FAQ

FAQ2020-10-27T11:39:42-04:00
How do you guarantee closing?2020-07-27T15:43:49-04:00

We guarantee closing on every offer we make. This is easily done because our team gets to know the seller, researches the property, understands current market trends, and has cash ready to close.

How much money will I receive at closing?2020-07-27T15:43:27-04:00

With every offer, our team will explain exactly how payment is provided. The amount of money you will receive at closing varies depending on current mortgage balance, if there is a line of credit or any liens against the property. There may also be transfer taxes, unpaid taxes, or unpaid special assessments on the property.

Our team will help you identify these items and give you an estimate of exactly how much money you can expect to receive. Keep in mind that these expenses are part of almost every transaction. Don’t let others skim over these details and leave you disappointed at closing.

What are the closing fees?2020-07-27T15:42:55-04:00

When you choose to sell your property to us, we will cover the abstract update, title opinion, as well as closing costs. You will be responsible to pay any transfer tax as well as prorated property taxes. Since property taxes are paid a year behind in Iowa. We will need to prorate the current taxes. You will only pay for taxes for the time you owned the property.

If you do not know where your property’s abstract is, we will do everything we can to locate it. On the rare occasion the abstract needs to be rebuilt, that expense will be your responsibility.

What documents will I need to bring (and when/where)?2020-07-27T15:42:24-04:00

Once you return the signed offer, the next step is to find the abstract. If you have it handy, you will bring it to our office along with the signed offer. If a lawyer or abstract company is storing it, simply let us know where and we will get it. If you have no idea where it is, our team will call around in an attempt to locate it.

At closing, you will need to bring a valid government-issued photo ID (i.e. drivers license) and all keys as well as garage remotes for the property.

How fast will it close?2020-07-27T15:41:53-04:00

Once the offer is accepted and signed, we order the abstract update and a title opinion. If any title defects are found, we work with you to resolve them. Once the title is cleared, we set a closing date and begin preparing the legal closing documents. Closing date is usually 2-4 weeks from the time the offer is signed.

Will I have time to think about my offer?2020-07-27T15:41:33-04:00

You won’t find any high pressure sales tactics here. You will have as much time as your desire to consider our offer. If you want to sign our agreement, we even give you an option to rescind within 3 days if you so choose. That’s essentially an “undo” button! We want you to be absolutely comfortable with your decision to work with us.

Are there some properties that you won’t buy?2020-07-27T15:41:08-04:00

Yes, but not many. Sometimes it’s just not a good solution for anyone. We are happy to give you other recommendations and options. Our conversations are free, confidential, and carry absolutely no obligation.

Do not worry about fitting our criteria, we pride ourselves in being upfront and honest. We will never waste your time talking about a property we are not interested in buying.

Do I have other options?2020-07-27T15:40:35-04:00

Of course you do! Some properties should be sold traditionally on the MLS. We will tell you if we think that is right for you. We would be happy to set you up with our sales team to get this process started.

Can I leave furniture/debris in the property? Will my stuff be sold?2020-07-27T15:40:05-04:00

You can leave furniture or debris. Our clean out crew will take care of any leftovers. We do not do garage sales.

Do I need to hire an attorney?2020-07-27T15:39:16-04:00

No, we will handle everything and keep you informed every step of the way. However, if you prefer a real estate attorney review any documents, we are happy to refer to a few great ones! 

How did you find me?2020-07-27T15:38:49-04:00

Sometimes property owners call us after seeing our signs, car decals, online ads or after hearing us on the radio.

What will happen to my house?2020-07-27T15:38:22-04:00

There are a few potentials here:

  1. We will keep the property in-house and our sister company, Coluzzi Construction, will rehab the home. Once rehabbed the property could be sold on the market or used as a rental property within our team’s portfolio.
  2. With our broad network of local investors that are always looking for properties to fix and flip or hold as a value-add rentals, we help sync the investors up with properties to rehab!
How does a closing work?2020-07-27T15:37:37-04:00

After you accept and sign our offer to purchase your property, you will drop it off at our office. If you have your abstract, drop that off too. Otherwise, the team will start searching for the abstract. The abstract is a physical record of ownership of a property.

Once the abstract is located, we will order a title opinion. Assuming there are no title defects, we will then set a closing date and send out a preliminary closing statement. The preliminary closing statement will outline how money you can expect to receive at closing. You will have a chance to review this document and ask any questions before signing off.

On closing day, you will sign the official closing documents and the property ownership will be transferred. You will walk away with a check in the amount specified in the closing statement. No ugly surprises or tricks here!

What is a title? What is an abstract?2020-07-27T15:37:02-04:00

A title is the legal document that specifies the official owner of a property. Iowa is a state that uses abstracts. An abstract is a physical record of the history of ownership of a property.

Before a property changes hands, the abstract must be found. An abstractor or an attorney will update the abstract. Finally, an attorney will give a title opinion meaning that the attorney will identify any title defects that need to be cleared before the sale of the property.

What are title defects?2020-07-27T15:34:27-04:00

A title must be clear before the property can be sold. Title defects are issues with the title that need to be resolved or “cleared.” There are a wide variety of potential issues including: incorrect legal descriptions, missing heirs, wills that affect the property, name confusion, unreleased mortgages, liens, and special assessments to name a few.

What is foreclosure?2020-07-27T15:33:57-04:00

The foreclosure process begins when a mortgage goes unpaid. Every missed payment brings you closer to foreclosure. Your bank will usually contact you unless you call them first. It is best to talk with your bank about any financial struggles you may be having before too many payments get missed (or even before the first missed payment) to discuss possible options besides foreclosure.

The process officially starts when the lender records a Notice of Right to Cure. This is a public notice filed by the government saying that the homeowner is behind on mortgage payments. This gives you 30 more days to pay what you owe. When no payment is received after 30 days a Failure to Cure by Proper Times will be recorded. Failure to Cure by Proper Times will be sent to you by certified mail, published in a newspaper, posted on your home, and in a public place (court house). After 30 days of the Failure to Cure by Proper Times is recorded and your house will be available at the sheriff sale. Once the house sells you will no longer own the home. You either must move out or pay rent to the new owner.

The whole foreclosing process usually takes 150 to 180 days. During this time you will be able to stay in the house. It is wise to find another place to stay since getting the house back grows more difficult as the foreclosure process goes on. Missed mortgage payments and foreclosure can damage your credit. Future lenders will be hesitant to give you another mortgage unless the interest rate is very high. For this reason, it is often recommended to rent for a while as you build up your credit again. [Source]

Can’t I just wait for the bank to take my property?2020-07-27T15:33:20-04:00

You could, however the negative impact on your credit report would impact you for nearly a decade. This would also negatively impact you when looking for your next home/apartment or townhome. Landlords often won’t easily rent to folks that have negative housing remarks on their credit.

Why work with a licensed agent?2020-07-27T15:32:56-04:00

Licensed agents are familiar with and abide by local and federal laws. You can rest assured knowing that licensed agents will follow a strict code of ethics.

What are common sales tactics used in the real estate investing industry?2020-07-27T15:32:30-04:00

The most common sales tactic in the real estate investing industry is promising to purchase the home with little to no actual cash to buy. Many “cash buyers” get the property under contract with you, while actively looking to “sell or assign” the contract (for a large fee) to another person/company. This model is referred to as, “wholesaling.” Oftentimes, these contracts are very loosely written and are not binding contracts leaving the potential buyers off the hook if they change their minds.

Another one is buying properties “subject to.” In this scenario, the buyer pays a low price to the seller and begins paying the seller’s mortgage. The mortgage remains in the seller’s name and the buyer gains full ownership rights. This is very risky for the seller since there is no guarantee that the buyer will continue to pay the mortgage. If the mortgage goes unpaid, it’s up to the seller to continue payments. This can also make it very difficult for the seller to apply for another mortgage in the future since the debt remains in their name.

All about bandit signs. Are you guys the ones with the handwritten signs?2020-07-27T15:31:44-04:00

We do have signs around the city, but they are not the handwritten ones you might be seeing near intersections or in other public areas. Sell Now Iowa has professionally printed signs from a local print shop which we place only by permission.

What is a contract reassignment?2020-07-27T15:30:13-04:00

Contract reassignment is exactly what it sounds like: reassigning a contract to another buyer. It is a common practice among wholesalers.

Here’s an example. Buyer Billy is a local investor who makes an offer to purchase Seller Sandy’s property for $65,000. Seller Sandy accepts. Before the closing date, Buyer Billy negotiates to sell that same property to Buyer Betty for $70,000. When closing day arrives, the property is sold to Buyer Betty for $70,000, but Seller Sandy only receives $65,000 while Buyer Billy takes home the difference of $5,000.

What is a short sale?2020-07-27T15:26:56-04:00

A short sale is when the lender or mortgage company allows you to sell your house for less than what is owed on the loan. This can only be accomplished by working with a licensed Realtor. When the house is sold, all of the proceeds go towards the loan and the seller is left with the remaining loan balance. The lender may forgive this balance or the borrower (seller) may be required to pay it back.

How does the Sheriff sale work?2020-07-27T15:26:30-04:00

A sheriff sale is the final step in the foreclosure process. Once the property has reached the Sheriff sale and is sold, the property is no longer yours.

What is the difference between a wholesaler and a wholetailer?2020-07-27T15:26:07-04:00

Wholesalers don’t actually purchase the properties they make offers on. They try to sell “the contract” you entered into to another investor before it closes. This is often done through an “Assignment of Contract” with an assignment fee paid on top of what you agreed to sell your home for!

On the other hand, a “wholetailer” will purchase the property themselves from you. From there they typically do the necessary value-add improvements to make it easier for the end buyer to handle. End buyers could be another investor who will do additional repairs, rent it out as-is, or even an owner occupant.

What does it mean to sell a property “subject to?”2020-07-27T15:25:41-04:00

Sell Now Iowa does NOT practice purchasing any property “subject to.”

Any property with a mortgage may be purchased “subject to.” When an investor makes an offer to purchase a property “subject to,” they will often take into consideration the remaining mortgage balance. This can make their offer look appealing, but it carries a lot of risk. You will be left responsible for a mortgage on a property that is not deeded to you.

An investor looking to purchase your property “subject to” will paint a very rosy picture. They may promise to make future payments on your behalf (and maybe even catch up any missed payments!). They will boast that this will rebuild your credit and that it’s a great way for YOU to make money. They will likely inform you that it is all totally legal, and in some cases it might be. That being said, this path carries a great deal of risk! In reality, they lack the available funds or experience to actually invest in your property so they are asking you to take the risk for them.

Let’s talk about the risk. The mortgage remains in your name. Your credit may improve assuming this investor continues making payments. BUT keep in mind that there is no way to force them to pay. When you sell “subject to,” you will usually give the investor the deed to the property. This means the buyer owns the property and can do whatever they want with it. They may choose to begin renovations or even rent it out to a tenant all the while you are responsible for the mortgage payments if they fail to pay. This can get messy in a hurry!

If the investor decides to resell the property, there is no guarantee that they pay off the mortgage when the next buyer purchases it. They could take the money from closing and just walk away leaving you in a worse situation than before.

Another risk in selling “subject to” is difficulty in applying for loans or mortgages in the future. This mortgage will continue to haunt you and show up as a liability on your credit report until the investor pays it off as agreed or you do.

Are there times when selling “subject to” is a good idea? Sometimes. Selling a property “subject to” MIGHT work if you are selling to someone who you completely trust such as a family member or good friend. We HIGHLY recommend seeking legal assistance if you consider selling your property “subject to.” Iowa Legal Aid is a very low cost place to start.

One thing to remember is that unlike “assuming a mortgage,” an investor who purchases a property “subject to” did not have to formally qualify to make those payments. You will have no way of knowing if they are financially able to cover the mortgage payments. Your financial future deserves much more than empty promises and uncertainty.

What does “assume a mortgage” mean?2020-07-27T15:24:15-04:00

This is not the same as selling a property “subject to.” When a buyer assumes the seller’s mortgage, the lender is involved and must approve the buyer. This means that the buyer will have to prove that they are able to make the mortgage payments.

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