Selling My House and Moving to Another State
There can be a myriad of reasons for moving to a new state.
It can be that your job is taking you somewhere else, or you want a lifestyle upgrade. Or maybe, you're a retiree with a nest that's soon to be empty, so you're considering moving somewhere smaller, preferably with a warmer climate.
In any case, adjusting to a new life in a new city needs careful planning to make sure everything goes along smoothly. And oftentimes, it's not just inevitable, but a necessity, that you sell your house before making the big move.
In this article, we'll walk you through the process of selling a house and moving to a different state, what you can do to make the selling process faster especially if you're operating on a cramped timeline, and most importantly, how you'd manage the sale while getting a new property at the same time.
Reasons to Sell Your Current House Before Moving
You Want to Avoid Paying for a Double Mortgage
Ideally, you'd want to use the sale proceeds from selling your home for a down payment on a new house. This way, you avoid the burden of paying for two houses, which can easily get onerous.
Not only will you be paying twice the mortgage, you'll also be paying twice more for holding costs such as property taxes, repairs and maintenance, insurance, and debt servicing fees. This can obliterate you financially.
You Need the Funds for Relocation
Moving costs can easily set you back thousands of dollars since you're transporting your life across state lines, especially with moving pods. On top of that, you'd have to pay the security deposit as well as renter's insurance.
If you're moving because of a new job or a job promotion, you can ask your employer for relocation assistance. If not, you'll have no choice but to wait for the sale of your old house to be complete have the funds necessary.
You Don’t Want the Risk of Leaving Your Property Vacant
Leaving your property unoccupied exposes it to the risk of being vandalized or squatted. Sure, you can beef up your security by installing signs and repairing the fence around your perimeter. Maybe throw in an alarm system and motion activated lights to deter would-be trespassers.
Unfortunately, that involves a significant upfront investment. To avoid this, it would be better to sell the property before moving to your new state.
Is It Necessary to Sell Your House before the Move?
Yes, unless you have substantial liquidity, it is necessary to sell your home first before making the big move.
Tips on Selling a House Quickly before Relocating
Arrange for a Home Inspection
A professional inspector will look at every corner of your house and be able to tell you whatever issues it might have. You could then decide whether to proceed with the repairs yourself or pass them on to the buyer, accepting a hit on your asking price in the process.
On the other hand, if the inspector finds next to no issues with your house, you can use it as a great marketing tool, since you essentially have a clean bill of health for your property. This gives you and your buyer the peace of mind in the transaction.
Price Your Home Competitively
You want to price your home just right so that you don't miss out on profits or be forced to accept a lowball offer. You can go about this in three ways:
- comparative market analysis where you look at comps, or recently sold properties with similar features such as yours to establish a benchmark;
- appraisal wherein a professional gives an estimate of your home's market value after looking at different factors such as the location, your home's condition, your home's amenities, and comparable properties;
- online valuation tools where you feed data about your house and in turn it would provide you with an estimate--usually free.
Your house will be easier to stage if you throw out all accumulated junk and pack all personal items in boxes. Stow them temporarily in the garage so during showings, prospective buyers can appreciate a blank canvas and easily imagine themselves as the new owner.
Post Your Property Online
For a majority of buyers, the first step in their quest for their dream home usually starts online.
Consider having your house professionally photographed before posting it online. For a small investment (around $300), you can have this very effective marketing tool. Real estate photographers have the equipment and the know-how to make your house stand out among the competition, resulting in better offers. You could also bundle a video tour of your property, so you can have a virtual open house 24/7!
If the budget is tight, fret not, you can always DIY!
Look up some staging ideas and angles from Pinterest or interior design magazines, throw open your windows to let in as much natural light as possible, add some accents here and there such as a vase full of flowers in one room, artfully stacked magazines in another--and voila! You got yourself some gorgeous photos!
Don't forget to couple it with an attractive caption before posting it in all your socials.
Consider Selling Your Home as Is
When you sell a house as is, this means you don't have to do anything to the property. No inspections, no appraisals, no need to guarantee that everything is in working condition. However, you still need to meet federal disclosure requirements, such as the presence of lead paint. Understandably, most buyers would be wary of this listing, so you'd be better off selling it off market to a 'we buy houses' company or a cash buyer.
Nevertheless, this would significantly cut the time it would usually take you to sell your house, and time saved is also money saved, so you still come out on top.
Selling Options for Your Current Property
The option you ultimately decide to go with when selling your home depends on what you want to get from the sale.
You Want to Sell for Top Dollar: Work With Real Estate Agents
If your top priority is to sell your home for as much money as possible, you'd need to be able to attract as many prospective buyers as you can. And who would have the kind of network and the marketing savvy to accomplish that?
A real estate agent, of course.
You can ask around for referrals from your friends or do some research to make sure you're getting the right agent. Once you get one, they'll be in charge of the whole process from stagings, showings, negotiations, down to the closing. They'll be the one to deal with title companies and escrow agents, as well as all the paperwork involved. All you have to do is to evaluate the offers and take it if it's to your satisfaction.
The downside of having a real estate agent involved is the significant commission that you have to pay. It can amount to6% of the selling price, split between your buyer's real estate agent and your listing agent. For a $200,000 home, that's an easy $12,000 off your profits--quite a significant dent!
You Want to Sell Fast: Work With Real Estate Investors
Investors such as 'we buy houses' companies, house flippers, and real estate wholesalers are mostly cash buyers, which means they have the liquidity available to offer you not only a quick sale and flexible closing dates. Additionally, you don't have to bother with inspections, appraisals, or repairs before the sale. You can just sell everything as is, where is. Even if your property has title problems or existing liens against it, they'd be glad to take it off your hands and give you cash in exchange.
While all of these may sound convenient, it has a price.
Real estate investors are focused on maximizing their investments, which means they need to have a healthy margin before they'd consider a property to be worth their while. Usually, their maximum cash offer would be up to 70% of your home's After Repair Value (ARV) net of repair costs.
To illustrate, say your house has an ARV of $225,000 with repair costs amounting to $25,000. Their offer would only be up to $140,000. Although you'd be selling at a discount, the ease and the speed of the real estate transaction makes it worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions: Selling Your Current House When Moving to Another State
What Are Your Options When You’re Unable to Sell Your Property but You Need the Cash?
Let's face it, when you sell a house, you still need luck to some degree.
You can have the best looking house at an excellent price point in a great location, but the tides of the market are not in your favor. However, you need the cash to be able to afford your new residence in the city you're moving into. Well, you can consider getting a bridge loan or borrowing against your home equity.
This is a type of loan that bridges the gap between selling your current house and financing a new one. The proceeds from this loan can be used as a down payment for the new property, or as a lifeline to financially mitigate the impact of having to pay two mortgages at once.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
As long as you're consistently making your mortgage payments, you're continually building your equity. The longer you have been paying for your home, the larger your equity, as it is simply the difference between your home's market value and how much you still owe. You can unlock some of that wealth tied up in your current home through a HELOC so you can fund your move.
Unlike a normal loan where you get a lump sum, in a HELOC what you get is a line of credit, where you take money out as needed. The good thing about this is it usually has a lower interest rate.
Do You Need a Real Estate Agent When Selling Out of State Property?
Trying to sell a house when you're not around for open houses can be a real challenge.
For a long distance sale to be successful, you're going to need the following professionals on your side:
- A trustworthy real estate agent to handle the sale on your behalf. There are agents who offer concierge services
- A dependable construction crew to handle all the necessary renovations and upgrades that can increase your home's market value and help it sell faster.
- A landscaper who can transform your front lawn and your yard to boost curb appeal which in turn, could attract more buyers with great offers.
- A real estate attorney to have all your bases covered so that the legal process of selling your home would chug along smoothly.
- An accountant to make sure all the correct taxes are filed and paid so you won't get in trouble with IRS down the line.
As you can see, trying to sell a house when you have already moved adds additional layers into the transaction. What's more, with more people involved in the process, more people need to get paid.
Bottom line? You walk away with less money from the sale.
Therefore, it is still much better to find the right buyer and sell your current home before you relocate.
What Are the Alternatives to Selling Your Existing Home When Relocating?
Turn It Into an Investment Property
How fast you get your current home sold depends on the local market conditions. If the market isn't cooperating and your listing has expired, it makes sense to turn it into a rental property so you'd have cash flow in the meantime.
While being a landlord can be a job in itself and involves a significant learning curve, you shouldn't worry about running the affairs of your rental from a different state. Take a leaf from a long distance investor's playbook: for a price, typically around 10% of the monthly rent, you can easily hire a property manager to look after it. They'd be in charge of marketing your rental and finding tenants, as well as taking care of any issues that may come while it is being leased out.
When computing how much rent to charge, don't forget to factor in the carrying costs so you don't just break even, or worse, lose money while renting it out.
Turn It into a Vacation Home
Another alternative is to just take it out of the market and simply keep it as a vacation home. This way, you're not pressured to settle at the closing table for less than what you deem is a fair price, and you get the full benefits of property appreciation if you sell your home in the future.
A family member can look at it from time to time so you get ahead of problems before they even start. For example, if there is a roof leak, it can be repaired quickly before it spirals out of control.
Do note that this alternative would only be sensible if you can afford the additional costs of having two properties, so you have to evaluate your finances carefully.
Things to Consider in Selling a House Prior to Relocating
Preparing your house before selling, and at the same time preparing for a big life change such as moving to another state can be too much on your plate.
You'd very much prefer to sell as is but still get fair cash offers for your home.
You also want a flexible closing date so it's one less thing to worry about.
You'd also like to sell now, so you won't have to deal with the hassles of a long distance sale.
You wonder if there's a buyer who can accommodate these requirements.
Key Takeaways: Selling Your Home and Moving Out of State
Well, it turns out there is, and you need not look further!
Here at House Buyer Network, we buy houses as is--in absolutely any condition! This means, you get a speedy sale, and you get rid of the stress and headaches associated with a complicated selling process!
Need to complete the sale in a few weeks or less? Absolutely. You get to choose the closing date and we take care of the closing costs!
Need the money in your bank account after a week? Sure thing, we can figure something out!
And since you're dealing directly with the cash buyer, there's no need to pay those hefty commissions that real estate agents would charge you for, so all the proceeds go straight to your pocket!
To get a quick, no obligation cash offer with a flexible closing date, just fill in our form below with your address, email, and phone number. We'd instantly connect you with a local cash buyer so you sell your home for a fair price--all paid for in cash!
If you'd like to know more about our process, you can call us at (855) 835-2544 for an absolutely free, no obligation consultation! Looking forward to hearing from you!