When to List Your Home and When to Sell to an Investor – Part 2

(December 6, 2013)

In Part 1 of this article, we covered the situations when selling your home with a real estate agent may be the best option. But what if, after reading the first article, you realized it wasn’t your best option? Whether it be a situation of necessity (needing to sell fast) or convenience (no open houses, sell in 10 days, etc), your better option might be to sell to an investor.

When Should You Consider Selling to an Investor?

Working with an investor is much different from selling through an agent. What’s the main difference? You’re skipping the middle-man and going straight to the buyer. It is faster and simpler, and you do not have the hassle of getting your home ready for showing after showing. In fact, there are quite a few benefits to selling to an investor, as you will see.

1. When You Can’t (or don’t want to) Do the Upgrades

Your home may be a bit outdated or may be in serious need of repairs. Many homeowners can’t afford to take care of upgrades that most homes on the market have. Many don’t have the time. And most homeowners don’t want to deal with the stress of remodeling their home. When you sell to an investor, you don’t have to lift a finger. Investors buy as-is, so no repairs are necessary on your part. In fact, I personally let sellers leave behind any unwanted items, and I mean any. I’ve even had rusty cars without tires left behind.

2. When The Market Slows Down

When the market slows down, buying tends to slow down making selling will be difficult. Homes sit on the market and price reductions are often necessary. There are many factors as to why this happens, but that would take a whole series of articles in itself. We know it’s true though; we all saw this just a couple of years ago. In times such as those, the prices on homes dip dramatically. When you consider that it also takes longer to sell, and the fees associated with selling through an agent, you will realize that selling to an investor is a better choice.

3. When You Need to Sell Fast

If you need to sell fast, working with an investor is the way to go. They purchase with hard money loans or with cash, and they can close escrow in a matter of days. There are generally no appraisal contingencies and loan underwriting hoops to jump through. Also, there is no waiting around for a buyer, you’ve already found one.

4. When you Desire More Privacy

When you are selling through an agent, you will constantly have people walking through your house. While there are generally no issues that arise, having strangers in your property does up the risk for theft. We’ve had items stolen from open houses many times. Luckily, they were nothing major, but it’s still very unsettling. If this a major turn off to you, you should talk to an investor about selling.

Either Way, Do Your Research

No matter what route you choose, you need to do your research. Interview both agents and investors, to get an idea of what both bring to the table. Look online for their ratings and for reviews, and only work with the best. In addition, you should ask for seller net sheets. These will give you an idea of what you will make on the home when you sell to an investor vs. selling with an agent. Often, when you factor in the costs of selling with an agent (don’t forget sellers pay for both realtor commissions), the amount you net is often very similar as when selling to an investor, minus the stress.

Cardboard house

Jennifer Shenbaum

Written by Jennifer Shenbaum

Jennifer Shenbaum is a real estate investor based in Southern California. She is a veteran of the housing market crash of 2007. Best of all, she offers free remodeling ideas to all who ask.

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