Can’t Sell Your Home? Consider this

If you are having trouble selling your home in the current economic downturn, there are options. Many people have had their homes on the market for 6, 7, 8, months or more without any offers. You may have to sell your home due to a job transfer, divorce, an increase in family size, or perhaps your payments are too high and you need to cut back. What should an owner do? Your best option may be to rent your home until house prices start to pick up.

Many landlords fear renting their homes because of the horror stories they hear: unruly tenants poking holes in walls, clogging toilets, or not paying rent for months, forcing the landlord to pay the mortgage they can damage. to pay. But these problems can be avoided simply with a good rental agreement and good management.

Most people who are not experienced landlords prefer to have a real estate company handle their rental. This is a good idea if you are willing to listen to your agent’s advice on your rental price. Real estate agents know the market and will tell you what rental price your home will fetch in today’s market. They will manage to find a tenant and check the credit. They will handle house repairs and eviction, if necessary. The experienced real estate manager knows how to prevent tenants from “misbehaving” so you can feel safe renting your property.

If you prefer to handle the rent yourself, here are some tips for being a successful landlord.

Before starting the rental process, get a good rental agreement. Check out some landlord websites that post practical rental agreements and rental application forms that you can use. You can also consult an attorney for a good rental agreement and application form. Be sure to address issues like who cares for the yard, if smoking is allowed, if pets are allowed, and if an additional “pet deposit” is required, who is responsible for repairing appliances if they break, what appliances are included, and so on. Once you have found the rental agreement you want to use, the next step is to obtain a “Move-in Condition Report.” This report addresses the condition of the home and allows the owner and tenant to recognize the condition of each room in the home. If there is any doubt about the condition of the property at the time of move-in, the report will clarify any doubt. Generally, the tenant must return the report to the landlord within 2 days of moving into the property.

Next, find a service you can use to check the credit history of prospective tenants. You can join the National Association of Independent Homeowners for a nominal fee and check credit online through their website.

Once you’ve found the right tenant, you’ll need to sign the rental agreement, collect the deposits and the first month’s rent, and hand over the keys. It’s a good idea to collect the deposit and the first month’s rent in the form of a money order. You don’t want a tenant to move into your home only to find that the deposit and rent checks are not good! You would have to start the eviction process without having received money!

Once you have received the initial money order at the time of move-in, you may want to allow the tenant to make future payments with a personal check. If a check is ever returned to you, your rental agreement must specify that all future payments will be made by money order.

Finally, it is a good idea to find an attorney who specializes in evictions. You will probably never need it as long as you manage your property according to the rental agreement, with no exceptions, always being courteous to your tenants. But if you ever need to evict, you’ll feel better if you have an eviction attorney in your arsenal.

If you bought your home in 2002 or earlier, you’re in luck. You can probably rent your home for a profit, or at least an amount that covers your mortgage payment. Even if you have to rent your home for $ 100 less than your mortgage payment, you probably won’t have to go into foreclosure above that amount.

You may be able to pay your home rent at a loss if the home you are moving into has a lower monthly payment than your current home. Depending on your financial situation, renting at a loss of, say, $ 200 / month may be better than leaving the house empty, losing the full amount of your mortgage payment each month!

It’s a good idea to see your complete financial picture before deciding whether to stay in your home, rent it, or sell it for less than you want in this economic downturn. For more information and tips on selling your home, visit

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