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10 Distinct Reasons Why People Sell a House Fast
Learn if selling your house is the right move.
Humans have been selling property to each other for thousands of years. Even before money existed, property was used as a valuable item to barter with. In today’s world, this asset is traded between hands more often than ever before. The process of selling houses has become much faster than it used to be. What motivates people to sell a house fast? Typically, it is one of two things:
Both money and timing can together influence a homeowner’s decision to sell a house fast or slow. Today, we are going to review 12 distinct reasons why people decide that selling a house quickly is the best option.
1. Selling a House with Code Violations
Pesky code violations can be a huge hindrance to a homeowner. Each city is different in terms of how strict its regulations are. Some cities employ full-time staff members to consistently monitor properties. In places like this, you will find many houses with code violations attached to them. Other cities are less strict and do not enforce their codes as frequently.
Regardless, it is annoying to deal with code violations. Landlords that own multiple properties sometimes have trouble keeping up with their city’s codes. If multiple violations pile up on one property, a quick house sale is a good option. Selling a house fast that has code violations attached to it allows the owner to get out of a pinch. Of course, these violations are addressed before the official sale of the property and an agreement is made between the buyer and seller.
Dispute code violations
While disputing code violations on your house may be an option, the process is not typically fast. Certain violations are easier to clear up than others. It completely depends on the situation. If you need to sell a house fast that has multiple code violations attached to it, finding the right buyer is key.
Cash home buyers usually do not care as much about violations attached to a property. Since they buy houses as is, they often know how to clear up issues like code violations. Selling a house fast becomes much easier working with a home buyer that pays in cash. They have dealt with code violations in the past. Additionally, they have probably worked through even tough and more complicated home situations. Selling your house fast is possible even with violations attached to it.
Education on city building codes
If you’re looking for more information on your city’s building codes, start online. Unfortunately, many city websites are old and hard to navigate. It’s the nature of a city website. However, once you locate the information regarding building codes, you can usually find downloadable packets or PDFs and store that on your computer.
Education yourself on a city’s building codes helps you as a homeowner to navigate the rules and regulations that are enforced. You may not need to sell your house fast if you can avoid violating the cities code and getting fined. Once they add up, dealing with multiple code violations can put homeowners in a bad situation. Selling a house fast might be the only option.
Do your best to learn about current, and also new regulations that your city plans to instate. Owning property comes with lots of rules to follow. Don’t get put into a corner because you “were unaware of the rules”. If you do, selling your house fast can help escape the problem. However, your number one priority should be educating yourself on any rules of owning property before you decide to sell a house.
2. I Inherited a House and want to sell it
Parents do a great job of setting up their children for success. If you recently inherited a house, that means your parents were looking out for your best interest. What can you do if you want to sell it?
- Sell your house to a cash home buyer
- List it with a realtor
- Fix it up and keep it
- Turn the house into a rental property
We have seen mixed reactions from people that have inherited a house. Several of them were excited and wanted to keep it. They had the vision to turn the home into a rental property. Using tools like Airbnb, their plan was to rent out the home to generate rental income. Since the house was already paid off by their parents, most of the income that it brought was profit for the new homeowners.
Other people that have inherited a house want to sell it as quickly as possible. They do not have much interest in being a homeowner. The thought of taking care of it and maintaining the property sounds like too big of a task. Trying to sell a house fast that was recently inherited can be tricky. First off, you will need to gather all potential decision-makers. Ask them if they have any interest in the house. If no one has an interest in keeping it, ask them if they’d like to be involved in selling the house.
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Family Conversations about Houses
It is extremely important to have these conversations at length with your family members, and any rightful heirs to the house. Communication is key. Determine exactly who has a right to the house, and if they are interested in keeping it. Changing that decision, later on, to not sell can cause conflicts within the family. Once decisions are verbalized, place everything in writing to avoid any future confusion or miscommunication.
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How to sell an inherited house
Depending on if the homeowner had a will or not determines if the property needs to go through the probate process. This can vary per state and county. If you do need to go through the probate process, you can eventually get the deed rightfully transferred to someone else’s name. From there, you can gain rights to sell or keep the home yourself. For those who would want to sell a house fast after inheriting it, the probate process is not your best bet.
It usually takes months to finalize everything. However, once it’s complete, you know that it is official and done correctly. For properties that do not need to go through the probate process, selling a house fast is attainable. You’ll still need to work out particular details with your family though. A quick home sale can happen even if you inherited a house.
3. Sell a house fast with tenants
Selling a house fast can be challenging when there are tenants involved. This is not always the case, though. You can get lucky and sell a house to the biggest real estate investor in town. They might not care as much if the property comes with a tenant. When this investor buys houses, the plan is to rent them out immediately. When selling a house with tenants, you increase your chances of a fast house sale by finding this type of buyer.
Home buyers that you can work with
Now, back to reality. If you are trying to sell a house fast with tenants, most buyers will give you push back. For families that are offering to buy your house because they want to live in it, they don’t want extra roommates to come along with the purchase. They want to buy the house vacant. Selling a vacant house fast is much easier than an occupied one.
This is easy to relate to. If you have tenants in your house, that makes you a landlord. Obviously, if a family wants to buy your house, they want to live there without your current tenants. This family could have big dreams. Maybe they want to have 5 kids and a dog. They will need room for that. What happens if you try to sell a house fast with tenants to a family? The family will ask for a price reduction in order to deal with your tenants later.
Can you afford to drop your price to help your house sell fast? If your budget can handle it, selling a house fast with tenants will be a breeze.
One alternative is to sell your home to another landlord. Typically these landlords are known as cash home buyers. They are more understanding if a property comes with tenants. Since they do not plan to live there themselves, these home buyers will not negotiate the price down as much. Simply put, they can relate to you. Experienced home buyers have dealt with plenty of tenants – both good and bad ones.
When selling a house with tenants, it helps to have your property in a good location. In areas where there are lots of houses being sold, that means more cash home buyers will be searching for properties like yours. We have seen buying frenzies where multiple offers were submitted to buy a home since the neighborhood was appealing. Home buyers will care less about tenants in the home. Thus, trying to sell a house fast will come with less friction. Your property will be in demand. The baggage that comes along with it will be overlooked.
4. How to sell a house in Pre-foreclosure
Another huge reason why people want to sell a house fast is because of tax troubles. There are several types of taxes, or payments, that homeowners can fall behind on. For example:
- Mortgage or Loan Payment
- Property Taxes
- Water Bill
Missed mortgage payments are the most common reason that a house would be sent into pre-foreclosure. It is not always the homeowner’s fault. Life is tough. People can lose jobs, get injured, or even worse. Unfortunately, if a homeowner falls behind on their mortgage payments, the bank has the right to foreclosure and take ownership of the property.
Tips to selling a house fast when in debt
When you receive a notice of default, meaning you have defaulted on your loan payments, hope is not lost yet. You have time. To find out how much time, you must do your research since it does depend on where your house is located. Certain cities will give homeowners 12 months to sell a house before it goes into foreclosure. There is your hope! But it is time to act fast.
Attempting to sell a house fast is easier when the economy is going up. If real estate values are rising, that increases the chances of your home’s value also going up. Try to time the market. For example, you can still sell your house that’s in pre-foreclosure if the numbers work out like this:
- $100,000 = your home’s value 6 months ago
- $110,000 = total mortgage owed on your property after you refinanced a few years ago
- $120,000 = your home’s value today
In this example, you can now sell your house for $120,000 today since the market has risen. That allows you to pay off your mortgage debt owed and get out of pre-foreclosure. In an ideal world, this would happen every time. Unfortunately, the housing market is not always that friendly.
Ways to avoid foreclosure
If you have plans to sell a house fast, dealing with foreclosure will throw a wrench in that plan. To avoid foreclosure altogether, budget accordingly when buying or refinancing a house. Calculate how much it will cost you to keep the property up and running after you buy it. Especially for rental properties, it is crucial to calculate your monthly cash flow and make sure that it is not negative. If your expenses, including things like your mortgage payment, are more than the estimated rental income, you may want to reconsider buying it.
Refinancing a house is another scenario that causes homeowners to slowly fall into debt, and ultimately foreclosure. If you take out a huge amount of cash against your property, you need to pay monthly installments back to your lender. Consider that a mortgage, or second mortgage, in your head. If you cannot pay that from your regular monthly income, it could end up bad.
5. Going Through an Eviction
Trying to sell a home quickly with tenants can already be challenging. How about if you are dealing with an eviction? I would run for the hills! Unfortunately, this still happens in today’s real estate world. Especially during times like a pandemic, it can be incredibly difficult to deal with this situation. What are ways that you can avoid the eviction process altogether?
Communicating with tenants
By communicating with tenants, you at least give yourself a shot of not having to evict them. Going through the formal eviction process can take months. Court dates get backed up, and not every city is friendly to homeowners. If you simply have a conversation with your tenants about any issues that are happening, you give yourself a chance to clear them up. A conversation is much easier than going through the eviction process.
After having a conversation with your tenants, put any important details in writing and have them sign it. A person’s word only goes so far, and it can change unless it’s documented. Unfortunately, you may have to come out of pocket to get rid of your bad tenant. Better known as, “cash for keys”, landlords will pay tenants several hundred dollars to get them to move out. They know that losing out on a few month’s rent and paying an attorney, is much more expensive. Hopefully, you don’t find yourself digging into your wallet to combat a bad tenant situation.
Selling a house with a squatter
If you cannot evict a tenant, you may just want to sell this house fast and be done with it. That is possible. Especially when trying to sell a house to an experienced home buyer. They are no stranger to bad tenants and squatters. Everything is negotiable, right? Inheriting tenants is already considered risky to certain home buyers. If those tenants are not even paying rent, that is a huge burden to take on.
If your eviction efforts have failed, your once tenant is now considered a squatter. How the heck can you sell a house fast when someone is squatting there? It isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Squatters rights do exist, so you will still need to tread lightly around those. You can still sell a house fast with squatters in it. The trick is to find the right buyer.
As I mentioned before, there are cash home buyers that have experience dealing with these situations. They have done “cash for keys”, and know how to handle bad tenants. These home buyers can still offer to buy your house but will need to be compensated in some way for the hindrance of dealing with the squatters. Usually, this means that your sale price takes a haircut. If your main thought is that I need to sell my house fast, reducing the price can get you there.
6. Selling a Home after getting a Divorce
That’s right, I said it. The “D” word. Getting a divorce is arguably the hardest emotional roller coaster to bear as humans. There can be many items, assets, and other things that are jointly shared owned between partners. Getting a divorce is one of the top reasons that homeowners try to sell a house fast. They want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. It makes complete sense.
Selling a home that has been shared between partners for decades is a challenge. There are years-worth of personal items to go through and divvy up. Arguments can happen at the drop of a hat. What if both partners want to still stay in the home? That means we are going to court.
The hardest thing in life is a divorce
A home is possibly the biggest item that people argue over while going through a divorce. If there are children involved, you have to think about them too. No parent wants to make their kids move to a different home, school, and neighborhood. Not to mention, if both people prefer to still live in the home, trouble is going to brew.
Best way to sell a house when getting divorced
The easiest way to sell a house fast when going through a divorce is working with an investor. They will buy your house off-market. This means no open houses, no sign in the front yard, and no nosey neighbors trouncing through your business. You can sell your home quickly without anyone knowing. You are already dealing with enough headaches. Why add fuel to the fire? To achieve a quick house sale and avoid people getting into your dirty laundry, sell your home off-market.
Typically, investors will buy houses for cash. This speeds up the transaction so that you and your partner can move on as soon as you need to. You aren’t waiting on bank financing to come through, or for the buyer to do a bunch of extra walkthroughs of the property. Experienced investors can help you sell your house faster than ever before.
I have seen situations where partners owned multiple properties together that they had to get rid of. Selling multiple homes at once takes a ton of logistics and planning. If you can locate a cash home buyer that needs to fill a quota of properties for that month, you can sell your houses as a package deal. That is the fastest way to sell your properties.
7. Downsizing your House
Having a big place to call home feels amazing. How about when the big home is empty and it’s just you living there? After your kids have flown the coup and you find yourself alone in a 4 bedroom mansion, it can feel lonely. Not to mention, it gets expensive. Throughout cold winters and hot summers, utility bills can go through the roof keeping a decent temperature in a big home. Do you need to sell a house fast because it is costing you too much money to keep it running? Downsizing your house is one of the top reasons that homeowners investigate selling a home quickly.
Downsizing a house doesn’t always mean that you live in a mansion. It could be downsizing from a 2 bedroom apartment to a studio. Regardless of the scenario, there are tons of benefits to downsizing.
Benefits of downsizing your house
The number one benefit of downsizing your house is the number of household chores that now don’t need to get done. I take that back. They still need to get done, but not nearly to the extent that they used to. You still need to clean your toilet! But, now there are only 2 toilets versus 7. A much easier task for a homeowner that just downsized.
At your previous house, was there a massive yard? Say no more to weed whacking for multiple hours. Downsizing your home will free up your time by trimming down your time spent maintaining your property.
Cost of owning property
Of course, your utility bill should decrease at least a small amount if your house size has decreased. However, there are other costs that you save on owning a smaller home. These costs can vary based on your zip code and the area where you live. However, for this example, let’s assume you are in the same relative area.
The cost of your homeowner’s insurance should decrease if you downsize your home. Usually, a factor of this cost is the actual size of the property and building. Naturally, by living in a smaller place, your insurance price will likely drop. Who doesn’t love savings? Additionally, your property taxes will also decrease if you downsize your living quarters. This can equate to huge yearly savings for homeowners.
Selling equity in your home
This only applies to certain homeowners. If you are fortunate enough to have owned your home for a long time, there is a good chance that you have equity that has built over time due to the rise in real estate prices over the years. Although you may be downsizing into a smaller place, you may be cashing out at a perfect time. How fast would you sell a house if you tripled your money from the initial purchase? For families that have lived in a house for 40 years and need to downsize, they often capitalize on this. However, it’s important to know that equity is only real once you sell. It can disappear with the drop of the real estate market.
8. Sell my House before Moving out of State
Not everyone wants to be a landlord. If you are in that same boat, then you will need to sell your property before moving to another state. Depending on the reason for moving, you may need this process to happen very quickly. For homeowners trying to sell a house fast and move out of state, planning each step is important.
Reasons people move out of state
Do I hear the word “promotion”? Even if you didn’t hit a huge string of luck, there are still plenty of good reasons to move out of the state you call home. For many millennials, it is the desire to travel and collect experiences around the planet. Many millennial home buyers aren’t interested in owning property. If they did own something, they would be first in line to sell a house fast and go travel.
Job transfers are likely the most common thing pulling people into different states. New employers can be demanding, requiring certain start dates to be met. If you must go, you must go! Selling a house fast is a useful strategy if you have to ‘get out of dodge’. Other reasons that people move out of state is for family and friends. Connection to others is important. I wouldn’t care as much about living in a big house on a cool property if I had no one I loved to share it with. Humans live off connection with others. People will sell a dream home and move out of state if it ultimately brings them more happiness.
Mistakes people make selling a house before a move
Deadlines put pressure on people, and not everyone acts well under pressure. Homeowners can get put into a time crunch if they need to move without much notice. Getting into a long agreement with a buyer can hurt a homeowner’s chances of moving. Figure out your timeline, and review all agreements. Make it mandatory that your deadlines align with the closing dates in the agreement so that the transition can be smooth. It’s possible to sell a house fast while following the correct steps.
Another mistake commonly made by homeowners before a move is not asking for rentback. As a seller, you can request that the sale of the house happens on ‘X’ date, but you don’t have to officially move out until a few weeks after the closing. If you have excessive amounts of personal items, you may need to include this in the agreement.
9. Selling Vacant and Damaged Houses
Whether you are a landlord or owner-occupant dealing with a vacant house is expensive. Even if you have the mortgage completely paid off, there are other expenses to keep up with that can dry up your wallet. Expenses such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, and utility bills do not stop simply because no one is living at the property. Dealing with the expenses of a vacant property is a major factor that causes people to sell a house fast.
Degrees of Vacancy
How bad can it really be? Maybe you have enough cash to buy two houses, and you use one of them as storage for your extra personal items. Although one house is technically vacant, you may not be hurting all that bad. On the flip side, imagine home buyers that own +100 unit apartment buildings. The cost of a unit being vacant is thankfully spread across the total amount of units, which helps. But what if someone major happens, like a hurricane, and half of your tenants move out?
Yikes. I cannot imagine how difficult that would be. Would you want to sell a house fast if it was draining your wallet due to multiple vacancies? I sure would! A few vacancies can be easily dealt with by the owner of a large apartment complex. However, if it gets tough to afford, this property may need a quick house sale and jump ship as soon as possible.
Reasons a house becomes vacant
If you are an owner-occupant of a house, you are the reason that it is vacant. For landlords, it can be a variety of reasons.
- Bad tenants
- Natural disaster
- Condition of the property is bad
- Bad neighborhood
The list goes on! For now, we’ll cover the primary reasons that a house becomes vacant.
Unfortunately, bad tenants are the top reason. The house can become vacant and the landlord doesn’t even know about it at the moment. For example, many landlords that own multiple properties use a property management company to manage their properties. If a tenant moves out without notifying either party, it can be days or weeks before anyone finds out. I am not here to give tenants a bad name, but when they don’t care, they really don’t. Beware!
Tenants that don’t care about breaking their current lease, and don’t care about their credit will do whatever they want. A lease is just a piece of paper. You may need to sell a house fast if it’s been sitting vacant for weeks because your tenant randomly left. Tenants leave for all sorts of different reasons. Many are on them, but they also leave sometimes because of you.
If the condition of the house is poor, and you continue to neglect it, there’s a chance your tenant will leave. Tenants are people, too. Providing them with a comfortable space to live is important in keeping them happy, keeping them there, and keeping them paying rent. Have you ever heard of the term “slumlord”? They exist. The home buyers will purchase properties, rent them out, and then completely neglect them. They prefer to sit back and let whatever amounts of rental income come in without maintaining the property.
When a house is left damaged, the tenants living there will only put up with so much before jumping ship. Even if you outsource property management to look over your house, make sure that they are doing their job correctly. You can have them schedule monthly check-ins at the house to ensure things are still going ok. Tenants don’t always mention when household items are damaged until they get really bad. Be proactive, not reactive. If you can nip damage in the butt, you can sleep easy.
10. Family Indifferences about Selling a House
You can’t choose your family. Money and assets are the two biggest things that families disagree about. If certain members of the family want to keep the property, selling your house fast isn’t likely to happen. Family indifferences about selling a house tie back into when people inherit property. Do you have a bunch of siblings? How often do you all agree on the exact same thing? You may get lucky, or the stars may not align. Again, not everyone wants to be a landlord. It’s tricky deciding what to do with an inherited house.
The story of the Duplex Brothers
What other indifferences happen among families when deciding whether to sell a house? Let’s take this example for size. Leroy purchased a duplex with his brother a few years ago. Their initial intention was to live in both of the units. They would split the expenses and maintain the property together.
A few years go by, and everything is as planned. Until Leroy’s brother gets a job offer in the next town over. Leroy, and his brother Daniel, must decide what they want to do with the house next. Should they try selling the house fast and walk away? Daniel is open to the idea, but Leroy still lives there. They decide to keep it under one condition. Daniel finds someone to rent out his old unit. The brothers will use the rental income to help pay for the mortgage.
Daniel finds a tenant. Everything goes well for 6 months until the tenant stops paying rent. Leroy and Daniel need to continue paying the mortgage, and other expenses for the house. Daniel doesn’t want to come out of pocket himself since he doesn’t live there anymore. They are considering evicting the tenant, but they know that can take months to go through the entire eviction process.
They decide to go through the eviction process, which takes months. After finally evicting the tenant, Leroy and Daniel have now paid out of pocket expenses to cover the mortgage for a while. Both are unhappy, and again, need to decide what they want to do with the property.
Do you see how crazy things can get when you own a house with family members? There is only so much in your control. Everything can go according to plan at first, but over time as things change, you can get yourself in a pinch.
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Is selling a house fast right for you?
There are countless reasons why it makes sense to sell a house fast and get out of a situation. We outlined some painful ones, along with ones that are easier to deal with. Each come with their baggage and challenges.
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Overall, it’s helpful to have “less cooks in the kitchen”. The more parties involved, the harder it can be to find a solution with the house. Selling a house fast is more likely to happen if it is you as the sole owner and party of interest. You set the timeline, and make the decisions. Timing is everything.
I think we all get it, though. It’s hard to know if selling the house in general even makes sense. Review the pros and cons of keeping it, and make the decision that is best for you. Owning property isn’t easy, and being a landlord can be even tougher. Is trying to sell a house fast the best option for you based on your situation? Only you can decide that.