How to Sell Your Home Quickly in Nashville
Many homeowners need to know how to sell your home quickly in Nashville and in Middle Tennessee. As the real estate market speeds up or slows down, there will always be creative ways to sell a house fast. The strategies we discuss in this article are the Real Estate Agent, FSBO – for sale by owner, and the Direct Buyer. However, most home selling strategies do require money.
Why do most people need to sell their home fast? There are as many reasons as there are homes. Many people want to move into their next dream home, and they need to sell fast before they lose that home to another prospective buyer.
Financial Stress and Illness
Other home sellers may not be as fortunate and are forced to sell quickly because of debt, pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, house needs more repairs than they can manage, or illness has depleted their resources and the house has to be sold. In more than half of the divorces, the spouse who gets the house eventually has to sell because they cannot manage the mortgage on one salary, or the memories are too much.
Inherited Property and Landlords
Some people inherit a property and they just don’t need it, so they sell the home. Landlords get jaded after time and they just want out. So, they sell their rental properties with tenants in place.
Job transfers also cause people to sell their home quickly because they are being relocated and their company is not giving them a relocation package. I have seen some homeowners who are just tired of their home and they want to move.
Bought the Wrong House
Occasionally a homeowner realizes after 6 months or so, the house they just bought really does not meet their needs, or they really don’t like the house after all. They bought the wrong house.
It happens. My wife is a case in point. She loved the downstairs but very quickly realized the upstairs space was not designed well. We sold it and moved to another home.
Real Estate Market Shift – Boomers & Millennials
One of the biggest changes in the Nashville real estate market is the baby boomers. This generation has found themselves as empty nesters. The last thing they want is a big house with lots of yard care. So, they downsize.
The other big change in Nashville demographics is the Millennials, the children of the baby boomers. They want to live as close to downtown as feasibly possible. This has caused some homes to become a little more difficult to sell because young buyers do not want to live out in the suburbs.
Perhaps the homeowners in default of mortgage payments are those who need to sell their homes the fastest. The stress and agony of being behind in payments and knowing the mortgage company is going to pounce on them is a frightening experience. So many of these homeowners really do not see or understand the legal arm of the mortgage industry that is about to unleash on them.
How to sell your home quickly in Nashville can be achieved in several ways. Some of the strategies we will cover will have costs involved and some do not. Some of these costs are actually hidden and may become a real surprise to the homeowner during the sales process.
I want you to know exactly what these costs are and how they affect you by using a real estate agent or selling on your own. I am a Realtor® and what I am going to share with you are some of the strategy’s buyer agents (also known as selling agents) use to get the best deal for their clients at the expense of the homeowner. You will encounter some of these same costs if you try to sell the house by yourself.
The Real Estate Agent
Most homes are sold using a real estate agent. There are pros and cons to this method as there will be with any strategy in selling a home. Using an agent can be expensive and is the most expensive of any of the strategies discussed here.
- Sell quickly
- Provide you with a current home price and price comparisons of nearby houses
- Agents do all the marketing
- Costs are fairly well known
- All the contract and legal work are handled by professionals
- Time frame is 30 to 60 days minimum while 3 to 6 months is not unusual in some areas of town
- Preparation, repairs, and staging are expensive
- Commissions, fees, and closing costs are expensive. It is the cost of doing business
- Sales may fall through and have to start the selling process all over
- Holding or carrying costs is a daily/monthly expense
Let’s go through some of these in a little more depth so you can really see how these processes work and the costs involved. First, not all homes sell quickly even with an agent. Depending on the home’s price, real estate market, location, condition of the home, and the home’s design, the sale of the home may be fast, or it could be slow.
Sale and Closing Timeframe
Even in a good market, most homes take 30 to 60 days to complete the sales and closing processes. It is not uncommon for some houses to take 3 to 6 months or even longer to sell, and that really hurts the homeowner because of the cost to maintain the home.
Repairs, Cleaning, Lawn Care
Whether you are selling your house with an agent or as a For Sale By Owner, you will have to prepare the home before listing it and make repairs. These costs include making all repairs you are aware of, removing clutter, storing unnecessary furniture, books, toys, pictures, and clothes to make the home look open, clean, and inviting. The lawn needs prepping as does the front door and mailbox as these are the first features home buyers see. Their first 5-second impression is based on the entrance and the yard. At this point, they decide if they want to see your house or not.
You will need to decide if you want to spend the $2,000 to $3,000 or more to have your house staged. The agent will suggest this because it is a proven fact that staged homes sell faster and for a higher price.
Buyers Visit Day and Night and Weekends
When your house is on the market with an agent, or you are selling it on your own, good luck there, you will have strangers coming to see your house during the daytime, nights, and weekends. The weekends are also the expected times for Open Houses.
Hassles of Buyer Visits
Are you ready for this? You will need to keep your house clean and tidy at all times. You should be prepared to leave on the sound of a phone call or text because buyers are coming. If you have children and indoor pets, you will need to round them up and out the door, you go.
Costs of Selling a Home
Selling your home is not free. Even if you elect to sell on your own, there are costs, and some of these costs are hidden or just not commonly known. So, you ask why is selling a house so expensive? Read on for a full explanation of all costs needed to sell a home. I am not covering surveying a property because most homes do not require it. However, if you are subdividing a lot, or there is a question about a boundary or easement, surveying is then required and is expensive, starting at about $1,500.
Commissions and Fees
Whether you use an agent or not, you still have many costs. The agents are going to want 5%, 6%, and even 7% commission to be split between the listing agent and the selling agent (buyer’s agent). Most real estate agents have been hammered with additional fees from their brokerages, and some of those are now passed down to the homeowner as transaction fees or broker commissions. These fees vary widely between the brokerages ranging from zero to $150 to $295 to even $400 per transaction.
Lesser known costs (what I call hidden costs) to sellers who may not have sold a home in some time can be expensive. The worse one, and its one I absolutely hate, is when the seller is forced into paying the buyer’s closing costs or the buyer walks. You are selling your home right, and now the buyer with a good offer throws into the offer “seller to pay buyer’s closing costs”. Let’s hope they only want part funding from you. But most do not. Another point, did you know that 40% of the FHA buyers need down payment assistance? Do you know where that assistance is coming from?
Buyers’ closing costs range from 2% to 3.5% of the purchase price, meaning on a $200,000 home, the buyers’ closing costs range from $4,000 to $7,000. Yikes, this is horrible you think, and it is money you lose at closing. Add that, combined with the commission, title expenses, and other fees, you are in for a real thrill! Are you ready? Bottom line, $15,000 to $22,000 you are paying in commissions and buyers’ concessions at closing.
So just what are the buyers’ closing costs? For starters, buyers want you the seller to pay fees to buy down their discount points in exchange for a lower interest rate for their loan. Other loan costs include a processing fee, underwriting fees, appraisal fee, credit report, a new one – flood certification, loan quality cross-check fee, wire fee, and up-front mortgage insurance premium.
But wait, there is more…prorations of city and county property taxes, proration of HOA dues if any, HOA transfer fee (these can get quite pricey), record deed, record trust/deed mortgage, deed tax, mortgage tax, homeowner’s insurance premium, and PMI or MI – private mortgage insurance for buyers who put down less than 20% for down payment.
We are not done yet! Outside of you paying the buyers’ closing costs, there are other selling fees buyer agents like to stick you with. This thing called title search and lender’s title insurance is a must these days, or about $1,250 to $1,300 on a $200,000 home. (Call me, I would love to explain this one to you.) In addition, the bank wants a letter for the policy and so does the buyer, another $50 to $100.
Home Warranty Plan
Oh, the last thing many buyers stick sellers with is a home warranty plan. Ouch, these plans are $500 to $700 or more for one year and cover different components of the house in the event of systems failures like the air conditioner or water heater.
Every homeowner has this. These are the daily costs to keep your house going. You have electricity, water, maybe gas, taxes, insurance, HOA fees, probably a mortgage, and maybe a second mortgage. These costs range from a few hundred to a couple thousand or more each and every month. Add all of this up and you can quickly determine how long you can afford to keep your house on the market. If it takes you 3 or 4 months to sell and close, these expenses reduce your total walkaway cash at the end of the close.
Home Inspectors aka “Deal Breakers”
One expense we have not spoken about is the results of the buyers’ home inspection. Almost every home buyer, if they are smart, will request this. Do you know why? Every home has things needing repair or replacement. Some may be evident, and others lurk in the shadows of the crawl space, behind your walls, or up in the attic. A good home inspector will test all electrical outlets, GFCI outlets, circuit box, water pressure, check plumbing for leaks, foundation, trim and siding, doors and locks, broken seals in windows (No. 1 item in inspection reports), windows and doors operate correctly, and the list goes on and on. I have never, ever seen an inspection report come back with a 100% passing grade! Never!
Oh yes, you have the small things that might cost a few dollars to fix. But it is the big-ticket item that really nails you! These include fungus (possibly mold) growth in the crawl space, termites, asbestos in the popcorn ceiling or air conditioning ductwork, and foundation issues. The big surprise for many people in Nashville, Franklin, and surrounding towns is Radon Gas. As more home inspectors suggest radon gas testing on every home, the numbers are growing. Currently, about 1 in 6 Middle Tennessee homes are found with dangerous levels of radon gas!!!
What this means to you as the homeowner is this. Termites have to be treated and compromised wood replaced, $400 and up. Fungus and mold remediation starts at about $400 and climbs. Asbestos is in the thousands. Radon gas is an odorless, invisible gas emitted from our rocky land that can cause lung cancer. To pass the 48-hour radon test, levels in the home must be less than 4.0 pCi/l, picocuries per liter of air. The EPA recommends remediation on levels of 2.0 to 4.0 pCi/l. Levels above 4.0 must be reduced with radon gas remediation equipment that ranges in price from about $1,500 to $3,000. This equipment is a permanent install on the home. The higher the gas reading the higher the chances of health risk. On occasion, readings of 20.0 to 40.0 pCi/l are found in Nashville homes and surrounding towns!
Craigslist and Facebook
How to sell your house fast might include advertising on Craigslist and Facebook. If your home is priced right and you don’t mind all the strangers coming to your home, Craigslist and Facebook might be an option. It is a low-cost way of selling a home and very popular among For Sale By Owners or FSBOs.
Keep in mind, you are truly on your own. You will need to have all legal documents ready and you must understand those documents. After all, they are legal forms. Additionally, you need a system to vet the callers before letting total strangers into your house. This is a benefit real estate agents have because they screen buyers when they meet them.
You still need to do all repairs before listing it on Craigslist and make other repairs from homebuyers’ inspections. One big question you will need to answer before listing as an FSBO, are you willing to pay the agent who brings a buyer their commission? If you are not, you are dismissing a huge segment of the buyers. Even without an agent, you may still have to pay the buyers’ closing costs and home warranty plans. Another business you will need to partner with is a title company or an attorney. There is no way around this, and their fees range from $350 to $500 to do the closing.
The downside of using Craigslist is that it may not be a fast process. I see houses on my daily Craigslist auto searches that have been listed and renewed for months and longer. Are they priced too high? Perhaps. Usually, when a house does not sell quickly, price is the issue.
Direct Buyer – Sell Your Home Quickly
What are direct buyers? Direct buyers are real estate investors who buy houses as investments to rent or fix up and sell (flip). You have seen the white or yellow street signs and billboards that read We Buy Houses for Cash Fast or Sell Me Your House for Cash. Many of the HGTV flip and renovate television shows are direct buyers such as Flip or Flop (Tarek & Christina), Fixer Upper (Chip & Joanne Gaines), Desert Flippers (Eric & Lindsey Bennett), and Good Bones (Karen & Mima).
If you are a homeowner and need to sell my house fast for cash, then an investor may be your best option. Most investors can close in as little as 7 days and give you cash at the closing. Some will even pay all of your closing costs. This is particularly important for homeowners going through a divorce. They may not have the time, the money, or the mental fortitude to make repairs or upgrades before placing the home on the market with an agent.
We Buy Houses Cash also works well for homeowners who have a family member that is severely ill. Empty nesters who just do not have the time nor the patience to wait out a home sale with a realtor or Craigslist can benefit by using an investor. The same goes for unwanted inherited property, debt-ridden owners, job relocation owners, job loss, tired landlords, or someone facing bankruptcy.
People facing the dreadful foreclosure need to sell my house asap! Truly, time is a huge factor when a mortgage payment is missed. Once that first payment is missed, the bank takes notice. You are now on a clock to foreclosure. The bank will give you a short grace period before they begin the foreclosure process. You are given only 4 months of missed payments before the notice of default is posted publicly and mailed to you. From this time forward you have only 45 to 60 days to sell your home or it goes to the local courthouse steps for public auction.
The key is once you know you cannot pay back the previous late payments, fees, and penalties, you need to get out fast! Every day, the cost of holding your house in default goes up. And every day, the clock ticks closer to foreclosure.
After 120 days with no back payments made including late payments, fees, and penalties, your file is turned over to third party attorneys who will start the foreclosure process. The attorney fees are now added to the total bill owed and these fees range from $2,500 to $5,000.
The investor can still help you all the way up until the auction block. However, the sooner you contact the direct buyer and sign off on a contract and close, the less you will owe the bank, the more you will get back from the sale of your house, and the less difficult it is for the direct buyer to purchase your home. Time is critical and, as I said above, every day counts.
To read more about foreclosure, please visit the Foreclosure Process in Tennessee.
Southern Homes Investments
We at Southern Homes Investments are a local direct buyer or real estate investor. We help people get out of vacant or unwanted properties. Even if the house needs repairs or has liens against it, or you just need someone to take over your house payments, we can probably help you out of a difficult situation. Don’t even worry about cleaning the home, we will take care of that too.
Benefits of Using Southern Homes Investments VS a Real Estate Agent
- It’s Easy!
- No commissions or fees
- No closing costs
- No financial contingency
- No appraisal
- You choose the closing date
- No repairs
- No cleaning
- No staging fees
- We give you the cash, you give us the keys and you walk away! It’s that simple!!!
Would you like to know more about Southern Homes Investments? Please call us at 615-235-0612. We would love to talk to you about your house and situation, or if you have any questions about any parts of the article, give us a call. Please do visit us online at southernhomesinvestments.com.
Disclaimer: David Wright is a real estate agent licensed in Tennessee and this article is not a solicitation to list your house.