Can I Sell My House If I’m Behind on Payments?

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Can You Sell Your House When Behind on Payments?

Absolutely! Falling behind on your mortgage payments can be an exceedingly stressful experience, and the threat of foreclosure can be even more daunting. However, it’s vital to remember that you still have options, one of which is selling your house. Selling your house can help you avoid foreclosure and provide a fresh start financially. This guide is designed to walk you through the steps necessary to navigate this process, from understanding your options to getting a fair cash offer on your property. We will provide the information you need to make an educated decision and take control of your financial future.

Selling Your House if You’re Behind On Your Mortgage

When you’re behind on your mortgage, selling your house can be an effective strategy to avoid foreclosure. But, selling it quickly and smartly is crucial to maximizing the amount of money you can pocket. Here are steps to guide you through this process:

Step 1: Understand Your Market

Before you sell, it’s essential to understand the current real estate market. Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s one? If it’s a buyer’s market, it means there are more homes for sale than buyers, making it more difficult to sell your home quickly. Conversely, in a seller’s market, there are more buyers than homes for sale, increasing the chances of selling your home quickly and at a good price.

Step 2: Price it Right

Pricing your home correctly from the start is critical. An overpriced house could sit on the market unsold, which can be disastrous if you’re trying to avoid foreclosure. A real estate agent can help you determine the right price based on comparable sales in your area.

Step 3: Make Necessary Repairs

Potential buyers will be turned off by visible damage or disrepair. Therefore, ensure to fix any glaring issues that could deter a buyer. However, be thoughtful about where you spend your money; focus on repairs that will increase your home’s value.

Step 4: Stage Your Home

Staging your home, or arranging furniture and decor, can make it more appealing to potential buyers. A well-staged home can often sell faster and for more money.

Step 5: Market Your Home

Use online platforms, local newspapers, and real estate agencies to advertise your house. High-quality photographs and detailed descriptions can attract more prospective buyers.

Step 6: Negotiate Smart

Be ready to negotiate. Remember, the goal is to sell quickly to avoid foreclosure, but that doesn’t mean settling for a lowball offer. A good real estate agent can help you navigate negotiations.

Step 7: Choose a Cash Buyer

If you’re in a hurry to sell, choosing a cash buyer can speed up the process significantly. They often buy “as-is,” which can save you time and money on repairs.

With these steps, you can successfully navigate the process of selling your house when you’re behind on payments. Remember, act fast, be realistic about your situation, and seek professional advice when needed.

Can I Sell My House If I’m Behind on Payments?

Being Above and Below Water on Your Mortgage

In the world of real estate, the terms “above water” and “below water” carry significant meaning, particularly for homeowners struggling with mortgage payments.

Being “Above Water” on your mortgage means that the current market value of your house is more than the amount you owe on your mortgage. This is an advantageous position because, if you were to sell your house with a mortgage, you could pay off your existing home loan and potentially have funds left over.

On the other hand, being “Below Water” (or “underwater”) on your mortgage is a more challenging situation. This happens when the balance of your mortgage is greater than the current market value of your house. In other words, you owe more on your home than it is worth in the current market. If you’re in this position and need to sell your house quickly, you could end up with less money than you need to pay off your mortgage, potentially leading to a deficiency judgment where you’re held responsible for the balance.

>> Check Out this Helpful Guide to Selling Your House While in Forbearance.

Regardless of whether you are above or below water on your mortgage, it’s important to know that you still have options. If you’re above water, selling for a cash offer can provide immediate relief and potential profit. If you’re underwater, strategies like a short sale can allow you to avoid foreclosure, though they require lender approval. As always, understanding your unique situation and seeking advice from real estate professionals can help you make the best decision possible.

Alternatives to Selling Your Home When Underwater

Even when you’re underwater on your mortgage, selling isn’t your only option. There are alternatives available that can help you manage your debt, restructure your mortgage, or work out a deal to avoid foreclosure. Here are a few possibilities:

1. Loan Modification: This involves negotiating with your lender to modify the terms of your loan, potentially lowering your monthly payment. The goal is to make your mortgage more manageable so that you can catch up on your payments and eventually sell when the market is more favorable.

2. Refinance: If your credit is still good, you could try to refinance your mortgage, potentially securing a lower interest rate or longer term to reduce your payments. But be aware that this is essentially replacing one loan with another, so make sure the terms are beneficial.

3. Short Sale: Unlike a regular sale, a short sale involves selling your home for less than what you owe. This requires your lender’s approval, as they’ll be accepting less than the full debt amount. It’s a complicated process, but can be a viable option if you’re severely underwater and other options aren’t working.

4. Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure: This is an act of transferring the title of your property to your lender, effectively giving back your home to avoid foreclosure. Your credit will take a hit, but it’s usually not as severe as the impact of foreclosure.

5. Rent Out Your Home: If you can cover your mortgage payment by renting out your home, it might be an option. You can then wait for property values to rebound before selling.

6. ‘We Buy Houses’ Companies: Companies that buy houses for cash, for instance, are willing to buy homes for cash regardless of the condition or circumstances. This can be a quick and straightforward way to sell your home and settle your debt. These companies typically offer a lower amount than market value, but they buy ‘as-is’ and can close quickly, which can be a big advantage if you’re under threat of foreclosure.

Each of these options has its pros and cons and might not be a perfect fit for everyone. It is crucial to understand your financial situation, consider your long-term goals, and consult with a financial advisor or real estate professional before making a decision.

Should You Sell Your Home If You’re Behind on Mortgage Payments?

If you’re behind on your mortgage payments, selling your home might seem like the most straightforward solution to your predicament. But should you? The answer isn’t always clear-cut and depends largely on your individual circumstances. If you’re “above water” on your mortgage, selling could solve the problem and potentially leave you with some profit. But if you’re “underwater”, selling might not cover your entire debt, leaving you owing the balance.

In some cases, the urgency to avoid foreclosure might push you to sell, especially if you can secure a cash buyer or work with a ‘We Buy Houses’ company. These buyers can provide a quick sale, which might be less than market value but can help you avoid a hit to your credit score and the long-term financial implications of foreclosure.

However, selling isn’t your only option if you’re behind on payments. Loan modifications, refinancing, and short sales are all possible alternatives that might help you manage your debt without having to sell your home. Renting out your home is another option if the rental income can cover your mortgage payments.

>> I lost my job and can’t pay my mortgage! What should I do?

The critical point is to act quickly and seek professional advice. The more behind you are on your payments, the fewer options you’ll have. Consult with a real estate professional, financial advisor, or attorney who can help you understand your situation and guide you toward the best solution for you. Remember, it’s not just about avoiding foreclosure, but also about securing the best possible financial future.

How to Sell Your House If You’re Behind On Your Mortgage

If you’re behind on your mortgage and have decided to sell your house, there are several steps you need to take.

1. Contact Your Lender: Before you do anything else, it’s important to reach out to your lender. They might be willing to work with you on a foreclosure avoidance plan, which could buy you some time to sell.

2. Understand Your Home’s Value: If you’re underwater on your mortgage, you need to know by how much. A realtor or an appraiser can help you to determine the current value of your home. This information is crucial in making the next decisions.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent: If you’re in a difficult financial situation, it’s particularly important to have a professional on your side. Look for an agent who has experience with short sales and foreclosures.

4. Determine Your Sale Strategy: If you’re not underwater on your mortgage, you can sell your home on the open market and use the proceeds to pay off your debt. If you’re underwater, you may need to negotiate a short sale with your lender.

5. Prepare Your Home for Sale: Regardless of your financial situation, it’s important to make your home as appealing as possible to attract buyers. This might mean cleaning, decluttering, and addressing minor repairs.

6. Negotiate with the Buyer: Once you receive an offer, you’ll need to decide whether to accept it. Keep in mind that if you’re executing a short sale, your lender will also need to approve the offer.

7. Close the Sale: Once everyone agrees, you can close the sale. If you have a short sale, the lender will handle paying off your mortgage from the proceeds. If you’re not underwater, the closing attorney will pay off your mortgage and give you any remaining proceeds.

Remember, it’s important to act quickly if you’re behind on your mortgage payments. The sooner you start this process, the more options you’ll have. Always consult with a real estate professional or an attorney throughout the process to ensure you’re making the best decisions for your situation.

How to Sell Your House If You're Behind On Your Mortgage


In conclusion, finding yourself behind on mortgage payments can be a daunting experience, fraught with fear and uncertainty. However, remember that there are always options available to you. Each circumstance is unique and requires a different approach, be it loan modification, refinancing, renting out your home, or selling it. If selling emerges as the best option for your situation, take time to understand the value of your home, talk to a competent real estate professional, prepare your home for sale, and negotiate astutely with the buyer.

If you’re behind on payments and need to sell your house, contact Nexus Homebuyers. They specialize in providing quick sales and the best cash offers, helping you navigate through this tough time and towards a secure financial future. Remember, the key is to act promptly and seek professional advice to secure an outcome that is in your best interest.

Get an all cash offer on your home