selling home

sugar_flFebruary 14, 2009

Within the next month I will be selling a house I own in VA. I do not live in the house & haven't for 9 years. My son lives in it & is moving. The house is in very poor shape but I think (hope) I have a buyer for it "AS IS". This is the 1st house I have sold but think I have to live in it to be exempt. I just wonder what kinda capital gains I have to pay on it. We paid about $12,000 for it in 1965 & I will get somewhere about $50.000.

I hope to not have to have an agent to sell it.. Is this possible? It will never pass & I don't have the money to bring it up to par. I know the man who I hope will buy it is going to strip it... I think the term is FLIP it. Any insite into this will sure be appreciated.. I am to old to go though all this alone :0(


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I also have another question. I am going there a few days after he moves to get out what I want & work on the sale. He will be moved less than a week before I will be in the house.
Is there a big problem with it being no one living there that week? It won't be empty as he is moving into a very small apt & taking very little. It is insured but will that pay if something did happen? I am a widow & don't have any help with this.. My son knows less about it than I do..
Please help!
Hmmmm another question. If He is going to give me cash for it "as is" like he told me about how long should I be prepared to stay in VA to close the deal? The AS IS includes cleaning out 45 years of STUFF... some I will try to sell or give away but a lot is just stuff in the attic that classifies as JUNK & trash such as OLD clothes.
I have been dreading this for about 9 years BUT I knew this day was coming. I do not want to move back into it. I am very happy where I am.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 3:01AM
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If it's insured, it's insured (unless of course someone were to set fire to it on purpose, or leave all the doors unlocked, in which case you might have a problem collecting. Can your son at least keep an eye on things once a day (it's only a week after all)? Deal closings depend on what is in the written offer to purchase - the buyer usually sets the date of closing unless you have negotiated something different with him, but generally agents or attorneys handle to closing and you don't necessarily need to be there yourself, though if you're not using an agent, you need to nail down what will happen where and when it's happening, how to handle turning over the keys, etc. You said you don't want an agent, and I understand, but you also said "it'll never pass". Did you mean as far as having formal 'showings', or are you thinking in fact about a home inspector and not an agent? By the way, anyone trying to flip a house these days (the economy) is probably very optimistic!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 6:02AM
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The long term capital gains rate is 15%.

Expect to get a VERY low price if the place is junked up.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 9:35AM
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There are companies you can hire that will come in & clean all of that "stuff" out of the house for you. They will auction what's saleable, donate the clothes to the charity of your choice, & remove what's left to the dump. Typically, they charge a fee of 20% on whatever sells at auction & a flat hourly rate for the on-site cleanup, sorting, boxing, hauling, etc. That rate is usually around $30/hour plus any dump fees that might be required for the things that can't be either sold or donated.

To locate one of these companies look in your Yellow Pages under "Estate Auctions".

In your situation, spending a bit sounds like a better way to go than trying to do all that clean out yourself with no assistance. You won't have to lift a finger if you hire one of these companies. They usually like to do the cleanouts on a Thursday/Friday & will add your items to the next Wednesday night's auction. You'll receive your check from the auction sale within 2 weeks of the sale.

I have personally used dozens & dozens of these companies both for personal family estate cleanouts & also during the many years I was doing foreclosures for major financial institutions. People would leave mounds of "stuff" behind that needed to be cleaned out.

Best of luck.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 10:23AM
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The man that wants to buy it lives across the Street. He knows the condition it is in. The house is built much better than ones today. It does need rewiring & things like the oven & stove (built in) needs replacing. It also needs a new sewer line as the toilet stops up easy. He is in the plumbing & electrical business so that is no big deal for him. My guess is he will flip it as that is what he did to his house when he bought it. He doesn't plan on reselling it. He wants to move his disabled sister-in-law into it. He told me about a month ago he would give me $50,000 cash for it.. The city appraises it at 52,800. I don't know what a private appraise would be..
He also told me that would include him cleaning it out.
My son doesn't drive..can't afford a car. My friend will keep an eye on it for me (us)

Another question.. When we bought the house I was a different name from what I am now. I remarried but am a widow again. Do I need to change the name on the deed? If so can I do that here? I can do it free as we have elder lawyers here at the law school. I live on a university campus in a 100 Apartment retirement home they have.

This whole business has my head spinning LOL

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 12:31PM
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Dar, are you ok with someone "cleaning out" stuff you haven't seen in years? What if there is stuff that's worth something or sentimental that you misplaced?

What I would do is go to a few real estate sites to see what the price is like and how close he is to what it's actually worth in that shape. You don't want to give him the house for a lot less then it's worth as I'm sure you could use the money as well. Most towns the assessment is lower then what you could sell it for. Our old house was assessed under $90k we got a little over $200k

Just don't screw yourself because you think they are doing you a favor.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 6:15PM
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I understand your concern. I am not able to do the work & can't even get in the attic myself. I have already given the kids most of their fathers things. I am really at a handicap right now. I don't have anywhere in my small apt to put anything more. Most of the things I want from there I have already gotten out before my 2nd husband died & we had a truck to move them in. I was in Florida then & had to downsize again when I moved to Alabama to this apt.

My worry now is I believe he is going to back out & not take the house. A month ago he was begging me to let him have it when my son could move. If he does I have no idea what to do. I'm sure no agent will take it in the condition it is in & I don't have the money to fix it. This house is all I have left to supply a little money so I don't have to live totally off social security.

I am lucky to have insurance as the wiring isn't up to code such as fuses except for the A/C. I realize if something happened (fire) I may have problems. They did cover some tornado damage. Just wiring the house would cost more than I have. I get so depressed when I go in it. The last 17 years have sure taken it's toll on it. A lot was damage my son did. Thank God my son is on medication now which really seems to help him. He has been different (better) the last 6 months or so.

What do I do if I can't sell it? I can't keep it either.

Another question.. The deed is in my 1st husbands name.. do I have to change that to my current name? If so can that be done in Alabama (I have the deed here). I can get the elder lawyers here on campus to do that free. I need to call them I guess & see what help they can be.

Right now my mind is in a frenzy..and I don't have a clue what to do. I don't even know if the company that buys
ugly houses is still buying ugly houses.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 1:43AM
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Sounds like you need to make sure he still is "in" to buy for $50k as-is and get a contract written up and signed by both parties, and schedule a closing date.

Then pick either a laywer or title company to perform the closing. Make sure you and him agree who pays for the closing fees. There will be some even when cash. I don't know law in that state if a lawyer has to perform closing or if a title agency does it. Check.

You can call a real estate attorney to get the contract written up and such. This might be best for you. Then you contact the buyer and ask the buyer to go to the attorney's office to sign the paperwork. You might call the buyer and confirm everything is still going forward before you get the attorney to write up the paperwork.

Your PLAN B (if buyer backs out) is to list with an agent. Don't worry, agents don't require a home to be in certain condition before they list it or attempt to sell it. especially now, they are hungry for work. They will list it as-is.

This will work out. I think the guy is going to buy it but you need to get this agreed upon and in-writing and schdule a closing date. It sounds like you weren't sure how to seal the deal and maybe left him hanging verbally after you told him he could buy it for $50k? So now close the deal with a contract and a scheduled closing. It can take a couple weeks for closing to occur but should be faster because he is paying cash. Still, there is lots of paperwork and such and it still takes some time. So get it scheduled.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:32AM
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Sweet tea,
THANKS for the reply.. now at least I know a little what is going on...I'm not quite so far in the dark now. He is taking the house but may give me a small problem on the closing cost. He is going to talk to a friend of his in the real estate business. I know that isn't good for me her being a friend. I just hope all these friends aren't going to cost me money.
He even mentioned a friend doing an appraisal on it. I can't go any less on it. If push comes to shove I guess I may have to offer to split the closing cost.
I want to get rid of it & he knows it.
I am sure at a disadvantage being so far away.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:42PM
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I just got a call & another neighbor is interested in the house also.. How do I deal with 2 people without hurting one of them? Knowing them personally makes it tougher. I don't want to mess around & lose them both..I would like to do this without having to give an agent a cut...Sorry I know some of U are agents..I'm just not getting much for it & want to keep all I can.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:23PM
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Tell each buyer that they have until a certain date to let you know what their "highest and best" offer is. Let them know that there are multiple persons wanting to buy the home.
Sounds to me that this property has some marketing value, given the fact that two buyers have already expressed interst in it. I would hire an agent just to do a Market Valuation. Offer them a couple hundred dollars. That way you know you are not getting ripped off. Who knows, just the lot itself may be worth over $50,000.
When you have a buyer, have choose an attorney to draw up a contract. Who pays for this is usually the Buyer. But all is negotiable.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:56AM
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Sugar, please find a way to get someone out there to give you an idea of what the house is worth.

I have a feeling people are trying to rip you off.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:26PM
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When my mother passed away a few years ago, I had the task of selling her house (built in 1963). It needed a lot of work too, the appliances were old, the flooring was worn, most plumbing and electrical was original and the worst thing, it needed foundation work.

I had an RE agent come out and look at it and explained that I needed to sell it as is. We didn't want to put any money or work into it, just needed to sell it and settle the estate. She told me what she thought she could get for it and was able to sell it for very close to that amount pretty quickly.

There IS a market for that kind of thing. There are lots of people who flip houses and are ready to pay cash. Your friend isn't the only one. Get a agent who is familiar with the neighborhood. At the very least, an agent can give you a good idea of what the house can sell for, even in its current condition.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:35PM
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What I would do is contact a local realtor from a company that has a decent reputation in town, and let them know that you are considering selling your house. Have them visit the house (your son can let them in), and then interview them over the phone once they are finished. You are not obligated to use this realtor to sell your house just because they have visited it. You are allowed to shop for realtors. I would ask what price they would list the house, what actions they will take to sell and market the home (newspaper ads, online, etc), and how much time they believe it will realistically take to sell it in "as is" condition. If the realtor's opinion is that it will sell higher than $54,000, then even with 6% commission you will come away with more than the $50k your neighbor is offering to give you. If they don't think they can sell it that high, or you have a bad feeling from your phone interview, then don't sign a contract with that realtor and tell the neighbors to present their best offers and you can choose between them.

That's my advice, but whatever you do, Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:00AM
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