Despite all the new tech we access these days, the basic process of buying and selling real estate may have remained pretty much unchanged since your father was a boy – and it wasn’t fast. But things may not work quite that way right now.
Before 2020, you’d have fixed up the place first. Sure, that was an expense, but you could hope to make it appealing to buyers and sell at a better price. Then, you’d have gotten a property agent to help you find a buyer, and you’d have a string of nice families traipsing through your house during viewing appointments. Eventually, you’d get your buyer, but then there’d still be a lengthy process to get all the paperwork in order before you finally received payment.
The whole process, not counting time spent on home improvements, could be expected to take around three months depending on the house, the neighborhood, and the overall state of the housing market.
But 2020 may have changed a lot of things, and the urgency with which we approach selling and the way we go about doing it may be changing too.
Selling Houses: What’s New?
Nobody likes it. Covid-19 has impacted just about everything we do and selling your house is one of them. Projections on what the housing market will do next vary from the wildly optimistic to the apocalyptic. The truth, as always, will likely be somewhere in the middle.
Here’s what we know:
- A lot of us have felt the financial pinch caused by the lockdown. Gallup estimates that 30 percent have been affected. That means less money on both sides of real estate transactions. You have less to spend on getting your house market-ready, and your pool of buyers is probably smaller and less-well-off than it once was.
- Your home may not be worth as much as you expected. Whether you rent or own, the value of your home is determined by its capacity to generate income through rent. With many businesses and individuals being unable to pay, the market value of properties is expected to plummet.
- People will find it harder to get a mortgage when they want to buy your property. Private lenders are cash-strapped, and the bigger banks will be increasingly worried about clients’ ability to keep up mortgage payments.
- It has been a bad time to plan for big changes. The people you’d normally see as home buyers are worried about the economy. They’re worried about job security. They’re worried about committing to a substantial debt during uncertain times. That means a smaller pool of buyers and a real possibility of waiting longer and selling cheaper than you’d like.
Want to Sell Your House? Maybe its Time to Rethink the Whole Process
There’s another side to the story that we haven’t looked at yet, and that’s the fact that you may both want and need to sell – and fast. While buyers are feeling the pinch financially, so are sellers, and getting cash for selling their homes could be the only way to avoid pre-foreclosure.
But the problems don’t begin and end with selling fast. For your buyer to get a mortgage, the bank will expect the building to be in good condition and that could mean maintenance jobs and renovations you can’t afford and don’t have time for.
Need to sell up and get outta Dodge? The time may have come to do things differently.
- Sell as-is. Let fixing things become the buyer’s problem.
- Sell for cash. No mortgage means no string of to-dos before you can clinch the deal.
- Let the buyer handle costs. You don’t want to be saddled with closing costs in a deal like this one. You’re moving fast, and you just want to know the bottom line without any surprise closing costs eating into the funds you raised through the sale.
Where Will You Find That Buyer?
If you like the idea of being able to sell fast without having to spend on renovating, you might be wondering just where to find your cost-covering, cash-paying, and totally unfussy buyer. The answer is simple. All you need to do is go online. You may already have done so when buying. After all, mobile apps cover everything from house-hunting to calorie counting.
When it comes to selling, a real estate investment company turned nationwide franchise could be the answer you’re looking for. The bluntly-named We Buy Ugly Houses with regional franchisees like We Buy Ugly Houses Chicago, does all the things we just discussed. And, as with so many things we do these days, your journey starts on your smartphone when you request an assessment online.
There’s a string of advantages to consider – no need to raise money for repairs to your home, no strings of people coming for viewings, and the all-important rapid deal-closure with cash in your pocket. Simply put, they make you an offer, and you decide if you’re going to go for it. The drawback? You’ll probably get less than you were hoping for, but you can offset that against inconvenience spared and renovation expenses you may not be able to afford. Worth checking out? A great many people have chosen this route – perhaps you’ll be the next to do so.