Buying or selling a home from another state is often stressful and complex, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. Furthermore, as an out-of-state seller or buyer, you’re subject to potential challenges with certain issues such as:
- Checking several offers
- Dealing with the legalities of home selling and buying
- Managing showings
All of which becomes more difficult when you have to handle it from another state.
That’s why home buyers struggle under this scenario because they lack key knowledge such as what the best neighborhoods and areas are, estate and local laws, recommendations on local contractors, and more.
In this guide, we navigate the different aspects of home selling and buying from out of state so you can get the job done much faster, minimize stress, and get a good price for your house.
Go To The House to Inspect It
You may be dealing with a house that’s out of state, but it’s a good idea to visit it for a few days. This way, you can decide what upgrades you need to implement to boost the house’s value fast and determine what repairs might be a good idea.
Perhaps you’ve inherited a house that is located out of state, maybe from a parent. Visiting the house will allow you the opportunity to remove anything that might be of special value to you.
Take this chance to improve all the house features because this will help you sell your house faster. The most valuable home improvements are the following:
- Kitchen renovation
- Bathroom renovation
- Add a stone veneer to the front of the house.
- Replace the garage door
- Add a wood deck
Once the visit is over, you should consider hiring a realtor to take care of the house and manage the contractors. This way, you can receive alerts regarding any issues that come up as they work.
All the repairs, upgrades, and maintenance you make to your house can typically help you get a better deal and sell it faster, making the job much easier and stress-free.
Have An Open House
An open house will bring your property enough exposure to potential buyers or realtors who can help you find a great deal for your home sale. This exposure will work even better if you’ve fixed and upgraded your house’s most important features.
Open houses tend to receive more immediate offers since they can feel like a public auction. They can ignite scarcity feelings in potential buyers, especially if the house receives plenty of visitors, making it an excellent option when trying to sell your property.
Having an open house will reduce the stress of traveling out of state to meet potential buyers. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, 45% of buyers used open houses as an important source of information when searching for houses to buy.
Even if you don’t receive an offer the same day, it will increase the number of showings because real estate agents will bring their clients to see the home afterward if they believe it’s a great deal.
Determine Who You Are Marketing To
When trying to sell a home, you need to identify your ideal customer and direct your marketing towards it. For example, if you’re selling a family home in a school district, then point your marketing towards families with children. If you know your way around online marketing, you can do this easily with tools such as Facebook Ads. Otherwise, find a realtor in the area who has connections to that target market.
When describing your home on listings, make sure to speak in the same language as your target customers. Highlight the benefits of buying your home and tell a story. This way, you will connect more deeply and help sell a house faster.
If you decide to hire a realtor, make sure that they understand this key concept because it will get the job done faster and with better results.
Consult With A Tax Specialist
Taxes are complex, but they are a must. In this case, you should call a tax specialist in your state. This way, you’ll receive professional assistance regarding taxes across state lines to avoid potential issues with the IRS once you sell your home. You’ll know exactly how much you need to pay.
If you inherited the house, you might need to pay an estate tax on the property. A tax specialist will make the process smoother.
Furthermore, a tax specialist will help you have all the paperwork ready and together to handle the sale process on time and with no interruptions.
Set The List Price Based on Your Goals
First, you need to define your goals when you want to sell your house. You may fall into one of the following groups:
1: You’re looking to selling your home at the highest price. You’re fine with waiting months or years and even re-listing it for different prices based on the market demand. You’re comfortable investing in it to raise its market value.
2: You need to sell your home fast. You’re willing to negotiate the sale price, and you’re more aggressive with your marketing and sales tactics. This is the most common scenario amongst out-of-state sellers. After all, you’re already moving or want to sell your vacant house because you don’t plan to use it.
Use this information to talk to your realtor because this will get the job done faster since your realtor will be able to explore the right options to sell your home in record time.
As an additional tip, you need a realtor who can negotiate. When looking to sell a house fast, you may need to negotiate. Since you won’t be present, you need a realtor who knows how to do it to seal the deal quickly.
Selling Your House To A Cash Buyer
The fastest way to sell a house out of state is to contact a cash buyer. For example, based in New Orleans, Move On Cash Home Buyers is a company that makes all-cash offers to homeowners. Also, they cover all the closing fees except for liens and property taxes. They pay the fees right off the bat.
You can also forget about dealing with and paying hefty commissions to realtors. When you receive a cash offer from Move On, you can sell it without paying fees. Furthermore, you can also forget about other aspects of a common home sale, such as upgrades, repairs, and maintenance, since Move On will buy your house as-is.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
When looking for someone to buy your home, you need a professional who knows the market, and that’s a real estate agent. That’s why 93% of home sales on the market involve a realtor. It’s an efficient way to move things quickly since you don’t have to think about moving to the state to sell the home as the agent will do it for you.
On top of getting the best offer for your property, the realtor will handle all the stressful aspects of selling a home out of state, such as visits and negotiating.
However, not all realtors are good, and that’s why you should consider the following when hiring one:
- Search for the top-ranked realtors in your area/city
- Gather as many reviews and feedback as possible
- Interview 3-5 different real estate agents
- Ask for references and check their record, especially if they have helped clients like you.
This is a simple yet effective screening process. Once you have shortlisted your realtors, you may want to choose the realtor who has made the highest number of sales in the last few years as that may indicate that they are highly efficient. He or she can give you direct advice on how to increase the value of the home, what contractors to hire, how to protect the house, and more.
The costs of hiring a real estate agent of this type are likely to be higher, but it’s worth it. You’ll have a professional who will communicate with you frequently and who will sell your home as quickly as possible.
On top of that, you won’t have to worry about visits, negotiations, legalities, the logistics of having someone moving in, and other stressful aspects of a sale out of state.
How To Hire A Realtor For Your Out of State Home Sale
Now that you know why it’s important to hire a real estate agent when selling a house from another state, it’s time to find the right professional for this new job. Here are some tips to get things moving as soon as possible.
1. Locate Potential Agents
A great way to find a real estate agent out of state is to ask for referrals from clients who have recently hired an agent and were satisfied with the results. Shortlist realtors using this method and supplement it with additions from the Local Realtor Association and independent websites from agents.
Another tip is to ask mortgage loan officers and people involved in real estate to point you towards a great real estate agent. This way, you’ll get a responsible and effective professional in charge of selling your vacant house.
2. Interview The Potential Real Estate Agents
Once you have a solid list of agents, interview them. You may want to focus your questions on the following areas:
- Experience selling houses out of state
- Work history and recent sales
- Fees and compensation
- Testimonials and reviews that vouch for their work effectiveness
This way, you’ll get a competent agent to handle your home sale so that you can get an excellent offer the quick and easy way.
Furthermore, we recommend you ask the following questions depending on your property:
- Have you ever worked with out-of-state sellers?
- What value or services can you bring to help me when I’m from out of state?
- How can you help me maximize the value of my timeline?
It’s critical to select an agent with plenty of experience working with clients like you who are selling a house out of state. Aspects such as communication and coordination become more challenging, so you need someone who has been there and done it.
3. Read The Listing Agreement Carefully
Realtors also come with terms and conditions and often ask you to sign a listing agreement. This document will let you know how the realtors work and key information such as:
- Fees and commissions for selling your home
- The length of the contract to sell your house
- Exclusive rights of the realtor to sell your house
- What services will be included
Make sure to compare different realtors to find the best commission percentage. While this isn’t the only factor determining whether you should choose a certain realtor, having a lower percentage means you can keep more money from the sale.
4. Negotiate With The Agent
In case you really like an agent, but the commission percentage puts you off, don’t be afraid to negotiate. You can negotiate on the commission and extra costs such as marketing fees to work out a fair deal for everyone.
5. Sign The Agreement
When selling a house out of state, it’s important to sign an agreement. This way, your agent will be assured that you’re exclusively working with them. This will also bring you peace of mind knowing that the real estate agent is actively working on getting someone to buy your house.
8 Things An Agent Can Do If You’re Out of State
Now that you’ve chosen a real estate agent to sell your home out of state, here are the 8 most important services that an agent will do for you.
1. Secure The Property
The agent will secure the property to protect it from intruders. From hiring a locksmith to rekey the property to suggesting a security system, the agent will likely bring you different solutions to protect your house.
Furthermore, the agent might also implement two lockboxes to track who enters the property. One lockbox may be used for showings, while the other lockbox is for contractors or the owner.
2. Document the Property’s Condition
The agent will also document your property’s condition to show you the progress, which is especially important if you’re upgrading and repairing it. The agent will typically take photos of the following areas:
- House front
In case the condition of the property is not optimal, they will suggest repairs and upgrades you can implement to improve the house’s appeal and value.
3. Make It Easy to Hire the Best Contractors
Agents are a great way to find the right contractors because they’ve worked with many of them before. Your agent will help you find a contractor who can repair or upgrade your property at the right price and within the desired timeframe.
Furthermore, since he or she can give you several options to choose from, you can compare prices and choose the contractor that better adjusts to your budget.
4. Keep Tabs on The Property
On top of securing the vacant property, an agent will also protect it from illegal squatters, break-ins, and vandalism. Your agent will regularly check the house, which is even more important since you live out of state.
The agent will also take care of supervising the house maintenance needs to keep it in optimal condition for any potential buyer that wants to view the house.
5. Price the Property to Sell it in Record Time
The agent will also help you determine the best price for your house based on the demand of the market and your property’s base value.
6. Manage Marketing to Speed Up the Process
Marketing is essential to selling a house, and you need a realtor who knows how to target the ideal customer for your house. They may implement strategies such as:
- Copywriting to speak to your potential buyers in their language
- Online listings
- Place ads on local newspapers
- Paid traffic (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc.)
- Organic social media advertising on Facebook Groups
- Forum advertisements
- Open house
- Virtual tours
This is all they need to do to sell a house in record time and get it in front of the right people who are more likely to buy your property.
A proper agent will make these online and offline strategies work together to bring your property as much exposure as possible.
7. Inform You Of Property Taxes
If you have no idea what taxes you’ll have to pay when it’s time to sell your home, then your agent can provide you an overview of the costs and make it easy for you to understand your obligations. The agent will let you know how much you have to pay, and when you have to do it.
Nonetheless, if you want a precise answer on the exact costs and property taxes you have to pay, you may want to consult with a tax specialist.
8. Navigate Closing the Deal
The agent will walk you through closing the deal, including choosing the right title company or notary in the area.
Selling a House From Out of State: What’s The Easy and Fast Way?
Selling a house out of state is difficult, but hiring a real estate agent will make it much easier since he or she will take care of getting clients, handling repairs/upgrades, keep the house in optimal conditions, legalities, and other key services. The agent will also help arrange the logistics with the buyer when they want to move in.
The downside of real estate agents is that they represent additional costs such as the commission percentage, marketing fees, and closing fees. You often have to invest in the property to make it more valuable, which will make the costs go up.
That’s why it’s a good alternative to consider a cash buyer like Move On Cash Home Buyers who can make a cash offer to buy your house, making the process smoother. You don’t have to invest in repairs or upgrades, and you can forget about a real estate agent’s costs.
If you really want to sell your house in record time, consider Move On as one of the quickest ways to make the sale happen.
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