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6 Tips for Selling Your Out-of-State Home

By Thomas O'Shaughnessy | January 21, 2022

Whether you’ve relocated for a job or bought a piece of land to build your dream retirement home, you may find yourself having to sell your home after you’ve moved to another state.

Selling a home can be one of the most stressful experiences a person faces in their life. Add in the prospect of doing it remotely, and that process can seem even scarier. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are six tips to keep your cool while selling your out-of-state home.

Hire the Right Realtor

Set yourself up for success from the start by hiring a real estate agent who can go the distance for you while you’re at a great distance. You’ll want to go beyond referrals from friends and family to find one who is great at communication and being your representative.

Ask potential agents about how they will keep you updated on the listing and sale of your home. Find one who uses communication devices that match your style, whether that’s regular email exchanges, text messages, video chats, phone calls, and more. Video calls can be particularly helpful so you can have a visual during walk-throughs and meetings.

You also want to work with someone you can trust. Your ideal agent will be your in-person representation throughout the process. You need to be on the same page from the start so they will fight for your wants and needs on the home front.

Finding a long-distance real estate agent to meet your needs doesn’t have to be hard. Agent-matching services, like Clever Real Estate, partner agents offer years of experience at a discounted rate.

Work With a Brokerage That Can Handle Out-of-State Closing

In most cases, both the buyer and seller are required to be present for signing the closing documents on a home. If time or money prevent you from being able to fly back to your old state to sign papers, working with a firm that will allow you the flexibility to sign your paperwork with a notary in your new state could save you time and hassle.

This is one of many questions you should ask before signing on with an agent or brokerage. When interviewing potential agents, don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.

Stage Your Home

If you’ve already moved, then you have probably emptied your home. Empty houses can be harder to sell, so it often pays to hire a professional stager to rent and arrange some furniture while your home is on the market.

Ask your agent to have high-quality photos taken after the furniture has been staged. This will make your property’s listing stand out to prospective buyers and make a better impression on virtual tours.

Keep Budgeting for Home Expenses

Before you move to your new home, set aside some money to continue covering expenses at your old property after you have moved out. You will still need to make your mortgage payments and pay for major utilities like gas, water, and electricity.

It could also be helpful to pay someone to take care of your home after you depart. They will be responsible for mowing the lawn, shoveling snow from walkways, cleaning, and other care that may pop up while you are away.

Use Contingencies To Avoid Paying Multiple Mortgages

When you move out of state, you may be living in a rental unit until you buy a new home. To avoid paying multiple mortgages at once, talk with your buyer’s agent about including a contingency in your offer that states you will not be able to close on the new home until you have sold your old home.

A home sale contingency could give you some extra security, though keep in mind that some sellers may not accept an offer with too many contingencies, and you may lose out on some properties. Knowing this in advance can help you manage your expectations.

Hand off Paperwork as Soon as Possible

Make sure you provide your real estate agent with all of the paperwork they'll need for your home sale as soon as possible. If you can, hire an agent before moving to your new home so you don't have to worry about it once you’ve moved. As a bonus, you’ll save money on certified mail or overnight shipping.

While you’re handing over paperwork, give your realtor all of the keys to your home, including for the front door, garage, and mailbox. Destroy any extra copies that you no longer need to give the new owners additional security.

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