You start off all fired up and full of enthusiasm – with dollar signs dancing before your eyes. But it doesn’t take long for the reality to dim those fires and for the dollar signs to disappear. Owning rental property can be a sound investment, but it does involve a lot of stress and headaches. And it’s just not for everyone. Let’s see then why now is the time to sell your Houston house if you’re tired of dealing with evictions?
The Time-Consuming Eviction Process
You’ve been through the eviction process, so you know how lengthy and time-consuming it can be. But let’s just run through the steps again:
- Give a proper written eviction notice
- Terminate the lease
- File an unlawful detainer action
- Serve tenant a summons to appear in court
- Attend the hearing
- Get a writ of possession
- Wait for sheriff to remove the tenant
- Change locks
Not only do you have to invest a lot of time, but money as well in fees and because your time is valuable.
The Costs of Eviction
The actual potential costs of a formal eviction are definitely a good reason why now is the time to sell your Houston house. First, there’s the obvious cost of lost rent, probably a minimum of three month’s worth at, say, $1,000/month for a minimum total of $3,000. Then there are all the fees and related expenses:
- Court costs – $150
- Attorney’s fees – $500
- Sheriff Department fees –$50
- Locksmith charges – $150
- Repair expenses – $1,000+
- Cleaning charges – $500
This comes to a minimum total of well over $5,000. And if you have to go through the eviction process very many times, it’s easy to see how selling may be far more profitable. Further, if you try to go around the formal, legal eviction process and do a self-help eviction, it could cost you a lot more in both time and money.
Why NOW Is the Time to Sell
There are three solid reasons why now is the time to sell your Houston house and why it may be the best option for you.
1. Cures Negative Cash Flow – In addition to the high cost of evictions (which are inevitable no matter how well you screen tenants), there are many other expenses that can eat up profits and result in a net loss – for example, repairs and maintenance, insurance, and rising property taxes. Often, the cost of the property outstrips the income brought in. Selling the property will get you out from under these cost burdens with cash in hand on closing.
2. Property May Be Worth More Now – Your property has also likely appreciated since you first bought it. So if you sell, instead of losing money on eviction costs, you can realize a profit over the initial purchase price. The goal of investing, after all, it to make money – not to lose it.
3. Still a Fairly Strong Seller’s Market –Although maybe not quite so much as a year two ago, it’s still a fairly strong seller’s market. With inventories still somewhat low and interest rates not too bad, there is a good crop of willing buyers and amenable mortgage lenders. So now is definitely a good time to sell.
As a landlord worn down by the cost and hassle of evictions, you understand why now is the time to sell your Houston house. But maybe you’ve been putting it off because you’re not exactly sure about the best way to do it.