5 Essential Steps For Selling an Out of State Property
Monty Schmidt, Nor Cal REI
When it comes to selling an out of state house, It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Except you’re the one with your eyes closed trying to explain to someone where to put the piece.
Of course, It doesn’t have to be this way. In this article, I give you my personal favorite tips for selling a home out of state to make the entire process as hassle-free as possible.
Check it out.
Communication is key
During the entire process, you won’t be able to see the house or do anything to it yourself (unless you fly back/drive back). It’s important to stay in constant communication with the people who will help this sale go through. Get constant updates on the properties condition, maintenance, and overall status.
Point of Contact
It’s super important to have someone close by to check up on the house, maintain the yard, or walk people through.. In fact, I would say this is one of the most important things to have when selling out of state. This can be a neighbor, a friend, or someone who can babysit the house.
If the property is vacant
Make sure it’s properly secured: Vandals, thieves and squatters are always on the lookout for properties that are vacant. Secure entry ways such as windows, doors, fences, and garage doors. It may also be a good idea to install cameras or an alarm system to reduce chances of a break in.
Have a lookout: It’s always good to have a neighbor who can keep a lookout on the property and notify you of anything suspicious.
Pro Tip: It may be a good idea to let someone live in the house temporarily just to keep squatters out. You can even have the occupant maintain the house while they are there to make it a win-win. Just make sure it’s someone you can trust to leave once the time comes.
What if there’s stuff left in the property?
Get a storage: Try to get rid of everything you don’t need. As for everything else, rent a local storage in the area until you find something to do with your personal property.
Donate: You get what you give. So why not give away those books, clothing, furniture, and other things of value to the local Goodwill store or Salvation Army if you don’t want to keep them.
Haul and trash: If you had tenants in the property, there may be junk or trash inside after they leave. Call for a large pile trash pick up from the county or call someone on craigslist to haul it away for you.
Options for selling
Find a local agent who knows their stuff
If you’re selling it on the market, you should find a local real estate agent who has experience and knows how to work with out of state sellers. They will help the selling process go smoothly and get that house sold for top dollar (hopefully).
Sell to an investor as-is – If you don’t want to hire anyone to clean the house, make repairs, or market the property for sale, another option is to sell the house to an investor. All you need is a point of contact to walk the investor through the house or just have a lockbox in place for them to come out to see it.
This can be one of the best options for those who have a house in major disrepair or need to sell it quickly. It will make the entire selling process much easier, but you have to be willing to sell it at a discount.
Make the house accessible
Set up a lockbox with the key: Your real estate agent should be able to provide a lockbox so that your point of contact doesn’t have to go to the property every minute of the day to open the door for someone. (please don’t hide your key under the rug )
Preparing for the sale
If you’ve decide to sell with a real estate agent, there are a few things you may want to consider doing to the house to increase your chances of getting the highest price.
Make any necessary repairs to the property to bring it to market condition – If your house needs some updating, make sure it’s done before you list the property. Anything that comes up on the inspection report will be used to the buyers advantage to negotiate the price down. Start by getting multiple bids from licensed contractors in the area and choosing one with great recommendations for work quality.
Hire a cleaning lady – Since you’re no longer living in the house, it’s worth getting it cleaned professionally so that everything will look tip top when buyers walk through.
Stage the house – It will cost you a few hundred dollars to get your property staged nicely, but it makes a huge difference in how quickly the house sells. That’s because it helps potential buyers imagine themselves living in the house before they buy it. It’s kinda hard to do that with an empty box.
The closing process
A purchase and sale agreement can be signed directly by the seller and the buyer through email with an app like docusign. Then a title company (usually a title company that is local to the property) will open an escrow account and start the closing process.
As for the closing documents, your title company should allow for a mobile notary. They will mail all the paperwork to the notary who will meet you somewhere to sign all the documents needed. The notary will then send it back to the title company and they will move forward with recording.
All of this can be done in the comfort of your own home.
That it folks. Pretty simple stuff. It all comes down to being prepared to work with people over the phone. Make sure someone watches over the property and you’re on your way to selling your house out of state.