Distressed Home Q&A Recording – February 19th, 2021
For your ease, we have provided a transcript of the Distressed Home Q&A Recording.
Hey, it’s Evan with Simple Sale Central Florida. We’re back here again for our February 2021 Distressed Home Q&A. We’re discussing some common distressed housing questions to help better educate clients that could be in these situations.
Simple Sale Central Florida’s mission is to bring transparency and accountability to distressed home sales. We work in an industry that can be very predatory. Some people will do or say anything to get a property under contract or have control via contract. They then try to manipulate the client into whatever is most beneficial to them. That may entail reducing the purchase price or not closing on the property last minute with false expectations. There are several other ways to unfortunately manipulate them.
We work to be accountable and credible, as you can see on our Google and Facebook reviews. We’ve had great experiences with our clients. We do everything we can to try to make sure that the client has a great experience. That is really what we strive for. So, let’s go ahead and get started with the questions:
1. Why do I keep getting calls and letters and postcards about my property?
In our industry, unfortunately there’s a lot of companies that do cold outreach. They’ll cold call, cold text or send postcards. We actually don’t do any of those things, but most companies in the industry do.
Most companies do cold outreach where they’re calling you weekly. You may be on a list because you have code violations on your home. People order those lists from the city, town or municipality then call everyone hoping that they’re looking to sell. Some people think that’s fine.
We aren’t trying to talk bad about those other companies, but we do not do that. We do what’s called inbound digital marketing. Someone will see our ad online and if they’re ready to sell their distressed property, they’ll reach out. But we don’t ever go cold calling potential clients that are in a distressed situation. To represent the company properly, cold calling someone, to us, is not the best way to go about it.
When someone’s ready to sell their house, they’ll go looking for someone to buy it. You don’t have to convince them that they need to sell. We let our reviews and our mission speak for itself. These distressed home sales are done one client at a time. We work very hard with each and every client that we are fortunate enough to work with. We try very hard to give them a great experience one client at a time.
I don’t know if I did a great job of answering that question, actually… You’re getting those because someone sees you on a list and they want to make you an offer. It’s very common in the business. So let’s go to the next question because I could ramble about that one all day.
2. What are the benefits of working with a cash home buyer?
There’s positives and negatives to everything. Working with someone who’s going to purchase your property for cash obviously has the benefit of speed. They’re probably going to be able to close in less than 30 days in almost all situations. They should be able to do that. If they’re not doing that, they’re probably not a credible company.
You’re also able to sell the property as-is to someone who’s going to buy it for cash. It won’t be based on a mortgage or note, where they have to qualify for funding at the bank. That boils down to you avoiding making repairs on your property to make it appraisal or inspection-worthy. You can sell it as-is, so there are some benefits in that nature.
In almost all situations if you don’t have a time constraint, if you don’t need to sell in the next 30 to 60 days and you’re just trying to look for the highest offer possible, I would always recommend you work with a brokerage. Hire them to go out and find the best offer possible.
For example, we are currently working with a client that actually should have closed today. It’s going to be pushed to Tuesday for various reasons. There’s open permits on the property that are taking longer than expected to get closed out. We did list that property for them. It had a probate issue, liens on the property, and open permits which we’re still working on.
Our team was able to resolve all those issues. We helped educate the client on what they were dealing with and what it was going to look like. We told them how much proceeds they were probably going to get and what the time line was. And we get paid a commission to bring our expertise to the table of educating them on that process.
There’s a false sense that if your property has liens or things like that that you can’t list it. That’s just not true. Our client reached out in September and we’re closing in February. There wasn’t really a time constraint, but there were various legal issues that needed to be taken care of. With our team and our attorneys, we got it done and walked them through the process and did a listing. Fortunately they netted much more than we ever really had hoped for. I was very, very happy with the outcome, and I hope they feel the same way.
In that situation our cash offer wasn’t competitive. We looked into purchasing that property but it just wasn’t a good fit for us from a cash-buying standpoint. But when you put it on the open market you never know why someone is looking at that property. Maybe it’s a rental for them and they’re able to pay more. In this situation that’s exactly what happened. Someone came in, paid cash and paid a lot more for it, so it was really great for them.
So there are some benefits but also at the same time, working with agents isn’t always bad. If you think you have to sell your home for cash, that may not always be the case.
3. What kinds of companies buy distressed properties?
There’s a few companies out there. As far as credible companies, there aren’t actually that many. There are several people that claim to buy and sell distressed properties, and there’s a handful online. For example Opendoor, Offerpad, or Zillow Offers, they do make offers on properties but they do not buy distressed properties like we do. So that’s where we are different. We will buy properties with liens, code violations, properties that need probate. A lot of those guys don’t.
So that is the difference. Like I said, there aren’t many credible companies out there that are currently doing what we do. To be honest it’s not easy – it can be very complicated. We know our niche in the market and we do everything we can to give the client a great experience.
4. What should I know about selling a house in poor condition?
Honestly the biggest thing is finding a company or person that knows what they’re talking about. Someone who can handle and actually purchase that property that can walk you through the process. There isn’t any magic to it or anything of that nature. I don’t know if there’s anything in particular like tips or anything like that. The biggest thing is just finding a good person or company to work with that understands the process. They should be able to take care of everything for you.
We try to educate our clients but we also try to make it as simple as possible for them. They don’t have to handle any of the aggravating things that come with selling a property in poor condition. The one thing is, you need to manage your expectations if it needs a lot of work.
Honestly, in our experience working with people, they’re pretty aware of what the situation is. If the property is in really poor condition, they’re typically not oblivious to what’s going on with it. On rare occasions people may be a little blind to the property’s current condition, but most times they’re aware.
5. Can you sell a house in foreclosure?
Yes, you definitely can. I would say maybe a third of clients are in some form of pre-foreclosure when they reach out to us. We are able to buy them every single time if there isn’t an issue. You shouldn’t have any issues.
If you find a retail buyer that’s trying to buy with a mortgage, that’s going to be a no-no. That’s probably not going to work out. You would definitely have to have someone that’s going to buy the house quickly for cash.
Read More: Selling Your Home Before Foreclosure
6. Is it possible to sell a house in probate in Florida?
I kind of already talked about this during my rant earlier. It is definitely possible to sell a house in probate. It’s possible to list a house in probate. In a lot of situations if it’s a probate deal, a listing is actually probably a better idea. You’re going to net more for it.
Like I said we have a brokerage, Simple Sale Realty. We can list properties throughout Central Florida. With probate deals, a lot of times we do that because our cash offer probably isn’t going to be competitive compared to a landlord that’s looking to pay a premium for a property because it’s right beside all of their other rentals.
It’s definitely possible to sell one, and in a lot of situations I would recommend that you list it. We can list it for you and take care of the probate. We have the team to get it done, and we can take care of any other issues out there.
7. What do I need to know before selling my home as-is?
That’s pretty similar to the other question about selling a house in poor condition. I think we kind of covered it already. Selling your house as-is with someone that isn’t quite helpful can be a stressful experience. Depending on the situation of the home, if there’s legal issues and things of that nature, a lot of times those have to get unraveled before the closing. That can become pretty stressful if you don’t have someone experienced or they’re not being truthful with you about the situation.
It goes back to what I’ve already said. You really have to work with someone that’s credible, a company or a person that’s credible. You can find reviews online that they’ve given their client great experiences, because without that it can be tough. It can be a bad experience so I would definitely say just do your research on a great company.
8. Why should I sell my house to Simple Sale instead of through a realtor?
It really just depends on your situation. If you’re looking to sell quickly and there’s legal issues, a distressed situation, or excessive repairs, we’re going to be very competitive. If you want to close a property in 3 weeks with a short inspection period, we’re going to be very competitive.
But, if you had an agent you were looking to use, they’re probably going to be able to get it done for you but the time lines typically differ. It’s more of a 60- to 90-day process because they’re vetting offers, getting offers, getting buyers under contract. As you may know, contracts fall out. Just because you get an offer for a price doesn’t mean it’s sold. In our business, people make a lot of offers and not a lot of people close. That’s just the reality of the business.
We’re proud when we get a property under contract and we get through the inspection period and we close. That’s one of our main promises to the client: we don’t back out last minute. It’s just not something we believe in. We don’t ask for price reductions last minute or anything like that. Re-trading on price, we do not do that, we will not do that. It goes against everything that we believe in.
9. Do I have to take everything from the property and clean it before closing?
No you do not, you absolutely do not. We’ve bought what people call hoarder houses and houses with bio-hazard issues. You don’t have to take anything from the house. You can leave whatever you don’t want and we hire crews to clean the property. It’s pretty simple. We just tell clients to take what they want and they can leave the rest.
We had a client in Haines City that recently cleaned most of the house out. It wasn’t really an expectation of him to do that, but I think he’s just a really nice guy. He just wanted to take the extra step of cleaning everything and he did a good job. We didn’t have to worry about it, but sometimes clients leave a lot of stuff and that’s totally fine.
10. Can you give me an example of a difficult home you’ve bought?
Hmm… There’s a lot, but I’m trying to think of the most recent. The one in Haines City was interesting. There was a title issue that we cleared up. In the last 2 or 3 months we bought a property that had 7 heirs. So there was a house where there was a husband and wife. The husband and wife then got divorced after having 4 kids.
They got divorced in the 70s or 80s and then the wife stayed in the house, she passed away in 2000. The husband moved to Pennsylvania, got married again, had a child, and died in Pennsylvania in 2002. So they both have ownership in this house and have 5 kids total. They both passed away. Some of the kids passed away and their kids had kids, so it was the original owners’ grandchildren that reached out.
So you can imagine how you get 7 heirs out of that situation. It took us over a year to untangle everything and find the heirs. We had to find people that didn’t even know they had an interest in the property and then we had heirs in 4 different states. But, we kept at it and we were able to close on it in December of 2020. So that one was a journey and it was a great experience.
As far as legal complexity, that may have been the most complex one. It was definitely the longest, but may have been the most complex one we have ever done. It’s just an example of how we just don’t give up, we keep at it. They wanted to sell the property and no one – literally no one’s crazy enough to untangle that and take the time. We had a 5-figure lawyer bill out of it that we had to pay, and we were at risk for because there was no guarantee that we were going to close at the end of the day.
So that’s what we do. That’s the business we’re in and we love helping clients get through these situations. We bought the property and will do well on it and that’s great too, but at the end of the day we got something done that no one else could. There were multiple other people that had tried and that had said they would get it done but they couldn’t. So that one was really great. It was a good experience.
So, I think that’s it. Are there any other questions? Anyone out there? I don’t see any comments or questions.
So as always, thanks for viewing. You can call us at 407-338-4183. You can also just go to our website, simplesalecentralflorida.com. Just fill out the form, you’ll put in your address, your email and your phone. That will allow us to reach out to you and discuss your situation and see if we’re a good fit.
We are Central Florida’s trusted distressed home buyer and we pride ourselves on bringing transparency and accountability to distressed home sales. I appreciate you tuning in and listening and we will be back next month to answer more of these questions. Feel free to reach out any time! Thanks. Bye.