If you’re trying to sell your Texas house, you’ll be spending a lot of money in the form of holding costs, or carrying costs.
What are carrying costs?
Simply put, carrying costs are expenses associated with owning a home while you’re in the process of selling it.
Assuming you don’t own your house free and clear, you’ll need to keep paying the mortgage while you wait for a buyer to close. It goes without saying that the longer it takes to sell your house, the more mortgage payments you’ll be making. This can be especially difficult if you need to move to your new home before the sale is complete; most of us can’t afford to pay both rent and a mortgage at the same time, and banks may be hesitant to let you carry two mortgages at once without a tenant in one home.
Texas has some of the highest property tax rates in the U.S., and as long as you own the house, you’ll be responsible for payment. The longer it takes to sell, the bigger your share of the tax bill will be at the end of the year.
Did you know a typical homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover most claims if the house is vacant? In other words, if you move out of the house while trying to sell it, your property insurance may not cover fire, burglary, vandalism, or other damage if you’re not living there. If you do list the house while it’s empty, you’ll want to ask your insurance provider about a vacant home policy or rider.
Homeowner Association Dues and Fees
If your house or condo is in an HOA, those dues will still be collected every month, quarter, or year, depending on your membership agreement. And, because most HOAs have certain standards and requirements, you’ll want to be extra vigilant to ensure you don’t run afoul of any policies, like an overgrown lawn or a broken window, that could lead to fees and other penalties.
This is less obvious if you’re still living in the house while you try to sell it – you’ve got to have power and running water, right? But even if you’ve moved out or the property is otherwise vacant, turning off the utilities isn’t a good idea. No one wants to buy a house if they can’t test the faucets, toilets, lights, outlets, and HVAC system.
If you want to attract and impress prospective buyers, maintaining curb appeal is essential. That means keeping the lawn watered and mowed, leaves raked, walkways clear, and caring for trees, flowerbeds, and other plants. So, plan on adding a landscaper service bill to your carrying costs. Even if you would rather do it all yourself, that time you spend is still a carrying cost, because you’re losing time and money you could be spending elsewhere. (You’ll need to put gas in the mower or recharge the batteries, after all.)
Painting, Washing, and Repairs
Something else to add to your checklist if you’re selling: giving the outside of the house a good power-washing. Windows and walls can build up years of grime from pollution and the elements, so budget for a professional cleaning if you don’t already own the equipment to do it yourself. All that cleaning will likely knock off some paint, so you may need to plan for painting as well, if the house didn’t already need it. Consider the inside walls, too – if you or your tenants have lived in the house for more than a few years since the last coat of paint was applied, there will likely be a bunch of scuffs, scrapes, and other marks that need to be covered. One more cost to add: basic repairs, such as leaky faucets / toilets, broken floor tiles, and anything else that could turn off buyers.
Just like the outside, the inside of your house must be maintained if you want to sell for a good price. Your choices: spend hours every day sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and wiping down every surface, or hire someone to do it for you. Either way, you’ll be spending a lot of time and money on cleaning, if you’re still living in the house. This can be mitigated somewhat if the home is unoccupied, but you’ll still want to do a deep cleaning before listing, and regular dusting will still be required.
Sell Your Texas House Fast and Skip the Carrying Costs
One way to avoid carrying costs altogether is to sell your house fast to an all-cash buyer, like Local Cash Buyers. We will make you an offer in writing within 24 hours of seeing your property, and if you accept, we can close in as little as 7 days!
That means you can forget all of the above holding costs, get cash for your house, and get on with your life.
Contact us now for your free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to helping you sell your Texas house fast!
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