What to Do With Bad Tenants in Maryland

 

If you own a rental property then this is a great investment for you and your family. However, it only takes one bad tenant to make you regret ever buying this property in the first place. Bad tenants are usually the exception rather than the rule and so this may be something that you ever come across but if you do then you may find the following information helpful when dealing with these tenants.

Be Understanding of the Tenant’s Situation

Take time to listen to your tenants
Take time to listen to your tenants

Everyone can go through a tough time financially every now and then and so a little understanding may be all that is needed. If your tenant has always paid their rent on time then there is probably a genuine reason why they are not paying now. If you can be flexible until they are back on their feet then you will get the money that you are owed and get to keep a good tenant.

Be Fair But Firm

Being fair is important for a win-win solution
Being fair is important for a win-win solution

If you have done everything you can to try and help your tenant but they are still not paying then it might be time to say enough is enough. You will need to remind them what your policy is for collecting rent and that this will need to be stuck to. Unfortunately there are people that will use every excuse that they can to get out of paying the rent that they owe. Remember, you would want the same fair treatment if you were the one behind on payments.

Make A Record Of Every Interaction

All interactions with the tenant should be recorded as you never know when you will need these as evidence. Keep every text message and email that you have been sent by the tenant and that you have sent yourself. The time and date of every conversation should be recorded with brief notes about what was said. If the tenants have damaged the property then photos of this damage will also be very useful.

Hire A Property Manager

Hiring a Maryland property manager can help maintain a better tenant relationship
Hiring a Maryland property manager can help maintain a better tenant relationship

A property manager can help take the pain out of collecting rent but there are many other things that they will be able to help you with. They can advertise your property and screen potential tenants so that the risk of getting a bad tenant is reduced. They can also take care of any maintenance that may be needed on the property. If you have more than one rental property to manage then a property manager can be a very good investment.

Start The Maryland Eviction Process

If all other avenues have failed then you may have no choice but to start the eviction process. This can be a long process and the eviction procedure for starting this process will vary depending on which state you live in. You need to have a valid reason why you are asking the tenant to move and you will need to show that they have broken the lease in some way. The courts do not really want to make anyone homeless but they will side with you if you can show that you have done everything that you can. This is the main reason why it is so important that everything is documented. You will need to wait until the court order is granted before you can change the locks or remove the tenants possessions.

Selling Your House Quickly in Maryland

There are a number of reasons why you'd need to sell your house fast in Maryland
There are a number of reasons why you’d need to sell your house fast in Maryland

There may be any number of reasons why you need to sell your home in Maryland quickly. You may be relocating due a new job or it may be that the home is no longer affordable. It may not be your home that you are selling, if an elderly parent is moving into a care home then the proceeds of a sale may be needed to pay for the fees.

If you need to sell your Maryland house quickly then there are a number of steps that you can take to speed up the process.

Spruce Up Your Home and List “For Sale By Owner”

If it is something that you can do quickly, it is worth trying to make your property more attractive to potential buyers. This is also likely to help you get higher offers. If there are any obvious repairs then you should think about making these. Other than that your home may just need a bit of a spring clean. It is also a good idea to rid your home of any clutter which will also help you to get a head start on your packing when the time comes. Your kitchen and bathroom should be clean and you could also consider removing the drapes from the windows to let in the natural light which will make the room look bigger. Landscaping the front of your property can also increase curb appeal and raise interest in your property. Check your roof and see if it needs to be replaced and consider alternatives if a roof replacement is required.

If you can find a buyer you’ll be able to save on Maryland real estate commissions and possibly walk away with more money. The trick is to be aggressive with your adverting and get a buyer quickly. You will not have access to listing on the Maryland MLS so you’ll need to go above and beyond to find your buyer.

Sell Your Home Through A Maryland Realtor

There are some advantages to using a realtor if you want to achieve a quick sale. However, following the usual procedure for selling through a realtor is probably not a good idea as this can be a long process. One service that a realtor can provide is to put you in touch with an investor that may be prepared to buy your property for cash. The realtor can also give you a valuation for your property which will allow you to assess whether the cash offer you get from an investor is fair.

Sell To A Maryland Home Buying Company

A home buying company like Dependable Homebuyers is a great option for someone looking to sell fast in Maryland
A home buying company like Dependable Homebuyers is a great option for someone looking to sell fast in Maryland

This is one of the best ways to sell your property quickly. Real estate investors may work alone or they may have set up their own company. They are almost always cash buyers which means that the sale of the home can go through very quickly. If you do a quick search then you will probably find that there are many companies to choose from in your locality. It is a good idea to check out reviews of these companies before you contact them to make sure that you are dealing with someone who is reputable. When selling a house in Maryland I always recommend Dependable Homebuyers. Their site is www.dependablehomebuyers.com and they always get the job done.

If you need to sell your Maryland home quickly then you may be surprised at how many benefits selling to a real estate investor has. Not only will the sale go through very quickly they will usually buy the house in any condition so there is no need for you to spend time and money on any repairs. It is a very viable option for a lot of people and one that you might want to look into.

Falling Behind on Mortgage Payments in Maryland

Consumers get behind on mortgage payments all of the time in Maryland. There are various reasons, but some of the common ones are that they lose a job, have major medical bills and many other personal issues that can get in the way of making their monthly mortgage payment. Once you become behind on your mortgage payments, there are steps that need to be taken quickly to avoid foreclosure and the potential negative impact on your credit score. We will discuss some of the steps you should take and the options that might apply later in this post.
What Should You Do If You Fall Behind on Your Payments

First Step When Falling Behind on Mortgage Payments in Maryland

If you fall behind for one month, your going to get a letter from your mortgage company. They will remind you that you missed the payment and that you should contact them immediately to discuss your missed payment. If you do not get in touch with them and perhaps miss another payment, chances are they will initiate foreclosure on your home. Once the process gets started it can be difficult to stop it, so contact your mortgage holder immediately.

In many situations a solution can be worked out. Failing to contact them and work out a solution could mean that a sheriff’s deputy may post a notice of foreclosure on your door or window.

Develop A Financial Plan

Before anything else, sit down and plan your finances
Before anything else, sit down and plan your finances

There are various solutions that can be worked out to deal with your unpaid debt. Your lender would prefer to work out a plan, because everyone loses in a foreclosure arrangement, including the lender.

The plan will focus on working out a repayment plan for your unpaid debt. Initially they may propose an adjusted monthly payment that will make up for the missed payments plus any accrued interest as a result of missing one or more payments.

Another approach is to apply reinstatement. Reinstatement is a lump sum payment that gets you caught up on all of your missed payments including interest. Forbearance is another approach where the lender will adjust the payments or reduce them as part of the reinstatement agreement. Often these two approaches are used together.

Your commitment to getting caught up on your missing payments and your negotiation skills are important to make these plans work. You do not want to lose your home and you want to keep your credit score from being impacted. A bad credit rating will make all future loan applications more expensive.

What Can I Do If I Cannot Make the Payments Longer

There are a number of situations in which Maryland homeowners cannot keep up with their payments
There are a number of situations in which Maryland homeowners cannot keep up with their payments

Sometimes consumers just cannot make any of these solutions work and they cannot make the payments any longer. Often loss of employment is a major factor in situations like this. Consumers who find themselves in this situation can either renegotiate the mortgage aiming for lower payments or they can try to sell their home and pay out the mortgage. If the bank does it for you there will be lots of expenses that will eat into any profit you might have.
Renegotiating the mortgage could mean the lender lowers the interest rate charged on the mortgage. The impact will lower the monthly payment making it more affordable. Another approach is to extend the term of the mortgage which will have the same impact, i.e. lower monthly payments.

Another approach is to arrange to sell your home. Following a traditional approach using a real estate agent can mean that it will take as long as three months or even longer to sell your home on the market depending on its condition. If there are lots of repairs or major upgrades needed to make it competitive, it may remain on the market for some time unless you lower the price. If you are under mortgage payment pressure a delay like this can be difficult to handle.

Should You Sell Your Home Fast

Some consumers will elect to sell their homes as is to home buying companies. They purchase the homes quickly often with no appraisal and they already have financing available. In many cases they can close the deal within a couple of weeks. This is a great solution for many people since it gets them out of their mortgage situation and they can move on to find more affordable living arrangements.

Note that these companies are also in the business of making a profit. They will usually offer a price well below current market levels to compensate for investments they may have to make completing repairs and upgrades before reselling the home once more.
There are lots of options for consumers in Maryland who are having trouble meeting their monthly mortgage payments. Remember the first step is to contact your mortgage company and attempt to negotiate a solution that works for everyone.

Things You Should Never Say To Potential Maryland Home Buyers

Don't scare away you home buyers
Don’t scare away you home buyers

When you are selling your property in Maryland it is perfectly natural for people to ask the reasons why. If it is family and friends that you are talking to then there is no reason not to tell them the truth. However, it is a different story when you are talking to potential buyers as even the most innocent response can do more damage than you would think. Some of the answers that you should definitely avoid giving are listed below.

Selling a House in Maryland Requires a Plan

Remember, when you’re selling your Maryland home you’re in sales mode. You should never lie about your property (there’s law that prohibits that), but it doesn’t hurt to focus on the positives. Inform the buyer why purchasing your home is a great idea for them and their family.

I’m Moving For A New Job

Even though this is one of the most common reasons for moving it is not a good idea to share this with potential buyers as they will know you are probably in a rush to sell and will therefore make a low offer.

We Need A Bigger House

This has the potential to make buyers think about whether the house will be big enough for their own needs in the future. This is especially true for young couples who might be thinking of starting a family.

We Have Decided To Downsize

This may make buyers question whether the house it too large for them and if it is going to be difficult to maintain. People do think about the future and how long they will be staying in the house that they are buying. My experience as a real estate agent has been to defer these questions to positive features about the home,

We Need Our Mortgage Payment To Be Smaller

This is a bad response for two reasons. Firstly, you don’t want to scare potential owners into believing that the mortgage payment may be to high for them to manage. Secondly, if the buyers think that you are in a bad financial position they may make a low offer.

We’ve Already Bought A New Property

Again this is information that should not be shared with potential buyers because it makes them think that you may accept a low offer. People in this situation may need to sell quickly because paying two mortgages in Maryland is very expensive and buyers will be aware of this. And if this sale is due to a divorce, keep that information private.

We Want To Live Somewhere Quieter

A noisy neighborhood can scare away buyers
A noisy neighborhood can scare away buyers

The general rule to be followed here is to say as little about the neighborhood as possible as you can never be sure what people are looking for. Some people may be put off by a noisy street but others might not like it when things are too quiet.

We Are Moving To Take Care Of Our Parents

Again this is information that could lead the potential buyers to think that you would accept a low offer because you need to sell quickly. There is no need to give out any information about your personal lives.

The Stairs Are Too Much For My Back

Too many stairs or stairs that are quite steep can be off putting for a number of people. Older people that have mobility issues will find it a struggle and young families may be worried about the how safe their children will be on the stairs.

The Maryland Utility Bills Are Too High

People in Maryland will almost certainly be put off if they think that the running costs of the house are too high. The new owners may be able to get a good deal from their suppliers or they may make the home more energy efficient so there is no point scaring them unnecessarily.

It Is A Difficult House To Maintain

If work needs doing on the house then this is going to be reflected in the asking price. There is no need to go into specific details about the things that need doing on the house and how much they are likely to cost. There is also need to talk about everything little thing that you think is wrong with the house as this is definitely going to put people off.

A good way to avoid saying the wrong thing altogether is to get your realtor to deal with any potential buyers on your behalf. They will have had many years of experience in answering awkward questions from buyers and they know exactly what answers to give.

Can I Sell My House to My Spouse During a Divorce in Maryland

Divorce is the primary reason in Maryland for a spouse to buy out the home
Divorce is the primary reason in Maryland for a spouse to buy out the home

The most common reason for a home to be sold to your spouse in Maryland is divorce. In some divorce cases one party will be ordered to buy the other out as this is seen as a good way to share out the assets. Some people are unsure whether selling a home to a spouse is something that can legally be done but the answer is that it can. There are other reasons to sell your Maryland home to your spouse but these can have legal implications. You may want to get the advice of an attorney before any sale is made, although this is something that you may already be doing if you are going through a divorce. However, there are a few other people that can offer you expert advice that you may want to talk to.

Consult Your Accountant

Always consult your accountant when selling your house to you spouse
Always consult your accountant when selling your house to you spouse

There may be tax implications to selling your home to your spouse so it always a good idea to have a chat with your accountant. In some cases selling your home could lead to a large tax bill and so it is better to find this information out before the sale goes through. Your Maryland accountant will also be able to tell you whether selling home is the best solution or there are other options that are open to you which make better financial sense. If one of you is planning to stay in the home after the divorce then it may make sense for the home to be sold to the person who is staying. However, if both of you are moving to new properties then it may be easier to sell the house completely and share any profit that has been made.

Consult A Realtor

Consult a real estate agent when selling your house to your spouse
Consult a real estate agent when selling your house to your spouse

A realtor will also be able to give you advice about the laws in your state which may affect a house sale to a spouse. If you have any questions that you forgot to ask your attorney, it might be easier to ask your realtor these than getting in touch with your attorney. In some states selling the house will depend on whose name is on the mortgage and the mortgage company can also have some say in this as well. From their point of view, if there are two names on the property title there are two people they can chase for any money that is owed. If the mortgage is in both names then the mortgage company is likely to insist that both names stay on the title and this is more likely to be the case if their has ever been arrears on the account.

Is There An Alternative Solution?

There may be an alternative solution to selling your home to a spouse. Transferring it into your partners name without any money changing hands is one such option. You should not be eligible to pay any state gift tax if this is the case because gifts that can be made to a spouse are unlimited. This will only work if both parties are US citizens and there may be other conditions that apply as well. A realtor may also be able to advise you about whether transferring the property or selling it will be the best option depending on your circumstances.

A realtor can be a useful first port of call for any questions that you have about selling your home to your spouse. They will have the same amount of knowledge as a real estate attorney to some degree and will able to advise you about the laws that apply in your state. They also may not charge for some advice over the phone or even face to face in the same way that an attorney would.

Beginning My Maryland Real Estate Book Journey

Beginning my real estate book journey
Beginning my real estate book journey

Early successes got me interested in real estate as a way to make money. I earned my Maryland real estate license after college and found that real estate was the easiest way for me to keep up with my student loans whiles building a nest egg. I’ve started this blog to share with you my success in the industry as well as my lessons. I’ll be writing about why I love buying and selling houses and hopefully will end up publishing my gather thoughts as a book. My current working title is “Double, Double” and you can read about the background in my About Me section.

Now, when I decide to buy a house or sell a house in Maryland, I defer back to my real estate training. I have to assess what the market value of the house is. That means looking at what the home in that particular area is worth per square foot.

To sell a house fast, I determine how low I want to go on the home. Really, when it comes down to it, sometimes a property is just something I need to sell for the particular stage of business I am in. I might have my eye on a new development that is going up, and need the cash for a deposit. I like to buy in newer areas because these buildings really hold their value over time. If I can get into the market before the builders have even started the development, I can really feel like I am getting a good deal. I just have to be sure that those builders are going to be able to finish the development. There is nothing worse than a project going south before the renovation has begun..

Sometimes I will go through a real estate agent to get the tips that I need. They often know of homes that will be great deals. I even might go through a real estate agent to hear about new developments that are going up. The real estate agent will know if the builders have a good track record. And this is exactly what I need if the development has not even gone up yet. And I also don’t want any hidden surprises. So I will make sure that my real estate agent gets their promises for me in writing. That way if the building does not contain the items that they promised, then I have some legal recourse to go back on. Maybe the contractors will give me a discount. It pays to be flexible but not naive. You can’t just go into the contractor’s office and take them buy their word. In this business, having a good real estate agent and a lawyer on retainer is a must.

If I want to sell a Maryland house for cash, only to re-invest that money in new developments, then I am free to do so. I like cash sales because I know that my money is going to go right back into my next real estate investment. And those investments have paid off for me 100% of the time.

This is just some of the great content you can expect in my blogs. I’d love to educate you regarding everything I’ve learned about this vibrant industry.