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My Rental Property is Costing Me Money. What Should I Do?

Bigg Challenge
Jeff’s job took him several states away from a rental property that he bought about two years ago. He bought the property and fixed it up. Now his tenant is moving out and the place is a mess. So he’s going to have to invest a bunch again. But he feels he has no choice since he has so much in it already. Besides, it’s a bad time to sell real estate. He wants our thoughts on his situation.


Bigg Advice

It’s been said,

“Find a landlord who lives more than twenty minutes from his
rental and you’ll find a landlord who’s probably ready to sell.”

Properties can be managed across cities and states, but for the most part, real estate is a very local business. And, a lot of people don’t understand that you’re in business even if you only have one rental property.

Consult with a good attorney

You’ve treated this like a business, Jeff. You had your tenant sign a lease. But a lot of landlords feel like there’s little recourse if a tenant tears up the place. However, you can take legal measures against a tenant who causes damage beyond normal wear and tear.

So consult with an attorney to explore your options. There’s a good chance your attorney may handle your case on a contingency. Of course, you’ll still have to cover the courts costs.

Sell!

Check with a realtor, and even other property owners, to get an idea of what to expect if you list your property. Of course, you won’t know until you actually put it on the market, but you can probably make a reasonable guess with some more information.

Sure, we hear news reports that the real estate market is down. However, you may find it’s not as bad as you think. And here’s the thing … isn’t it better to fix it up and let it sit empty than to fix it up just to fix it up again if your next tenant does the same thing?

Distance makes the difference
Every landlord risks bad tenants, but since you live so far away, Jeff, it seems like the best move for you. The only other thing you might consider is contracting with an experienced local property manager to handle the leasing and maintenance.

You sunk my battle ship!
Picture a ship that’s sunk. You can invest money to try to make it float again, or you could just leave it on the bottom of the ocean and get a different ship. Hopefully, you quickly see which one of those two is better.

George said that, unfortunately, he’s learned this the hard way. It’s not easy when you’re the one in the middle of the situation. But the money you’ve already invested is a sunk cost, like the sunken ship. Don’t base your decision today on money that’s already been spent. Base it on what kind of return you can get on the money you will invest. If it’s better elsewhere, cut your losses and move on.

We hope this helps you with your bigg decision, Jeff. Thanks for sharing your Bigg Challenge with us!

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Choose The Right Realtor To Sell Your House … Fast!

By Bigg Success Staff
03-05-08

Life Changes

We recently posted an article entitled 7 Steps To Sell Your House … Fast! We’re constantly bombarded with the turbulence of the real estate markets. But real estate is a very local business – you need to understand what’s going on in your market, not the national market.

We think the simplest way to do that is by contracting with a realtor. It’s also the most effective way to sell your house. They are professionals immersed in the market every day.

They will help you get the best price possible for your home, given market conditions. It’s also likely that they will sell your house faster than any other way, short of an auction. In short, they will earn every penny you pay them.

We’ll assume you don’t already know a good realtor, because if you did you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. How do you select the right realtor for you?

Get referrals
This is the single best way to find a good realtor. Talk to friends, neighbors, business associates, and your hair stylist. They hear it all! Ask them who they would use to sell their house. When you start hearing a name over and over, you have a good lead!

Interview them
Now that you have two or three names, set up a meeting to talk with them. Respect their time – good realtors are busy people. Offer to meet at their office or some other convenient place. You may even interview them over the phone.

You’re looking for two things from your realtor – someone with whom you have good chemistry and someone who can deliver the results you want.

You have to feel comfortable with your realtor at the start because selling your home can be very stressful. You have to know they can deliver so you trust them, even if little to nothing seems to be happening. 

Verify their information
The easiest way to do this is to look up their REALTOR® listing. You can see what professional designations they’ve earned. You should also ask for third-party verification for any claims that were made. For instance, did they tell you about a national award or did they show you proof?

Follow-up on references
Good agents will be happy to provide you with references to two or three satisfied sellers. The more recently they’ve sold, the better – you want to talk to people who faced circumstances as close as possible to yours. Contact them to see if they would use the realtor again.

Hire your agent
Pick the agent you think is best suited for the task at hand. Once you made the decision, notify them to get the process rolling. You should also drop a note to any other realtors you interviewed thanking them again.

Choosing a realtor is perhaps the most important decision you will make when selling your house. A good realtor will make the rest of the process much more manageable. Choose your realtor well and sell your house … fast! 

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