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How to Sell a Distressed Property in Pennsylvania

distressed property

Did you know that it takes an average of 35 to 45 days to sell a home in Pennsylvania? While that may seem reasonable to many, if you are struggling to make payments it can seem like a lifetime. So how do you speed up the process?


When you are facing foreclosure, your house becomes a distressed property. Read on as we give our essential guide on how to sell a distressed property in Pennsylvania. 


What Defines a Distressed Property?

A distressed property is a property that is on the verge of foreclosure. The owner can no longer afford to meet the financial obligations associated with it. This could be from mortgage payments or property taxes. 


In these cases, the owner will want to sell the property fast. This is because if the bank takes over it could lose everything. Selling allows them to pay off their debts and possibly make some profit.



Most distressed home sales are the result of a foreclosure. When monthly mortgage payments stop, the bank instigates this procedure to repossess the property. The home is usually sold at a foreclosure sale or a property auction. 


In some instances, the lender may accept a deed in lieu. This hands ownership to the lender, releasing the owner from mortgage payments and preventing a foreclosure from appearing on their credit report. 


REO Properties

REO properties have not sold at a foreclosure auction. Many lenders do not want the effort of maintaining these properties. As a result, they will often sell at a discount meaning buyers can get a bargain deal.


Short Sales

Short sales usually occur when the homeowner owes more mortgage than the home is worth. A buyer will buy the property for less than that which the owner owes. Buyers and investors get a great deal and the owner can avoid foreclosure. 


What to Know Before You Sell a Distressed Property

When selling distressed properties it can often seem like any deal is a good one. Yet there are a few things you should know to get one that is right for you.


Know Your Property Value

While you may not get the exact market amount with distressed properties, to get the best deal you need to know the actual value of the home. This is best done through comparative market analysis. It is a method that involves looking at similar homes in the area to see what they are selling for and valuing your house from this data. 


The other option is to get someone in to appraise the home. This will cost, but they will take into account all of the home’s pros and cons to get a fair market value. 


Will You Repair or Sell as Is?

When you sell the house as-is, you put it on the market without any repairs or renovations. What people see is generally what they get. Be aware that it is illegal to sell a house without disclosing information about it, so you must let people know all its major flaws whichever way you decide to sell. 


Repairing and renovating will net you a higher amount. But this costs time and money. If you have a house in major disrepair, then the investment may not be worth the payoff. 


When foreclosure is looming, you also may not have time. There are plenty of people willing to buy a home as-is, mainly so they can fix and flip it for profit. Private sellers and companies that buy homes for cash should be your first stop. 


Selling Distressed Properties Quickly

With a foreclosure date looming, many people want to sell their homes as quickly as possible. Below are the ways to get your house sold fast. 


Lower Your Asking Price

When you lower your asking price, you will attract a lot more viewers to the home. More people may be willing to take a risk if the property is a house in poor condition. You may also get the attention of a lot of fix and flip investors. 


Verify Any Offers

When you need to sell quickly, you don’t want to have time wasted with offers that fall through. When an offer does come, always ask for verification that the buyer has the funds. If they are financing, then make sure they have mortgage pre-approval. 


You can speed up the process by ensuring that you have all the paperwork in order. Get a property attorney to have all the documents checked and ready to go. 


Be Proactive

You don’t have to sit and wait for offers to come along. If you want to be proactive, then approach cash investors looking for properties. 


Many of them will make offers immediately and have very few conditions attached. They will buy in almost any condition, though their price will be lower and reflect this. Some companies can even have sales turned around in as little as two weeks. 


Don’t Delay

Even in a seller’s market with a pristine property, you should not delay. A traditional sale can take months, even when you have an offer. 


Get your home ready for sale as quickly as possible. Make sure you take great pictures and get them listed. Put ads up and let people know you are selling. 


While it is on the market, start looking at alternatives. Research cash buyers and companies in your local area. 


Finalizing the Sale

When selling a distressed property, time is of the essence. Get it on the market quickly, then look for other alternatives. Make sure you vet any potential buyers. 


If you want to sell your house fast, then First Choice Home Buyers should be your first stop. We buy houses for cash in any condition quickly. Contact us here and get a quote for your property from one of our experts. 

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