“I can’t sell my house in Houston Texas, because…” If you’ve found yourself saying this about your house here in Houston, then we have a few suggestions here for you in this short article. Maybe you’ve been trying to sell your Hosuton house for a while now and haven’t received any offers – or the offers you have gotten were far lower than you expected to get. No need to panic! You still have a few options at your disposal to help you sell your house for a fair price.
You’ve probably already tried the first one at least once: Lowering the asking price.
Everybody wants to sell their house for more than they paid for it but if housing prices in your area are flat, the neighborhood isn’t appreciating as fast as other parts of Houston, or your home has some sort of structural or locational problem – maybe it flooded or it needs foundation work, then you may have to reduce your asking price.
What are my options if I can’t sell my house in Houston?
Here are five other things you can try when you can’t sell your house in Houston:
1) Take It Off the Market
You may be trying to sell your home at a bad time, such was when there are a lot of other houses just like yours on the market, during the winter months, or during the holidays.
If this is the case, you might be best served by taking your home off the market for a few weeks at least, or for a few months – if you can afford to keep paying the mortgage – and wait until market conditions improve.
2) Renovate and Update
“I can’t sell my house in Houston because it just needs work!” Then do what you need to do and fix it up!
No house is perfect, after it has been lived in for a few years, and sometimes the effects of deferred maintenance can be a little more noticeable than we might care to admit. Address the obvious areas that might be dated or lacking. If you are trying to sell the house at the high end of what other houses in the neighborhood are selling for, then you need to make sure the house has finishes and features that match those that sold at those price points.
Now with that said, be sure to not over-renovate it. This isn’t one of the real estate TV shows where everybody swings sledge hammers and removes walls to open up space. Think about what you would be looking for if you were in the market to move in – probably kitchen and bath upgrades are most important, but flooring and fresh paint go a long way as well. Make sure you go for neutral color schemes and be sure you aren’t mixing in too much of your own personal preferences. You are trying to make the house appeal to the widest possible segment of the potential buyer pool.
This probably also goes without saying, but don’t skip on the major repairs either – you want a solid foundation, a good roof and your HVAC system should be fairly new, or at least not obviously old and depreciated. If you have an older house, you might need to change out some plumbing and/or an electrical panel. Sure, this isn’t going to be inexpensive, but these are exactly the kinds of items that will hold up financing for a buyer – even if your buyer is willing to look past them.
All of this will require some investment. If don’t have the cash readily available, you might need to get some short term financing. If you have built a lot of equity in your home, you may want to take out a home equity loan — and then reinvest that into making some improvements or updates to the property. Just be careful, establish a realistic budget and try hard to not overextend yourself financially.
3) Rent Out Your House
“I can’t sell my house in Houston because it is too small/too dated/too something, or it isn’t in a great school district!” Then consider renting it, at least for the time being.
If you can’t sell your house for whatever reason, and these reasons aren’t shortcomings that can be easily overcome, then it might make sense to hold on to the house for the short term or perhaps even longer.
If you can rent the house out without doing major renovations, and you don’t want to hold two mortgages (your old home and your new home) then one option may be to rent out your house. If the rental rates will cover the price of your monthly mortgage payment, plus taxes and insurance, along with some allowance for upkeep, then you are generating cash flow. You still get the benefit of tax benefits (depreciation) and your house will continue to appreciate in value over time. All the while your renters gradually pay down the mortgage on the this first house for you.
When you have enough equity you can update it as needed, and get it ready to sell at a good fair market price, or you might decide you just prefer to hang on to this income producing gem!
4) Consider a Short Sale
“I can’t sell my house in Houston because I owe too much!” This can happen if you purchased your home within the past few years and currently owe more than the home is worth (called being upside down).
In some instances, you can negotiate with your lender to accept less than what you owe on your mortgage. If it looks like the other option is foreclosure, your lender probably will accept a short sale.
To do this, you’ll need to have a buyer on board who can close quickly. Fortunately, we can! Give us a call today at 281-947-5545 for a no-hassle offer on your house.
Keep in mind, however, that short sales can affect your credit. Redeeming a pre-foreclosure on your credit history might disqualify you from getting another mortgage, at least for a little while.
5) Offer a Seller Finance Option
“I can’t sell my house in Houston because I need to get my selling price!” Then skip the bank, and sell the house on terms in order to get a higher price.
In Houston this practice is far more common than you might think. Here is what it looks like:
- Sellers get a very significant down payment from a perspective buyer – at least 10% but often quite a bit more – and offer payment terms.
- There are a lot of local buyers – with plenty of cash – that for one reason or another will simply not qualify for a traditional mortgage through a bank or another lender.
- Instead of a bank making this determination, you qualify the buyers yourself (we do recommend the services of a local Residential Mortgage Loan Originator service to assist you in this process).
- You can charge a higher interest rate and/or a higher selling price, because these buyers are comparing your offer as an alternative to renting.
As a seller you are providing a viable path to home ownership to an individual or a family that might not otherwise manage to achieve that.
The house is still your collateral. So if your buyer isn’t able to make their mortgage payments to you, then you are able to initiate foreclosure proceedings to recover your property – no different than any bank would do.
One of the advantages here is that you have sold the house, so the requirement of paying the taxes, insurance and taking care of the upkeep and maintenance now goes over to your buyer. You won’t have to invest nearly as much in terms of renovations, either. You can let your buyer step in and do more of the improvements and upgrades.
The disadvantages here, if you compare and contrast with renting, is that you no longer get the appreciation and depreciation on the house. That is, you no longer own the house so the tax benefits (depreciation) now pass to the new owner, your buyer. And the same thing is true with the market value of the property – the value appreciation belongs to your buyer.
I Can’t Sell My House in Houston Texas!
If you are interested in learning more about alternative options for selling your home in Houston Texas, call us at 281-947-5545 or fill out the form on this page to get more information sent to you right away.