Before you panic or book a flight back home you might want to know that it is possible to sell your home from out of state. As a real estate broker that has help many out of state sellers I’m going to share my insights on how to pick the right broker for the job. This is a pretty big topic so I’ll be sharing my secrets of how to sell from out of state in three parts. The first factor in picking the right agent is experience. This means a track record of success in the local market and the ability to translate market knowledge into reasonable expectations in terms of how much a home will sell for and how long it will take to close. You also want to ensure that the agent has help other people sell from out of state before so you’re not the test subject!
My team and I serve the Portland Oregon market and if you are signing in another state we will help set up either a mobile notary or an appointment with a sister title and escrow company in your state. If you are signing out of country we will need to plan to have signing either at a US Consulate or with an English language notary or if necessary a non-English notary that is translated to English. This can take time to arrange so we start on this early on in process of selling your home.
Depending on where you live the transfer of fund might also take a little extra work. In the US and many countries you can simply wire funds from escrow at closing. For some countries there are restrictions on home much money can come and go over a certain time period. We check with title and escrow and make sure we know where you plan to send funds so we can help make this a smooth process.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for the next part of How to Sell Your Home from Out of
State where I’ll talk about how my team works with vendors and your local family or friends to get your
property ready for market and make sure we get through the sales process to a successful closing.
When you decide to sell your home from out of state you need an agent who can be flexible to your schedule since you are likely in a different time zone. While most details can be arranged through email I always like to “meet” my clients so a late night or early morning call might be the only way to make that happen. My team makes sure all our clients hear from us on a weekly basis and we respond to calls and emails. I also have a team and that means I have people that can help provide a higher level of service.
If you have a friend or family member in town we can coordinate with them on your behalf to preview the house and get it ready for the market. If you don’t have a local contact my team can handle everything once we have a signed listing contract and a key to the house. Make sure when you choose a real estate agent that they can be your point person locally to handle all of the tasks where someone will need access to the property. At a minimum we will coordinate access to preview the house for a Market Analysis, meet with vendors to get the home ready if repairs are needed, meet with a professional photographer and videographer, and arrange access for prospective buyers and their agents and inspectors.
If your home or condo is rented out we will coordinate with your tenants and property manager to get the property ready and for all the times we’ll need access during the marketing and closing process. Working with tenants can be tricky and this is another area you’ll want to ensure your agent has experience.
Welcome to the final installment of my three-part series on how to sell your home from out of state. I’ve already talked about the importance of experience, service, and flexibility. The last thing you want to look at when choosing a real estate agent is the systems and tools they have to help you sell from out of state.
The first set of tools help us communicate with our sellers. We use email, FaceTime [for Apple users], and Skype. These communication tools let us meet our clients and even tour the property with them. If connection speeds are slow we can take photos to share as well.
For contracts and documents that do not need to be notarized, which is most of what you’ll need to sign, we use a digital signature service called DocuSign. Digital signatures help us get contracts reviewed and signed quickly. If ink signatures are required we have traditional fax and also scanners to get documents back and forth. A great trick we use if you’re in a remote area is to just use your smart phone or digital camera to take pictures of the contract pages so you can get them back to us.
Finally make sure your agent has a cloud based file sharing system. We use dropbox to share large files and also give our clients access to all the documents we have on their property. Thanks for taking the time to read this series on how to sell your home from out of state and if we can help you in the Portland Oregon area just give us a call or email. If you need help finding an agent in another state or even country we can help with that as well since we have agent friends all over the country and world through our company.
Nick Krautter is the author of The Golden Handoff: How to Buy and Sell a Real Estate Agent’s Business which debuted number one on Amazon for mergers and acquisitions. His goal is to teach real estate agents how to grow their business and to help them later retire and benefit from their years of hard work. For the last decade Nick has been a Realtor in Portland, Oregon, where he leads a team and frequently serves as a real estate expert for the media.