Maribeth Marzeotti's Blog
After a significant storm or catastrophic event, you may determine that moving to a different climate is right for your household. The question becomes, do you repair all the damage to your home before you sell it, or do you offer it “as is” so that the buyer takes on that cost. Sometimes, if you take care of the damage problem quickly, you’re only left with minor repairs. Often, though, it can seem like the entire house needs fixing.
To figure out which is right for your situation, review these pros and cons of each choice.
Making Repairs vs. Selling "As-Is"
- Repairing water damaged areas will net you more if you have the resources and the time to make the repairs before you sell. You can ask a higher price when you sell. But often, this process involves waiting for insurance money, hiring contractors, completing repairs and having the adjuster inspect the work. Meanwhile, you must find a place to live while they fix the water-damaged areas. That means spending a lot for out-of-pocket expenses.
- Additionally, you’ll need to put extra effort into making sure that buyers feel comfortable and confident in the house’s repairs, which means hiring professional inspectors, documenting mold mitigation and repairing even minor damages. All this might not be worth the investment.
- When you don’t have the time or money to fix the repairs, you can sell your house “as-is," water damaged and all. You won’t get as much money for the property, but you can get out of it and into a new home sooner. In many instances, your knowledgeable agent can market to investors that willingly give you a cash sale offer. The best part about it is you won’t have to do anything. All the money you would have spent on repairs, contractors and professional inspectors can stay in your pocket or go toward your new home.
Selling to an Investor
Selling a water-damaged house to an investor is one of the best options. An investor will pay cash for your property without requiring you to fix anything. Here are the best practices to make it a great sale:
- Do not hide the water damage! Whatever you do, don’t try to hide that your home experienced flooding.
- Legally, whether selling "as is" to an investor or an interested buyer, disclosing water damage is a requirement; this is because water damage may introduce harmful chemicals, materials, or pathogens into the home, which can lead to mold growth in the future. Trying to cover up water damage can land you in court. Do yourself a favor. Let any buyer know about past water damage in your home.
How to Sell a Flood-Damaged House
If you have the money from an insurance payout, make the repairs. You can fetch a higher price on the market. But when this investment isn’t worth the cost, it’s often a better choice to sell your water-damaged home to an investor instead. If this sounds like a good possibility for you, ask your real estate professional to market your home to investors so you can resettle your household in a better home.
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Setting up and completing a home inspection may seem like a long, arduous process. However, an inspection is a must-have for any homebuyer, at any time.
With a comprehensive home inspection, you can identify any potential problems with a house. And if you don't like what you find in an inspection report, you can always ask a home seller to complete improvements or reduce his or her asking price. Or, if you prefer, you can walk away from a home sale altogether.
Ultimately, there are several steps that you'll want to follow to conduct a home inspection, and these are:
1. Find an Expert Home Inspector
When it comes to a home purchase, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Fortunately, if you hire an expert home inspector, you can avoid the risk of missing possible issues during a home inspection.
Not all home inspectors are created equal, so you'll want to evaluate all of the options at your disposal.
To kick off your search for a home inspector, browse the web. This will enable you to find dozens of home inspectors in your area and assess online client reviews.
Also, don't hesitate to ask a home inspector for client referrals. If you obtain client referrals, you can better understand whether a home inspector can match or exceed your expectations.
2. Attend Your Home Inspection
Although homebuyers are not required to attend a home inspection, it generally is a good idea to walk with a home inspector as he or she examines your residence. By doing so, you may be able to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report.
A home inspector may notice home problems that range from minor to severe. The inspector's job is to identify a problem and include it in a home inspection report.
If you attend a home inspection, an inspector may be able to provide you information about potential home problems, along with an estimate about how much assorted home repairs may cost. That way, you are better equipped than ever before to determine whether potential home problems could deter you from buying a house.
3. Evaluate the Home Inspection Report
A home inspection report can play a key role in the homebuying process. If you evaluate this report closely, you can learn about a home's strengths and weaknesses and decide whether to proceed with a home purchase.
If you have questions regarding a home inspection report, you can always follow-up with the inspector that provided the assessment. This will allow you to obtain the insights that you need to make an informed homebuying decision.
Lastly, it certainly helps to collaborate with a real estate agent before, during and after a home inspection. A real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying process and ensure that you can get the best possible results.
Follow the aforementioned steps, and you should have no trouble conducting a home inspection.
If you’re searching for a home and are looking for a deal, you may turn to homes that are listed as “For Sale By Owner.” These homes tend to be a great deal for the sellers, but not necessarily the buyer. This makes it all the more important that you hire a buyer’s agent for yourself. Your agent can check a bit of the work that the owner is doing without hiring a real estate agent for himself. When buying a for sale by owner property you’ll want to do all of the same things that you would do if you were buying a property that was for sale through a realtor including:
- Check the asking price through comps
- Get a property inspection
- Make an offer and complete contract negotiations
- Check how long the home has been on the market
Just because a home is for sale by an owner, there’s no need to give up on the normal procedures that one goes through in buying a home. You have the right to have a buyer’s agent represent you in the transaction. Beware though as some for sale by owners are not willing to pay commission to any agents including buyers‘ agents. Be sure that the contracts are clear in this area so that you don’t fall in love with a home only to find out that you can’t use your agent in the transaction.
Other Points To Consider In A For Sale By Owner Transaction
You may need to hire an attorney, especially for an estate sale or short sale.
You still need a home inspection and have the right to back out of the sale if something isn’t satisfactory about the home. The home inspection is important because it can reveal serious problems with a home such as high levels of radon, issues with the furnace, or a possible plumbing disaster waiting to happen.
You may want a C.L.U.E. Report
This type of report tells you what kind, if any, insurance claims have been made on the property in the past 5 years. The report will detail the date of the claim, the cause (if a natural disaster) and the amount that was paid to fix the damage.
You should still get pre-approved
Getting pre-approved before buying a home is just something that should be automatic for buyers. It really lets the seller know that you’re serious about purchasing a property.
Buying a for sale by owner home is the same as purchasing any other property. You’ll just need to be an informed buyer through the process in order to make sure you’re doing what’s right for you.