Can You Sell Your House Before Paying Off The Mortgage – Written by Jean Lee Written by Jean Le Arrow Contributing author Jean Lee writes about mortgages, personal finances, and wants to find ways to reduce their costs. Jane Lee
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Can You Sell Your House Before Paying Off The Mortgage
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How To Sell Your House Before Paying Off Your Loan
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Most home sellers dream of a stress-free sale where they simply list the home, quickly find a qualified buyer, collect the money and hand over the keys. I wish it was easy! Of course, selling a home has many moving parts—some you can control, and some that are out of your control.
For example, geography can affect how long your home will last on the market or what your listing price will be. In places where competition is fierce and inventory is scarce, chances are you’ll sell quickly and get a high price. On the other hand, in areas where local sales are slow, you can work harder to attract the right buyer.
The real estate market has changed dramatically since the crisis. Today, high prices combine with high interest rates to create serious challenges: the median home price is around $400,000, and mortgage rates have recently risen to 22 years. It is not surprising, most buyers have little choice but to sit on the sidelines until prices or values (or both) fall.
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Therefore, as a seller, it is wise to be prepared and manage all the possibilities. Things like hiring a good agent and improving your home’s online appeal can translate to an easier sale—and more money in the bank. Here’s a nine-step guide to successfully selling your home.
Selling a home is a big process that can take months from start to finish – or longer, depending on the state of the home market. So it means planning ahead and planning.
As soon as you have decided to sell your home, start researching real estate agents right away to find someone who has the right experience for your situation (see step 2). But don’t stop there.
At least two to three months before you plan to list, consider a pre-sale home inspection. This is not necessary but it can be helpful to identify any problem areas, especially if you suspect serious problems. Allow enough time to plan the necessary repairs.
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About a month before your home is listed, start a deep clean in preparation for listing photos. Keep it simple, and consider moving the addition to the storage unit to show your home in its best light.
The Internet makes it easy to tap into a professional real estate agent, helping you choose the right person to work with. Check out the agents’ online profiles to find out how long they’ve been in the business, how many sales they’ve closed and what titles they’ve earned. Pay attention to how and where they advertise their listings, and how professional their listing photos look.
“Any name they get is a big plus, because it’s a sign that they’re learning about a particular area,” said George Guerra, president and CEO of Real Estate Sales Force and a former international affiliate. Association of Ranchers (NAR).
Some homeowners may be interested in saving on commission fees and selling the home themselves, without an agent. This is called “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO. The seller’s deposit on this fee can be substantial, typically 2.5 or 3 percent of the total sales price. On the sale of a $400,000 home, for example, 3 percent adds up to $12,000.
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However, remember that as a seller you still have to pay a commission to your seller’s agent – and the agent will do more to get their money. For example, they can expose your home to a wider audience and negotiate on your behalf to get better offers. If you leave it alone, you have to prepare your house yourself, advertise it, check the client’s offers and manage all the negotiations and closing details. When working with an agent, remember that real estate commissions are often negotiable. As a result, you can get a break in the closing table.
Before spending money on an expensive upgrade, make sure the changes you’re making have a high return on investment. It does not make sense to install new granite appliances, for example, if you stop only to break them, or even lose money. Additionally, these improvements may not necessarily sell your home for top dollar, especially if investment costs in your area are low (which they are in many areas today). A good real estate agent knows what home buyers expect and can help you decide what to do and what not to do.
In general, kitchen and bathroom renovations offer the highest return on investment. But inexpensive DIY projects can go a long way, too: A fresh coat of neutral paint and white landscaping are inexpensive ways to make a good first impression.
There is also an option to get a home inspection before the sale. It is not necessary, but it can be a wise investment in the future, especially in an older home. For a few hundred dollars, you can get a detailed inspection report that will show any major problems. This gives you early warning of potential issues that customers may have when they check out later in the process. Being a few steps ahead
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