A flood in Florida with a house and car under water.

There are two words that can instantly strike fear into the heart of any homeowner: water damage. Whether it comes as the result of a busted pipe, a leaky roof, a faulty component in your HVAC system, or even the sometimes-cruel hand of Mother Nature, dealing with water in your home is a monumental headache.

The immediate aftermath of a flood can be an incredibly trying and emotional time for a homeowner. If you find yourself in a position where you need to sell a house with water damage, the intensity can feel even greater. But there are steps you can take to mitigate the stress and set yourself up for success.

When It Rains, It Pours

Water is a powerful force, and it can lay waste to your home in a matter of minutes. In addition to destroying or damaging prized possessions and valuable assets, it can also seriously compromise the stability of your home’s infrastructure. Addressing water damage properly will cost you.

If you’ve started requesting estimates, then you’ll already know this. To fix the problem and get your house back to normal, you’ll be looking not only at pricy repairs to any malfunctioning equipment but also remediation for the damaged parts of your home’s interior (patching holes, replacing carpet and drywall, etc.).

Additionally, you’ll probably also need a deep cleaning. If not addressed immediately—especially in a humid climate like Florida’s—retained water inside your home can result in the growth of severe mold and mildew. In addition to further complicating the repairs process, mold and mildew can prove to be a serious health risk for your family. Exposure can trigger the onset or worsening of conditions such as allergies and asthma.

Maybe the water damage to your home is especially extensive. Or perhaps it has just been left unaddressed because you were overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. In these cases, you may find yourself needing to vacate the home in order to have repairs done safely and effectively. So you can go ahead and add the cost of alternative accommodations to your rapidly growing bill as well.

1. Minimize the Damage

Floods can happen quickly and with very little warning. As soon as you are able to access your property, you’ll need to work fast to contain the damage in any way you can. The quicker you address these issues, the better chance you have of preventing a total loss.

Begin by contacting your insurer to inform them of your claim so they can send an adjuster your way. Then move on to cataloging any and all damage.

Take photos and make extensive notes. Don’t throw anything away, though—your insurance company may require visual evidence of damaged items before they will honor your policy.

Attack water damage in the walls by removing damaged drywall or sheetrock immediately. Running fans and dehumidifiers throughout the house will also help dry things out.

Remember, mold can grow in just 48 hours, so time is of the essence when it comes to removing water from your home. It’s not impossible to sell a house with flooding damage, but it will be a lot more difficult to sell if it’s also full of mold.  

2. Get A Repair Estimate

Once you’ve gotten the situation under control and hopefully cleaned well enough to prevent mold and mildew growth, it’s time to get the big picture on the damage that’s been done. This isn’t a necessary step in selling your house, of course, but it will certainly put buyers’ minds at ease to know that a licensed professional has evaluated the property.

Whether you plan to fix the issues or not, having an inspector lay out in detail what needs to be done will be a huge help. You may even want to get a few different opinions so that you can present a fully fleshed-out plan to any potential buyers. Hopefully, they’ll be comforted by knowing what to expect financially.

3. Fix It Up

From here, you may choose to do some repairs before selling your home. If you have experience with things like drywall or sheetrock, it may be cost-effective for you to handle those things yourself. Or perhaps you have it in your budget to hire a contractor for those tasks.

Making smaller improvements—as well as cosmetic things like putting fresh, neutral paint on the walls and polishing the floors—could greatly improve your home’s selling price. If your issues are larger or more structural, though, be aware that remediation may set you back a pretty penny, which you might find isn’t worth it in the end.

4. Sell As-Is

So what if you don’t have insurance or the time or money to do repairs? If you need to sell a house with water damage quickly, you always have the option to sell the house as-is. Buyers understand that houses in this condition will be in need of some work.

There is always a market for fixer-uppers, and many buyers aren’t scared away by flood damage, provided that they feel they got a good enough deal on the property. You could go the traditional route with a real estate agent, but be aware that your home may sit on the market for a while (which can negatively impact the eventual selling price), and you’ll be on the hook for fees and commissions after the sale.

Going with a cash homebuying company, however, removes both the time and cost concerns of the traditional marketplace. Meridian Trust has worked with hundreds of individuals when they needed to sell a house with flooding issues. We’re here to help you sell your water-damaged home quickly and easily. Call us today to learn more!

A stack of tax forms required for an inherited house.

Selling any asset for more than you paid for it can trigger capital gains taxes. But what if you didn’t pay for it, but rather inherited it? Unfortunately, you can still be on the hook for taxes if you inherited a house and want to sell it.

What Is Capital Gains Tax?

There is often a false assumption that the capital gains tax only applies to rich people, but in reality, the things many of us own (car, big screen TV, stocks and bonds, home) all count as capital assets. If you ever sell those things for more than you paid to acquire them, you may be facing a tax burden.

This tax comes into play often in real estate transactions. If you bought a home for $100,000 years ago, but the area has become a hot spot and you’re now able to sell it for $400,000, that $300,000 in profit you made will be subject to taxation. Thankfully, there are ways to qualify for exemptions so that you’re not penalized for the entirety of the gain.

Capital gains tax on inherited property behaves a little differently though. Since you didn’t purchase the home in the first place, the calculation for profit is done on what is called a “stepped-up basis.”

Say your Aunt Marge bought the home for $75,000 back in 1950, but you’re able to sell it for $250,000. Instead of being taxed on the full $175,000 difference, you’ll only be taxed on the difference between the sale price and the fair market value at the time of her death.

In order to find out the stepped-up basis of the home, you’ll need to have it appraised as soon as possible after the owner’s death. This will give you an idea of what you’re working with and whether it’s a good idea to hold on to the house or to go ahead and sell it.

What Are the 2019 Rates?

Tax rates change slightly every year based on inflation and other political factors. For the 2019 tax year, the tax percentages on capital gains range from zero percent to 20 percent, depending on the amount of profit you made from the sale.

If you’re single, you won’t be taxed on any gains under $39,375. If you make between $39,376 and $434,550, your rate will be 15 percent. Over $434,551 and you’ll be charged a 20 percent rate.

If you’re married, those thresholds increase, and anything under $78,750 will be exempt. $75,751 to $488,850 will be at a 15 percent rate, and anything over $488,851 will be at 20 percent.

How Can I Avoid It?

Receiving bequeathed property from a loved one, while a beautiful gesture, can be very stressful. You can avoid the capital gains tax by making the home your primary residence for two years, thus qualifying you for the homeowner’s exemption on any gains under $250,000 (if you’re single) or $500,000 (if you’re married).

But if you already have an established home, moving into the house may not be an option. It could be in another neighborhood, city, or even state. It might be too small for your family’s needs, and you may have no interest in maintaining it and renting it out. (Landlord life isn’t for everyone!)

If you inherited a house and want to sell it, the last thing you need is to be punished financially for it. The best way to avoid paying capital gains tax on inherited property is to sell it as soon as possible. If you’re not interested in fixing up the home or going through the long, often costly process of navigating the traditional real estate market, a cash homebuying company could be a great option for you.

Meridian Trust has worked with hundreds of sellers after inheriting property from a loved one. We work exclusively with individuals and can have you at the closing table within 30 days. Give us a call today to get started!

A damaged house with roof repair needed.

Is it possible to sell a house in bad shape? Of course it is! Whether your home sustained damage from a hurricane—which is a very common situation for Floridians—or from some other calamity such as fire or a flood, you still have options.

It’s not an unachievable dream that you could sell a bad house for a fair price, but you do have to be more purposeful about how you approach the selling process. Depending on your financial situation and your timeline for selling, you could do one of these three things.

1. Make Some Repairs

If you’re not in a rush to get out of the home and you have some cash to put towards fixing it up, making some minor repairs could be a huge help. You’d be surprised how different your house may look after a heavy-duty cleaning and some refreshing (think new paint or freshly buffed floors). You’re sure to get a better asking price if your home looks more appealing to potential buyers.

If the repairs needed are of a more substantial, structural variety, though, you may have more on your hands than you realized. While fixing things like a broken window or a leaky faucet might be doable on a DIY budget, things like foundation repair and extensive electrical or plumbing work are likely to cost you thousands. You’ll have to weigh whether that cost is worth the potential difference in selling price.

2. Advertise It as a Fixer-Upper

Not all buyers are looking for a picture-perfect house. If the price is right, many people are willing to put in the work to restore the home to its former glory. If you don’t have the money to make repairs, you can simply put it on the market as a “fixer-upper” and see what interest you generate. You may also find that developers are looking to buy property in your area to renovate.

Make sure to disclose all of the home’s issues to any potential buyers, of course, and be prepared to be lowballed on the price. Depending on how much you truly need to make on the sale and how long you can wait for the right buyer, this can be a great way to sell a damaged house.

3. Sell for Cash 

If you’re too strapped to make any repairs to your home, and you can’t sit around forever waiting to find someone willing to take on its many issues, you’re not totally up a creek. Selling for cash to a licensed and reputable home buying company is probably going to be the best avenue for you. Since the process is so fast and easy, many owners of damaged properties go in this direction.

We know that it can be difficult to sell a house in bad shape, but The Buy Guys buy homes in all sorts of conditions throughout Florida. We’ve seen it all, and we’re not scared!

If you need to sell a damaged house and you’re not in a place where you can make thousands of dollars of repairs before you do it, it’s time to look into selling your home as-is to the Meridian Trust team. You’ll get cash fast, and you won’t have to take on any of the expense or stress of fixing the house yourself. Call us today to get a cash offer on your house in under 10 minutes!

Chipped lead paint on the side of a house.

If your home was constructed prior to 1978, it is a simple reality that you’ll encounter some lead-based paint. Real estate regulations require sellers to disclose a host of details about their properties, but selling a house with lead paint is the only one that is federally enforced. The Environmental Protection Agency takes a very serious stance on this, and withholding that information can result in heavy fines.

The EPA’s approach is understandable, as these days, the health risks of lead paint are well known and, frankly, pretty scary. Lead is highly toxic, and ingesting it can negatively impact nearly every organ system in the human body. You, of course, would never want to be responsible for someone getting sick after purchasing your home.

Small children are particularly susceptible to the effects of lead, and lead poisoning can cause both physical and mental delays, not to mention—in extreme cases—brain damage. Kids are prone to chew on things and are the most likely to be affected, but adults also run the risk of getting very sick if lead paint begins to flake or peel, disseminating dangerous particles into the air.

How to Find Out If You Have Lead Paint

How can you confirm whether or not you have lead paint before you attempt to sell your home? If it was built quite a while ago (think 1950s or earlier), and it hasn’t been remodeled since then, lead paint is almost certainly present. If your home was built in the 1970s, chances are likely there is still some lead in the paint, but the amount used in paint was dwindling by then, as we first began to understand lead’s side effects.

Either way, you’ll probably want to confirm its presence and concentration before selling your home. You can purchase a DIY kit, but be aware that they often show false negatives, so you’ll want to repeat the test multiple times. Also remember that if you say you’re sure there is no lead in the home and it’s found later, you’ll face a hefty fine.

Hiring a professional to assess your home is the only guaranteed way of knowing how much lead is there and where it’s located. It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but that’s better than the thousands you’ll pay for not properly disclosing it.

Note that you are not technically required to test for the presence of lead yourself if you’re not already aware of it, but you do have to give any potential buyer a 10-day window in which to have testing done themselves. The presence of lead paint can seriously affect your asking price, so it’s probably something you want to know up front.

Cost of Remediation

You might be thinking that if you have lead paint, painting over it with a newer paint will fix the problem. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Lead can leach from the old paint into the modern non-lead-based stuff, making it just as unsafe.

DIY lead remediation isn’t feasible. Lead is an incredibly dangerous substance, and its removal is best handled by a professional. You can find a certified professional lead inspector via your local EPA office.

Depending on how much paint you’re dealing with, you may have the option of a “wait-and-see” approach, monitoring for any paint peeling or flaking and making sure any future repairs are done by lead-safe certified companies. Abatement (completely removing the lead from your home) is the best possible option, but it also costs thousands of dollars.

How to Sell a Home With Lead Paint

Having lead paint in your home can make it difficult to sell. Potential buyers with children will be especially wary. You may also only get lowball offers if people assume they’ll have to take on thousands of dollars in remediation in order to make the home safe and liveable for their family.

But selling a house with lead paint isn’t impossible. Not everyone wants to have kids, and some buyers who love older homes may be willing to accept the cost of replacing the paint if it means they get a house with true character.

Going the traditional route is an option. Be aware, however, that some real estate agents may be hesitant to take on your home, and it could sit on the market for significantly longer than a home without lead issues.

Before you spend thousands of dollars on lead paint removal, consider selling your house as-is to the Meridian Trust team. You can sell your house for cash without shouldering the expenses of dealing with toxic lead paint yourself.

Inheriting a house with siblings can be both an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. Most often, this means your parents have both passed away, so in addition to figuring out the logistics of how to move forward with the home, you’re also all grieving.

Often, one or more siblings want to sell the home, while others don’t. How do you approach dealing with the sticky situations that can arise from trying to sell an inherited house with siblings? Let’s talk out a few of the major questions owning a house with siblings will present: 

1. Who Gets to Live There?

Say you inherit a home with your brother and sister. You technically own one-third of the house, but how do you take advantage of that if you can’t all live in it at once?

If one of the siblings in question was already living in the home—perhaps taking care of their elderly parent—then naturally, they may feel they have a stronger claim to the ownership and occupation of the house. If that sibling is able to live in the home, do they take on all the responsibility for it? Otherwise, what value does it present to the remaining two siblings who aren’t living there?

2. Can a Resistant Sibling Be Forced to Sell?

If everyone is in agreement but you have one sibling holding out, whether for emotional or financial reasons, you may be wondering if you can override them. Unfortunately, there are very few avenues to do that.

This is especially true if the will is not clear on the owner’s wishes for the property. If the will directs that the house be sold and the profits be split, that’s one thing. But if mom or dad was leaving it up to the kids to make the decision that worked best for them, you’re stuck with having to convince everyone to get on the same page.

3. Will We Have to Get the Courts Involved?

If there is division among the siblings about selling versus not selling, and an accord can’t be reached, there is legal recourse. But beware that it comes with a steep price.

You can file an inheritance partition, where the courts force the sale of the home and divide the profits into chunks that are proportionate to each heir’s designated interest in the estate. This often means that the home sells for significantly less than it would have on the market, making everyone’s portions smaller, not to mention the havoc it will wreak on personal relationships. Frankly, this should be your last-ditch option in a worst-case scenario.

4. How Can We Push for the Sale?  

Finding an amicable way forward with your sibling(s) while also unloading the property won’t be easy, but it is doable. Consider discussing adjustments to the percentages each sibling receives.

If one sibling is hesitant to sell because they need to be able to live in the home, consider allocating a larger portion of the final sale price to them in order to help with relocation. You’ll find that it’s usually worth a reduction in your personal share to keep the peace in your family and get the property off your plate.

Meridian Trust has worked with a number of clients to sell an inherited house with siblings. We work exclusively with individuals and can close in 30 days. If you’re stressed out about inheriting a house with siblings and want more information on selling it for cash, please call us today.

A messy living room in a house with problem renters.

They’re weeks (or even months) behind on the rent. They’re trashing your house. They’re disturbing the neighbors. They’re disrespectful, or worse, dangerous. If you’re a landlord, having a problem tenant is probably one of your worst nightmares.

While you can cross your fingers and hope for the best when renting, there is always a chance you’ll run into trouble. There are some essential steps you can take upfront to prevent issues from arising altogether. But if those don’t work and you find yourself stuck in a bad situation, you also have options if you need to sell a rental property with tenants.

Avoiding Problems

1. Background Checks

Don’t rely on first impressions when it comes to selecting a new tenant. Though they might seem lovely, they could be hiding a lot of nastiness behind their smile.

Make sure you require a credit check. Ask for references—and actually call them! Speak with their employer. Do everything you can to make sure you know what kind of person you’re about to allow into your home.

If you don’t, your failure to do your due diligence could end up costing you dearly. If you don’t have the time to handle this yourself, hire someone to do it for you. It’s not a step you can afford to skip.

2. Know the Law

The laws and regulations that govern the landlord-tenant relationship vary widely depending on where you live. It’s incredibly important that you as a landlord be intimately familiar with the laws for your specific municipality.

If you find yourself saddled with a problem tenant, the last thing you want is to find out that you’re doing something illegal that may compromise your position in a disagreement. Florida law covers everything from the landlord’s access to the property to the tenant’s right to withhold rent and more. So read up on it!

3. Know Your Options

While you should always go into a new tenant relationship in the spirit of good faith and optimism, you should also be prepared in case things go south. Don’t wait until you have a bad tenant on your hands to start researching your options for dealing with them. At that point, they’ll have the upper hand, and you’ll be scrambling to find a solution. Learn everything you can now, and hope against hope that you’ll never have to use it!

Getting Out

If things do fall apart, you may find yourself backed into a corner by a nightmare tenant. If you’re fed up with their excuses and ready to take action, you have two main options for how to move forward.

1. Bring In an Attorney

If you’re hoping to start eviction proceedings, you’ll need to retain legal counsel and eventually take your tenant to small claims court. Hopefully, you have an airtight lease in place and have been documenting any interactions with the tenant. If not, things could drag out.

The eviction process can take a while and end up costing quite a bit, no matter how well you’ve prepared. Expect to pay legal fees and be out months of rent on your property, not to mention any costs incurred in repairing damages the tenants caused.

2. Sell for Cash

If you’re fed up with the headache of it all, know that you can sell a house with tenants. You’ll want to consult local laws first to make sure you’re giving ample notice, but there is nothing to prohibit you from selling a property you own.

While selling through traditional channels may have been an option with agreeable tenants, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get problem tenants to agree to things like open houses and keeping the house in good shape for regular viewings. If you need to sell a rental property with tenants who are less-than-stellar, your best bet is probably to sell to a cash home buying company.

If you’re looking to sell a house with tenants, Meridian Trust can help. We’ve purchased thousands of rental properties in Florida and will work directly with you to close in less than 30 days. Call our team today to learn more.

Scrabble letters spelling "TAX" on top of US dollars.

Inheriting a house can be incredibly overwhelming. While it’s wonderful to know that someone you cared for trusted you enough to appoint you the caretaker of their home after their passing, it can also be a big financial strain.

There are a number of tax implications that come into play when you inherit a house. And they will vary drastically depending upon what you do next. Let’s break down the types of taxes you may be required to pay when you receive or attempt to sell an inherited house.

1. Estate Tax

This tax is thankfully one that most people don’t have to worry about. The current federal minimum for the estate tax to be levied is $11.8 million. In other words, the deceased’s entire estate (including all real estate, cash, and assets like stocks or bonds) has to add up to more than $11.8 million before the federal government will tax it.

A dozen states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) plus the District of Columbia, however, do levy their own taxes on estates as well. The threshold for these is much lower than the federal minimum, but it still floats somewhere around $1 million.

2. Inheritance Tax

This tax is collected only at the state level. It has stipulations, and its application varies from state to state. As of 2018, six states collect an inheritance tax: Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The tax rate in each of these states is different and may be anywhere from one percent to 20 percent of the value of the house or other assets you’ve inherited.

There are exemptions, of course, and again, this tax is often not levied on those heirs whose inheritance is valued below $2 million. There are also allowances depending on your relationship to the deceased. No taxes are applied when a spouse inherits a property in one of these states, and of the six listed, only Nebraska and Pennsylvania collect taxes on property that’s passed from a parent to their child or grandchild.

3. Property Tax

When you become the owner of an inherited home, you will, of course, become responsible for the property taxes owed. You’ll keep paying these as long as you own the house. Depending on the location of the inherited home, this could mean having a significant new bill on your plate.

Whenever someone inherits a home (just like if they bought one), the property is reassessed at the current market value to determine what taxes should be paid on it. While many states do cap how much property taxes can rise from year to year, there is a decent chance this reassessment could bring an increased tax burden compared to what your loved one was paying before their passing.

Some states do allow for exclusions for spouses and children or grandchildren. But to receive this often involves reapplying for exemption programs, which can be labor-intensive and cost you quite a bit of time and energy.

4. Capital Gains Tax

This tax is the biggest factor at play if you inherit a house and want to sell it. If you sell an inherited house for more than its value at the time your loved one passed away, you’re going to owe taxes on that gain. If the house sells for less than its value, that is considered a capital loss, and you’ll owe no taxes.

Thankfully you’ll qualify for what’s known as a “stepped up basis” when it comes to calculating the taxes owed. Say your mother bought the home for $100,000 decades ago, but it’s now valued at $250,000. If you sell it for $275,000, you only owe taxes on a $25,000 gain, rather than owing a portion of the $175,000 difference between the original purchase and final sale prices.

There is also a way to make yourself exempt from this tax. If you make the home your primary residence for at least two years before selling it, you will qualify for an exclusion. This means you can sell it and keep whatever profit you make without having to pay anything in capital gains taxes.

Stay, Rent, or Sell?

When inheriting a property, you have a few options. You can:

  • Move into the home and make it your primary residence.
  • Rent the home out.
  • Sell the home.

Moving in can be a good option if the home is fully paid off and you could use a break from paying rent on your own place. Owning and living in the home, however, does mean you’re on the hook for property taxes and utilities, plus any upkeep. It also may not be an option if the house you inherit is located in a different geographical area than your current job and you’re unwilling or unable to move.

Renting could be a good fit if you already own your own home or you live in a different town or state than the house you’ve inherited. The funds generated from renting the home could offset the cost of upkeep and any tax or mortgage payments. Some people aren’t cut out to be landlords, though, and you’ll run the risk of tenants damaging the home or falling behind on payments.

Selling an inherited home is often the best available route for an heir. As mentioned above, consider how the capital gains tax will affect you before jumping into selling, but if you’re not prepared to live in the home or manage renting it out for the foreseeable future, selling it and getting it off your plate is usually the easiest solution.

Meridian Trust has worked with a number of sellers after they inherited a property. We work exclusively with individuals and can close on your property in just 30 days. If you’ve recently inherited a house and want to sell it, please call us today.

Messy house with bags of trash and clutter.

Hoarding is a complex disorder that affects upwards of five percent of the population. It can range wildly in severity.

The mildest version includes “pack rats,” or people who may save lots of small tchotchkes. They might have 30 years of back issues of their favorite magazine just lying around the house. On the more severe end of the spectrum are those who take in dozens of stray animals they can’t care for or refuse to throw out rotten food.

As you can imagine, the home of a hoarder can end up in a truly deplorable condition after years of ownership. So what can you do if you find yourself in this predicament?

Perhaps you or someone in your family suffers from hoarding disorder and you need to sell your home. Or maybe you’re dealing with an inherited hoarder house from a family member. We know it can be an overwhelmingly emotional situation full of challenges, but you do have options.

Problems When Trying to Sell a Hoarder House

1. Photos

Homebuyers these days are almost universally house hunting online. The importance of having photos with your listing cannot be overstated. But as you can imagine, taking photos of the interior of a hoarder’s home is no easy task.

Even if you can navigate the space well enough to take pictures, what you’ll capture is unlikely to entice potential buyers. You’ll most likely end up taking only external home photos, which won’t do you much good.

2. Open Houses

Hosting an open house can be an extremely stressful experience in the home of a hoarder. In addition to the anxiety it’s likely to cause for the homeowner, if they are present, it also presents problems for potential buyers. It can be incredibly difficult to look beyond that level of mess to see the potential in a home.

Beyond aesthetic issues, though, that level of clutter can be a serious safety concern. If your prospective buyers are spending more time watching where they step than looking at the home, your chances of selling aren’t going to be very good. Many open houses also fall on weekends, so the chance that children might accompany their parents is high, which increases the safety concerns exponentially.

3. Time Constraints

For many people trying to sell a hoarder house, time is of the essence. Undertaking the massive task of clearing out, cleaning, and properly staging a home in a dire condition isn’t something that can happen overnight, though.

The owner may be over a barrel due to mounting mortgage debt. Or they may be under orders from city officials to remediate or vacate the property prior to condemnation. Regardless, rarely will you have the luxury of taking your time when selling the home of a hoarder.

Your Options for a Solution

1. Bring in a Professional

Unless you’re very well-versed in home repairs and have a ton of time on your hands, remediating the issues that exist with a hoarder house is probably out of reach for you. This is so much more than a “weekend” project. You’ll need to bring in the big guns.

If money and time aren’t concerns, hiring a professional who deals specifically with hoarders may be your best bet. They’ll be able to help sort and dispose of all the clutter and get the house clean. Be aware though, that you may discover much-needed repairs once all the mess is cleared, and that means the added cost of contractors.

2. Sell As-Is for Cash

If you’re not up for a big cleanup of an inherited hoarder house or you’re crunched for time, your easiest and fastest option is to work with a cash home buyer. As long as you work with a reputable company, there is no risk to you, and you can walk away with cash in your pocket in a matter of days.

Once you meet with a rep, you can simply sign the papers and walk away. The mess, and any resulting repairs, will no longer be your concern.

It is hard to imagine anyone walking into a hoarded home and making an offer to buy it. That’s where we come in.

We pay cash for houses in any condition, and we know how to make the process painless. We gladly purchase homes that are in poor condition or, for one reason or another, might not be attractive to all buyers.

Because you’re not paying to repair or renovate your home in order to get the retail price or to cover closing costs and commissions, we can offer you a fair cash price that’s slightly below market value. Call us today, and get a cash offer in under 10 minutes.

A blue tarp on the roof of a house that needs repair.

So you need to sell a house as is, but it’s in less than stellar shape. Looking around at the homes currently on the market, it may feel like you have no options. If your home is an eyesore, and you’re staring down a list of needed repairs a mile long, you may be wondering how on earth you’re supposed to afford all of this.

Depending on the condition of your home, you may be realistically looking at tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in repair work to get the house sale-ready. Just for reference, here are the average prices for some of the most commonly needed home repairs today:

  • New Roof: $10,000
  • New Foundation: $30,000
  • Updated Kitchen: $15,000
  • Updated Bath: $15,000 (with an average of two to three in the home)
  • Exterior Paint: $10,000
  • Interior Paint: $5,000
  • New HVAC System: $10,000
  • Refinishing Floors: $7,500

Do those numbers make you queasy? You’re not alone. Looking at the hard facts, you may think it’s going to be impossible to sell a home that’s in disrepair. But it’s not!

Even if you don’t have the kind of time or money it would take to update your home, you still have options. The bottom line is this: Even if you can’t afford to fix up your house, you can still sell it.

Selling a house in poor condition or selling a house as-is all comes down to finding the right buyer. The process of selling as-is for cash can be summed up in these five easy steps.

1. Find a Reputable Buyer

Unfortunately, the industry does have its fair share of scam artists. Before you commit to selling your home to a cash home buying company, do your research! Look for positive online reviews and, if possible, confirm their legitimacy with the Better Business Bureau.

Protect yourself first and foremost by finding a company that is on the up and up. Trust your gut, and don’t let anyone pressure you into a situation you’re not comfortable with.

2. Get a Quote

Depending on the company, this may be done over the phone, over email, or in person. However you receive your quote, the company will appoint a representative to evaluate your home. They’ll check it over and determine what the selling price should be.

When you sell a house as-is, you can’t expect to get the full market value for it, plain and simple. However, make sure you feel like the price is fair before moving forward.

3. Sign the Contract

Once you have looked over the company’s offer and feel good about the price and conditions, you can move forward with signing a contract. Always make sure to have everything put in writing, and, if possible, have a lawyer or other experienced professional review the contract with you to ensure that the terms are crystal clear and you’re being treated fairly.

4. Close the Deal

After confirming the details of the contract, you’re ready to close! The company will set a date with you to finalize the sale, and when it’s all said and done, you’ll walk away with cash in hand for a house you were worried you wouldn’t be able to sell! You’ve reached the end of the road with this home, and you’re free to move forward however is best for you.

If your home is in need of massive repairs, and you don’t have the time or funds to complete them before you sell, give us a call. You may even be surprised to see what your house is worth in as-is condition.

Meridian Trust has purchase homes in varying conditions, so call us today if you’re selling a house in poor condition. Get your quote, and stop worrying about a house you can’t afford to fix up. Take this first step toward alleviating yourself of that burden and opening the page on a new chapter of your life.

 

Corner of house with mold on the wall.

Mold spores are all around us on a daily basis. They’re floating around in the air, and, if conditions are right, they cluster and grow into a fungus that can crawl across almost any surface of your home. And once that happens, mold can be incredibly hard to kill.

Living in a moist, subtropical environment makes mold a particularly common and troublesome occurrence. If you’re trying to sell a house with mold in Florida, you cannot afford to mess around. The presence of mold in your home both drastically impacts your selling price and makes you liable for any damage, which could mean a lawsuit.

If you suspect you have a mold issue in your home and you’re getting ready to sell your house as is, there are a few very important steps to take first to protect yourself and ensure you get a fair price for your house.

1. Locate

First, you need to find the mold. If you have very obvious mold growth (think black spots on your walls), this might be easier, but mold is very sneaky and has a tendency to do a lot of damage before it becomes easily visible to the human eye. You should check each room of your house in the most common spots for mold growth.

In the bathroom, the most common spots for mold include the shower, tub, sink, and toilet. In the kitchen, you want to check around the sink and refrigerator, as well as spill-prone places like the stove and microwave. In areas like the bedrooms and common living spaces, check around heating and air conditioning vents. In the laundry room, the washer is the biggest culprit. Think of anywhere moisture is present, and check there thoroughly.

It can be especially difficult to locate mold in your walls and carpets if there are no visible signs, but if you have any inkling it might be there (a “musty” odor, peeling wallpaper, condensation on the walls, etc.), you probably need to have a professional come out and inspect things for you. These are often the hardest areas to battle mold, and paying an expert to find it won’t be cheap. But if you suspect it’s hiding, it’s best to confirm that before moving forward with a sale.

2. Disclose

Hopefully, you locate any mold issues in your home prior to putting it on the market. But if you’ve already initiated the selling process and you discover mold, you absolutely must disclose it to potential buyers. Fixing the issue will take money out of your pocket and cost you time that will, unfortunately, increase your home’s  “days on the market” number, but if you plan to sell to a private buyer, it’s non-negotiable.

It can be frustrating to find mold in a home you’re trying to sell when you know it’s likely to drastically reduce the price, but this isn’t an optional step. You’re required by law to disclose this type of damage to your buyer, and if you don’t, it leaves you open to liability for any home damage or health issues the mold may cause once new owners have moved in. It’s a one-way ticket to a messy lawsuit. If you find it, you have to fess up.

3. Remediate

Once you’ve confirmed you have mold in your home, you have two options: address the mold issue, or sell your home as-is. The better choice will depend on how much money and time you have to throw at the problem.

If you are determined to get the full market value of your home when selling, you can go the route of treating the mold. It’s very important that you find a trustworthy professional to handle the process. It’s typically a two-step approach: first, the mold is killed, and then the area is treated to prevent re-growth.

Cost will vary depending on the extent of the growth. If you only have a few small spots to deal with, you’re probably looking at $500 to $900. If it’s present throughout the walls or HVAC system, you could spend anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 or more. It also may take weeks or months to eradicate the problem fully before inspections can be done and a sale can be closed.

If you don’t have that kind of cash on hand and you don’t have the luxury of time, selling to a home buying company is your best bet. Meridian Trust has worked with a number of sellers with mold in their houses. We work exclusively with individuals and can close in 30 days. If you need to sell a house with mold in Florida and don’t want to pay for costly repairs, call us today to learn more about selling your house as-is for cash.