Guide to Selling Your House During a Job Transfer or Relocation
Relocation, moving, and needing to sell your house. Each of these items, exclusively, are referred to as some of the most stressful, headache-wrenching life situations to endure. Now, imagine having to take on all three of these events at once! If you need to relocate to a different area, or even different state, and you own a house….well, you have a lot to prepare for. It isn’t all scary, though, because there are some decisions you can make that will ultimately make your life easier.
Reasons for Relocating
There are many life changing circumstances that can trigger a relocation. Maybe you just scored your dream job in Chicago, or maybe you are being deployed again from Camp Pendleton to a new post overseas. Depending on what you’re going through, you may have a little or a ton of time to prepare. Most often if you know you’re relocating, there is at least some sort of “deadline” attached that is approaching.
Relocating for a New Job
Aside from being let go or fired from a job, being told that your company is relocating to a different state may cause the equivalent amount of stress and uncertainty. We recently helped a client, April, who worked in the tech industry here in Carlsbad. She found out that she was being transferred to work at the company headquarters in Oakland, meaning she needed to start thinking about moving and what she would do with the home she owned. While uprooting wasn’t her favored choice, she knew it would be best for her and her family in the long run. Because two mortgages were more than April could afford, she decided it was time to think about her options.
In other cases, some people are relocating due to a completely new job opportunity, position, and with a company that they have had their eye on for a while! Higher pay and favored company incentives like relocation benefits could have you chomping at the bit to accept and move forward. But, this new “dream job” may need you ASAP. What then? If you’re accepting a time contingent job in a different state, you’ll need to really get things moving quickly (literally).
So, if you’re one of the 35% of people needing to relocate for a job – it’s time to consider all of your options.
Transferred or Deployed Overseas
As a veteran-owned company, this is something we understand on an intimate level. If you’re a man or woman who is a homeowner in active duty, we understand the many obstacles you might be faced with. San Diego happens to be home to the nation’s largest concentration of active duty service members, meaning this is something that happens in our neighborhood quite frequently. When being transferred overseas, you can expect to be gone from your home for 6-18 months, and depending on your family’s situation, the cost of mortgage payments over that period of time can sometimes be too much to handle.
A recent client, Corey, lived in National City and needed to sell his house before being deployed. Unfortunately for Corey, he was right in the midst of a DIY home renovation and his house was nowhere near being ready to sell traditionally. Drywall had been removed and all of the home’s wiring was exposed and in need or reworking. To add to that, the flooring and rest of the home’s amenities were not renovated yet either. For Corey, renting his home in that condition was not an option, but selling it was.
Family Events or Changes in Lifestyle
In addition to the more common reasons to relocate mentioned above, there are other life events that take place that may warrant you needing to move to another state. Maybe your daughter’s family has established its roots where her spouse’s family lives, and you want to be closer to her and your new grandchildren. Or, your kids are all out of the house, and you and your spouse no longer need the space and bills you are currently dealing with. Divorces, retirements, you name it! There are so many events that can change the course of your life and where you call “home.” Some of these situations may not mean a speedy, time contingent move, but when you are ready to move on….you’re ready.
Options to Consider When You’re Relocating
As you know very well, relocating can be very stressful. Here are some items that may help steer your decision in moving forward with less stress and unease.
How much equity do you have in the home you own? Whether you have a lot of equity, or very little, may help determine your best course of action (selling versus renting etc.). Are you capable of paying two mortgages as once? Homeowners who have a significant amount of equity should consider selling as it is a much less risky option. On the flipside, if you’re in a great rental market and you’re mortgage payments are low, renting the home could mean positive cash flow.
Renting Your House
If you decide to become a landlord and rent your house because you see the opportunity for cash flow, more power to you. There can be great benefits financially in being a landlord, but be prepared to comply with both the costs and benefits.
- Property Management – In some cases, you can go without hiring a property manager. In most, you will need one. If you are an absentee homeowner in a different part of the country, you will want someone available to address the plumbing issues and problem tenants that you might not have the time or energy for. Property management fees and maintenance issues will both eat at your income.
- Homeowners Insurance – One thing that will need to change immediately should you choose to rent your house out is your insurance. The change required needs to cover landlords and rental properties, which typically will cost you 25% more than the typical insurance.
- Capital Gains- If some cases, depending on how long you live in the home vs. rent it out before deciding to sell it for a profit, you might have to pay the government on that profit.
- Time and energy – Whether you have a property management company overseeing the marketing and maintenance of your rental or not, you’re still going to encounter issues. Renting a home is very stressful, especially out of the area.
- Risk – One of the greatest risks in renting your property is the potential for damage. Damage to your rental could mean a big hit to the value of the home, and ultimately undermine your investment.
- Tax breaks – There are tax breaks available to homeowners who are landlords and rent their homes out. Landlords can deduct almost every expense related to their rental home (both maintenance and marketing).
- Capital Loss- if you rent your home out and then sell it at a loss, you can claim the loss against your income.
- Extra Income – If you’re in a great rental market (and let’s be honest, San Diego can definitely fit within that category), you have the opportunity to see positive cash flow on a continual basis if your rental is cared for and you consistently have tenants in place.
Selling Your House to Relocate
In many cases, homeowners are not attracted to the idea of being a landlord and dealing with tenants and managing a property. If you’re moving out of state, this can be especially difficult.
Selling with a real estate agent:
- Choose an agent – Begin by selecting a real estate professional who has a proven track record with multiple positive reviews. This doesn’t mean that you should choose your neighbor or your friend! You want someone who is the best at marketing your property, not that you know the best. After all, you’ll be paying them thousands of dollars in commission fees.
- Listing price – after having your property valued, come up with a listing price that makes sense to you. If you need to relocate, price the home to sell quickly (regardless, know that your home could take months to sell).
- Prepare the home to sell – consult with your agent and come up with a plan of action to prep the home to sell. This includes not only cleaning and staging, but make any necessary repairs required to get the property market-ready.
- Market and showcase – Prepare for buyer viewings and multiple open houses. Ensure that the house stays tidy and is in good and attractive condition for prospective buyers.
- Receive and negotiate offers – Navigate through offers once you receive them, and decide on terms of the sale.
- Accept offer and complete transaction – Once you accept an offer, prepare for escrow. In the mayhem of escrow, be sure to prepare for these scenarios: How quickly will you close? Will your buyers qualify? Are you prepared to cover all closing costs?
While selling through a local agent is what most people do, this is not a guaranteed sale of your home. Plus, you should be prepared for the home to take a while to sell – homes sit for an average of 69 days. If you’re relocating and are in a time-sensitive situation, this may be impossible. Not to mention all of the additional costs incurred (closing and transaction costs and agent commission fees), which could have been used to help aid your move.
- List your property – for a fee of a few hundred dollars, you can list your property yourself on a listing service that will “talk to” platforms like Zillow and other property websites.
- Market your house – After preparing your home to sell, now it is time to market it. Develop a description of the home and pay for professional photos to add to your listing. Additional marketing activities include flyers, ads etc.
- Open houses and showings – Coordinate your showings and open houses, and be prepared to market those as well.
- Negotiate on your own – Without an agent to represent you, ensure that you are well versed with the California State Law as you are solely responsible for the transaction.
- Paperwork – Every transaction comes with paperwork, it’s unavoidable! Establish relationships with a good escrow and title company who will help walk you through this process.
While wanting to avoid agent commission fees is understandable, it does come with a price. A price on your time and energy. Agents are paid to market your property and push for a sale, which is something that not every homeowner is capable of. If you think a traditional sale takes too long, you will definitely not be okay with the length in selling on your own. This required more time and energy than any other method.
Potential Problems you might face when selling FSBO or Traditionally:
- Waiting to Move on:
- Rent Back: If you’ve found your new house in your new state and you’re waiting for escrow to close on the house you’re selling , you may find yourself in a pickle. Rather than paying for two homes and a temporary rental while waiting for escrow to close on your current home, opt to rent the home from your new buyer.
- Bridge Loan: If your new buyer doesn’t want to rent the home to you, you should speak to your lender about qualifying for a bridge, or swing loan. This type of loan carries higher interest rates and is only offered to homeowners with excellent credit and a lien-free home, but it can be beneficial. The loan uses your current property as collateral, in a sense, in order to purchase your new home.
If all of this is just sounding like a lot of extra fuss and stress, you do have an alternative in selling directly to a cash buyer. By taking the “sell direct” route, you don’t just cut out all of the prep required in getting your home ready to sell, but you eliminate the waiting game altogether. Here is what the process looks like:
- Speak to an investor representative who will buy your house for cash
- A real estate professional will come and inspect the property and make you a fair offer.
- If you like the offer, you can accept and decide on the perfect closing date.
- The investor buyer will handle every aspect of the transaction including all of the paperwork and all of the closing costs (and there are no commission fees).
- On the day of closing, you hand over the keys and the company will make a cash deposit in your account.
If you need to relocate, especially if the move is time-sensitive, this option will give you the most flexibility and peace of mind. You won’t need to touch or clean a thing, simply pack up what you will be taking with you and leave everything else. No repairs are necessary. None at all! That’s a huge relief when you are just trying to move on to the next phase of your life. You won’t need to consider the problems mentioned above in waiting for your house to close escrow before you can take the next steps in relocation, because you control when the escrow closes. A company like Sell Your House Direct can close in literally just one short week. When you don’t want to miss any opportunities, this can be a huge life-saver and convenience.
“Hi my name is Corey, I’m active duty military and I ended up getting orders to be stationed overseas, got stuck with a house I was in the middle of renovating. I did some research online and that’s how I found Sell Your House Direct.
Sell Your House Direct has been one of the most professional and easiest to work with. When I first got the orders, I was looking to do a traditional sale and with that, it became a longer and drawn out process. Marcel contacted me and made the process extremely easy.
Marcel was probably the most courteous and professional person I’ve dealt with in the process and the offer that he gave me on my home was the best one that was presented to me because I had such a short timeline before I had to transfer overseas.
Once you click “Get an Offer Today”
- A home buying specialist will call you within minutes to learn more about your property
- We submit an offer. If you accept, they will visit your home and explain things further.
- You pick the closing date, and we buy your house in as little as 7 days.