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Selling your house by "walking away"?

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No, no, I don't mean walking out on your mortgage. :)


But here's my thought/question: is it possible, and/or have any of you, sold your house by just "walking away" and giving the keys to the realtor? The realtor arranges the estate sale, clean-out, any fixup and landscaping needed, and then sells the house. All I do is sign things that are overnighted to me. It seems to me that this is what would happen if someone died and there was no family nearby to take care of things. So I assume this is something that the professionals regularly handle. Am I wrong?


See, the thing is, I'm not at all sure I have the strength, stamina, or interest it's going to take to get all this done, and I thought of this as an alternative. Yes, obviously it will "cost money". Put that aside for now. I just want to know if this is possible and if any of you have done this.



1994 Blue Bird Wanderlodge WB40

Full-timers since 2016, domiciled in Crestview, Florida

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Yes it can be done. Just pack up your RV with the items you want and the realtor can do the rest. Just interview carefully and thoroughly detail what you want done.


When we hit the road in 16 years ago we went thru our personal things. Anything that didn't fit in the RV we gave away, sold on the internet, had one garage sale and anything left Goodwill came to pickup. We interviewed a couple of realtors found one we liked signed the papers and were across the country when the house sold. She just FEDX'ed the paperwork back and forth and had the proceeds wired to our account. We never went back to the house.


A couple of years ago we had to sell mom and dad's house and we were on the opposite coast at the time. It was overwhelming to have to go thru all their "treasures" as well as not being familiar with the community. After we arrived I found a realtor referral service online and they gave me the name of 5 top agents for the area. I interviewed 3 found one we liked and signed the papers. As executor I told family and neighbors we were selling the house and if they wanted anything they were welcome to it and to come get it asap. We did sell anything, no garage sale. We live in an RV and have no room for anything more. We were back on the opposite coast when the house sold and the realtor wired the proceeds to our account and anything left in the house he made arrangements for it to go to charity.


We did give all the sheets, towels and blankets to the local animal hospital.


I see you listed your location as Sarasota here is a Google search for estate sale specialists in the area but understand many times your belongings are much more valuable to you than to anyone else. We used this realtor in Sarasota. Bob was very professional, knows the business, knows the market, handled all the paperwork for us and kept in touch via email and phone the whole time.


Good luck with your sale.

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I have sold 6 houses, 5 of them remotely as you describe and 1 for which I was present at the closing. Now that I think about it, I bought 4 of them remotely and was present for 2 of them. My wife didn't see one of them in particular until after all our stuff was moved into it. She helped choose the rest of them.

F-250 SCREW 4X4 Gas, 5th NuWa Premier 35FKTG, Full Time, Engineer Ret.

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We did not have and estate sale. We cleaned out the house and turned the keys over to our realtor. The house sold within 90 days. Realtor overnighted the papers to us, we signed them at a nearby notary. We over nighted them back and the next day the money was deposited in our account.


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So I assume this is something that the professionals regularly handle. Am I wrong?

I'm not sure that "most" realtors encounter this situation. You'll have to find a realtor that has done that sort of thing before.

And yes, an estate sale company would empty the house and the realtor would sell it.

You might back track from an estate sale company by calling them and asking what realtors have they worked with.

Here's a lead for an estate sale company: https://www.estatesales.net/



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My trusted Realtor recommended my estate sale company. They came in between the offer and closing and cleaned out everything leaving the house spotless for the buyers. We know that because we were camped in a nearby park as this was happening so went to check on the house after the sale expecting to have to do some cleanup. It was wonderful to find it already clean!


Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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I have not sold my own home in that way but I did sell my parent's house for my mother after she had to no longer live alone I did so by contacting a reliable realtor and left him with a limited power of attorney to sell the house for me. He even handled the closing so that I didn't have to travel several states away to sign the papers. You do need to be very careful in the selection of the realtor but it can work out very well.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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If your house is empty and you sell by owner, can you pretty much do the same with a real estate attorney? I just changed my residence from WI to WA and the home is in WI and I plan to use the WI attorney that I used when I bought this home.


I feel like I need to go back and turn the water on etc but I did leave detailed instructions on how to put everything back to residing in the home.

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Done this and it turned out to be a nightmare!


We did just that, We did fix it up a bit, before we turned it over to a realtor.

All we wanted to have our mortgage paid off and whatever the realtor could sell it for he could keep for a profit.


Well what ended up happening is for 3 years the house didn't sell. The area we moved into so long ago had turned around and really gone down hill. couple that with the housing market crashed which really hurt us. We even when back "HOME" and poured another 15% of the value into doing more repairs and fixing it up to help it sell.


In the end we contacted the mortgage company and told them we wanted to do a short sale. They turned us down but told us that we could do a "Deed in lieu of foreclosure" which isn't much different that just walking away. We really didn't want this option, but what would we do? In all this time we made all of our mortgage payments on time and continued to pay for power, water and sewage.


As it was the bank foreclosed on the house and we had to take 7% as income as the bank wrote what we owed them.


The bank held it for another year and after that they sold it for only 60% of what they said it was worth.


We are free and clear now but it didn't work out they way we wanted it to work out.


Moral of the story.... Do you your homework and then do it homework again and again.



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Sonny Theobald

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  • 2 weeks later...

We sold our parents home after they both passed in that manner. Our trusted realtor handled everything estate sale, house sale closing done by fax and internet.

Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky

SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

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