Can't sell? rent it out-but become educated!
Consider renting and advertising it as a "rent with option" or "rent to own". Think and stay positive.
There are a lot of things you can do to make it a "win win".
- Offer a partial rent credit towards down payment and KEEP PROOF OF TIMELY PAYMENTS so the buyers can actually use it for their down payment (don't accept cash, prefer check or money order and make copies of it so you can paper trail).
- Ask for a down payment higher than the usual security deposit-if you don't ask or require it, they won't offer it.
- List it on Craigslist for a rental-as well as rent.com, etc. I personally get the best response in my area from craigslist but every market area will have its own most popular websites-do your homework.
- Meet the people at their current home (pick a reason to see them at their house) see what they live like before they move into your house.
- DO a previous landlord check!
- Offer or require direct deposit on a date that they can work with for the rental payments so you don't have to collect-you can just check your bank statement.
- If you have a nice place, advertise a higher rent amount then what the market is currently accepting-all you can do is ask-you can always come down.
- Learn about tenant landlord laws in your area
- Require your renters to obtain renters insurance
- Make sure your rent to own contract is solid-and DON'T do a contract for deed-use the rent to own route. It's too hard (you have to foreclose) if you do a contract for deed versus just evicting them.
In addition to apartment renters that would love to move into a house, there are some additional quality renters coming into the markets right now. The people that lose their homes to foreclosure have to have somewhere to go and, they are probably having a hard enough time with the foreclosure, moving into an apartment just makes it worse on them. I don't have a problem asking them what happened for them to lose their home-and I ask them what their plans are to buy again? I tell them we can work together to get their credit repaired so they can buy again-usually within 2 years at a good rate but their credit will need to be repaired.
Rents have gone up because of all of the foreclosures so, renting a home out isn't necessarily a bad thing-but make sure you are renting to the best candidates!
If you can't sell it now because of the market or want to try to ride out the market, rent it out for a couple of years or so and help someone buy what just may be their first home! (remember how exciting and scary that was?) or help someone that has fallen on bad times!