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Thread: Selling a house

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    #1

    Selling a house

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    What do i need to know? When is the best time to sell? DH found out his job, he was given military intel.. but branched infantry ..... so he's basically still infantry, which means we won't be staying here since there's no infantry in SA! He leaves for training around June, and then ranger school after that, which puts us at our new duty station around Jan/Feb. 2017.

    We considered selling now and doing apartment living, but the whole reason we bought a house was because of the pain of finding a place to allow two large dogs. His suggestion is to move in with his parents while he's gone and I basically said fuck no. So what would you do? When do I sell? How hard will it be to sell while he's in another state?

    I'm really bummed we're leaving and having to sell, but that's military life I guess.
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    #2
    Best time to sell is over the summer, July and August are always fast moving months when it comes to real estate because people want to move while their kids are out of school and before they start a new school year.


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    Talk to your Realtor NOW! They will have more time to walk you through when to put it up for sale and what needs to be done to get it market ready. If you find an agent that is tech savvy, selling from afar shouldn't be too bad. However, you will want to have your ducks in a row based on repairs and condition of the home before leaving. Sometimes, you can sell the home but rent it back from the new owners. It's called occupying after close and is the route I would take. Most markets are seller's markets right now so you should have some leverage there.

    ETA: I would also look into using a property management company to rent it out if you're wanting to return to the area after he gets out.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Katayoun View Post
    Talk to your Realtor NOW! They will have more time to walk you through when to put it up for sale and what needs to be done to get it market ready. If you find an agent that is tech savvy, selling from afar shouldn't be too bad. However, you will want to have your ducks in a row based on repairs and condition of the home before leaving. Sometimes, you can sell the home but rent it back from the new owners. It's called occupying after close and is the route I would take. Most markets are seller's markets right now so you should have some leverage there.

    ETA: I would also look into using a property management company to rent it out if you're wanting to return to the area after he gets out.
    This. A realtor would know best on when to sell, preparing, etc. Be mindful of the length of time you are in the house. I think there might be some sort of penalty (or extra taxes or something) if you own it less than two years, and less than 5 you tend to lose money. But your realtor would know best about all of that, or know who to ask.

    Agree with last statement a lot.. if you have any intent of going back to SA and want to be in that house, I suggest renting it out.
    Last edited by TrishAFSpouse; 11-23-2015 at 01:42 PM.

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    How long have you owned the house?


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    #6
    by the time we leave about 2 years. We thought about renting but we're just not sure. It's a relatively new house, built in 2009. There are no repairs or anything to do because everything is pretty much brand new, the last guy replaced it all. Half the reason we loved the house.

    We have a realtor who sold us our house but he only represents buyers. But he's also a friend so he might be able to answer our questions.
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    As others have said definitely talk to a realtor. Some seasons are much better for selling than others, but this is partly regional. Your friend should be happy to recommend a sellers agent (or several to interview) as he likely gets a referral commission.

    I am not a tax professional by any means, but you may have to deal with capital gains taxes if you sell and don't buy another property. (Usually cap gains comes in to play if you haven't lived in it a full 2 of the last 5 years, but there are partial exclusions for things like moving due to employment, as well as special rules for military though I'm not sure those would apply in your situation, if you live in it less than 2 years overall.) However, it's unlikely you are going to make much money after holding it for 2 years, so it probably won't be a big deal, but it's something to keep in mind. In fact, given that when you sell, unlike when you buy, you have to pay the agents' commission (usually both buyers and sellers, and while it varies by region, 5-6% of the total sales price is fairly standard), plus you may have to pay buyer's closing, etc., you may well lose money and have to bring cash to the table. All the more reason to talk to a realtor now as s/he can hopefully advise you on how much you may need to pay, so you can start saving. If it's more than you can afford, you may have to move in with your ILs to save up in order to get out from under this house.

    I thought it was impossible for you to find a home, which is why you bought, so I'm not sure what choice you have other than either living with ILs or staying in the home until you leave. Given that staying in it could mean you end up paying a mortgage on an empty home form months after you are gone (and also missing prime selling season), that seems like a terrible idea. At a minimum, I'd likely have it on the market 3-4 months before you leave, and longer if you are in a slow market.

    As for renting, if you are going to lose money on it (after mortgage, taxes, HOA, insurance, maintenance and property managers fees which are usually 7-10% of the rent), it is a bad financial decision, even if you have to bring money to the table to get out of the house. It's just prolonging the agony and giving in to the sunk cost fallacy. Unless you have very, very good reason to think you'll be back in SA in the next 5 or so years, unless you can make money renting it, sell instead.

    Bottom line, talk to a realtor ASAP about your options, and start saving money as this has the potential to cost you.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post
    What do i need to know? When is the best time to sell? DH found out his job, he was given military intel.. but branched infantry ..... so he's basically still infantry, which means we won't be staying here since there's no infantry in SA! He leaves for training around June, and then ranger school after that, which puts us at our new duty station around Jan/Feb. 2017.

    We considered selling now and doing apartment living, but the whole reason we bought a house was because of the pain of finding a place to allow two large dogs. His suggestion is to move in with his parents while he's gone and I basically said fuck no. So what would you do? When do I sell? How hard will it be to sell while he's in another state?

    I'm really bummed we're leaving and having to sell, but that's military life I guess.
    Summer is the best time to sell. Thanksgiving to new years is the worst, especially if you are in snowy climates.

    You need to know that whatever you sell it for, 8-10% is gone off the top from fees, taxes, expenses etc.

    Selling a house empty is always better than living in it. However, every month you don't sell it is going to cost you a months mortgage from your selling "profit."

    If you are not detail oriented, hire someone to go around the house and touch up paint, inside and out, wherever it needs it. Curb Appeal is important to get it sold.
    Inside, clean up scuffs on the floor, walls, etc. If you have carpet, consider replacing it. Because you have dogs, at least have the carpets professionally steam cleaned. Non-dog owners will be able to smell that you had dogs immediately. Fix any picture hook holes in the wall.

    Shop around for real estate sales people. Don't just take the first one you find. Interview them. See other houses they are selling. If there is one company that you see lots of signs for in your area, they probably know the area well. Think of using them.

    The 6% is negotiable. (a little at bit at least).

    Your first couple of offers will likely be low ball from investors. Ignore them.

    As for selling when he is in another state, not difficult, except on your hand. Have him do a Power of Attorney. general is good, so long as it includes real estate. The military ones do.
    When you sign on his behalf, you sign [his name] by [your name] as attorney in fact. Your hand will start cramping.

    Depending on the market, and the age of the house, you may want to pay for an inspection. It will alert you to any problems a potential buyer will object to. It gives you the opportunity to decide whether to fix those items, or negotiate on price later.

    Most upgrades might help it sell quicker, but almost none will help you sell it for more, and pay for itself.
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    #9
    I was also going to say, if the title company gives you a hard time about using a power of attorney (just in my experience they really push to have both parties sign if at all possible) there's ways around it. I've done tons of closing where one party gets the documents notarized and overnights them to the other party and then overnight back to the title company. They'll insist on wet signatures but there's lots of ways to deal with it (and even if you have to move documents around it isn't too bad).

    It's been a long time but I thought an issue was apartment living with two dogs so I would definitely research that first and see if it is going to be possible.

    So many people talk about renting as an option. Personally I don't have the risk tolerance to deal with it, but I know it works out fine for a lot of people. A realtor could go over the options with you as well.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    As others have said definitely talk to a realtor. Some seasons are much better for selling than others, but this is partly regional. Your friend should be happy to recommend a sellers agent (or several to interview) as he likely gets a referral commission.

    I am not a tax professional by any means, but you may have to deal with capital gains taxes if you sell and don't buy another property. (Usually cap gains comes in to play if you haven't lived in it a full 2 of the last 5 years, but there are partial exclusions for things like moving due to employment, as well as special rules for military though I'm not sure those would apply in your situation, if you live in it less than 2 years overall.) However, it's unlikely you are going to make much money after holding it for 2 years, so it probably won't be a big deal, but it's something to keep in mind. In fact, given that when you sell, unlike when you buy, you have to pay the agents' commission (usually both buyers and sellers, and while it varies by region, 5-6% of the total sales price is fairly standard), plus you may have to pay buyer's closing, etc., you may well lose money and have to bring cash to the table. All the more reason to talk to a realtor now as s/he can hopefully advise you on how much you may need to pay, so you can start saving. If it's more than you can afford, you may have to move in with your ILs to save up in order to get out from under this house.

    I thought it was impossible for you to find a home, which is why you bought, so I'm not sure what choice you have other than either living with ILs or staying in the home until you leave. Given that staying in it could mean you end up paying a mortgage on an empty home form months after you are gone (and also missing prime selling season), that seems like a terrible idea. At a minimum, I'd likely have it on the market 3-4 months before you leave, and longer if you are in a slow market.

    As for renting, if you are going to lose money on it (after mortgage, taxes, HOA, insurance, maintenance and property managers fees which are usually 7-10% of the rent), it is a bad financial decision, even if you have to bring money to the table to get out of the house. It's just prolonging the agony and giving in to the sunk cost fallacy. Unless you have very, very good reason to think you'll be back in SA in the next 5 or so years, unless you can make money renting it, sell instead.

    Bottom line, talk to a realtor ASAP about your options, and start saving money as this has the potential to cost you.
    Yup, military gets to pro-rate. Odds are you will not make a taxable profit, but if you do, may be able to deduct it.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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