast and stress free!

How Fast Do You Need to Sell Your House?

Depending on how fast you need to sell your house, you may have more or fewer options. It often comes down to, can you wait for the lengthy mortgage process or not?

After the home loan is approved, closing can happen within the week. Keep in mind, however, that the buyer decides the closing date. Some savvy buyers request the following month to avoid that month’s taxes and/or to delay the first mortgage payment.

Need to Sell My Home Fast in Less than a Month

If you do not have time to wait – you need to sell fast, like yesterday, and you cannot spare even a day to list or market or make improvements, cash buyers are exactly what you’re looking for because they buy houses fast without a loan.

Option 1: Sell Fast for Cash to an Investor

If you have the need for speed, this is likely your best option. Selling fast for a cash offer to a real estate investor means you can close as quickly as 7 to 10 days, depending on your situation, and get paid in 24 to 48 hours.

A real estate investor buys houses “as-is”. You do not need to worry about improvements or curb appeal or cleaning. The cost of repairs and renovations are then deducted from the final amount you receive. “But I want to sell my house for more money,” we hear a lot of homeowners say. But here’s the thing: what you lose in the offer price is actually money back in your pocket. The cash buyer invests their own money in fixing up and improving the property, saving you money, time, and effort.

When there is an underlying reason for selling the house fast, who you sell to matters more. For example, if the house has been foreclosed, and the auction date set, you want to sell it to an investor who can take on the paperwork and legal matters. Oftentimes, the investor can speak with your lender, negotiate an extension, and even the final debt to be paid, if you have a flexible servicer.

The Advantages of Selling to an Investor include:

  • No realtor or service commissions
  • Guaranteed cash offer
  • They cover closing costs and additional sale fees
  • They’ll take care of paperwork
  • Fast closing – you choose your own closing date
  • Get paid in cash in as little as 24 hours
  • Experienced and specialized investors can negotiate tough situations with third parties, like your mortgage lender, title company, etc.

The ONLY Downside of Selling to an Investor is this:

  • You don’t know how much you might have gotten for your property by selling it on the open market. But, if selling quickly is the priority, you need to be willing to trade potentially higher profits in favor of speed and a predictable closing date.

Option 2: Sell to an iBuyer

An iBuyer is a company that will purchase the house directly, usually also for cash. Unlike the previous option, where you are dealing with a small business, or sometimes one person, iBuyers can be massive companies and often have strict requirements.

With an investor, you pay no fees, but with an iBuyer, they get a commission, ranging from 5% to 12%. Oftentimes, they appear to give higher offers, but when you factor in that there is a commission, it may actually be less than what an investor would pay.

iBuyers also promise speed, and closing dates are negotiable within the desired timeframe.

The Advantages of Selling to an iBuyer include:

  • No realtor commissions
  • They take care of the paperwork
  • Fast closing, in as little as 10 days, or negotiable
  • You get paid in 24 to 48 hours

The Downsides of Selling to an iBuyer include:

  • Service commissions of 5% to 12%, which can be higher than working with a realtor
  • You may still pay closing costs
  • Most iBuyers prefer easy transactions, so if the reason for selling involves legal matters, like foreclosure, liens, or title problems, they tend to shy away from getting involved
  • You don’t know how much you might have gotten by selling it on the open market, that is, if you had more time to wait

Need to Sell My House Fast But Can Wait Up to 90 Days

Option 1: Hire a Top Listing Real Estate Agent to Speed Things Up

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 2020 sellers who enlisted the help of an agent sold their properties for 100% of the listing price, and only 35% reported reducing the asking price at least once.

Hiring an experienced agent can relieve a lot of stress. They’ll take care of big to-do items, like listing, marketing, walkthroughs, paperwork, and negotiating with buyers. Of course, this all comes at a cost, which is taken from the home sale price in commissions, split between your listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Rockstar agents may cost more – 8% in commission, but they are also more likely to help you expedite the sale for your house. Be sure to interview and ask references to ensure an agent is really a superstar.

The Advantages of Selling with a Realtor include:

  • They take care of marketing;
  • List house for sale on local MLS;
  • Filter buyers;
  • Schedule and organize walkthroughs; and
  • Take care of the paperwork

The Downsides of Selling with a Realtor include:

  • Commissions averaging 6% of the final sale price
  • You pay all closing costs
  • Even if you get and accept an offer on the first day your house gets listed, you still need to wait another 45 days for it to close, and that includes the buyer’s mortgage approval, title arrangement, and the effective date of closing
  • Sometimes offers fall through, or lenders don’t approve loans, or they ask for too many requirements, making it unpredictable as to how long it may take to sell your house

Option 2: Sell Your House By Yourself (FSBO)

A lot of homeowners consider the FSBO route mainly to avoid paying the realtor commission and fees. However, it can be lengthy and time consuming, unless you already have a buyer lined up to purchase your house.

The Advantages of Selling a House by Owner (FSBO) include:

  • More control over the process
  • You can negotiate directly with the buyer
  • 2020 Data from the NAR shows that FSBO houses sold in less than 2 weeks (but the owner knew the buyer)

The Downsides of Selling a House by Owner (FSBO) include:

  • You may still have to pay 3% commission, if there’s a buyer’s agent
  • All the marketing and visibility on your property depends on you
  • You’re responsible for filtering buyers
  • You’ll schedule and do all the showings
  • You’re responsible for the paperwork. Depending on the location of the property, you may need to hire a real estate attorney
  • Studies by the NAR show that fast FSBO sales only happen when the buyer is an acquaintance who got a “friends and family” price, rather than the market value

FSBO homes still need to appear nice during walkthroughs. In addition to clearing clutter and staging rooms, consider improving your curb appeal, since the home’s exterior is the first thing buyers see when they pull up. Trim hedges, plant fresh flowers, pressure wash and add a fresh coat of paint to the house, and spruce up the front porch.

The biggest mistake made with FSBO homes is overpricing. Potential buyers often pass over listings with a high asking price, and the longer a house sits on the market, it gives the impression there’s something wrong with it. You’ll need to lower the price, and you’ll need to lower it at the right time, or else take down the listing and relist it later.

Tips to Sell My House Fast

Here are some tips to help you sell your house quickly, thus increasing your chances of more, and better quality offers, that is, if you have the time to work on the house.

Price It Right

If the price is too high, buyers will walk away. BUT if it’s too low, you may be leaving money on the table. Pricing a house just right is tricky. If you have a realtor, they can help you with this by pulling comparable listings and market data, otherwise you will have to do it yourself.

Declutter and Spruce Up Curb Appeal

How would you feel if you were shopping the market, and you pulled up to a house with dirty windows, chipped paint, and a brown yard? What if you walked inside, and there was a mess? You would be put off by the property’s overall appearance, right?

Put a little elbow grease into making your house presentable, so when buyers visit, they are left impressed and can imagine themselves living there.

Make Speedy Repairs

If you hire a good team of contractors and repairmen, you can get a lot of work done in a few short days. Most buyers are going to want repairs done, so if you get them done ahead of inspection, you’ll save time.

If Possible, Pick the Right Time to List

Some seasons fare better than others. Spring and summer are popular, but fall and winter have their merits. Study the market with your realtor and pick a time to sell, that is, if you’re not hard-pressed to sell right now.

Offer Incentives

Financial incentives, like lowering the asking price to make up the difference in repairs, or covering the closing costs, or one year of the homeowners warranty, encourage buyers to make an offer.

How SolidOffers Can Help You Sell Your House Fast

When you need to sell your house fast, you want as few issues as possible to avoid delays, especially if there are legal reasons for wanting to sell quickly. We work exclusively with a trusted network of real estate investors located throughout the country. These investors come with a proven track record and are thoroughly vetted to ensure they are experienced, professional, and the right fit for you.

There are some bad apples in the real estate investing industry. We save you the hassle of dealing with them by vetting every investor and only recommend investors you can trust.

SolidOffers is not an iBuyer. We do not charge commissions, so our service comes at no extra charge to you.

Our goal is to streamline the home selling process. We make it easy to sell your house faster, with less stress and less money. You choose when to close, so you can move when you’re ready to, and skip the cost of a storage unit. Contact us today, and let’s talk about how we can help you sell your house fast.

female realtor with house for sale sign

Can I Sell My House Without a Realtor?

Home » seller considerations


The short answer is yes. You CAN sell without a realtor. However, if you are thinking of selling your house by yourself, understand that the process is far from easy.

Before you decide if you want to sell your house without a realtor or real estate agent, you must understand the benefits and drawbacks of selling it by yourself. 

Selling a House By Owner (FSBO)

There are no rules that require you to sell your house with an agent, though it’s the most common way of doing it. When you decide to sell without a realtor, regardless of how you do it, it’s called “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO. 

Pros And Cons Of Selling Without A Real Estate Agent

Pros 

  • Avoid paying thousands of dollars in agent commissions. Let’s face it, this is the main reason why homeowners decide to be FSBO sellers. It’s to eliminate the 6 percent in commissions. On a $200,000 house, that comes out to $12,000.

 

  • You control the transaction.  Since you are not working with an agent, you can set your own price, market the house the way you want to, and never feel pressured by a realtor to make changes that you don’t want to make.


  • In a hot market, the house may “sell itself”. When there is more demand than available houses for sale, finding interested buyers doesn’t take as much time or work. Sometimes, they find you if there is an FSBO sign in the front yard. 


  • It can be faster! The National Association of REALTORS reported that in 2020, 77% of houses on the market without an agent sold in under 2 weeks. The reason was the seller sold it to an acquaintance or a real estate investor.

Cons

  • You may still pay agent commissions. This is something not all sellers are aware of with FBSO. Even if you don’t pay a listing agent, you may still have to pay the buyer’s agent, which is 2.5% to 3% of the final sale price.


  • You are responsible for the paperwork. 10% of FSBO sellers rank this as the hardest part of selling a house. There is a lot of paperwork, and while not all states require a real estate attorney, sometimes it is worth it to ensure that everything is done right and to avoid potential problems, which adds a cost to the selling process.


  • It takes up a lot of your time. There are three parts to this 1) the time to find the buyers, 2) to do the showings, and 3) the process itself. Most homeowners selling without an agent have fewer resources to market their property, which means fewer buyers are aware of it. In fact, only 6% of FSBO sellers list on the MLS, which is how most homebuyers find a property. And when there are buyers, you, as the FSBO seller, are the one doing the showings and negotiating with buyers. So when you get an offer, you have to draw up the sales contract and get the process going.


  • It can take longer to sell. Less visibility means fewer prospecting buyers, and not all offers become a reality, as one of the aspects of working with an agent is to ensure that buyers are giving offers they can actually get approved for with a lender. If you want to sell fast by yourself, the safest bet is to sell to a real estate investor.
Hardest tasks for FSBO sellers

Important Takeaways

Selling your house without a realtor can save you money in commissions, but you may still have to pay the buyer’s agent fee. Selling a house by yourself can require a huge time commitment and paperwork, and in some states also require a real estate attorney. The best alternative to save money, sell fast, and avoid the extra work is to sell to a real estate investor.

The Alternative to a Realtor and FSBO: Sell to an Investor

The truth is, selling by yourself is a lot of stress because you do all of the work of a realtor while still juggling with life. Perhaps the better question then is not “Can I” but “Do I want to sell my house without a realtor?” If your answer is still “Yes,” but you don’t want to deal with the stress of FSBO, consider then selling to a real estate investor.

Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is.” They do not ask for repairs or improvements, nor do they require an inspection or appraisal. They do away with most traditional sale warranties, and because they pay with cash, there’s no lengthy mortgage approval. Investors also cover closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money!

You can enjoy a quick closing, on a date of your choice, in less than 30 days, and move into your next home right away!

House For Sale Sign My House Isn’t Selling, What Can I Do

My House Isn’t Selling, What Can I Do?

Home » seller considerations


Depending on where you’re located, the average days on market varies. A good listing, with a fair price, for a house that’s in good condition and in a good location will attract buyers quickly enough, especially in a hot market. But maybe that’s not your house selling experience.

Has your house been sitting on the market for a while? Are you still waiting for the right offer, or any offer? There are many reasons a house does not sell, but then the big question is: what can you do about it? What can you do to get your house sold faster? Let’s discuss reasons your house may not be selling, and then what you can do about it.

Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

There are many steps in the home selling process, so it’s not uncommon to make mistakes. Even in a hot real estate market, mistakes will cost you more money. So what makes a house unsellable?

The Asking Price is Too High

A huge mistake that a lot of sellers make is asking too much for their property. A high pricing causes prospective buyers to pass over your listing because it’s out of their price range.

Zillow, Redfin, and the like are not always reliable for estimating the value of your property. They are missing key information and updates, like damages and improvements, and do not account for location issues.

Learn the 4 signs that indicate you need a price drop.

Your House has Location Problems

Location matters! It isn’t just about being in the city, the suburbs, or rural areas, but also about what’s around you.

Most buyers do not want to live near a source of loud noise or a busy street, or where the property taxes are too high, or in a high-risk disaster area, or where there are too many registered sex offenders.

Another issue is bad neighbors. Their yard is unkept, or they have aggressive, barking dogs, or they are loud during showings. In fact, bad neighbors can lower the market value of a house up to 10%. If that is the problem you are facing, read this article on what to do when you want to sell your house but have bad neighbors.

Your House is Old, Outdated, or Damaged

Home buyers frown on a house with extensive problems. They’re already pouring their savings into buying the property; they don’t want to pay to fix it or do extensive renovations too.

Outdated or unusual features also take longer to sell. Sometimes they make the house unsellable to the common buyer. This is one of the reasons why, oftentimes, these houses are purchased by investors with capital to invest in in-depth renovations, repairs, and/or modernizing the house.

Old Listing

If your house has been listed on the market for over 30 days, especially during a Seller’s Market, buyers assume there is something wrong with it, even if that’s not the case. They’ll intentionally avoid it, and after 3 to 6 months, the listing is a failure.

You’ll want to pull the listing, revamp and relist it. If you hire a realtor, it’s actually their job to draw up the listing and post it in the multiple listing service (MLS) and other home selling sites.

Bad Listing Photos

The pandemic forced a number of industries into the digital age, and chief among them was real estate. Home sales became virtual. Safety precautions encouraged against open houses, and instead buyers surfed online listings.

Though we have returned to normalcy, potential buyers still search homes online. You know what they say: a picture is worth a 1,000 words. The National Association of Realtors report 89% of buyers find photos to be among the most useful features of a house listing. Family photos do not cut it, and the camera on your mobile device is not good enough. You need sharp, quality photos; otherwise, buyers cannot envision themselves living in the house.

Bad Advice

Really? Yes. Often we get input from friends or family members whose home sold, or we turn to real estate professionals. In all honesty though, most of the issues listed above could have been avoided by working with an experienced agent. Your realtor should make recommendations to improve your property, including repairs and staging, and even advise on the pricing. They are also responsible for organizing open houses, marketing, listing, and sharing feedback from potential buyers.

Some realtors fall short of perfect though and give bad advice. Some realtors fall short of perfect though and give bad advice. If that’s the case, they’re not worth your time or the 3% to 6% commission. Or sometimes, a home seller ignores good advice. A good listing agent knows what interested buyers are looking for, and they may advise a seller to make a change, but the seller refuses. Why hire a professional, if you’re not going to listen to them?

What You Can Do If Your House Isn’t Selling

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of a sale.

1. Make Improvements

If your house needs TLC to make an impact, you must be willing to make repairs and renovations. But maybe you can’t afford restorations. If that’s the case, a price reduction is necessary to make up the difference. When extensive work is needed, oftentimes it’s best to sell “as-is” directly to a real estate investor and avoid losing money on contractor fees.

If it’s just minor details, in addition to fixing obvious issues, be sure to improve your curb appeal. Potential buyers start evaluating the property when they pull up. That first impression matters, so spruce up the yard, clean windows, and give the house a fresh coat of paint.

2. Strengthen the Listing

Depending on the market, there’ll be a shortage of buyers or a shortage of houses for sale. Either way, your house must stand out from other real estate listings.

Listing your home online requires a few things…

Take Good Photos

Always take photos in the spring and summer, when the outside of your house is green and beautiful. Inside photos should be staged to show off space, and important aspects and best features. You also need to take enough photos, at different angles, to show the flow from one room to another.

Listing photos must be high quality enough to grab buyer attention. A study by Realtor.com shows that 9 out of 10 buyers, under the age of 55, value photos as the most important part of a listing. The best thing you can do is hire a professional photographer – or your realtor can hire one. Below is an example of a good listing photo.

living room and dining room professional staging photo real estate

Add a Video or Virtual Walkthrough

Consider adding a video walkthrough to your listing. This way, buyers get a better idea of the layout if they prefer to view it virtually, or they are out-of-state buyers. This trend reached its peak during the pandemic and will likely remain long after.

Add Highlights

Even minor renovations, like a new coat of paint, power washing, and improved landscaping, can be enough to spark interest, if highlighted properly in the listing description. Location appeal can also increase interest, like proximity to shopping areas and awarded schools or popular recreation.

3. Improve Your Marketing Outreach if FSBO

When you try to sell your House By Owner (FSBO), perhaps your biggest challenge is visibility. You need to market your home for sale through all possible channels.

Many buyers search MLS listings. Even if you choose to sell your house alone, you can still pay an agent a small fee to list it in the MLS, so it appears on Zillow and similar sites. Be sure to promote it through social media too. Ask friends and family to share, and post to your local neighborhood / market pages.

Here are more tips on how to sell your house by owner (FSBO).

4. Cut Your Price

You cannot afford pricing mishaps. To get a better idea of an ideal asking price, (1) evaluate comparable homes and the market, (2) consider buyer search parameters, and (3) deduct repair costs plus ugly house effect, if you do not plan to improve the property.

5. Offer Financial Incentives

If you’re not willing to budge on the price, you can always offer financial incentives.

Incentives include covering the first year of the home warranty, the closing costs, or including the furniture and appliances with the house. You are essentially sweetening the deal.

Or, You Can Sell to a Real Estate Investor

Wait, what? Yes, you can skip the last five steps we mentioned and sell to a real estate investor. This is a great option if you want to sell your house fast and for a guaranteed cash offer. Most investors will buy a house “as-is,” with damages – no repairs or improvements necessary. And because they pay with cash, you avoid the long mortgage approval.

Investors do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections, and they’ll cover closing costs and additional sale fees. If you’re in a tough situation, like foreclosure or bankruptcy, you can short sale to an investor and save your credit history. What’s more, you choose when to close, which can be in 30 days or less, giving you time to pack up and move.

SolidOffers Simplifies Your Home Sale

If your home isn’t selling, and you’re not sure how to find the right investor, good news: we’ve already done it for you! SolidOffers is not an iBuyer. Rather we are the middle man between you and our network of certified investors. We screen our investors to verify experience and professionalism, and we’ll pair you with an investor in your market who can make you a solid cash offer.

How to Sell a House if You’re Behind on Mortgage Payments

How to Sell a House if You’re Behind on Mortgage Payments

Home » seller considerations


Anyone can fall behind in their mortgage payments. Illness, divorce, job loss – whatever the reason, you quickly find yourself falling behind on bills, and debt grows. If you fall behind in paying your mortgage and fail to take action, you risk foreclosure.

Foreclosure has its consequences, including a deficiency balance, tax implications, difficulty buying another house (or renting), and a big hit to your credit score. Depending on where you live, you may have 120 days before your property is foreclosed.

Often the best way to avoid foreclosure and save yourself a lot of time and stress is to sell your property and pay back what you owe the lender. But selling your house fast takes work and finding a willing buyer.

How to Sell Your House if You’re Behind on Mortgage Payments?

To avoid losing your house, you can try consolidating or refinancing your loan or entering a forbearance agreement with the lender, but a lot of homeowners sell when they see no way to pay what they owe fast enough.

Step 1: Talk with Your Lender

Your lender needs to be informed of your decision to sell and why. They may be able to help you by giving you an extension, giving you more time to find a buyer. However, whether you can sell or not will depend on how much the house is worth versus how much you owe.

If you are not underwater yet, and your property is worth more than what you owe, you can sell and pay back the lender. Easy and straightforward.

BUT, if your house is worth less than the outstanding mortgage payment, you’ll need to do a short sale. The catch is your bank has to agree with the terms of the sale.

Step 2: Do Your Research

To find a buyer fast, you need to know your market. Gather all the information you need to know how to get their attention and negotiate a quick deal.

Step 3: Find a Realtor You Can Trust

Unless you are confident you can sell FSBO in a number of days, you’re going to need help. Find yourself a good real estate agent you can trust to help you navigate the market and negotiate a good deal.

Step 4: Make the Property (and Sale) More Appealing

As you may know, traditional buyers tend to request repairs or a reduction in your asking price. Chances are, if you are behind in payments, you cannot spare the money (or time) for repairs. So what are your options?

You can give the house a facelift: painting, cleaning, and improving curb appeal are a few things you can do. BUT you can always offer financial incentives to inspire confidence in buyers and satisfaction with the sale.

Step 5: Sign Paperwork, Close, and Pay What You Owe

Speaking through your agent, negotiate the terms of sale quickly, sign the necessary paperwork, and get it expedited.

You should keep your lender informed throughout the sale and notify them of closing day. Once you have the proceeds from sale, pay off what you owe the lender fast, so you can walk away without further complications.

What If I Can’t Sell My House?

If you’re worried you cannot sell, and time is running out, the best thing you can do is sell to a real estate investor. Why? Because investors pay cash for properties “as-is.” No repairs, no cleanings, no traditional sale warranties or inspections, and no lengthy mortgage approvals. It’s a fast, easy transaction.

You enjoy a quick closing, on a day of your choosing, and can pay back the lender what you owe in cash. This way, you avoid the repercussions of foreclosure, giving you a better chance of buying another property and saving your credit score.

What are the Consequences of Foreclosure

What are the Consequences of Foreclosure?

Home » seller considerations


Foreclosure happens when you fail to make mortgage payments, and you default on the loan, or you violate the terms of the agreement and lose ownership of your house. It’s important that you know what happens if you do nothing and foreclosure becomes unavoidable.

Contrary to what most homeowners think, walking away is never the best option, even if your property is valued lower than what you owe. The consequences of foreclosure are devastating and long lasting.

Consequences of Foreclosure

Foreclosure is a time-consuming and stressful, and sometimes even expensive, process. If you fear it is impending, talk with your lender about other options, like a temporary forbearance agreement.

The truth is, the bank does not want to foreclose on your property because it’s a long, difficult process for them too, and costs them money. But between the parties, you’ll take the biggest hit.

1. Damage to Your Credit Score

If you do nothing to stop foreclosure, your credit score will drastically drop. Good credit scores drop by 100 points or more, while excellent scores reduce by as much as 160 points. So the higher your score, the more impact foreclosure will have on it.

It can take three to seven years of on-time payments to fully recover your score.

A bad credit score leads to expensive interest rates and limited credit, making your financial recovery difficult.

2. May Owe a Deficiency Balance

If you fail to pay off what you owe during the foreclosure period, the property goes to auction. It’s rare that a property sells for more than the amount owed, but if it does, there’s no deficiency. If it sells for less, you’re responsible to pay the remaining debt.

Deficiency Judgements vary by state law.

3. Tax Implications

Any time a debt is forgiven, the IRS considers it income and taxable. If the debt (aka what you owe on your loan) is canceled or forgiven, it is reported to the IRS on a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt. The amount must be reported with your income taxes.

4. Forfeit getting a Fannie Mae mortgage for at least 7 years

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Agency Mortgage Guidelines demand a waiting period of 5 to 7 years (from the date of foreclosure) before you can qualify for a conventional loan. As a result, it will be difficult for you to borrow money to purchase another house.

Extenuating circumstances, like job loss, illness, or divorce, may alter the waiting period.

5. Eviction

Once the bank seizes the property, it’s no longer yours. You’ll be evicted and lose any equity you may have established.

6. Problems Finding a New Home or Renting

You’ll have to find a new place to live after you’re evicted. Since there’ll be a waiting period before you can get another loan, renting may be your only option.

Landlords look at your credit score to determine your level of responsibility. A foreclosure in your credit report and a consequent low score will make landlords wary. And even if a landlord is willing to accommodate you, it may be in the form of an inflated security deposit.

Facing Foreclosure? Sell Fast to Avoid the Consequences

If you cannot pay what you owe, rather than go through with foreclosure, you can short sale to a real estate investor. Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is” – that means no repairs, renovations, or cleaning. They forgo lengthy mortgage approvals, traditional sale warranties, appraisals, and inspections, and can often close in 30 days or less.

You and your lender can negotiate the short sale terms, sell fast, and you can walk away without a hit to your credit score or owing the bank more money.

Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a house

Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a House

Home » seller considerations


You’d think the opposite, but selling a house around the holidays is not a bad thing. Most people believe spring is the best time to sell – there are more bidding wars, but also more competition. Wintertime has its advantages and disadvantages too, but around the holidays, the market often comes alive.

If you position your property the right way, market it effectively, and prepare for buyers, you can close fast, maybe in time for the holidays or even the New Year. But why would you want to sell around the holidays? Maybe you can’t wait – relocation, growing family, downsizing, ending forbearance, etc.

Here are five reasons why the holidays are a good time to sell.

1. Buyers are Serious

A lot of buyers in the springtime like to look at houses but are in no rush to purchase. Anyone who shops the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is no doubt serious. Think about it: winter holidays are when we plan festivities, visit family, and shop for presents. If a person takes time away from those things to look at a property, chances are they’re ready to buy.

2. Housing Inventory is Low

Since most sellers aim for spring, there is less competition in your market around the winter holidays. Fewer houses for sale increases your chances of buyer interest and getting offers.

Price wars may break out in your neighborhood. So long as the price is right, and you have a lot of potential buyers, your property may only sit on the market for a few weeks, maybe even a few days.

3. End-of-Year Tax Breaks

Tax breaks are one of several reasons buyers are serious towards the end of the year. If a house sale closes on or by December 31, the buyer can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and interest costs (of the loan).

Can a home seller get a tax break? Yes, but only if you owned and lived in the house for 2 of the 5 years before sale.

4. More Attention from Realtors

With fewer house listings to be concerned with, your realtor, if you have one, can focus more on your property. They are available for more showings, appointments, and negotiating deals.

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so hiring a real estate agent may take some of the stress off of you. Otherwise, if you do not want to pay commission, you can sell For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

5. Festive Time of Year

Believe it or not, the holidays spark warm feelings in buyers. They visit a house that is staged for comfy, homey vibes, appealing to their emotions. So they are more likely to fall in love with the feelings the house conjures and make an offer.

In contrast, during the spring, there’s a lot of foot traffic and distractions, and buyers cannot focus during a walkthrough.

Want a Guaranteed Sale By or Before Christmas / New Year’s?

Sometimes you cannot wait for a traditional buyer. You have your reasons to sell now, before the end of the year, and you cannot afford to wait. If that is the case, consider selling to a real estate investor for cash.

Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is,” without repairs or renovations. Even if the property is damaged, vacant, or mid-renovation, they will still buy it. They do not require traditional sale warranties, an appraisal or inspection, and since they pay with cash, there’s no lengthy mortgage approval process.

You (the seller) choose the closing date. It can be in several months, giving you time to pack and enjoy the holidays, or in 30 days or less, if you’re ready to move right now.

Home Improvements to Do Before the Holidays if Selling christmas tree

Home Improvements to Do Before the Holidays if Selling

Home » seller considerations


Are you selling your house around the holidays? Does it need a facelift? Some home improvements can help you sell faster or even get a better deal. The alternative is to lower your asking price to cover renovations the buyer pays out of their own pocket.

But which improvements have the most impact and the best ROI? Here are 11 home improvements we recommend to do before the holidays, if you’re selling a property.

1. Remodel the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where family comes together, especially around the holidays. So when buyers visit this time of year, you want the kitchen to make a good, lasting impression.

Kitchen improvements include a new backsplash, upgraded countertops and flooring, refinished cabinets, and better lighting.

2. Fix Up the Bathroom

The bathroom is a private space, and it should be nice. Fortunately, most bathrooms are small, so improvements do not take long. You can replace light fixtures, upgrade faucets and fixtures, retile the floor and shower, and repaint the walls.

3. Put Down New Floors

Your floors take a beating and see a lot of foot traffic. Wood floors especially get scratched and chipped and lose luster. Consider laying new planks or making the switch to tile for a fresh look.

4. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Inside and out! Interior walls and the exterior house siding will benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Think about it: when buyers drive up, do you want them to see drab or life?

You might also consider a coat of sealer on any surface of the house that gets covered by snow.

5. Repair the Roof

Winter is coming, and you’ll never go wrong if you patch or replace the roof to prevent leaks. Leaks can cause damage inside the house, so why not prevent additional repairs?

6. Seal Gaps and Add Insulation

Chilly drafts ruin energy bills and the warm, cozy feeling of the house interior. Check caulking and weather stripping, and seal where necessary. Get an R-Value for your insulation levels. The recommended level of insulation for most attics is about 10 to 14 inches.

7. Tune Up the Furnace

Speaking of cold weather and energy, get your HVAC system inspected to ensure its functionality. If it needs work, make repairs so your house is kept at a comfortable temperature, so that it’s cozy for buyers during walkthroughs.

8. Winterize Your Property

One of the most common mistakes by sellers, especially those with vacant properties, is failing to winterize. The worst is not draining and protecting your pipes from freezing: you risk them bursting and flooding the property.

Winterizing your house includes looking after the pipes, insulation, fireplace, gutters, roof, furnace, and windows and doors.

9. Improve Curb Appeal

Winter is when your plants go dormant. Hopefully, your online listing shows photos of your house in the spring or summer, when it looks its best.

The outside of the house is the first impression buyers have of the property as a whole. To jazz it up, you can do the following:

  • Add cold weather plants
  • Trim back trees and bushes
  • Manicure the lawn
  • Clean windows
  • Paint front door
  • Furnish the front porch
  • Update lightning

Sell Your House Without Making Improvements

If you have neither the time nor the money to make improvements, you can always sell “as-is” to a real estate investor for cash.

But will I lose money? Most investors pay 70% of the market value AFTER repair value. The investor does not require repairs or renovations, even if the property is degraded or damaged. There’s no mortgage approval, no appraisal, nor an inspection. Moreover, the investor often pays all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money compared to a traditional sale.

If, however, the property is in good shape and in a good location, some investors will consider paying the market price or perhaps 2% to 3% less.

Either way, you can enjoy a quick closing, in 30 days or less, and focus on spending the holidays with family, perhaps in your new home.